In truth I have never received any such reactions from any of my childless friends, but that is because none of them are selfish or unaware enough not to realise that being a parent (particularly the one that stays at home) is hard. However it would seem that there are many people out there still wondering what exactly SAHM's do all day, even (sadly) the partners of some of the said SAHM's, who seem to have little understanding of what it is their other half does all day when at home with the children.
So for all 'those' people let me run you through a typical day for me with Emily...
Yesterday she was awake at the usual time 6.45am, you could set your watch by her most days. She came in complaining that her pyjama trousers were wet, not a regular occurrence granted but we still have the odd night accident. I was still half asleep and in agony with stomach cramps (period related) so I got up, changed her trousers and took her to the toilet. Then I went to the toilet, got dressed, got Emily into her dressing gown, stripped the sheet off her bed (luckily the duvet was still dry) and we went downstairs. I got Emily some juice, made her some breakfast, gave her her antibiotics and vitamin tablet and then sat her down with Nick Jr. whilst I went to make myself a cup of coffee and take some paracetamol to numb the pain! Next I did the washing up, emptied the drier and took Emily's clean clothes upstairs to put away. I opened her curtains, tidied away her toys from last night. Made my bed and collected some dirty washing to put in the machine. Came back downstairs, checked on Emily who had now finished her breakfast and was smearing her dirty hands all over the sofa. So I cleaned up Emily, cleaned up the sofa, blew Emily's runny nose and got her ANOTHER drink of juice (please mummy). Made myself another cup of coffee as the last one, only half drunk has now gone cold. Put the washing in the machine and then went back to check on Emily, who has converted my lounge into a softplay centre whilst I had been gone, emptying the entire contents of her toy box onto the floor. I sat down to drink my second cup of coffee when Emily informed me that she wanted a poo and she wanted to do it on the potty! She still refuses to go on the toilet unless she has to and it just isn't worth the fight right now. So went to retrieve the potty from upstairs, put Emily on the potty and sat down to drink my coffee. She then informed me that she has finished and wanted grapes, banana's and more juice (please mummy), so I took her off the potty, cleaned her bum and took the potty upstairs to empty the contents into the toilet. Rinsed the potty and left it soaking in the bathroom. I went back downstairs and into the kitchen. Brought the fruit and juice back into the living room and sat down to write my blog. Finished blog and realised what time it was! We had to be at nursery in an hour! So I chucked Emily in the shower, brushed my teeth, brushed Emily's teeth, got her out of the shower, wrestled with her whilst trying to put cream on her sore bum as she sobbed and screamed, wrestled with her whilst getting her dressed. Then I left her to play for 5 minutes whilst I had a shower and got dressed.
Once dressed I got Emily and took her downstairs, wrestled with her whilst brushing and drying her hair, she screamed and cried the whole time. Made her a tuna sandwich before nursery that she poked and prodded and basically tore up into tiny piece flicking bits of tuna and bread all over the table and the carpet in the process, before finally eating only half the sandwich. I ignored the mess and dried my own hair and threw on some makeup to cover the dark shadows under my eyes. Took some more paracetamol for the pain in my stomach. Got Emily's bag ready for nursery, got my coat and shoes on, cleaned Emily up after eating her sandwich and asked her to find her shoes for me whilst I went to the toilet. Came back downstairs to find her sitting on the floor with piles of shoes around her although none actually on her feet. Found her shoes, put them on, found her coat and put that on, only for her to inform me that she needed a wee. I removed her coat and took her up to the toilet where she then informed me that actually she DID NOT need a wee afterall, took her back downstairs and put her coat back on again, managed to get her out of the house into the car. Dropped her at nursery and went into town to pick up a birthday card and present for her to give to Gavin on Saturday.
Came back home, emptied the washing machine and put the contents out to dry. Sat down to do my homework for A&P. Hoovered the hall, kitchen floor and living room carpet, picked bits of tuna out of the rug! Did the washing up AGAIN. Made myself something to eat, by this time it was 2.30pm and this was the first time I had eaten all day. Contacted my mum to tell her that Gavin had put money into her account accidental and arranged to meet her and sort it out. Then I went back out to pick up Emily, brought her back home, got her some juice and a snack. Made myself a cup of tea that went cold as I had to go fetch the potty on three further occasions because Emily was suffering with diarrhoea. Hoovered the upstairs landing and both mine and Emily's bedroom, put a new sheet on Emily's bed, cleaned the bathroom and the toilet. Tidied away Emily's toys AGAIN. Came back downstairs and made Emily some tea, put some tea in the oven for myself. Got Emily cleaned up from her tea, got her changed and ready for bed, got her changed again as she had an accident because she stood in the kitchen moaning at me, whilst I was doing the washing up AGAIN, that she needed the toilet even though I asked her to go on her own four times! Brought the potty downstairs AGAIN so she could go for another poo. Took Emily and the potty upstairs, emptied the potty and rinsed it out, gave Emily her antibiotics, brushed her teeth, took her to bed, read her a story. Went back downstairs, had my tea, watched Eastenders, tidied away Emily's toys in the living room. Went on the computer for a while to check my emails etc...Then went to bed. Got woken up by my neighbours banging on their own door at 'god knows' what time, went back to sleep, got woken up by Emily having had a bad dream and wanting to sleep in my bed. Went back to sleep. THE END...Woke up and started all over again this morning!
I read this on a friends facebook status the other day and I think it speaks to the heart of what being a SAHM is all about. See what you think...
"A man came home from work and found his 3 children outside, still in their pyjamas, playing in the mud, with empty food boxes and wrappers strewn around garden. The door of his wife's car was open, as was the front door to the house and there was no sign of the dog. Walking in the door, he found ...an even bigger mess. A lamp had been knocked over, the throw rug was against one wall. In the front room the TV was on loudly with the cartoon channel, the family room was strewn with toys and various items of clothing. In the kitchen, dishes filled the sink, breakfast food was spilled on the counter, the fridge door was open wide, dog food was spilled on the floor, a broken glass lay under the table, and a small pile of sand was spread by the back door. He quickly headed up the stairs, stepping over toys and more piles of clothes, looking for his wife. He was worried she might be ill, or that something serious had happened. He was met with a small trickle of water as it made its way out the bathroom door. As he peered inside he found wet towels, scummy soap and more toys strewn over the floor. Miles of toilet paper lay in a heap and toothpaste had been smeared over the mirror and walls. As he rushed to the bedroom, he found his wife still curled up in the bed in her pyjamas, reading a novel... She looked up at him, smiled and asked how his day went. He looked at her bewildered and asked, 'What happened here today?' She again smiled and answered, 'You know every day when you come home from work and you ask me what in the world do I do all day?...
''Yes," was his incredulous reply..
She answered, 'Well, today I didn't do it."
''Yes," was his incredulous reply..
She answered, 'Well, today I didn't do it."