What do stay at home moms do?
Whether this is a derogatory question or one which requires a thoughtful answer, the truth is, it’s loaded!
I’ve had both good and bad experiences with telling others I’m a stay at home mom. Some people have no respect for a stay at home mom’s time. Others completely get that being a stay at home mom isn’t simple or a luxury.
If you ask my husband, I sit at home watching TV and eating bonbons all day. Frankly, that sounds boring. Though, after being a stay at home mom for 7 years, I could use a few more days like that.
When it comes down to it, what a stay at home mom does all day is completely up to her and her family’s needs. While there are many similarities for stay at home moms, there are probably just as many differences, too.
What Do Stay at Home Moms Do, Really?
It’s important to know, whatever you see here is in no way an exhaustive list of what a stay at home mom does all day. There’s almost no way to capture everything as I’m only one stay at home mom that does the things that are necessary for my family.
Stay at home moms, obviously meet their children’s basic physical and emotional needs.
This includes feeding, tending to health and hygiene, and establishing healthy routines and house rules. Even routines and disciplinary stuff are up to individual interpretation though.
But, stay at home moms are responsible for make sure the house and family life are run according to what their family requires. Doctor’s appointments, homework, and finding/shutting to extracurricular activities are also usually part of our regular duties.
Oh, and let’s not forget the laundry.
The never-ending piles of laundry.
And when we get caught up on laundry, we remember we’re never, ever going to be caught up on laundry.
The Not So Basics
Okay, so most stay at home moms do way more than just tending to matters with their kids.
Many stay at home moms tend to the rest of the family’s needs, including their husbands (or partners) to reduce any further burdens on them. Personally, I make sure to have a healthy, home-cooked meal on the table most nights of the week. This isn’t a requirement and hubby has always said if I feel like I need a break from it, not to hesitate to request that he pick something up or take us out to dinner. I choose not to most of the time because we currently have two nights a week that I already don’t cook (one by choice).
Still, cooking dinner after a full day with kids isn’t exactly “easy” and I’ve known some moms who don’t do it. And, I’ve known one mom who let her husband cook for the family when he came home from work. I won’t say I wasn’t mildly jealous, either.
Groceries and Meal Planning
While these should count as part of the cooking process, it’s not.
ANY mom knows that meal planning for a family can be exhausting and frustrating. How in the world do you plan to feed the entire family and healthy meal when no one likes what you cook.
We have picky toddlers, the big kid who will eat everything except boxed macaroni and cheese, and the husband who wouldn’t touch a sweet potato with a ten foot pole.
The grocery shopping?
No less frustrating. I refuse to grocery shop with either one of my kids, much less both of them, unless there’s a major emergency. Unfortunately, forgetting to put essentials on my list qualifies as an emergency and happens way more frequently than I’d like to admit.
I’ve found two things to help me with these tasks.
I feel in most cases, even mild housework to keep the home livable is a must for a stay at home mom. This is, again something the stay at home parent and their spouse determine somewhat together to make each other feel comfortable.
If a family has enough disposable income, some stay at home moms have a housekeeper. Again, I’m not so lucky. Nor have I met too many stay at home moms who have this luxury.
That’s not to say, that as technology makes our lives easier and becomes for accessible, financially, that stay at home moms don’t have some sort of housekeeping technology. I personally have a Samsung POWERbot to keep my sweeping/vacuuming to a minimum.
Some families determine that the stay at home mom do some yard work. This is something I don’t personally agree with, especially when one is tending to a baby or young toddler.
I have been known to work in the yard a bit. Still, I consider that bonus work when I do, because I don’t feel it’s something I can routinely do.
I believe many modern, social media saturated moms are pressured to do more educational activities at home. While many moms throughout the years have spent some time teaching their little ones basics, it seems as though we’re more and more getting involved in early preschool routines at home to keep up with the rest of the overachievers.
Admittedly, I’ve been sucked into it too. But, I’m using a monthly subscription box called The Preschool Box to have monthly educational activities sent to me. This takes a huge burden off me for planning and locating supplies, because it’s all done for me.
Stay At Home Moms Work is Never Done …
But, sometimes we take a break.
What do stay at home moms do?
Between meltdowns, tantrums, and cleaning the playroom for the 10th time in 30 minutes, we’re exhausted. If we want to take a break and eat a bonbon (or 10) that’s our prerogative.
Just because we take an hour to play at the park, a day to play at the zoo, or a couple hours to spend at the gym so someone else can watch the kids doesn’t mean we’re living a luxurious life.
We’re humans… really fucking tired and sometimes bored stay at home moms who need a break.
And when I say bored, I only mean that we’re tired of the same ol’ routine, the tantrums and over-the-top emotions, and homework struggles that we see day-in and day-out.
So, the next time you want to ask “what do stay at home moms do?”, you’ll probably find a less exhaustive (and perhaps slightly uncomfortable) list if you ask what we don’t do.
I don’t pee alone.
I don’t get enough logical conversation.
I don’t get enough peace and quite.
I don’t read mature books.
I don’t watch really cool shows, nor do I understand your references if it doesn’t have to do with Blaze or Blippi.
I don’t have a clean house (no matter how much time I put into cleaning).