You guys. I am SO excited for day's guest post!! Jessica writes at For the Love of Justice, a blog about intentional living & everyday justice. She's a little bit more of a seasoned SAHM than I am & has so beautifully captured a day in the life of their family. Her kiddos are ADORABLE and it looks like the 3rd one will be making his arrival sometime TODAY! Be sure to check out her blog & fair trade database when you get a chance:)
Hi there! I’m Jessica and I am so excited Erin allowed me to share a little bit of my SAHM life with you! I have two kids – Laura who is four and Titus who is almost two. I am also about two weeks away from the birth of our third child, another little boy. Life is definitely crazy around here!
I began my SAHM journey with the birth of our daughter. Growing up I always knew I wanted to be a mom, dreamed about it, really. Before Laura was born my husband and I decided I would stay home with her and I’ve never regretted that decision. While some days are complete chaos (as Erin so honestly describes!), other days are so beautiful, I feel like I have the greatest job in the world.
The best way to describe my life is to show you. I loved the idea of taking a photo an hour for one day so here is a little peak into our lives:
7:00 – Titus wakes up and starts calling for me. By the time I go to get him Laura is coming down the stairs. I would love to say that our early mornings are wonderful but that is simply not the case. I need space and silence to fully wake up but the kids don’t understand that concept yet! I don’t know if it’s just me or what but they are always ridiculously loud in the mornings. I make breakfast while reminding them over and over that, “It’s too early to be this loud. PLEASE be quiet!”
8:00 – By eight things are usually looking a lot better. I’ve had coffee. The kids are fed and Laura is out of her pajamas. There is a load of laundry in the washer. Today the kids are content to play together without arguing so I slip out on to our front porch and drink in the cool crisp air. This wakes me up more than anything else. We moved to Idaho from Alabama about a year ago and my favorite part is still SEASONS. Especially fall. The leaves are beautiful right now.
The kids are still playing together (miracle!) so I take a minute to read my Bible. I have been slowly reading through Psalms and highlighting every place where “steadfast love” is used. It’s in there A LOT. I love it. God’s steadfast love: immoveable, constant, unwavering. I need a reminder of that daily.
9:00 – My husband is awake (today is his off day, yah!!) and entertaining Titus. Laura is engrossed with coloring so I jump in the shower. By the time I am out the TV is on, something that happens for an hour or so every morning around here.
10:00 - I convince Laura to come outside to play while I rake leaves. Titus has a complete meltdown because the TV is off and he doesn’t want to go outside. Or be held. Or play with toys. He wants to wander around the house and yell/cry. Great. He eventually gets over it and joins his sister in playing in the dirt. It’s their favorite outdoor activity.
11:00 – I make a quick lunch, which is really breakfast – eggs, fruit and hash browns. We are a breakfast loving family and can eat it for any meal of the day. Oh, and trucks and trains are never far from the hands of my kids, even at the table.
12:00 – Titus goes down for an early nap because we have a mid-afternoon doctor appointment. Laura heads to her room to rest and play quietly (sorta). While the kids are in their rooms my husband and I catch up on the latest episodes of New Girl and our new favorite, Brooklyn Nine-Nine. I am unusually tired today (thank you, nine month baby) so it feels good just to lie on the couch and relax.
1:00 – Laura’s rest time is almost over. She usually watches a show while I finish up the projects I was working on during her rest (like blogging) but today I go up and spend time with her instead. We read and tuck her favorite puppies into bed. This photo-an-hour deal is making me pause and see things a little differently. I probably should spend more time with just Laura instead of trying to get so much work done. It’s a balance I think I will struggle with all of motherhood.
2:00 – We are on our way to the pediatrician to get Titus’ staph infection/diaper rash checked out AGAIN. This thing never goes away.
3:00 – The kids love watching the fish in the waiting room. Titus couldn’t stop stringing together long lines of excited gibberish. Thankfully, our pediatrician confirms what I think, the rash appears to be healing and this will hopefully be our last visit for a while. Yah!
4:00 – While we are out, we swing by the mall to get my phone contacts and such switched to my husband’s old phone. My phone had a tragic accident with the sidewalk earlier this week and has a spider web of cracks to prove it. We pick up dinner at the food court and wander around a few stores before hitting up one of our favorite parks on the way home.
5:00 to 6:00 – We spend a while walking around the park. It’s basically a huge, beautiful wooded area with sidewalks and a pond. Last winter we saw three deer. In the spring we saw geese with their fuzzy babies. It’s a cool place and also, we discovered, THE place to take family photos. We counted no less than ten families getting their Christmas pictures taken, plus two weddings.
7:00 – We finally get home and the kids watch a little TV before bed. Bed time is often one of the hardest parts of the day for me, not going to lie. Everyone is tired and cranky, the kids are both going through a stage where they hate baths…fun times! My husband works the evening shift so bedtimes are usually my gig but since he is off I get some extra help. Tonight I put Laura to bed while my husband wrangles Titus.
8:00 onward – After the kids are in bed I get some quick blog stuff taken care of and then start on my big project : coming up with meal ideas and making a grocery list for my shopping trip tomorrow. Sometimes I enjoy this job but lately I haven’t been into cooking AT ALL. By the time I am done planning, browsing Pinterest and chatting with my husband, it’s almost 11 and I am ready for bed. I check on Titus one more time to make sure he actually fell asleep in his bed (a feat that has only happened a handful of times since we moved him to his toddler bed a month or two ago). He actually made it into bed tonight and I take a minute to watch him sleep before I go to bed myself. It’s so peaceful.
I can hardly believe I’ve been at this mothering thing for over four years. Sometimes I feel like I am a fresh-faced newbie who knows nothing. Every stage has its own unique challenges. One of the most important things I have learned is to take the time to find out what really works for you. There can be a lot of pressure to be some kind of perfect mom or to do things a certain way but everyone has different ways of dealing with motherhood and running a home. One way is not better than the other. Find a routine, a method, a way of doing things that makes things easy for you. Just like at a typical workplace job, if you don’t love what you do, work becomes a chore and something you dread. Being a SAHM mom is the same way. If it’s not working, if it’s more frustrating than fulfilling, something needs to change. Maybe it means you create a routine, you re-think how you are doing laundry, you ask for outside help, you intentionally take “time off” to be by yourself. Make it work. Love what you do. When we find our sweet spot (which may be different with each changing season), it shows. We become a better parent, a better wife, a better homemaker.
Well, that’s all I have…thanks for letting me share a bit about my life with you! As a side note, you can find me at ForTheLoveOfJustice.com – a space I created to talk about my journey in living intentionally and practicing everyday justice.