Tuesday, February 18, 2014

What do you DO all day?!

Isn't that the most loaded question for any woman? But I'm asking it (a little tongue in cheek). I straddle this odd line between working mom and stay-at-home mom. I work full time -- but my shifts are 12 hours long. So 3 days a week I am a nurse who only sees her baby for a few minutes in the morning (if I'm lucky... it's the only time I hope he wakes up early), and the other 4 I stay at home. I also usually work at least one if not both weekend days, so I am usually home on my own. I love it, because Cal is able to spend most of his time with family (and we have a fabulous babysitter on the days when he can't be). However, sometimes it is weird transitioning from work to stay-at-home, especially because my days worked aren't always consecutive, and because I'm trying to cram in all the errands and laundry (fortunately right now we have a lady that cleans for us twice a month, although the husband has gently hinted that our budget might need to lose that extra help).

So my question is this: What do you do all day? And I don't mean that you don't have enough to do. I know that there are a million things that you do, so my real question is: WHICH of them do you do? How do you balance playing with your children, cleaning, running errands, and being a human being? Maybe my predicament is made worse by the fact that Cal is not much of a napper, but I feel so guilty for the twenty minutes I take to put on some make up and do my hair. If I sit on the floor and play with him all day, I feel guilty that I didn't do anything to the house, and frustrated that I spend my precious after-bedtime hours scrambling.

I feel like I should spend every moment playing with my son, especially because 36 hours of the week I am away from him. However, part of me thinks this is crazy, and I do have other things to do. I feel guilty for errands, I feel guilty for ignoring him for ten minutes to load the dishwasher. (Mind, he is not crying during this time usually). Basically, I have a complex and I want to compare notes. How do you balance keeping the house and your sanity with giving your child the love and attention that he needs and wants?


  1. So basically, I'm pretty sure that EVERY mother has this problem. We feel guilty no matter what we do. So here is my advice after almost 9 years of trying to figure out my days as a mom.....
    Follow the Spirit. I find that if I start my day with a loose "plan", and then ask Heavenly Father to lead me, I fit in everything that is important. Now, everyday the "important" things change. Some days my kids need more from me...and some days they are content and happy and so the house gets a bit more of my attention. I have just started working part time for the first time since becoming a mom, so I am re-learning this myself. Just remember that you entitled to divine help as a mother :-)
    (Sorry to write a novel in your comments, this is just something that I have struggled with so much as a mom).

  2. Every child, mother, father, and family is unique and has different needs. I agree with Missy that every day the "important" things change and you are entitled to divine help and inspiration. Jeffrey R. Holland always seems to say things best and this talk always brings be comfort... https://www.lds.org/general-conference/1997/04/because-she-is-a-mother?lang=eng I especially loved the paragraph starting with "One young mother wrote to me recently that her anxiety tended to come on three fronts..."

    And thanks for letting me be Cal's babysitter =) He is so darling!!

  3. Sometimes you hold or play with your child because you want to, and sometimes you do it because they want to. But it is also ok and healthy to let them explore and play on their own. As Cal gets older he will also love to play with other children. You are awesome...try not to worry!

  4. Amen to everything Missy said. It's impossible to count how many times the spirit has guided me on the mothering front. My days are never the same and I'm always so worried about the balancing act.
    In addition to what's already been said when my daughter got to be around 17 months she never wanted to be alone, but I still had to get some things done. So I started letting her hold the hangers while I put the shirts on or giving her a rag when I wiped down the kitchen etc. Sometimes we would just sing songs while I swept or I’d clean her room while we played in it. The only one I haven’t figured out how to incorporate her in is dishes I do that when she’s in bed. You're an awesome mom and I’m sure you are doing a perfect job. Great post I love your blog.

  5. Sometimes being a mom in life is like being a mom on an airplane--when the oxygen masks come down, you need to put on your mask and then help your child. If you are not feeling filled, it's hard to be the parent that you want to be--so think of the time that you use to put on makeup and take a shower as time that you are helping yourself to become a happier person and a better mom and wife. As for letting Cal play on his own, many child care philosphies stress the importance of some independant play--see http://www.janetlansbury.com/2012/11/7-myths-that-discourage-independent-play/ as an example. Perhaps if there is something that he likes to play with alone (an activity center, a play kitchen, etc) it can be put somewhere close enough that you can talk to each other and he can see you, but that you can each engage in your own "work." Lastly, like Brittany mentioned, I have had some luck with getting the kids to "help" so that I can get some chores done. A rag to wipe with, (Finn can even use a bottle of water to squirt the floor or windows), helping to find the socks in the baskets of clothes and match them up, doing active things like running toys from the living room back to the playroom. You are doing such an outstanding job, juggling so many balls and not letting them all fall!


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