WHATS IT'S LIKE TO BE A MODERN HOUSEWIFE AND STAY AT HOME MOM.
Updated: Apr 11
I know you've probably heard it a million times, a housewife or stay at home mom has a full time job on their hands- even though most people don't really see work and being a mom as equally labor intensive it can be. You'd think that as a modern housewife and stay at home mom things would be a whole lot easier to manage. What typically comes to mind when people hear I'm a stay at home mom is that I can sleep until noon, roll out of bed, have the kids make breakfast and get themselves dressed while I pop on my favorite soap opera and make plans with the girl squad for lunch and yoga. HA! I wish this was my life!
I don't even think the infamous 1950's housewives had it that easy! Well now that I'm thinking of it they may have had it much worse with much less modern conveniences than we have today, so I'll cut them some slack I guess. Truth be told this is one of the reasons I wanted to be a stay at home mom blogger, I want to give a deep dive into what its like to live day in and day out as a modern housewife and stay at home mom. The reality is we do all kinds of things that are outside the typical housewife stereotypes.
Obviously the major difference between a housewife and a stay at home mom is the addition of children and tending to their needs. I'd describe modern mom life as more of a home manager than a "housewife" per se. I think the term housewife as being very strongly linked to being an indentured servant - servant of kids, husband and home. I don't believe this is what it means to be a modern homemaker at all. Many stay at home moms take on bigger roles at home and some even earn an income. We all have different home lives, cultural influences, reasons that we chose to stay home and of course various skill sets. But with all that, there are still definitely common family needs that link us all in that housewife or stay at home mom group... here is a quick list of responsibilities/ duties we most likely all share.
Meal Prep & Cooking : Breakfast, lunch and dinner.
Bill pay & finances
Property maintenance if you own a home
Car Maintenance and care
Kids & Hubby
Quality time with kids and significant other
Planning date nights or things to do
Kids Diapers & feeding Schedules
Some home schooling prep (probably before they start pre-k)
Play time and Fun Outings
Dentists and Pediatric appointments
It's not all that overwhelming to see a quick list of respoinsibilites and think - oh okay that's not so bad... I could manage that. But, the reality is that a lot of what you read online doesn't factor in the emotional toll. For many years it was more like waking up to screaming baby at 5 am for a feeding after only getting about 4 hours of sleep. But its not just the sleep deprivation that gets you its that irritating high anxiety that hits your core when you hear your baby cry... its almost like PTSD - its so nerve racking. Then come the feedings, getting your little one to nap, dealing with toddler meltdowns and keeping track of developmental milestones to share at your next pediatric appointment ... and the list goes on and on.
On top of that you also are keeping the house clean enough that you have access to the things you need when you need them (like laundry and bottles) and making sure you can eat a healthy meal or two during the day or else your body will probably just shut down eventually (this is how I became malnourished and sick). If you're lucky you can slip out with the kids and head to the park for a change of scenery and go for a quick walk... but many days before the pandemic hit, when my hubby was working in the office, I felt very isolated and alone day after day. To be honest, my mental health was as much of a focus for me as the kids needs were, some days I was just trying to survive another day without my own meltdown.
As time goes on living with this loneliness and anxiety, the days I am willing to plaster on a fake smile and tell everyone everything is going great are gone. I don't even want to leave my home on most days my husband is home to watch the kids and as isolated as I feel day in and day out, when I get the chance to leave and have a little fun out on my own all I want to do is go home and watch my infant sleep... mostly to make sure he is still breathing.
This, is a more real excerpt of what an emotional day is like as a stay at home mom with a baby.
By the way, what I've explained here is a very real and sometimes debilitating example of post-partum anxiety. If you are struggling with anxiety get connected with a mental health expert, it can be just as debilitating as depression.
The good news is that things don't last forever, those hard sleep deprived times morphed into new phases and stages of all of our lives, and thing got a lot easier to manage. The key to keeping it all together is organization. Although getting organized is its own beast, it's something at just comes with time. You eventually find your strongest skills and figure out how to manage everything based on your priorities -here is how I stay organized and productive at home.
So now that my kids are a bit older, this is our typical day..
In the AM: Getting up and getting some coffee and breakfast ready. this can range from eggs and home fries to popping in waffles for the kids and having something simple for myself. It really depends on the day.
Then, getting snacks and meals ready for the kids pre-k classes. Then figuring out what they should wear to school that day.
Taking inventory of what needs to be cleaned up and giving the house a quick "clean sweep" as I call it. I also get a load of laundry put in early in the day. You can find my cleaning schedule here.
Make Lunch around 11:30ish
Get the kids to use the potty before we head out of the house... then....
In the PM: My oldest is in preschool so I get him ready and drop him off,
I then take my youngest out to play or do an activity at home depending on the weather.
Make myself lunch and have a quick cup of coffee or tea. And if I'm being honest I try to throw in a small siesta, if I can, either by going into the next room and watching a quick show or getting some peace and quiet while I distract my youngest for a little bit.
I then plan dinner, and maybe even run to the market to pick up a few quick things. Get some blogging done or take a few surveys on swagbucks to earn extra spending cash.
Pick up my oldest son from Pre-K and promptly drive him home, which takes about 30 min total. (the only caveat here is if I've organized my day to maximize productivity and need to bring him out to run a quick errand before going home.)
Start folding laundry and putting it away, or switching it over to the dryer depending on how many interruptions I've had all day.
Get the kids settled into a small snack and distraction so I can get dinner started.
Cook and serve dinner, dinner cleanup. I also clean up the kitchen if it needs it, sometimes things fall by the waist side around my house and I've adapted the attitude that if it can't all get done one day I'll pick up the slack the next chance I get.
The kids then get playtime with daddy, before baths and bed.
Finally, my hubby and I watch some TV once the kids are in bed.
and DAY END.
Thats just a typical day now that we are all getting more sleep and I have a good grip on how to manage our home and family. Now you can throw in a few more curve balls, runny noses, potty accidents and occasional appointments in as you wish and we have a full day on our hands! From 7am to 8pm I'm on the go unless there is a specifically scheduled time for me to prioritize self-care.
Are you a stay at home mom or modern day home maker? Have more questions about being a stay at home mom? Tell me in the comments and let me know what you'd like to read more about.