SAHM of One: What Do You DO All Day?

One of the most common questions SAHM’s (stay-at-home moms) get asked is “What do you do all day?”

Sometimes I ask myself that question.

Sometimes I don’t know.

Sometimes I do.

Most of the time this question is asked by other mommy friends who want to relate. From one SAHM to another, that question is usually rephrased as: “So what is your daily schedule like?”  I guess we also want to know that we are not alone when we find ourselves cleaning smashed banana from the kitchen tile five times a day.

Some day maybe I’ll work outside the home again. In fact, it would be really cool to be a bonafide WAHM (work-at-home-mom).  I have some ideas of what I’d like to do.   But for now, I am appreciating not having a boss or a schedule.  Like any job I’ve ever worked, being a SAHM has its perks and downfalls.

In fact, it looks just like this:


Ok.  Just kidding.  That was us on Halloween last year as Suzy Homemaker and Little Suzy.  It’s more like this:

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Here is a typical day in the life of this SAHM of One.  The times listed here are really flexible; they’re just to give you an idea!

SAHM Collage

7:00 a.m.: My alarm, aka…the baby.  We don’t have wake up times at our house.  We sleep as long as she will let us!   As soon as I open the door to get her, she stops crying and starts signing “More?”  That’s code for “Breakfast!”  Then it’s a diaper change and play outfit (more often it’s just jammies, but you didn’t hear that from me).

Changing Table

From there we MUST go straight to the high chair!  For breakfast I usually feed her eggs and toast or a banana.  She also loves smoothies and protein shakes. David works from home, so we all eat breakfast together in our jammies and hang out for a little bit.

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8:00 a.m. David tells Michaiah “bye-bye” and goes to work.  This is a very sad moment for K.K., as daddy is in another room with the door shut.  (Today she figured out how to open it, so from now on it gets locked!)

For me it is morning routine time.  Morning routine is part of my daily Flylady housekeeping system.  Sometimes this is a laborious process, and sometimes it’s really quick.   It just depends on how I left my house the previous evening!   It includes things like dishes, starting laundry and deciding what is for dinner. K.K. likes to follow me around the house  and “help.”

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Being pregnant, there are days when this routine all I get done.  You working pregos are my hero!

9:00 a.m. After my morning routine, I  take my water and my vitamins and brush my teeth!  I grab a cup of coffee and check Facebook and Twitter as my reward.   If I am going somewhere that morning, then I turn on a “Timmy Time” episode for K.K. to watch while I shower and get ready.  Ever since she has been big enough not to be contained in a doorway jumper or Exersaucer, we have leveraged Netflix while I shower!

If don’t have to leave the house that day, then I usually don yoga pants, throw my hair up into a bun, and grab some quiet time on the couch with my Bible and some Kari Jobe.  Michaiah usually toddles around bringing me books and toys.

10:00 a.m. This is usually when have time to go for a walk (or gym when not pregnant).  When I come home, I  tackle my daily task.   On my Flylady routine, I have one housekeeping-related task every day, which keeps my weekends free.  This is the basic format for my week, but it’s a very natural rhythm that developed mostly on it’s own.

11:00 a.m. Lunch.  If we are not gone from the house, Michaiah will usually run over to her high chair and start signing “More?”  Translation:  “Lunch time?”  She’s a clock.  For lunch I usually feed her things like beans and rice, yogurt, apple sauce, grilled cheese, PB & J, cheese and crackers, fruit, a smoothie, or leftovers.  Then I get to clean up the high chair and sweep again.  I just can’t do smeared food!

11:00 a.m.-2:00 p.m.:  I continue working on my daily task.  Usually I take Michaiah outside to play for a little bit in the back yard or the park.  Outside time is my secret weapon to sleep, even if it s just 15 minutes.

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2:00 p.m.: Nap time!

Nap Time

Naps last anywhere from 90 minutes to two hours.  Since K.K. is a big girl now, we give her her “night night baby” (lovey) and tell her it’s time for naps.  Then we lay her down with a blanket and she usually goes right off to sleep.  This time goes by SO fast!  I use this time to do things I can’t otherwise do with a baby around.  This includes getting on my laptop, making phone calls, and showering (if I haven’t done so that morning).

4:00 p.m. Wake up time! Of course you know this means snack time.  We do a lot of fruit for snacks.

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4:30 p.m. At this time I usually start dinner.  I know this sounds early, but with a baby underfoot it seems to take a long time to get food together. Not only that, but I’ve been making a real effort to make fresh, home-cooked meals.  Between chopping veggies, preparing meats, and washing pots and pans, a nutritious dinner can be a real affair.  This is one area I’ve really been working on as a SAHM.  During this time I often allow K.K. to watch Timmy Time (they are ten minute episodes on Netflix) while I’m working!

Timmy Time

5:00: David gets off work.  Timmy Time gets switched to the news! By this time, Michaiah is usually asking for dinner, so David either entertains her till food is ready or feeds her something while I am cooking.  It’s generally an unofficial daddy-daughter play time.  I am SO grateful for David’s non-commute home.

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6:00 p.m. Dinner.  Even if she has already eaten, Michaiah loves to sit at the table with us and eat off of our plates.  This is a great time to introduce new foods and vegetables, since she feels like she is eating dinner just like mommy and daddy.  We used to eat in front of the news, but not anymore. These days the baby can reach our plates when we are on the couch and that can be a real hot mess.

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6:30 p.m. When it is summer time, we take walks together. This is my exercise time as well as a great time to reconnect with David at the end of the day.

7:00 p.m.: Tag team.   David usually does bath time with K.K. while I clean up the kitchen and do dishes.

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7:30: Then it’s a nighttime diaper and jammies.  Michaiah’s bed time is anywhere from 7:00 to 8:00 depending on her sleepy signs.  Sometimes she goes right down to sleep with her “night-night baby” after her bath and sometimes she plays for a little bit.

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8:00 p.m.: The day is officially done. I pick up toys and make sure the house is tidied up.  If we need to be somewhere the next day, I lay out clothes and pack the diaper bag.  As long as David and I are not working on a side project, we have free time to do whatever we want until bed.  For me this could be a bubble bath, a TV show, blogging, a book, or Pinterest!   Dark chocolate may accompany one or all of these activities.  Sometimes David and I watch the news or our favorite shows together (we are watching BBC’s “Sherlock” lately).   Once in a while David plays a video game with a friend, meaning I get to confiscate the TV remote. You know what that means…Hoarders!   I usually hit the hay around 11:00.

Nights of little or no sleep happen!   Unlike my all-night college cram sessions, thankfully I don’t have to show up for a test the next morning.

I know that this structure will change when Baby Alsbury #2 comes along.  I’ll probably have to get up earlier.  I may blog less.  I’ll probably lose some of my free time!  MY FLOOR MAY HAVE SMASHED BANANA ON IT FOR A GOOD 24 HOURS! NOOO!  That’s okay. God is graciously moving me into motherhood at a pace I can handle.

So…what do YOU do all day?  Is anyone else a SAHM or SAHM of One?  How about SAHMs-to-be?  Any part-time or former SAHMs out there slugging it out in the 9-5 world?  Any WAHM’s?

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  • Jennifer

    I’ve always thought I wouldn’t enjoy being a SAHM. We’ll see in a month when I have 16 weeks off for maternity leave, I may or may not be ready to head back to work!! I WAH, but when I go back to work after maternity leave our daughter will go to a daycare. The Co. I work for would highly frown upon me having a child here while working. Plus, I’m pretty sure I wouldn’t be able to get any work done!

    • Rachael

      Girl, you are right…getting work done with a baby is hard, especially when they become toddlers. Someone at David’s work is a WAHM and I don’t know how she does it! You are in accounting, correct? David and I have talked about me going back to school for that…well, along with doing hair and starting my own web business LOL!

  • Jill

    I got to be a SAHM during the summer months and LOVED it! I would be busy most of the day, and still have time for a little afternoon nap with baby. The house was relatively picked up and organized and I loved being able to get together with other moms. Now that I am working it has been a big adjustment to be able to get all the things done that I used to be able to do when I was home all day. Bottom line. Sometimes I have to make a choice between cuddle time with baby or dishes sitting in the sink. Dishes almost always get left in the sink… :o)

    • Rachael

      Being a teacher/coach is a lot more work than people realize! My friend Chrissy who is a former SAHM turned business owner always tells me “Don’t forget to cuddle with your baby. The dishes will always be there!” You guys are so right!

  • Molly Evans

    I am not lucky enough to be a SAHM, but I am blessed enough to have a hubby that stays home with our kiddos. I work full time out of the home dealing with sick/crazy/dying/drug seekers with the occasional normal person thrown in. While it’s what works for our family now, I long for the day I can work less.

    And yes, your floor will change with addition of two kiddos. I can’t believe how much I have let go of my OCD tendencies with 2 kids. Especially when you have two under two.

    • Rachael

      Girl you are amazing! You picked a winner! I read your comment and then I just had to ask my hubs “Honey, if I were a doctor, or pharmacist, would you stay home with the kids?” He said “Yeah, it sounds like the practical thing to do.” YES!! I picked a winner too. Molly I always knew you would be something incredible.

      My OCD tendencies are having to go out the window already. We are starting potty training…

      • Molly Evans

        I hate potty training! I dread it and wish it was simple, but it hasn’t been for either of my kiddos. I need my son to be potty trained, but he has no interest and I’m not feeling the effort. Good luck with yours!

        • Rachael

          Oh yeah, we had our first accident today on the carpet. Thank goodness for Oxyclean! We are honestly working into it suuuper slowly…only because I’m due in Feb. with #2. I’m hoping we can at least start making the “potty” connection before a newborn comes into the picture!

  • Monica

    I’m a wannabe SAHM :( I have a 4 month old and am working right now and it’s driving me insane because I want the freedom to take care of my home and my family. I am SO ENVIOUS of your ability to sweep under the high chair every day!

    • Rachael

      Monica, YOU ROCK! You are taking care of your home and family by doing what you gotta do, sista! I never thought anyone would be envious of my sweeping under the high chair, but I will remember you said that when I am sweeping! Kiss that 4 month old for me! Cutest age.

  • Lisa

    All I ever wanted was to be a SAHM. But, as the saying goes, “we plan and God laughs.” My husband and I met online in our 40s and married with the understanding that we may not be able to have children of our own. What a blessing we received when I learned I was preganant 5 months after our wedding! Our beautiful daughter is now 17mos old. I’m fortunate to be a SAHM 5 days a week, and work outside the home two for financial reasons. I LOVE being a SAHM. We are fortunate that my mother and step-father take care of our little one the days we’re both working. I work 12 hour shifts, so I don’t see my daughter on the days I work, and I MISS her. I’m reminded how fortunate we are to have received such a gift from God. It helps me cherish our days together. Most of my friends had their babies 15-20+ years ago, so sometimes I feel out of the loop. And I understand why women should have their babies in their 20s and 30s (exhaustion). I loved reading your blog because I could TOTALLY relate to practically every detail. Our schedules are very similar. I may not always have it together, but I may have a beautiful mess.

    p.s. because I learned of you from eco chic baby, I read your postings, and because of some of your postings, I read Tsh’s books, and because of this I was able to clean my home on Thursday 99% toxic free (I broke out the windex to clean the mirrors). I’m impressed with the results, so THANK YOU!!! (see, you can teach an old dog new tricks). I haven’t had the courage to try no ‘poo (I have curly hair that requires daily maitenance as I have NEVER been able to get up and go without a hat on top of the mop). I’ll keep reading… please keep posting!

  • Rachael

    Lisa, thanks so much for for sharing your story…it is super encouraging as a blogger to know that there are REAL people out there reading!

    That is so cool that you have the opportunity to be a mom and stay home most of the week! During tough times, my mom would work on the weekends or during school hours to help provide for the family, and I know that I would do the same for mine.

    I myself am still working on cleaning my house 100% toxin free…tomorrow is my day!!

  • Rachel @ Grasping for Objectivity

    Great post! I don’t get nearly the amount of cleaning in that you do, but our day is somewhat similar – just replace “cleaning” with “homeschooling” – so much for smashed banana!

    • Rachael

      I really want to home school some day! Hey, I know, can cleaning be a home school class? We might have that course in our curriculum…