At school pick-up my polite conversation with another mom turns to what we each do. She is a nurse on swing shift. I tell her about my freelance work. She remarks on how lucky I am. I smile and wonder if she genuinely felt that way on my truth. My mind starts to tabulate just what my day entails, Monday to Friday when my husband is working outside the home and I am it for parenting.
We didn’t choose specifically to have me stay at home to raise our daughters. With the realization of just what I would take home after paying daycare and other costs, it wasn’t worth it. To be brutally honest it would have been $337.67 bottom line. Spending the 45-50 hours a week away from my miracle babies didn’t seem worth it.
One look at our check book, with four people surviving on one income, I knew I had to do something. Since I didn’t know how to cook or sew, or have an early childhood education certificate to do daycare, I didn’t know what I could do.
In the meantime of searching for revenue, I picked up a pen to fill the creative void that I felt in between midnight feedings and diaper changes. I wrote for the enjoyment and sanity of it. On a dare to myself, I started to tweet and answer calls for submissions for articles. With the shock and delight of acceptance I kept going. Making rookie mistakes along the way, I ploughed through with a passionate motivation.
I do not make JK Rowling money or even a drop in her royalties. I make enough to treat my family to the small luxuries that entertain us: Starbucks, chapters and pizza money. Some months are famine and some I can splurge on a Grande. Also, I do not have a nannny nor family help. It is by circumstances.
My WAHM regular day:
5:30am: DD4 comes in our bed to curl up.
6:00am my husband’s alarm goes off. I hop into the shower out of necessity to guarantee a shower. DD4 either gets up or falls back to sleep.
6:40am kiss hubby good-bye. I either unload dishes, attempt to check emails, or prep snack bags for the day. I pour a half a cup of coffee into a travel mug, only I am not going anywhere for a while. It helps to keep it warm. I take one sip.
7:30 am DD2 wakes up and get her settled for breakfast. The attempts to ask DD4 to get dressed begin. If kids are extra squirrely I will put on PBS to watch Sesame Street or Curious George so I can get to work for a few blessed quiet minutes. I take second sip of coffee.
8:00-8:30 am get girls dressed and ready for the day. One last check at emails and answer any important ones. I print off drafts to take with us, in case I have time.
9:00-11:00am Pre-school drop-off or play dates or errands outside the house. Sometimes speech appointments or tests for DD2 developmental delays.
11:30-12:30pm Pick up DD4 from school then home for lunch. I eat lunch at sink in between getting girls settled and the kitchen caught up. Occasionally I get a casserole put together to place in fridge ready for dinner.
12:30-3:00pm attempt quiet time or play with the girls. Might try coffee again or a diet pop (no judgement please)
3:00-3:30pm snack time and attempts to write while kids are distracted.
3:30-5:00pm play with the girls either outside or parts of the house.
5:00-6:30pm Hubby gets home. It’s dinner, dishes, lunch prep and outlines drafts or catch up on reading.
6:30-8:30pm bath, book and bedtime.
9:00pm-? After quick chat with hubby, I get back on computer to finish whatever my brain lets me finish. Wine will be present.
Bedtime is whenever I conk out or hubby wakes me up from my slumber on the couch where the computer blinks abandoned.
I collect my daughter after school and we walk back home for lunch. It’s a busy life with no coffee breaks let alone pee breaks. Dropping anything at the drop of a hat to be there for my daughters is priceless. My mom was there in the early years before she was sick. Our bond is still strong 27 years after her death. Having said that, I hope I am still here for my girls as they grow up.