We all get the question: What do you do all day? Whether you are a working mom, a stay-at-home-mom, or a somewhere-in-between-mom, like me, someone asks you a really annoying question about your day. I am not sure if it is my paranoia-charged-imagination, but in the past I felt like I had to defend my days by scrambling a mental laundry list of details, from my already scrambled brain, to prove I was doing something productive. It did not matter if the question comes from a loving fill-in-the-blank, or a trolling fill-in-the-blank.
However, pure exhaustion changed how I answer my question.
So, instead of haphazardly firing off my accomplishments, failures, and whatevers of the day, I honestly answer the question: I have no idea. By the time my husband comes home from work, I cannot remember what the heck happened that day! I am too tired to care. I know my children are fed, bathed, and alive. I survived too. I’m proud of what I do. I hope you are too. I’m just too tired to answer.
No matter what, moms move, solve, and move on. Like many of us, I get an early start because the only “me” time I have is the obscenely early window when there is no guarantee that nobody will wake up crying, puking, raging, etc. We live and solve problems from moment-to-moment. All of those “moments” add up to a very long day that is too long to dwell on details.
Next is breakfast, putting on shoes and jackets, drop off (or multiple drop offs), going to work, going to the food store, or possibly getting a manicure because we have to “de-mom” before an event, or heaven-forbid–pampering ourselves. *See trolling fill-in-the-blank.
Then we come home, clean up, and put stuff away. We do the devil’s created work: mine is laundry. Steal some moments to prepare for job. Work on family album from last year’s vacation. We make the dreaded phone calls that we really don’t want to make, but we make them without little people spontaneously yelling the moment the person at the other end answers. A wave of relief washes over us when doctor appointments are made, hair appointments scheduled. However, we know cancellations loom in our horizon because of overbooking..um..forgetting….
It’s time to get back into the car. Pick up. It’s taxi time. Figuring out how to entertain younger sibling while older sibling participates in activity. Quick snack check before leaving house. Water bottles filled. Pretzels. Pretzels for younger sibling so snack war hell does not break loose.
Homework time. While dinner is heating, little sibling takes bath. Big sibling attempts homework independently. Review big sibling’s homework. Break up sibling fight because they both want attention. Pry little sibling off leg. Put her in high chair. Send big sibling upstairs for shower. Review homework. Big sibling will have to redo homework.
Dinner cooling. Crying over homework amuse bush. Overtired child. Children eat. TV show of choice on. Gently admonish them to eat. Both still entranced with TV show. They are still not eating. “Eat,” I command a little louder. Yes, my children watch TV during dinner. They eat vegetables. Sometimes. The baby not really. Stop judging.
I am running around the kitchen making tomorrow’s lunches, signing homework checklists, and prepping adult dinner. Siblings play for a few minutes. They are so loud! “Girls!” “No yelling!” Still, they are so cute until they fight over toys.
Daddy comes home. Everybody cheers. Time for bed. Brush teeth. Change diapers. Story read. Done.
The kids are in bed. I change out of my mom uniform and put on sweats. Sweats are a symbol of relaxation, freedom.
Husband: “What did you do today?”
Me: “I don’t know.”