I hope you’ve got some time to spare.  This week’s Spin Cycle topic is time and although I don’t have a lot of it, I certainly had a lot to say on the subject. Head over to Sprite’s Keeper for more timely spins!

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Since becoming a stay at home mom (a term which I HATE and looks just plain weird when you have to put it in writing), my time management has undergone a major transformation. In my case, time is one of those things that you never have enough of until you have too much. I realize that didn’t quite make sense but it’s true. It seems like there is never enough time in the day to get things done like housework, personal grooming or most importantly, sleep. I spend my days frazzled and weighed down by the list of things that didn’t get accomplished.

In some instances, I have way too much time on my hands. Like when one or both kids wake up early from their naps. When they’re sleep deprived, both kids are ticking time bombs and having too much time to kill before bedtime pretty much guarantees the inevitable.

A typical day in the HAGAY household looks like this:

  • 6:00 – 7:30: Wake up to the brain piercing screams of one or both of my children and drag myself out of bed to provide basic needs to whichever child(ren) happens to be awake.
  • 8:00 – 8:30 – Feed the children, try to keep them from screaming/hitting/knifing one another. On the days when Graham goes to school, get him hosed off from breakfast and changed into presentable clothes to leave the house.
  • 8:35: Drive Graham to school, drop him off and haul ass home to enjoy the time without him. Play with Elliot for a couple of hours as she chases me around, whining every time I leave her sight for a nanosecond.
  • 11:00 – Put Elliot down for her morning nap. Tiptoe around the house because even though I know we shouldn’t keep it too quiet, the kid hears everything and I’m not about to chance waking her up.
  • 11:30 – Leave to pick up Graham at 12.
  • 12:30: Feed both kids who are once again screaming if the other kid attempts to make eye contact. Or drink from their sippy cup or breathe the same air. Try to get through the meal without losing my sanity and narrowly escape with it still intact.
  • 1:00 – Put Graham down for a nap. Assume the position of caretaker for needy, albeit adorable Elliot. Play with her, read to her, tickle and kiss her. Try to keep her from crawling down the hallway screaming and waking up her brother. Possibly attempt to fix a meal for myself but immediately get shot down since that would mean I was ignoring my precious daughter. Separate Elliot and the dog about a thousand times since Elliot won’t just leave the damn dog alone already.
  • 2:30 – Put Elliot down for a nap. Run to my laptop to try to catch up on my reader before Graham wakes up. Crate both dogs who have a propensity to either bark or intentionally walk down the hallway to shake off outside of my sleeping children’s rooms.
  • 3:00 – Graham wakes up and gets pissed off if I’m not in his room, removing him from his crib in under thirty seconds. Offer a “keep quiet so you don’t wake your sister” episode of the Letter Factory along with a snack. Keep the hovering dog at bay before she swoops in and steals Graham’s snack.
  • 3:30 – Elliot wakes up so we all decide to head to Gymboree. Spend the time disassembling the monkey bars, reattaching the cabinet locks, chasing Graham away from the bathroom and Elliot away from the dangerous equipment. Break a sweat as I attempt to watch two kids who go in two opposite directions.
  • 4:30 – Come home, exhausted. Realize there’s still another hour to kill until dinner and take the kids outside for awhile. Chase Graham away from the hose, the outside shower, the rocks in the French drain, piles of dog shit and the pool cleaning equipment. Try to lure him to his gigantic swing set where Elliot and I are swinging. End up dragging him, kicking and screaming and forcing him to play on the swing set.
  • 5:30 – Strap the kids in for a healthy meal. Piss off Graham by setting the food in front of him. Try to coax him to eat said food by nibbling on it myself with corresponding “Mmmmmmmmmmm” sounds. Possibly enforce a time out if Graham throws or spits out his food, throws his sippy cup or screams at his sister. Once again, try to get through the meal without losing my sanity as one or both kids refuse to eat whatever delectable dish we’ve prepared for them.
  • 6:00 – Jamie gives the kids a bath while I clean the dining room carpet and the high chairs. Get both kid’s PJ’s ready, loop through the house picking up and sorting toys (why do I continue to care if I match up the correct parts with each toy?).
  • 6:15 – 6:30 – Each take a kid to their room to get dressed. Fix Elliot’s night time bottle and try to feed it to her as she thrashes and refuses to drink. Give in and let her hold her own bottle as she crawls around, leaving a drippy milk trail on the carpet.
  • 6:30 – 7:00 – All reconvene in Graham’s room where we jam to some tunes, dance and play and wind down for the night.
  • 7:00 – Read Elliot some books and put her to bed. Go check in with my Wii Fit so he can tell me how HAWT I’m getting on the new diet. Get discouraged when he tells me I’m not on track to meet the goal I set for myself and that I should reevaluate my goal.
  • 7:30 – Graham gets his bedtime stories and heads to bed, usually willingly. Jamie and I meet up in the kitchen and fix our plates for dinner.
  • The remainder of the night: Veg and watch TV together, catch up on my reader, stay up way too late surfing online. Fall asleep in a zombie-like stupor at an ungodly hour only to repeat the same process over again the next day.

There are no free moments in the day when you’ve got active kids. Add to it the fact that my kids aren’t on the same nap schedule and that leaves zero me time. They’ll both be napping at the same time in a few months so things will be better. I chose this life and I love it but sometimes I wish I could go back to work if only to relax a bit and use the dwindling adult portion of my brain. I’m not saying that work is relaxing, but most workers don’t scream or throw food or cry when you leave the room or glance in their direction. If they do behave like that, you should probably steer clear of them on the job. When I worked, I didn’t have to tiptoe around and stay quiet all the time and I could mostly come and go as I pleased.

I stopped working after Elliot was born and took personal leave as a place holder to see how I fared as a stay at home mom. In the school system, you can take two years (one maternity, one personal) of leave before you have to make the decision to resign or go back. I was pretty confident that I wanted to stay home until the kids are both in school but earlier in the week, I got a message from my old principal asking me to come back. I spent that day riding an emotional roller coaster. I mentally jumped at the chance to gain part of my adult identity back and quickly started weighing child care options. When I talked to my boss, I found out that the job was a full time position. For the last year that I worked there, I worked part time in the office and the rest of the time remotely from home after Graham went to bed. There is no way I could work a full time position (believe me, the work load was more like two full time positions) and still keep up with my family obligations.

I used to think that being a stay at home mom involved lounging and frolicking and nothing but shiny happy moments. That I’d have all the time in the world to play with my kids and keep a clean house. I’m starting to realize that all that time I thought I had is quickly passing me by without warning. What started out as a trial position has been so for a year already and I’m finally comfortable in my new job. The more I thought about it, the more I realized that the choice was obvious. I’m one of the lucky ones who have the luxury of being able to stay home, why would I want to go back to a stressful, low paying position if it wasn’t necessary? I think I’ll  hang out here and enjoy what little time I’ve got left before my kids are grown and gone away to college. Now if someone could just make this a paid position, it would be absolutely perfect.

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33 Comments

  1. Lisa (Jonny's Mommy)
    on
    1

    I can’t imagine what I would do with two kids. At nights after work it is just me. Hubby is at work all night. I do the bath, meal, bedtime, the whole routine. On the weekend — pretty much same deal because he won’t let his daddy do any of it because usually I do. Add another kid to the mix?! Whoa, nelly! I don’t think so. If we have another child I’m going to have to stay home just to keep up with all the other stuff I need to do. Laundry?! Huge piles every where with neither of us having time to do it. Yeah, I should have written my own post on time this week…maybe I still will.

    Great post and thanks for giving us a peak into your daily routine. I missed yesterday’s post so I’ve got to go back to catch up.

    Lisa (Jonny’s Mommy)s last blog post..I’m sorry. . . wha —? How do I end up with these calls again?

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  2. Stacy (the Random Cool Chick)
    on
    2

    I got tired reading your daily routine…think I need another cup of coffee… :)

    I think a lot of people have the misnomer that being a SAHM means frolicking and shiny happy moments…watching daytime TV and eating bonbon’s…so not the case. It can be tougher than a ‘regular’ job, and you don’t get the ‘job well done’ validation or the pay…or the adult conversations. ;)

    I absolutely agree with the decision to hang out and enjoy what little time you’ve got left before your kids are grown and gone away to college…that was one of the selling points for me leaving Corporate America and becoming a SAHM – the time is going to fly by way too fast as it is! :)

    Stacy (the Random Cool Chick)s last blog post..You’re Gonna Miss This – Spin Cycle of Time

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  3. mrsbear
    on
    3

    That is one tight schedule. I don’t think you could possibly fit a full time job in there without sacrificing a lot of those great and not so great moments. I know what you mean about time, some minutes spinning away far to fast to notice, others stretching infinitely. No bon-bons and soap opera afternoons for us either. At least at work I got a coffee break and peaceful lunch hour, no baby feet or impromptu snuggles though, so it’s worth the trade off. ;)

    mrsbears last blog post..Another One Bites The Dust

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  4. WickedStepMom
    on
    4

    I know that I could never be a stay at home mom. Its just not for me. But, I can tell you that I have great respect for the people who can and do. Thanks for letting us have a peak into your life.

    WickedStepMoms last blog post..Spin Cycle: Time

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  5. cat
    on
    5

    i’m taking three naps this weekend: because i CAN

    wait, no i can’t – stupid homework – i’ll have to settle for two.

    cats last blog post..i probably have better control of my bladder, too

    Reply to this Comment

  6. Michelle
    on
    6

    I know exactly how you feel. I’m going to have to make the same decision and it scares the hell out of me.

    Michelles last blog post..TABAY: More Real By The Week

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  7. Sprite's Keeper
    on
    7

    The grass is always greener, huh. Here I sit in a full time job, plenty of adult time on my hands, and all I want to do is run over to Sprite’s school and play all day with her. I feel ya. I do. You’re linked, babe!

    Sprite’s Keepers last blog post..Spin Cycle: Time’s Up!

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  8. Robin
    on
    8

    Oh crap! My coworkers totally throw food at me or cry if I don’t acknowledge them. Think it’s time for a new job? ;)

    Robins last blog post..The Handmade’s Tale: The Eye

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  9. Peggy
    on
    9

    “I think I’ll hang out here and enjoy what little time I’ve got left before my kids are grown and gone away to college”

    I think that right there is your salary for the most important job you’ll ever have!

    ps – it gets so much easier when they go to elementary school…you’ll adore having the best of both worlds soon!

    Have a great weekend Casey!

    Peggys last blog post..Diva

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  10. Sarah
    on
    10

    Uggg Just wait till they dont take naps anymore! : )

    Sarahs last blog post..Just A Song Before I Go….

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  11. jen
    on
    11

    i couldn’t get through the whole thing yet. whoa. i’ll come back later when i have more time! you’ve exhausted me already!
    and the whole dog shake … right next to sleeping baby doors … damn i hate when i forget to take the collar off.

    jens last blog post..tick tock … tick tock …

    Reply to this Comment

  12. Wendy
    on
    12

    I had 3. It does get easier. Don’t fret the job. There will be others when you want..IF you want.

    And how much do I love that you don’t cook? Your dinner just appears at a certain time? WOW that has got to be some cool trick. heh

    I know..it’s in there somewhere. Have peace, my sister, it’s all good. Truly.

    Wendys last blog post..New Word Thursday or you look so nice it scares me

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  13. Keely
    on
    13

    It IS evil how quickly the time passes, isn’t it? While you’re preoccupied making it from moment to moment.

    Good thing you have a blog ;) When you DO have time to read, you can go back and relive those times.

    Keelys last blog post..I’m classy like that: Friday Fill-Ins

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  14. Pseudo
    on
    14

    They will be teenagers before you know it. Enjoythis time ; – )

    Pseudos last blog post..Red Wagon Philosophies: Part Three (AKA The Final Chapter, I Think…)

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  15. K
    on
    15

    My days are similar.

    The stay at home life is different than what I expected, but I want to be home too. I’m willing to deal with the bad parts in order to enjoy all the awesome parts.

    Ks last blog post..Toddler Invasion

    Reply to this Comment

  16. Cape Cod Gal
    on
    16

    Girl, you make my life look easy. I don’t know how you do it! You have to be Superwoman. Are you? Come clean…you’re amongst friends here!

    Cape Cod Gals last blog post..That Is No Way To Treat A Penis

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  17. Beth
    on
    17

    Enjoy the time with your kids. Believe me, it goes by so fast!

    Beths last blog post..Isn’t Food Grand?

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  18. Petra a.k.a. The Wise (Young) Mommy
    on
    18

    Time? what is that again? lol. I can totally relate, especially being a work at home mom. it’s like being a stay at home mom but having to work while you’re doing it. Sometimes I don’t even get to go to the bathroom. lol

    Reply to this Comment

  19. Captain Dumbass
    on
    19

    As a SAHD, I feel your pain. I have an extra 10 hours a day at home now that I don’t work and I don’t feel like I get anything done at all. And then when I do try to get things done like simple housework, my kids make me feel like I’m ignoring them. I don’t even cook! Well, aside from grilled cheese and macaroni.

    Captain Dumbasss last blog post..I am Mr. Roarke, your host. Welcome to Fantasy Island.

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  20. DM Wright
    on
    20

    OMG – I am exhausted from reading this post! I thought I was busy, and I work full time. I guess I have the easy life!!

    Reply to this Comment

  21. HeatherPride
    on
    21

    First of all, you are totally HAWT and I don’t care what the Wii has to say about that. Believe me when I tell you this.

    Second, staying at home is completely exhausting!! It is. When I’m at home on the weekends, the house is trashed by 9 am on Saturday morning and I’m dying for my mom to come back (she doesn’t get in until late, late, late Sunday nights). I don’t know how she keeps the house so tidy during the week. I guess that’s how she stays a size 4 and I’m a size 10.

    HeatherPrides last blog post..A Time of Despair, A Time of Hope

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  22. Lin
    on
    22

    Staying home with the kids was the best choice I had ever made. Do we have college paid for–nope. Do we have a huge house and fancy cars–nope. Do I miss them being here now that they’re grown–yep. It all happens so fast that there is no getting those years back. It’s not for everyone, but it was for me and I’m glad I had that time with my kids. They’ll be gone all too soon. Enjoy it while you can!

    Lins last blog post..Train Spotting

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  23. steenky bee
    on
    23

    Oh no. I’m home two days a week with the kiddos. Those are the days I spend in sweat pants, not because I’m lazy, but because I don’t have a moment to myself to even get ready. On those nights, I pass out early, drooling on the sofa from pure exhaustion. SAHM=hardest job ever. This week I only had one day home with the youngsters due to workload at work. I have never felt so refreshed. I’m not joking. Office jobs are cake compared to, well, cleaning cake off of your kids.

    steenky bees last blog post..Time And Water Conservation Are Not On My Side

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  24. steenky bee
    on
    24

    P.S.: Did you know Sher has a button of you and kiddos on her sidebar? I was staring at it intently until I noticed she posted a picture of a semi-nude man in a tub. Sorry, nude dude stole my attention away.

    steenky bees last blog post..Time And Water Conservation Are Not On My Side

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  25. Joanie
    on
    25

    I LOVED being a stay-at-home-mom. I really miss it, but since my youngest is 18 and a senior in high school, and I’m now a single mom to boot, I really can’t justify it any more.
    Enjoy your kids while you can when they’re small. Before you know it… they’ll be TEENAGERS! with ATTITUDE!!
    Great spin and a great career choice.

    Joanies last blog post..Bronchitis, The Sequel

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  26. FoN
    on
    26

    The first part of reading that I was thinking fondly about my desk and well dressed non-screaming co-workers. Reading the last half made me resent that desk and my boring, stuffy co-workers. You can go back to work whenever you want, but you won’t get a chance to hang with the little ones forever. You’re lucky!

    FoNs last blog post..It’s a new one – I better pace myself

    Reply to this Comment

  27. Camille
    on
    27

    It sort of sounds like your kids hate each other, but what do I know about children? Absolutely NOTHING. Sorry about your hectic days–but I’m enjoying getting to know your blog, and I appreciate you sacrificing time for your readers. Thanks!

    Camilles last blog post..Announcing the First Semi-Annual Meeting of the New United Blog Order™

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  28. Camille
    on
    28

    Anyway, I hated my sister until we were both in Junior high and could share clothes. Hating one’s sibling is probably not a bad thing unless it lasts forever. Now I’m just sticking my foot in my mouth. Shutting up…

    Camilles last blog post..Announcing the First Semi-Annual Meeting of the New United Blog Order™

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  29. cara
    on
    29

    Pretty sure you just blogged my day-minus the taking G to preschool part. That’s definitely coming up for us, too, though.

    caras last blog post..Newsey news

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  30. Jessica
    on
    30

    Nothing glamourous about being a mom whether you are sahm or working mom, it’s a tough ass job

    Jessicas last blog post..Whoa, Easy Girl

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  31. CDB
    on
    31

    How simultaneously refreshing and bittersweet to read this post because it IS MY LIFE. I never quite expected this life as SAHM, and i’m insanely jealous of all my mom friends that work part-time and get the “break” with child care and babysitting. But I KNOW the grass just seems so much greener..work is stressful, work is work, and those milky sippy cup trails aren’t SO bad.

    Great post.. great spin. I didn’t have the TIME to spin this week. What, with Wife of the Year!

    CDBs last blog post..I Do It For Love, Love, Love

    Reply to this Comment

  32. Elizabeth
    on
    32

    Are you my sister from another family? I totally hear ya. I actually just resigned from my job on Wednesday to be a “stay at home mom” — after they denied my request for one more year of leave. (Yup, I was a teacher, too.) I totally thought it would be easy being home with the baby — and it’s totally not. I wouldn’t be anywhere else, but still — craziness. Thanks for your post!

    Elizabeth

    Elizabeths last blog post..No One Is The Nanny

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  33. Katie
    on
    33

    I know! I understand everything you just wrote and go through the same thoughts myself. I always come to the same conclusion too – these early childhood years are going to pass by in a blip and once they’re gone, that’s it.

    Katies last blog post..No more King Arthur books for Connor

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