Oy! A well meaning, but obviously in my mind, misguided, relative made the well-known comment to me the other day. Perhaps it is the crazily high pregnancy hormone levels (only about a month left until we meet our youngest), or maybe it is because many of us "stay at home homeschooling mommas" hear it all the time, but for whatever reason, this time it rubbed me just right that I am writing a blog post regarding it. I had made the comment that life here is busy... between taking care of our five children, trying to get ready for the newest addition coming quickly, and trying to finish up the school for the year. We have finished our required 180 days (we've actually gone over), but there are a few subjects I would like to wrap up. In any case, the comment I received was that they did not understand how I could be tired. That all I do is stay home with my own children, and it is not like I actually work. Oh how I wish it was said sarcastically, but this individual truly does not comprehend how much "work" it really is.... though then gain, it really is a blessing... so maybe the saying is right - it is not work, but rather a gift. Let me show you what a day in the life of my gift is like...
Hubby's alarm goes off around 0445. We talk for a few between him hitting the snooze button. He is usually up around 5:15 or 5:30, gets done, and heads to work around 6. I try to catch a few more minutes of sleep. By 7:30 all the kiddos are up. While I get done, they change their clothes and make their beds. Down for breakfast we go. As most of you know, we are a gluten free family (I made a FABULOUS GF stromboli last night - I'll have to share the recipe soon). This means NO pre made food, no cold cereals, etc. So we discuss breakfast and it usually ends up being some eggs and fruit, or oatmeal (the real kind - not instant). Let me tell you - these kiddos can eat. For the 6 of us on a regular morning, we eat 12 eggs! That is two eggs per person, including my 2 year old!!! After breakfast, it is time for the kids to wash off the table and get out their school books, while I start a load of laundry, stuff the dishwasher, and get whatever meat we need out for dinner, out of the freezer.
School generally starts around 9. We have our family devotion and pray. Then it is time for geography. We are wrapping up Europe right now, and spend about 45 minutes on geography. Once geography is done, the older two start their Zoology II curriculum while I do BFIAR with the younger three. After that, the youngest two are left to busy bags and playing, while the middle child works on his work independently, asking for help as needed. I start spelling with the oldest, while the second oldest works on math. Then the two switch. Once spelling is done, the kids come to me when they need direction or help, but other than that, they are on their own for school for awhile. At this point I start the housework for the day. With having two dogs in the house (a dutch shepherd mix and a german shepherd mix), there is ALWAYS a need to sweep... including five minutes after I sweep :) Plus laundry needs to go on the line (unless I am being lazy and it goes in the dryer), etc.
If it is not too hot outside, from 1130 to 1330 (1:30) we have "recess" where the kids can go play outside before it does get smothering hot. Otherwise, we keep chugging along. Lunch usually consists more of a snack... some carrots, fruit, cheese, or something of the like. At 1330, the youngest two go down for naps. (Did I mention multiple diaper changes and trips to the bathroom? Or trying to keep the youngest out of stuff???) The older three finish whatever schooling needs to be completed and then they are left to their hobbies and crafts. This is also usually the point I do FIAR with the second oldest, and Prairie Primer and American Girl with my oldest. All of school is usually done by three, just in time for the youngest two to be up from naps.
At this point, it is time for clothes to come in off the line, get folded and put away. The children are usually left to playing, and I start looking at what exactly dinner entails. With being gluten free, not to mention trying to make things homemade, dinner has seemingly taken looooong periods of time to make. I'm sure being pregnant, aka slow, has nothing to do with it ;) Recently we have been making pasta due to studying Italy. Oh how I wish I had a pasta machine! Rolling out enough pasta to feed 7 hungry people is a lot of work ;) Anyways, dinner and dessert (if we are having one) are started. Last night was stromboli and homemade gelato - yup - it was for studying Italy :) Hubby USUALLY gets home between 5 and 6. Once he gets home, changes and unwinds a little, we sit down for dinner. After dinner, we all pitch in to clean up. Then, if we are having some, we do the same for dessert. Bath time is next! Thankfully we have a couple bathrooms, so hubby and I split and conquer :) The oldest gets in one shower, the two older boys get in another, and the youngest two get bathed. At that point it is time for family Bible time and prayers and then off to bed for the kiddos. Hubby and I spend some time together, and then, by 10, I try to be in bed!
Not too crazy of a schedule! But that is the normal everyday schedule. That is not the day where we add appointments, canning produce, baking bread, trying to get an extra meal in the freezer, sewing or crafting, etc. That is not a day where a beloved friend drops by for a long overdue visit, or we decide to go on a field trip. That doesn't include the numerous "little things" that need to be done - paying bills, making a menu, making a grocery list, etc. Honestly, though, my relative is right.... it is not like I work... everything I do is a blessing - a gift from God... an opportunity to serve Him in the mission field He has placed me - my home. So to that individual - thank you!!!! I sincerely thank you for helping me to realize that I don't "work" but rather I strive to make a difference in the lives of five little ones each and every day. To educate them in the ways of our Creator, Lord, and Savior. To teach them how to be content with what we have, even if we don't have the "glitter and sparkles" that most have. I still argue with the "all you do..." but that is alright :) As long as it entails everything I do as a stay at home home schooling momma, then yes, all I do is stay home with my children... and be blessed!