What Do Stay at Home Moms Do While Kids Are in Daycare?
This is a common question that I get asked all the time and it’s frustrating.
I’m a stay at home mom with a part-time job as a freelance marketing professional. My weekly work schedule revolves around my project load and of course my toddler. I have a curious and energetic two year old, Maya, who I cannot work around.
Before getting into daycare, I contacted each of my family members to see who was available to watch Maya on the days I worked. It was stressful.
Finding a daycare was not simple (I’ll share more on this in another post). But thankfully I did find one and Maya now goes to daycare three days a week.
My struggle these days isn’t about trying to find someone to watch my toddler but constantly trying to justify that I was productive with my own time.
For most stay at home moms, our partner is typically the family bread-winner. Thankfully for us, they leave in the morning and return in the evening after working for a full day’s pay.
There are never questions about what tasks they did or whether every minute was spent productively. So it frustrates me that we, as moms, need to justify our tasks during the hours we have to ourselves.
I get it. Daycare is expensive and now our kid isn’t home. So what do stay at home moms do while kids are in daycare?
Everything. Everything we need to do for the home like prep dinner and organize closets and everything else we can’t do around our toddler like taking a shower.
I found that having a weekly planner posted on our wall helped stop these questions at home.
Of course the ‘what did you do today’ comes up and it’s completely conversational (not intended to be an interrogation). But having a weekly list of task priorities helped my husband to understand that my time is not frivolously spent.
The root of my frustration stems from social expectations on moms to do everything:
Moms are expected to play the 'stay at home mom' life or the 'working mom' life.
Moms are expected to nurture the kids, maintain the home and family life AND keep up with our physical appearances --- regardless of whether we stay home or work during the day.
And I'm tired of it.