I'm Here To Tell You What SAHMs Do All Day, So You Can Stop Asking Now

by Katy Jackman
Mom sitting on the floor in the kitchen and kissing her kid
Alena Ozerova / Shutterstock

I know a lot of people have thought it and (hopefully) your momma raised you right so you’ve never said it aloud, but since I’m feeling generous, I’m going to give you an inside peek into WTF it is stay-at-home moms do all day. Or at least this SAHM — I wont speak for all of them because the last thing you should ever do is assume anything about sleep-deprived, coffee-fueled women who deal with toddlers all day (trust me on this one).

I’ve been running this (shit)show for the last six years, and I’ve gotten my fair share of curious/judgmental/nosy questions along the way, so let’s just clear up a few of my personal favorites real quick:

“Don’t you get bored?” Umm duh.

“What are you going to do when the kids are all in school?” I’m not 100% sure what direction my life will be in next Thursday let alone five years from now.

“Three kids under 6?! You must have your hands full.” Yes, I do but I always make sure one hand is empty by 7 p.m. so I can put a beer in it (priorities).

“I could never stay home all day like that. I’d go crazy.” Ya know what would make me crazy? Working a 40-hour a week job and still only being able to afford the $8 bottle of wine at Rite Aid after I pay for daycare for three kids, that’s what.

Katy Jackman

Me, hiding from my kids and your unwanted judgement

So here’s the breakdown for all you nosy-ass people out there who are still reading this. (Kidding. Please keep reading. The next part took forever to write. Love you.)

6:45 a.m.: Open eyes. Brush. Wash.

7 a.m.: Wake up kids. Pray middle child doesn’t take a swing at me.

7:15–8:30 a.m.: First cup of coffee. Feed kids. Make lunch for kindergartner. Hunt for quarters to send with kindergartner for whatever fundraiser is going on this week. Pick out outfits. Listen to middle child cry that she can’t wear a dress. Get everyone washed and brushed and out the door.

8:35 a.m.: Drop off kindergartner

9:00 a.m.: Drop off preschooler

9:15–10 a.m.: Laundry. Clean up kitchen after breakfast. Whisper-chat with BFF while baby naps. Drink second cup of coffee.

10 a.m.: Play with the lil’ guy. Attempt to fold laundry while lil’ guy throws clean clothes around the room. Reheat coffee. Get smacked in face with Pop-Tart box.

10:05 a.m.: Tell him, “No Pop-Tarts.”

10:06 a.m.: Give in and give screaming kid Pop-Tart.

10:07 a.m.: Watch kid take one bite of Pop-Tart and give the rest to the dog. Die a little inside.

10:15–11:15 a.m.: Pay bills/play/read/clean.

11:30 a.m.: Pick up preschooler.

11:45 a.m.: Lunchtime. Reheat coffee. Nap time. Send preschooler upstairs to do whatever she does besides nap. Reheat coffee.

Noon: Clean up kitchen from lunch. Tiptoe around living room picking up toys while baby naps.

12:30 p.m.: Shovel food in my face and try not to breathe too hard as I enjoy the silence. Give up on reheated garbage coffee.

1 p.m.: Finish laundry/scrub something I just scrubbed two days ago.

1:15 p.m.: Baby wakes up. Read books. Play. Get hit in head with NutriGrain bars.

2 p.m.: Preschooler descends from upstairs.

2:15 p.m.: Chill time. Cartoons. More snacks. Recheck dinner recipe to figure out what essential ingredient I forgot to buy.

3 p.m.: Pick up house before kindergartner gets home.

3:30 p.m.: Leave to get kindergartner.

3:35 p.m.: Stand in pickup line and try not to be awkward when adults talk to me.

4 p.m.: Home with kindergartner.

4:10 p.m.: Some type of annoying craft activity that takes 25 minutes to set up and is over in 10 minutes.

5 p.m.: Start making dinner. Kids disappear to the basement because they know better.


6:15 p.m.: Dinner.

6:45 p.m.: Faceplant into couch. Get immediately swarmed by all three kids who don’t give good back rubs. Debate leaving kitchen dirty until morning.

7 p.m.: Clean up kitchen for the 42nd time. Family time. W(h)ine time. Binge-watch Shameless when kids disappear with iPads.

9 p.m.: Head upstairs. Brush. Wash. Tuck kids in. Squeeze their faces because they are so adorable and Ilovethemsomuchithurts.

9:10 p.m.: Tell kids to lie down because it’s bedtime.

9:20 p.m.: Yell at kids to go to bed because if I come in there they will be sorry.

9:30 p.m.: Debate going downstairs for me time. Never do.

9:33 p.m.: Pass out.

So there ya have it. And listen, working moms, single moms, moms whose husbands travel a lot, all moms, you guys are my heroes. Please don’t take this as a “My day is so much harder than yours” diatribe, because at the end of the day, we’re all just trying not to raise asshole children while staring at a clock waiting for our version of Whine Thirty.

If you do more than me in a day, you are superhuman. If you do less and your kids are happy, tell me all your secrets. If you’re silently judging me for giving my kids Pop-Tarts, don’t bother because the dog eats 85% of them anyway. If you’re surprised by what you just read because you thought I had my shit together and my life was magical, I apologize for ever giving you that impression.

And finally, and most importantly, if you read that and felt exhausted and pity me, turn it into something tangible and send me free wine and cheese.