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Question #92632 posted on 09/24/2019 8:54 p.m.

Dear 100 Hour Board,

I am not a mother yet and I work full time. I am wondering what a stay at home mother's day looks like. Like an hour to hour breakdown of taking care of children under five. I am wondering this because I don't know what is the best/ productive way to use time once/if I become a mother.

-Worried future mother


Dear you,

My mom was/is a stay at home mom. I have vague memories as a very small child (pre-kindergarten) of my mom doing a special at-home pre-school with me. We would read through books of the alphabet, go on field trips to the zoo, and played many, many games of Go Fish. She would sit me up on the counter while she baked things and I would "help" her by pouring pre-measured ingredients into the bowl (she also always let me smell the vanilla whenever it was one of the ingredients).

Besides the pre-school, my mom generally spent a good portion of every day cooking and cleaning. When I was growing up, she would vacuum the house every single day, and cooked breakfast, lunch, and dinner for the whole family from scratch. Spring and summer were prime gardening seasons, and we had a sizable vegetable garden along with several flower gardens, and 5 fruit trees (2 pear, 2 peach, and 1 apple). Once fall rolled around, my mom bottled fruit, made fruit leather, dried fruit, made salsa and pickles, various fruit pie fillings, syrups, and jams and jellies. 

Sewing quilt tops was (and still is) another one of my mom's hobbies. 

Between all the cooking, cleaning, gardening, and sewing, my mom volunteered at our schools to do various things. She also made sure to walk me and Alta to and from elementary school every day. 

I don't think my mom ever had a set schedule every day for what she would do (aside from time frames for making meals, and getting kids to and from school), but she was very consistently busy. However, I do think that a large part of the business was her choice. She wasn't required to garden, sew, and cook. Those were all choices that she made. Similarly, I think that what you fill your time with will ultimately be up to you, whether you become a stay at home mother or not.


posted on 09/24/2019 10:06 p.m.
I am a stay-at-home mom who worked full time before having children. I'm not crafty or homemaker-y almost at all (I can sew but do it rarely, and I weed/maintain our xeriscaped yard but we haven't yet planted vegetables). One of my hardest learning curves 7 years in with children is making dinner every night!

When I had my first baby, time revolved around him eating and sleeping and needing changing. As he became a toddler, I got up with him to fix his breakfast by about 7, usually. I let him play and read books while I kept our tiny bungalow clean and found productive ways to occupy my time. Mostly. I tried to take him out daily for something, like the park or library or to a play date.

When baby #2 came along a bit over 2 years later, it was about juggling their two schedules, especially at nap-time (the older stopped napping before baby came along). But they were close enough in age to have a lot in common play-wise once #2 became a toddler. It meant they could occupy each other, but they still needed a lot of help and facetime from mom. I learned how to find time for myself throughout the day (sometimes too much, if the book was engrossing).

Evenings revolve around making sure daddy gets face time and play time, eating dinner and getting kids into bed. Studies show that children begin to make melatonin by about 7pm if not before, so early bedtimes are good for them. Babies, of course, have much more erratic sleep schedules; but, they still often have a set bedtime by the time they can reliably sleep well through the night.

When preschool and kindergarten start, it adds more structure and occupation for them, and new growth which is so beautiful to watch.

Having some regularity by the clock is good for babies, toddlers, and mamas. But strict rigidity isn't necessary for anyone. I learned to be most regular with meals and sleeping, but everything else can be quite flexible.

- The Mama Who Wants to