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What Do I Do All Day?

18cfa3fb46924fccaf0334f4d19db5d7What Do I Do All Day?

This moment on Futurama summarises how I feel about what I do all day – especially since being a “Stay at home Mum” for the last 3 years.

Most of the time what I do goes unnoticed, not because nobody cares, but because it’s just what must be done. Nappies are changed, children are fed, hugs are given, games are played, we sing songs, read stories, I get drinks, apply band aids, check temperatures, flush toilets, I prepare meal after meal after meal – whether they decide to eat it or not – I do piles of dishes and mountains of laundry, I tidy up toys, I vacuum and mop and so on and so forth.

But we all already knew that, right? We know the kinds of things that it takes to keep small people happy, alive and well.

It does take a lot of work, but even then, I can appreciate how someone could stand on the outside looking in and ask “BUT what do you DO – ALL DAY”.

I’ll admit the things I *do* don’t take all day. Especially now my kids are 2.5 and nearly 6 years old.

The thing I feel I spend the most time doing for my children is nothing at all.

Well, it looks like nothing, and sometimes feels like nothing, but what I do is a whole lot of waiting for my children.

Waiting for them to get dressed, waiting for them to finish eating, waiting for school to start or finish, waiting for my 2 year old who’s says “I DO IT” and “NOT READY YET!”, waiting for the kids to done playing so we can go home, waiting to finish their bath, waiting for bed time, waiting for them to fall asleep, waiting for them to sleep through the night (and waiting, and waiting, and waiting)

Even waiting for them to wake up! I can’t count how many times one of our kids has fallen asleep 5 minutes from home in the car so I’ve had to sit in the car while they nap.

And other kinds of waiting – waiting at the doctors, waiting at hospital, waiting for a cough to pass, a fever to break and for them to get well again. That kind of waiting can be physically and emotionally exhausting.

Or waiting over longer periods of time. It starts well before we have our babies in our arms. Waiting to conceive, waiting to do a pregnancy test, waiting for scans, waiting for kicks, waiting for labour, waiting to give birth.

And sometimes it’s frustrating that my children seem happiest when I’m just idle and available to them, but if I take the opportunity while they’re playing happily to do something a little more productive – like cleaning – then they want my attention, because I’m not just there waiting for them.

Although I’ve become a master of managing my boredom and trying to at least spend my time doing something. I often carry my knitting or crocheting with me so if I get stuck somewhere waiting while the kids have a play I wont just be there completely bored.

I also use Facebook a lot – I often post self-centered status updates and pictures of what I’m doing with my kids, it’s not bragging or even complaining, but it says to others and most importantly to myself that I’m not JUST waiting here, what I’m doing is important and that today actually happened!

Because I have to do whatever I can to cherish these moments because one day I’ll be waiting and next I’ll be looking back saying “It went by so fast!”

About Rachel Stewart

Rachel is the founder of Parenting Central Australia. She is raising two children, boy and girl, with her partner.

She has a background in early childhood education, but right now is content to be a stay at home mum.

She is passionate about birthing rights, breastfeeding and mental health. She enjoys crafting, drinking coffee (sometimes wine) and spending a little too much time on Facebook.

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