There are several memes going around joking about how SAHM’s are prepared to be quarantined with their kiddos. I do understand the humor in that, but I also want to share some “math” to explain what it’s really like being a SAHM.
On average my kid sleeps 12 hours at night and takes a 2-3 hour nap during the afternoon, this leaves me with 9 waking hours to fill on a daily basis. We typically spend ONE morning a week at home, just so I have time to get caught up on whatever cleaning or chores I can accomplish WITH my toddler (not as easy as it sounds people), he has his own mini cleaning tools, helps me pick up toys, dust, do laundry, unload the dishwasher; all of this fills ONE morning a week.
The rest of our mornings are filled with driving to and from: Fit4Mom workouts/play dates, trips to the library, playground, aquarium, zoo, children’s museum or friend’s houses, as well as running errands. I typically pack Jorgito’s lunch and feed him while we're out. By the time we come home he’s ready for a cup of milk and his nap.
Now being pregnant on top of chasing a toddler around, the first hour of his 2-3 hour nap time usually involves my first chance to sit down all day as well as my first chance to use the bathroom alone or eat my own lunch or drink a cup of coffee or tea.
The next 1-2 hours is filled with chores. My kid is usually awake around 4-4:30 pm and we’ve got 30 minutes to an hour to entertain ourselves in the house or outside before I start making dinner, feeding the family, cleaning the kitchen, bath and bedtime routines.
Now if you’re still following along you’ve realized on AVERAGE I fill ONE HOUR of my toddler’s day with activities/entertainment at home. I’m spelling all of this out to make the point that THIS; this quarantine, it’s not something SAHM’s are prepared for either. Our kids aren’t used to being home all day, day after day either. We don’t have the secrets to keeping kiddos happy and entertained at home for days on end either.
In fact every SAHM friend I have has already confided in me that there’s been too much screen time, or they’ve ordered new toys, or they’ve broke quarantine to run to the craft store, or they’re just out of ideas in general- and we’re not even through week one!
So mamas, I propose the following: SHARE! Share your ideas, share your activities, share your crafts, share what you’re making your kids for lunch, share the link for that new toy you ordered, share the live stream from a zoo across the country, share the recipe, share the game your kids made up, share that fun thing your husband did with your kiddo last night, if you’ve got a skill or talent stream it and show the rest of us! SHARE everything but germs mamas!
We’re all grasping for straws here (some of us have literally already let our toddlers play with a box of straws), now is the time to jump on the bandwagon and copy what your mama friend did yesterday with no shame and no judgement. So hit me with your best ideas mamas, what are we doing tomorrow?
Nicole Carrero is a registered nurse turned stay at home mom. Wife to Jorge, mama to Jorgito, with another son on the way; it's her lot in life to be surrounded by handsome Latin men.