Gregory leaves for school at 7:20, and Gary usually takes Ruthie to school around 8. When everyone (but Mary) is gone, I usually clean up the kitchen from the frantic morning of making breakfast and lunch all at once (which can honestly take awhile -- the cleaning up, I mean). Most mornings we have somewhere to go, so I quickly shower and dress during Sesame Street, make sure the diaper bag is packed with all the necessities, and head out the door. Before we leave, though, I generally have to retrieve Mary's clean socks from the pile of dirty laundry in the basement, because she has inevitably taken them off sometime post-dressing and put them down the laundry shoot. (I could do an entire post about things I find in the pile of dirty clothes from Mary's fixation with the laundry shoot!).
Most mornings we're gone (ladies' Bible study, Friday morning coffee group, Mary spends a one morning with a sitter, a trip to the zoo, etc.). When we get home, I usually feed her a little something for lunch. I say "little something" because she's a very picky eater, especially when she's tired and would rather be napping. Ahhh, Mary's naps! They are long! Mary is a lot of things -- mostly beautiful and sometimes ugly -- and a good sleeper is on that beautiful list!! She will often sleep for 3-4 hours. BUT by the time I find her paci and snuggly, read to her, give her water and cover her with BOTH her blankets in just the right way, she may be ready to sleep soundly, but I usually only have about two hours before Gregory gets home from school. Remember that 7:20am departure time? Early, right? Well, along with that, comes an early dismissal. Gregory comes home at 2:45.
Two afternoon hours might seem like a lot, but believe me, they fly by. I usually fix and eat lunch (which takes more or less time, depending on how diligently I'm counting WW points that day). Then I check and answer email and/or Facebook, and pay any bills that need my attention (sometimes while I'm eating lunch), and then before I know it, I have one hour before Gregory's return. What can a person get done in one hour? Especially when there's so much to do? I spend some time dealing with laundry and cleaning up from lunch, but I can't clean both bathrooms in an hour. I can't vacuum and mop the floors in an hour (which also doesn't happen, because I can't vacuum while Mary's sleeping. That girl can sleep through police and ambulance sirens, the lawn mower and weed trimmer, and even thunderstorms, but I'm not kidding you, if I sneeze too loudly she wakes up. There's no way I can risk it by vacuuming! Are you kidding me?) It's even hard to fold and put away laundry, because I can't get anywhere near Mary's room.
So, there you have it. No way to get the housework done. I'm home "all day" and can't seem to keep the house clean. Does anyone out there feel my pain? Sometimes I think that if I had a job outside my house, it would be a real disaster, and then I look around me and wonder how it could be any worse!
I should mention now that I have SO MUCH respect for all you working moms out there! Whether you work full or part time, in addition to your mom job, it's amazing what you do!! I know that all of us are just doing our best to keep all the balls we have up high in the air! I should also mention that I know that there many stay at home moms who do a very good job of keeping their homes clean and organized. I just don't happen to be one of them, and now you know why! :)