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SAHMs - What do you do all day?

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#1 VintageEyes

Posted 26 April 2012 - 08:27 PM

I am a WAHM and I am really struggling to fill our day. Dont get me wrong there is a lot I could be doing but...I can't vacuum as DS hates the sound, I can't work (on the computer) for very long as DS "hassles" me etc etc

I had a look online for games & activites but everything seems to be a lot of setup for only 5 mins "entertainment"

DS isn't the sit still and draw kinda kid.

So please tell me about your daily routine - what do you get up to on an average day?

#2 Guest_Dinah_Harris_*

Posted 26 April 2012 - 08:35 PM

Monday playgroup for 2.5 hours.
Tuesday is grocery shopping and some baking/cooking.
Wednesday is day care.
Thursday is music class.
Friday is a play date with my friends and their kids.

In the afternoons, we go for a long walk to the park.  I should be scheduling in swimming lessons for one afternoon a week, too.  The key for us is not to sit around the house, but to get out and doing things.

Plus general housework.  And I work at home, too.

#3 Ireckon

Posted 26 April 2012 - 08:40 PM

I watch oprah.


I have kids who are a bit older, now, so I have school drops offs etc to do in the morning. Before that, I had 3 at home for 12 months, (4y.o., 2 y.o. and a bub) and baby permitting, we would do LOTS of drawing/craft stuff, make playdough (using the no cook method, they can help with that).

I would start dinner in the morning, the kids loved being able to help. They had plastic knives that were perfect for cutting things like mushrooms and zucchini. or I would cut vegies, and they had the job of putting them into the pot or container.

I would give them a dustpan each, so as I was cleaning, they could help pick up bits of mess with me. We had a trampoline, and they would be on that while I was hanging out washing, or if I was taking it off the line, they would collect the pegs as I purposely dropped them on the ground.

I was a SAHM for 7 yrs, then worked night shift for 18 months before we moved, and am again a SAHM with one last child (4y.o.) at home. The thing I found the absolute hardest was to let things happen without any expectation or trying to get them to fit MY agenda at home. I still have to check myself with this, especially having only one at home all day and having to entertain him.

I am lucky, the kids have always been pretty good at occupying themselves when I need them to.

We also had a TAFE run playgroup we went to, after which they would come home and sleep for an hour or so.

Get a toy vaccum so he can actually do it with you, perhaps he wont mind the noise so much Or resort to what I did with #3....put on DH's industrial work site ear protectors on him original.gif

Craft stuff, you have to keep it really simple. Lots of pre-cut bits of coloured paper, cotton balls, empty toilet tolls, easy to handle masking tape pieces...and the biggest thing is, sit with them. I found if I left them to it and tried to achieve other things while they were occupied, they would lose interest really quickly, but if I sat with them and actively engaged in doing something myself (as opposed to helping them do their thing) they would sit and do it for so much longer.

Um...re-reading my reply, its jumping all over the place, but my train of thought is not what it used to be.

Being pg does make it feel that much more of a task at times.

edited for atrocious spelling

Edited by Ireckon, 26 April 2012 - 08:44 PM.

#4 Mummy Duck

Posted 26 April 2012 - 08:53 PM

Im a stay at home working mum. I sell baby/childrens products online so my hours are flexible apart from having to post orders every afternoon.

Ive been lucky that my children have grown up to play independently from a young age so I dont really have a big problem doing both.

Our day
* 6.15-6.30 cuddles in bed
* 6.30 cup of tea together
* 6.45 wake up the teenboys, bd has breaky
* till 8.00 - bd will hang out with boys while they get ready an I can do a little work
* 8- 11.00 bd will play in cycles of about 20min so if she is playing quietly I will do a little work. I will then play with her for 20min or get her to help me do some housework and we will have lunch. Today we cut out fabric to make a hootabelle toy for bd to play with.
* 11-1 - is bds sleep time and I will work or sleep as Im pregnant atm
* 1 - bd is up and we will have afternoon tea, read a book and now she is 2 I will allow a little bit of kids tv time.
* 2.30 Teenboys and hubby get home
* 3.00 pack orders to go to the post office while boys/hubby care for bd.

The only really flexible part of my day is 8-11 if I need to go out, have an appointment or playdate.

Its more structure than Im used too in a past life but it works really well.


Posted 26 April 2012 - 08:58 PM

What work do you do that you don't have enough to fill in your day? Are you being paid to look for online games to play? huh.gif

#6 Alacritous~Andy

Posted 26 April 2012 - 09:05 PM

I have DS (22months) at home 3 days a week, and he goes to family daycare the other two days.  I try to keep our "home day" routine similar to his daycare day.  

A typical day (loose times only as a guide, we don't run to a schedule)
6:30am - 8:30am - wake up, have breakfast, play in the playroom while I empty dishwasher and hve my brekkie, get dressed for the day, sing songs/dancing in my bedroom while I make the bed, sort laundry.

8:30am - 10:30am - hat, sunscreen, shoes on, and outside play time!  Usually kicking a ball, swings, blowing bubbles, hide and seek in the garden, digging weeds, watering plants, and one of the current favourites, washing rocks in a bucket of water.  laughing2.gif

10:30 - 11:00am - change nappy, wash hands etc, morning tea on the verandah.  

11:00 - 11:45am - quiet inside play.  Cars, trains, books, blocks.  While he plays, I'll often do some odd jobs around the house.  

11:45 - 12:30 - lunch, then story time and into bed

12:30 - 2:30 - DS has a sleep, I get some work (paid work - on the computer) done

2:30 - 5:30 - afternoon tea, quiet play, maybe watch a dvd, do some baking, prep for dinner etc. Often go for a walk to the park, or down to the trainline to wave at the trains.  

After that, we flip into dinner and bedtime routine, which I won't go through, but is basically, dinner, bath, story, songs, bed.

#7 Jenno

Posted 28 April 2012 - 07:32 PM

School run then on days he is not at daycare we go for a walk, play in the park, do the shopping.

I am lucky that DS takes himself off happily most of the time, he loves being outside with his bikes and balls  and in the sandpit.

Inside he helps he clean, we cook, play with blocks, colour in, deal wi the washing etc.

Afternoons is the school run, swimming one day a week for dd, netball another day, he just plays.

Have fun with him.

#8 Lucygoosey1

Posted 28 April 2012 - 10:05 PM

6-7.  Awake, laze in bed with tv on, BF DD2.  Make bed & get dressed
7-8.  Breakfast.  Dress DD1&DD2.  Clean up from breakfast.
8-9.  Chores.  Kids play independently
9am DD2 sleeps.  Play 1-1 with DD1.  Things like play do, craft, cooking.  We'd go for a swim.  We'd do 2 or 3 things somedays.
11am.  Kids in playroom.  I might play on iPad whilst 1/2 playing with them.  Start preparing lunch/dinner.
11:30/12. Lunch
12:30.  Sleep for DD2.  Clean up again.  Start more chores, have a rest, watch a recorded tv show, write a few emails -whilst entertaining my still stationary DD2, do groceries or other online shopping, pay bills.
2pm DD2 sleeps
3pm.  All awake,  afternoon tea.  Go for a walk, playground, play with dog, or go to library, or visit my mum, pop out to get mik/bread.
4:30.  Finish dinner prep.  Kids watch tv
5:00 play & read books
5:30 dinner as family.

We also have swimming lessons & a play date each week.  Then we have appointments like Drs, & other random outings.  Usually we aren't home an entire day more than one day per week.  

#9 VintageEyes

Posted 28 April 2012 - 10:07 PM

Thanks for the replies. That is the kind of info I am after - I guess I am just trying to gauge if other people do a lot of activities with their kids or if it is mostly just free time.

QUOTE (SCARFACE CLAW @ 26/04/2012, 08:28 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
What work do you do that you don't have enough to fill in your day? Are you being paid to look for online games to play? huh.gif

I am a computer programmer, so all of my work is on the computer. Unfortunately as soon as I get the laptop out, DS is climbing all over me to try and press the keys, so work time is limited to when DS is asleep. This means less than an hour a day when he has a nap.

Some days it is difficult to even get the dishes done due to DS wanting attention.

We have a lot of outside time, but it is getting cold here, so hard to be motivated to stay outside for long. Late afternoons are the worst, because by then I am tired & have run out of inspiration so we just end up having TV time which I hate. I get so bored of building lego bridges or drawing pictures for DS.

Also, when you are outside, do you play with your kids, or just let them play on their own whilst you do something else?

#10 Mummy Duck

Posted 28 April 2012 - 10:15 PM

I think its important to teach kids to be able to occupy themselves for 20min or so at a time. Ive always expected it of my children so never really not had time to do tasks and rotate 1 on 1 time with playing time.

Maybe teaching your LO how to play without you being actively involved might be a start.

#11 VintageEyes

Posted 28 April 2012 - 10:53 PM

QUOTE (Mummy Duck @ 28/04/2012, 09:45 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Maybe teaching your LO how to play without you being actively involved might be a start.

Any suggestions about how I would go about doing this? I feel like I have always encouraged independent play, and some days he is fine, but other days not so much.

#12 IShallWearMidnight

Posted 28 April 2012 - 11:56 PM

Monday - swimming, lunch out, home for nap, park/play at home weather depending, dinner (DH is gone 3-9pm) bed 930ish
Tuesday - 'Play in the park' picnic lunch, home for nap (DH gone 3-6) they eat dinner and I go to the gym till 8pm
Wednesday - Playgroup/rhyme time (depending on weather) home for lunch/nap, grocery shopping, park/play at home weather depending
Thursday - daycare (rhyme time is on as well)
Friday - ABA meeting/rhymetime and library visit, home for lunch/nap (depending on schedules we might go swimming as the twins have lessons at 430, otherwise we will visit nana/greatnana/aunty in the evening)
Saturday/Sunday family stuff, sometimes we go to the markets, beach, park. We try to go for brunch one morning

#13 Mummy Duck

Posted 29 April 2012 - 07:45 AM

QUOTE (VintageEyes @ 28/04/2012, 10:53 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Any suggestions about how I would go about doing this? I feel like I have always encouraged independent play, and some days he is fine, but other days not so much.

Im not sure specifically because its been something that has organically happened from day dot. I would suggest doing things together but on your own. So maybe you both read your own book etc. Bd has a play kitchen so I will cook and she will cook in her kitchen.

I know that now with bs who is 13yo he is happy to spend time on his own reading or doing his own thing. I think he has a good balance he has lots of friends and interacts with them however he is also happy to do his own thing. I guess I grew up that way. My parents didnt make themselves available 24/7 they were around if I wanted/needed them and they spent time with me but I often spent time on my own projects and they did something.

#14 podg

Posted 29 April 2012 - 08:18 AM

I have three at home, 4.8, 2.11 and 16 months.

I am in the third trimester so my energy is limited.

DD1 has kindy two to three days a week, and we have swimming lessons twice a week. Apart from that we are at home, it is pretty hard for me to do park visits/shopping etc with everyone. I find a great deal of my energy is taken with feeding (and cleaning up after) everyone several times a day, keeping up with laundry, cleaning, clothing, nappying them.

DD1 in particular is not one to entertain herself except with TV. Other than that she demands (and always has done) enormous amounts of attention and interaction, which she can only sometimes get from her sisters. The activities she needs are well beyond the capabilities of particularly the 16 month-er... so she ends up quite frustrated when her activities are limited (eg I just can't do paint at dinner cooking time) or interfered with by the younger ones. My kids do very little self management, partially because the energy to teach them isn't there, and partially because of their ages. Miss 4 fights and battles any efforts to get her to help. Every so often she will 'help', which usually creates a mountain of extra work.

It is a fantasy for me to hear people say 'baby goes in her playroom'. Our playroom is our entire house and these days any item in the house seems to be fair game.

Roll on school - which creates its own problems....

#15 Guest_Retro_Mumma_*

Posted 29 April 2012 - 12:22 PM

It differs from day to day. We used to have a very full on schedule but I have scaled back due to being exhausted from being pregnant.

DS has brekky while im checking emails/ FB/ EB then we go to the park/ playgroup/ boogie roos/ library/ food shop.

Sometimes we do day trips to other towns 20 - 30 mins away and go to the beach or a different park.

We used to go out and eat at cafes but now DS is a toddler he is a nightmare so unless the cafe is outside and ive got someone with me so we can take turns eating and running after DS thats out.

We do playdates sometimes too, read stories, play t-ball, soccer or go to the pool.

Were both very social people so staying home all day sends us both batty but I do try to have a stay at home day once a week just so we can have some down time and I can catch up on washing.

#16 BentoBaby

Posted 29 April 2012 - 12:27 PM

I also work at home & have a young son who's not good at playing independently at all (& isnt interested in tv in the slightest!)

It is very hard. I basically do my work when DS sleeps (so 1-2hrs a day) & then in the evenings once he's gone to bed. My husband isn't home until 5.30/6 at the earliest so I can't really get much done in the day. I sometimes get in an hour or so while dh baths/gets DS ready for bed. All up improbably fit in 3-4hrs a day during the week & 5 or so over the weekend if I'm behind & need to catch up.

I'm hoping as DS gets older (he's 15 months) he'll be able to play a little more independently with activities. At the moment we try to go out at least every couple of days to the shops or a play date & try to get to the park daily.

#17 CourtesanNewton

Posted 29 April 2012 - 12:42 PM

DS is a bit over 3 but his routine isn't much different now from what it was last year.
He's the sort of kid who has massive amounts of energy, and if we can just knock the edge of it off in the morning, then he will be calmer and play by himself in the afternoon.
So, example would be
Monday morning: Park with a friend or long walk round the neighbourhood
Tuesday morning: Mainly music (playgroup)
Wednesday morning: in summer, maybe the local swim centre, in the cooler months, maybe the zoo or botanic gardens (I have zoo membership)
Thursday morning: Daycare all day
Friday morning: Junior gym at the local recreation centre
Saturday morning: swimming and maybe another family activity.
Sunday morning: Gardening or grocery shopping with DH, sometimes they go out somewhere

Monday and Wednesday are the flexible days for us, so what we do changes from week to week. Sometimes my parents take DS for a few hours, sometimes we go visit friends or other family.

After morning activities, we come home, do lunch, DS has a sleep and then when he wakes up he is not quite as frenetic and will do something by himself for a while. After that I will read with him for a while and then DH comes home and does stuff with him till bedtime.

I do find that the days when we are cooped up in the house DS goes a bit stir-crazy and gets quite destructive so I always try to get us out the door for a bit, even if it's a walk in the rain (with rain-coats)

#18 Mummy Em

Posted 29 April 2012 - 01:06 PM

I often have to be with dd1 to get her started on an activity by playing with her, but I tell her that in a minute I am going to do x and then when she is engrossed I can usually leave her at it for a while. I find sometimes I'll be playing with her and show her how to do a particular thing - like make a horse out of Duplo or dig a hole and bury her feet, and that becomes her new favourirte game for a while.

#19 Rainbow Lemur

Posted 29 April 2012 - 01:36 PM

When my kids were pre schoolers my general plan was.

Morning - wear them out with a phyical activity


Pray for nap so I can get work done

Dinner / bed

More work

PS  I tried with various success to turn housework into a fun activity to eb shgared with the kids.

#20 Earth-Angel

Posted 01 May 2012 - 02:07 PM

I have a policy of usually the mornings being our outside the house time until it's near naptime when we come home and do the lunch/books/sleep thing. Since DS usually wakes around 3pm the arvos are always spent around home which is the time he plays with his toys, plays outdoors etc while I cook dinner.

Mon/Tues we do different playgroups from 930-1130
Wed we have swimming in the morning
Thurs is our 1 home day and I try and organize a playdate every other week for this day
Fri is our open day so have playdates/go to play centres/go to the science centre/zoo etc

Children do get bored very easily and are often learning things as such a fast rate they move from activity to activity very quickly. I think most ppl underestimate just how many toys/craft/outdoor things children need if you're going to stay at home with them.

Personally I think if you're going to be either a SAHM/WAHM you need to have these things are home as a minimum:

paints/crayons/markers/glue/stickers/paper bags etc for making things
puzzles - at least 5 but more would be better
puppets for putting on puppet shows
dress ups (a large variety)
dolls house (whether you have boys or girls)
child friendly recipes for doing cooking together at least once a week
a 5 in 1 Easel for chalk/magnetic letters/white board/felt board and painting
100s of books
tea set/cooking,pretend food things
sorting games (can be done cheaply with buttons or similar and a muffin tin)
things for them to help you with chores (mini brooms, their own spray bottles and chux for dusting and wiping etc)
A large variety of different tectured/sized balls for kicking/throwing etc

Outdoors they should have access to a sandpit, somewhere to play with water (when weather permits), rocking toys, ways to practice balance and to challenge themselves physically.

I also think some sort of cubbyhouse/pop up tent is pretty important and you can get the pop up variety from discount stores pretty cheaply (I got a castle 1 for less than $10 on clearance for example) and they dont take up space when not used. You can also find plently of ppl online at places like www.madeit.com.au and www.etsy.com.au that make special themed playhouses that are meant to be put over a card table (so everything can be folded and stored away when not in use) if your budget allows (they are usually $200-400).

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