My best friend's mother actually asked me that question about 4 years ago. She wasn't being rude or insensitive or even asking why the dishes weren't done and the dining room table was covered in laundry (because we were at her house and she couldn't see the mess in mine). She truly wanted to know how the days filled themselves in our life.
Well, let me tell you...
This morning started late. I slept in until 8:16. My husband isn't working at the moment and since I was up at 6, finally giving in and taking some allergy meds, he let me sleep in while he got up with the kids.
Last night I went to a party with my mother-in-law. She arrived just as dinner was finishing and I blithely left the house to go enjoy the company of other grown women. I returned about 9:30. My kind, loving, wonderful husband offered to fix me a hot fudge sundae- and I said yes. He fixed the ice cream, turned out the kitchen lights, and I didn't give that room another thought- until this morning.
I stumbled into our kitchen at about 8:17. Blearily looking in the mug cupboard I realized that the dishwasher hadn't been unloaded and there were only clunky mugs left on the shelf. I hate clunky mugs so I opened the dishwasher and found that the dishes were still dirty (I actually took a mug out and almost poured coffee in it before I realized- Benadryl is not really my friend). At that point I looked- really looked- around the kitchen. There were dishes (with food still on them!) on the table. The sink was full of dishes (not drip drying after washing either). The stove was covered with something greasy. There were leftovers in the dishes on the stove. This is not the sight that normally greets me upon waking.
I started the dishwasher, washed some dishes by hand (after first washing and filling my coffee mug), washed the table, washed the stove, cleaned the window, watered the plants, nuked my cold coffee, picked up garbage papers off the floor (darned kids!), swept the sand off the floor (darned kids!), nuked my cold coffee, prepared some cereal for the kids, opened string cheese wrappers, cleaned out the moldy leftovers in the fridge, nuked my cold coffee, started a load of laundry that included the dish drying towels and dish cloths, folded the load left in the dryer (except for the hanging shirts which are still on the couch), poured my cold and burned coffee down the sink, and finally had a bowl of granola and yogurt for breakfast.
At 9:38 I forced my oldest child to sit down at the kitchen table and read to me. He was particularly brilliant today and told me very confidently that y e l l o w spells tan F a t h e r reads as funny, n sounds like r, and helps and car are the same word. Honest to Betsy- he read all the same words three days ago and did just fine with them. Today I threatened to make him do preschool over again because he obviously needs to brush up on his alphabet skills.
At 10:30 I mixed up a big batch of Jello (which still hasn't set up). The little boys helped immensely by dumping in cottage cheese and oranges. Then they continued helping by spreading toys and papers all over the kitchen floor so that I could practice my agility skills while trying to get the jello from the counter into the fridge. I may have raised my voice a wee, little bit when I instructed them to clear floor or suffer untold agony.
At 11:00 I sent Chris back to his room to put on underwear before leaving for school. Why is it that a seven year old can't seem to remember the underwear go on before the pants? "I just forget sometimes," he says. After he emerged fully dressed we continued our daily geography exploration by trying to figure out where Europe ends and Asia begins. I'm embarrassed to admit that I'm still not sure. We also reviewed all the South American countries and the states in the USA.
At 11:55 we left to take Chris to school for P.E. Today he finally had an opportunity to speak with his p.e. teacher and asked him if it would be ok for him to leave and use the bathroom if he needs to. The teacher told him that it would be fine, he just needs to ask first. Weeks (possibly months) of angst and now, that easily, Chris's anxiety is relieved. Thank God for the wonderful speech language pathologists that help smooth the way during these times of need. Truly, Mrs. J is a blessing and there are things she sees and mentions that I would never consider as possible causes of stress.
At 1:00 I returned to the school to pick Chris up (after running home to make lunch for the little boys and start a batch of bread). We talked about his class and how relieved he feels since he had "a little talk" with Coach. Then we returned home and began looking at Indian Head Nickels, searching for dates and mint marks. Of course we also had to bring out the huge map of the USA and place his entire collection of state quarters on the appropriate states. The little boys built Lego ships, space ships, airplanes, rockets, and space stations while pretending to live on different planets.
At 2:30 I had a ferocious headache and went to take a nap. My husband agreed to watch the kids and bake the bread.
At 4:00 I got up and went to bake the bread. Then I put all the dirty dishes that had collected in the dishwasher (apparently this is a highly skilled task that very few are capable of doing). I also washed all the bread making dishes, talked on the phone with a couple of friends who called, folded mounds of laundry, started my fifth load of laundry for the day (I do love the homemade detergent), quizzed Chris on math, complimented Captains Jake and Sam on their rocket ships, read several stories,
At 5:00 I started making Alfredo sauce, sauteing chicken, boiling noodles, and warming frozen peas. Dave and the kids set the table.
At 6:30 I answered multiple, repeated, annoying questions about space, stars, planets, dwarf planets, comets, sun spots, and why Mexicans speak Spanish.
At 7:00 I told the children to find their father, came out to the unheated patio, shot some people using the Mafia Wars application on facebook, and finally started to update my blog.
At 7:02 I wiped Jake's nose, found Blankie, and answered more questions about why Pluto is a dwarf planet instead of a "real" planet.
At 7:07 I told the annoying children that, yes, they can have ice cream- "Go ask your father."
At 7:10 I used my "outdoor voice" to order the same three children off my patio.
At 7:12 I felt bad and went and closed the door to the living room so that the sound of crying was muffled.
At 7:51 I am ready to post my blog update. After this I will return to the house, clean up the ice cream mess in the kitchen, fold some laundry, dry some laundry, wash the dinner dishes, kiss the kids good night, thank my husband for putting the kids to bed, and then- I'll probably come back out and check my email.
This is what I did all day today- although I think I forgot to write a few things down. Isn't the life of a stay at home mother exciting? :-)