I’ve seen many great photographers do a “Day in the Life” project and I knew I wanted to do one. Someday. But I was always waiting for the right time. I wanted the house to be cleaned up, for us to have some fun outings planned, or at least a day where there were sports practices or games. And I wanted the weather to cooperate so I could take pictures outdoors. Without snow. Oh, yeah, and I wanted it to be Daylight Savings Time, so I’d have natural light longer into the evening. Then last week, I realized that Friday would be my last day as a stay at home mom, since Lucy was starting school. So, it was now or never. I grabbed my camera, tried to shove all the clutter into unseen corners of the house, and started my project. It was also our Family Day (two years home from Ethiopia), so it seemed like a good time to document life. For my photographer friends who are reading this, since I knew that I wouldn’t have a lot of light, I wanted to force myself to “embrace the grain.” It it not typically my style, but I didn’t have many choices since we were stuck mostly inside and not on the brightest day ever. And for the record, this is a really hard project. Lots of switching of locations means changing settings all day long. I also had to have my tripod and remote ready. No time for reflectors, so light is not great in some of these. And as for the processing…I didn’t do much since there were so many photos. Preset city. So, here’s my day. I wake up with a cat cuddled on my legs, enjoying the electric blanket. At 5:38, Lucy comes into my room. She is crying because her boppy feel out of bed (although she is now holding it). Since Andrew is out of town, I let her crawl in bed with me. She snuggles while I go take a shower. Sam watches CNN until I go to wake up the other kids. Ayub is the best morning stretcher I have ever seen. Breakfast. Legendary Waffle Sam Sandwich. First argument of the day. I make lunches instead of mediating. Help Ayub with his OT exercises. These are supposed to help center him, but right now they just get him all revved up. Help Lucy get dressed and do her hair. Take the middles to school. Stop by the store to pick up milk. Leave the store with $58 in groceries. Get home, let Lucy watch Sesame Street while I put away groceries, feed the dogs, and clean up the kitchen from breakfast. Lucy makes a Family Day heart to celebrate. Head down to the playroom. This is what it looks like when we arrive. Practice cutting, take some pictures, have a dance party, and do some coloring. Meanwhile, I have been cleaning up, so when we leave, the room looks like this. Lunchtime. This is what I’m going to miss most about my time with Lucy. She is always full of animated conversation over lunch. And since the weather was so beautiful on this particular day (it got up to 40 degrees!), we decided to take the puppy for a walk. Reading, and finally nap time. While Lucy sleeps, I feed my children’s book addiction by completing my Scholastic order form, open the new Tom’s that came in the mail, enjoy a drink, train the dog, and publish a blog post. Lucy wakes up and wants to play with stickers. We pick up the middles, Sam calls and says he’s bringing two friends home with him to spend the night. Snack time. This time Ayub makes the Legendary Waffle Sam Sandwich using mini waffles. I realize I can’t remember the last time Sam brushed his hair.Andrew has now arrived home and took a cab straight from airport to a meeting, so we go pick him up and drive him to his car. I arrive home to find that this heat wave has melted some snow. This is the first time I’ve seen the top of this table in two months. Next I wish I could show you step-by-step how I made a delicious home-cooked meal, but since I had three 12-year-old boys to feed, we ordered pizza. And the boys were happy.
Eleanor has no desire to be around the boys, so she packs up and heads over to the next-door-neighbor’s house to spend the night.
Dad handles the bath- and bed-time routines. And finally we kick back and relax. So for those of you working moms who wonder what a SAHM does all day (and I know you wonder because I used to wonder, too), this is pretty much it. On a slow day, meaning no therapy appointments, basketball practices, or school events. Today I was driving the middles to school and they asked what I was going to do all day. Ayub answered for me. “You’re gonna watch the Weather Channel. And you can play whatever you want to play, not what Lucy wants to play. It’s like your dream come true.” I’m not sure about that, but I certainly won’t be watching Sesame Street today.