Stay at home mom? So…What do you do?

(A New Project!)

When a single, 20-something guy hears that I don’t work outside the home the next questions he usually ask me is, “So…what do you do all day?” It’s usually not in a “being a stay-at-home-mom isn’t a real job” kind of way, but it’s a genuine, curious, a-little-bit-baffled question. How do you spend your days? What the heck do you do with a house full of toddlers?

That, my friend, is a very good question!

And, it’s a question most new stay-at-home moms ask too.

“How do I spend my time?”

Up until now, most of your life has been dictated for you. When you’re a kid, you wake up. Go to school. Go to practice. Do your homework. Go to work. Go to bed.

The time left to yourself — time that you are free to manage and spend the way you choose — is almost nonexistent.

You grow up and get a real job, and it’s usually more of the same. Your nights and weekend may be yours to plan, but your weekdays come prescheduled with meetings, appointment, and deadlines.

And then — you have a baby. If you decide/have the opportunity to stay at home with your baby, you’re suddenly faced with something you’ve never been faced with before.

Time.

A lot of time.

You — my friend — are the one in charge of planning the day. You are in charge of managing your calendar. You are in charge of choosing your attitude and setting the tone in your house.

And it can be crippling.

There’s no one to tell you what to do or how to do it. No one is there to give you feedback. No one is coaching you. You’re thrown in the deep end — and then deprived of sleep and handed a crying baby.

So you read books on parenting. You read mom blogs. You ask friends questions. You creep on other moms’ Instagram looking for advice.

How do they keep their house clean?

When do they shower?

Are their kids just smart, or did they do something I should be doing to make sure my kids are geniuses?

Do their kids ever throw tantrums?

When do they eat?

Do they really have time to read, or are those books just decorations?

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About a month ago, I spent the weekend with an old childhood friend for a girls weekend at the beach. (Yes. Our husbands are that amazing.) Before we left for the weekend I got to spend an regular afternoon with her family, just hanging out and enjoying their company. It was so awesome to see her day and I was so inspired by the way my friend ran her household. There was nothing revolutionary or particularly impressive about what she did, but seeing the way someone else did things made me look at my own days with a different perspective. I walked away with all sorts of new ideas for how to structure my family’s schedule, how to think about specific parenting issues, and with a deep appreciation for how thoughtfully and purposeful my friend went about her day.

My friend’s regular, ordinary day really encouraged and inspired me.

So I thought — wouldn’t it be cool if I could “shadow” a handful of awesome moms and learn from them?

Well, guess what. I’ve asked some amazing moms to let me (and you!) take a peak into a typical day in their life. They are going to share their day — in pictures and in captions, from when they wake up till when they go to bed. We’re going to peak into their homes and see the beautiful, messy, chaos of ordinary life.

These women are from all different backgrounds, but they have a few things in common.

1. They are choosing to thrive where they are; they are not living as victims to motherhood. They’re choosing to live a good life with the life they have. They’re choosing to love the people in their lives purposefully, creatively, and selflessly.

2. They all have hard situations in their lives, but they are creatively and proactively facing the challenges. They aren’t shrinking back from obstacles, but are trying to face their situations with courage and strength. They are creating beauty, community, and peace in the messiness and chaos of everyday life.

3. They are joyful. They are daily choosing gratefulness over of self-pity, fear, and apathy.

4. They’re just a lot of fun to be around.

I’ve already learned so much from these awesome women, and I’m excited to give you a peak into their beautiful lives.

Come shadow our first mom, Arian Armstrong here.

Chandler

PS — You work outside of the home moms are amazing, and I would love to peak into your day sometime. Being a stay-at-home/work-at-home mom is just the experience I’ve lived, so it is the experience I’m highlighting. Much love!