“It’s going to be so much easier to keep our house clean once I’m a stay-at-home mom”. 

Chalk that one up on the list of horribly wrong misconceptions I had about stay-at-home moms before actually becoming one myself, right in between “I’ll get more sleep” and “I’ll start reading for fun again”. (Ha!)

I didn’t get it. I didn’t realize that while, yes, I’d be home most days to clean house, my kids would also be home every day to MAKE more messes (So. Many. Messes.) and I’d find myself spinning in a hamster wheel that never, ever slows down.

In reality, my days look a little more like this: 

This morning, I set out to get on top of the laundry that’s a little out of control (read: it’s taking over our entire house). I threw a load of dish towels into the washing machine and headed to the kitchen to get the kids breakfast. 

After pouring cereal and flipping on the cartoons, I started loading the dishwasher. I had a little bit of space left in the top rack, so I went on a search for any extra cups that I could throw in. 

I made it to the boys’ room, when EWW. I smelled that smell. WHAT ON EARTH WAS THAT SMELL?!

A quick inventory of the room identified a diaper that had somehow made its way under the bed. Cue a double-bag job, a spray of Febreeze, and a trip to the trash can. Whiiiiich needed taken out. But why stop at emptying the kitchen trash can when I could empty every trash can in the house? 

A glance at the clock told me that the kids had watched double their fair share of TV for the morning, so I walked through the living room and flipped the TV off. 

“Go play!” I suggested. 

“Play with us!” they countered. 

So we sat on the rug and put together a new puzzle. 

Being that close to the rug made every single piece of dog hair so very evident, so as soon as we slipped the last puzzle piece into place I hopped up to grab the vacuum. 

By this time, little bellies were hungry. 

Chicken nuggets. Carrots. Applesauce. 
Leftover (stale?) Halloween candy just for good measure. 

After lunch we washed hands, read books, and played that cute little naptime game where the kids get out of bed 57 times until they decide they’re actually worn out enough to fall asleep. 

And so it continued . . . the rest of my afternoon looked a little something like this:

Sit down to pay bills—baby starts crying. 
Start unloading dishwasher—get distracted by crumbled Play-Doh on the floor. 
Grab the rag to wipe down the counters—kids want to read a book. 

And now it’s 4:51, my husband will be home from work soon, I haven’t started making dinner, the house is in worse shape than it was when I woke up this morning, and I STILL HAVEN’T THROWN THE DISH TOWELS IN THE DRYER. 

So, I’ll give them a sniff, rerun the load tomorrow morning, and start all over.

This. THIS is what being a stay-at-home mom really looks like, on any given Thursday. 

You will likely not have a clean house. 
There will be no extra sleep. 
Your book will remain a coaster on your bedside table for the next eighteen years. 

But you will survive. And you will love it (most days).

Originally appeared on Etched in Home with Casey Huff

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Casey Huff

Casey is a teacher turned stay-at-home-mom. She and her husband live in rural Colorado with their two sons and two ornery Labradors. Casey blogs at Etched in Home. Her mission as a writer is to celebrate parenthood and relationships, and shine light on the reality behind it all; the good, the bad, and always the real. When she’s not writing, you can find Casey chasing her Littles around, hiding in the pantry eating chocolate, or doing anything else to avoid dealing with the always-present mountain of laundry that haunts her days. To read more from Casey, give her a follow at: Etched in Home -- Facebook Etched in Home -- Instagram