What does a day in the life of a homemaker look like? As you might be able to tell from my poems and high ideals about homemaking, I have a romanticized notion of our calling. However, do not fear for me, reader! This romance is tempered by the practical doings of daily life, an account of which is listed below.
A sweet friend of mine asked me yesterday how I spend my days as a homemaker. So, at the end of the day I jotted down how my hours had sped past. Here we go:
4am - I woke up and decided that I really needed to nurse the baby. So, I quietly went into the nursery for a short nursing session and then went back to sleep.
7:30am - Baby E. awoke and made sweet happy cooing sounds in her crib until I came and greeted her. She smiled up at me and offered me her doll and a soft bunny....then I noticed that her cloth diaper was at the other end of her crib, and that she was sitting happily in a puddle...So, I put on a smile and a stiff upper lip, gave her a big "Good morning!" and a hug.
Began to put a new diaper on her, and started a load of laundry which included 1/2 a bag of dirty diapers, her wet sheet, blanket and mattress cover. I used homemade laundry soap that I learned how to make a few years ago on Crystal Paine's blog. Recovered her mattress with another sheet. Set aside her cloth doll -which was also wet - for hand-washing. I just made that doll for her and I don't want the washing machine to be rough on it.
Since the day seemed warm already and promised to only get more hot, I dressed Elena in a cute sleeveless seersucker dress and bloomers. I made a simple breakfast for Elena and I : scrambled eggs and sliced banana.
We spent some time outside on the deck while it was still partly shady out there. I brought out a baby quilt for us to sit on, a few board books, a toy, and let her play and crawl and explore out there. I watered some of the plants and harvested the dried rose petals off our bush, intending to make them into potpourri for Grandma Neuharth's Christmas present. We read the two little books and went inside. Changed E's diaper. Tidied the nursery. Emptied the washing machine, and set aside the mattress cover to be dried outside, while I stuck the diapers in the dryer. (I try to be energy-conscious with what I do, but the dryer is a weakness of mine). Brought the big drying rack outside to the deck and hung the mattress cover.
9am - Baby Elena went down for her morning nap. My husband got up. He works second shift, so his hours are not really aligned with mine as far as sleep. I have a rip-roaring head cold and did not feel like doing anything but sitting, so Jeff and I watched an episode of 19 Kids and Counting. While it was on I harvested parsley and rosemary from potted plants and tied them up for drying. Found a good spot on the wall of the basement staircase for pinning up the strings of herbs: it will be dark and cool for them there, which are good conditions for drying.
Then I put away clean clothes.
Cleaned all the toilets and sinks in the house. Emptied bathroom wastebaskets. Put fresh linens in our bathroom.
Prepared Jeff's new baseball pennant for hanging in his office.
Did a hand washing session with 3 baby dresses, one doll dress and one cloth doll, then set them outside on the drying rack after taking down the newly-dry mattress cover from the rack.
12 noon: From the partly opened nursery door, I watched Elena play in her crib for a minute before I walked inside: she hugged her orange bunny, talked to it, made it hop, and lay contentedly on her side while she babbled to herself. Eventually she noticed me. I greeted her, then changed her diaper. Nursed.
Brought Elena downstairs and she visited with Jeff and I for a while before i got her lunch prepared and fed her solids. I prepared side dishes for the meal that Jeff and I were to share, and Jeff grilled the main course, which I had defrosted and plated up for him to take out to the grill. Ate lunch with Jeff.
Jeff read aloud from our daily Bible readings.
I made Jeff's evening lunch and packed it in his work bag. Looked after Elena as she crawled around and I emptied and reloaded the dishwasher.
Brought E. upstairs to the nursery to play while I restocked the stack of clean diapers and put her clean clothes away. She listened to her Jesus songs and reveled in being able to play around her toy box: being able to prop herself up and reach into the toy box is still a new thing for her and the excitement hasn't worn off yet.
I rotated her mattress and re-covered it with the now clean mattress cover and the clean sheets. Then we both were called downstairs by Jeff who was on his way out the door for work. We waved goodbye to him, then walked to the mailbox.
Came inside out of the heat. Elena played merrily on the quilt on the living room floor with the Wal-Mart flier that we got in the mail. She liked the dog pictured on the cover. I stayed with her and taught her that dogs say Ruff! Ruff! She proudly imitated. We played together for a while.
Took meat out of the freezer to defrost for tomorrow's midday meal. Another diaper change.
Afternoon nap for Elena. During that time, I repaired a toy, had some tea and composed a blog entry, then read posts on about 2 other blogs. This all took about 1 hour.
4pm. Elena woke up. Nursed. Elena played. Took E. outside for a 1 mile walk. Made some dinner. Gave E. a bath and put her in a nightgown and overnight cloth diaper. We began to quiet down for the night.
I read to Elena and put her to bed by 7:30pm, nursing again beforehand.
I rested on our bed for a little while. Then got up and began making homemade applesauce. While I peeled and sliced a few pounds of apples, I listed to a half hour radio show called Adventures in Odyssey over on the Focus on the Family website.
While the applesauce simmered I aired the house and wrote this account of the day. Watered the outdoor and indoor plants. Cleaned up the kitchen. Emptied clean dishes from the dishwasher -- again! what would I do without the dishwasher?!
10pm nursed Elena while she slept (this tanks her up for the night and she typically sleeps all the way through until 6am, which is great).
Then I wearily prepared for bed and turned out my light.