Seriously. What *have* you been doing all day? I mean, really. You’re home. You keep your kids home. There’s no use in cleaning, who’ll come by? You don’t know anyone. Your husband works. A lot. There’s nothing to do for him. You yourself say the kids cook and clean. Are you watching Oprah’s new show? Seriously. What do you do all day?


Well, now. I ask myself that very question of moms who do not work outside the home but have children in conventional schools. NOTE – this is NOT a criticism of conventional schooling. Not this time. Not this post. I have done penty of that and will no doubt do plenty more of it. This is my being critical of those moms who ask me that question. And.You.Know.Who.You.Are. And you read this blog. In fact, a couple of you recently questioned why I had not been blogging lately. I mean, I have all this time and everything…


So let me turn the table. Which I have not done fact-to-face in an effort to remain civil. I don’t go for civil all that often, but being a new year and all, why not? Right?


What have YOU been doing all day? You take your kids (or I take your kids via school bus) to school. They are not home for an entire day to take snacks out and leave crumbs after cleaning up. When they clean up. They are not home to fall into mud and change. Three times. They are not there to pull out every sheet and blanket not on a bed to build forts in 60+F weather. They are not there to read to, ask questions of, work in the barn or garden with. They are not there to cuddle with. What do YOU do all day?


Here’s what I hear you say on facebook, to us on date night with my husband, when I run into you at the eye doctor’s office:


  • Have you read…? I just finished the third book. It’s fantastic. I can’t stop reading them as fast as I can get my hands on them.


  • Oh this? Really? Girl, I found it on clearance at Target. I stroll the clearance end caps at least a few times a week. Oh, no. Those came from TJ Maxx. I make sure I’m there on Tuesday and Thursday after lunch as they’re putting the new stuff out.


  • There’s a new recipe I want to try but it requires a lot of chopping and slicing and I’m getting my nails did (yes, “did”, it really is important to leave the county at least once in a lifetime…) tomorrow after I meet my girlfriend for coffee so I’ll wait to try it right before I get them did again. Yes. Did. Again.


  • I scrubbed the whole house all morning. It feels great.


  • I went to the gym and walked 4 miles because I got caught up in a show.


  • This cold is killing me. I went straight back to bed after the bus left and got up to unlock the door before the bus came back. My husband better bring home carry-out.


Well, because I don’t play tit-for-tat too often, let me play now. My reponses:


  • I am reading lots of great books, too. They just happen to be about North Carolina and the railroads impact on our state, its history, its symbols. And I just happen to read them aloud. Oh, and we’re now on By the Shores of Silver Lake.  And we’re reading in full each day The Little Man in the Map. And reciting states, their capitals, their admission (to the Union, duh) dates. Oh. You mean what am I reading for MYSELF. Oh. I am reading about homesteading and animal keeping. I just cannot wait to move onto cheesemaking!


  • Oh, this outfit? I bought the jeans in a hurried trip to the Levis outlet with all five kids at lunch time one day. Yes. I do have another pair. But in all honesty, I just hate to shop, so this would likely be the case even if I did ship my kids off every day.


  • Nails done? Great for you! Yes, I’d wait to try that chopping and slicing recipe until you’re about to get them did again, too. You’ll care a lot less about eating one that way. Oh, yes. I have actually gone to a salon for the past two times to get my hair did, er, trimmed. In the morning. of a weekday. without kids. And then rushed through a couple of other errands and raced back home before they got mischievious. Y’know the snacks and mud and forts and all…


  • I can’t, more importantly, I won’t scrub the whole house in a morning. There are too many other bodies undoing it and it simply won’t work. And, well, I have a family home to enjoy. And play with. And cook with. And learn with. And even clean with. All in moderation. And, we don’t use noxious chemicals. We use elbow grease. But kudos to you! And when you’re over, be sure to turn the light on in the guest bath before going in. Just in case.


  • Ahhh… I go to a gym, too! I turn right by the refrigerator, take the second door on the right, go to the bottom floor, turn right, and then step up onto the treadmill. I’m down there for about 40 minutes total. And the kids are so sweet to freshen my water and cheer me on. And I can wear the same gym clothes over and over and over again. At least until they start to crawl away when I grab for them.


  • Not only do we have the gym in common, but I have this nasty cold, too. YES! I did go back to bed, too! In fact, after i got up with my Husband, cooked our breakfast, cleaned it up, prepped for dinner, and set out lessons, I did lay right back on the sofa with a sweet red-head cuddled up against me and she read while I slept. Until 920a when I had to get up to take a child to the eye doctor. Did I go back to the sofa when I got home? No.


I made pasta with crab sauce for lunch, helped the kids clean it up, swept the hardwoods and stairs, opened the windows, put the chili together in the crock pot, made the cornbread batter, replied to a couple of ebay questions, read aloud two chapters of By the Shores, worked on readon comprehension questions with kids, read aloud Little Man, recited states and their capitals and admission dates with children, read about North Carolinians’ experiences on trains, dicussed germ theory and directed kids to a website to learn more, discussed an art project, timed piano practices, worked on phonograms with the wee-est one, directed outside clean up and DJ party set up, checked my bank account online, checked a homemade laundry recipe my sister told me about, and talked with my Husband. And now, yes. I am going to go back to the sofa since the kids are outside happily having a DJ Party on the patio and the windows are open and I can hear them.


I imagine your child is stepping off the bus about now and you’ll take off your new glasses you picked up this morning and put down the fourth book and be a mom. Enjoy! Because Ferris Bueller was right. “Life moves pretty fast. And if you don’t stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it.” Same with living it. If you don’t stop and live it, you will miss it.