I Was a Perfect Stay at Home Mom (For one day). 



I work while my husband stays home with our kids. Recently, my husband needed to help out with his family’s business. So I took the day off to stay home with the kids. It 100% never occurred to me that being home on a weekday would be any different than being home in the evenings or on weekends. 

The day I stayed home there were 3 homemade meals on the table. I got my son off to school and back again. I kept the laundry and dishes caught up. My kids got the recommended daily amount of physical activity, unstructured play with classical music playing in the background, and were read to. I even squeezed in a workout and shower for myself. 

I was the perfect stay at home mom for the day. . . but I was exhausted.

In fact, I was exponentially more exhausted than my usual level of exhausted. With full confidence, I know that if I had stayed home the next day too it would have been a completely different day. I assure you copious amounts of frozen waffles and screen time would have been involved.

Even if I hadn’t gone full blown super SAHM for the day I still would have been wiped out. I know this solely based on how many times I located lost items and refilled snacks. There’s just no way to keep up that stamina. 

It’s funny what people adjust to as their normal though. My husband was more tired than usual too. When he got back home that day, he said, “I don’t know how you do it everyday. Oh and the traffic!” 

Don’t get me wrong. I pitch in and do my share when it comes to the household duties. On typical weekdays though when I get home from work, dinner is already on the table and the house is clean. I knew this before, but our role reversal that day made me realize it. Since things with the house are taken care of by my husband through the day it means I get to unwind with the family or help with homework or do anything else besides worry about the house. It means I get to focus on my family when I’m home from work. 

No matter what our typical roles are, this parenting gig can get tiring. It was good for my husband and I to walk in each others shoes for a day. It renewed our appreciation of what we do to keep our house and family running.  Also, I’m going to tell you what I told a group of my stay at home mom friends.

If you are a stay at home parent, I hope there’s someone that rubs your feet at the end of every single day. I know I got up no less than 800 million times during my single day as a stay at home mom. 


  1. So true! Walking in your partner’s shoes every once in while is must. The respect for each other ALWAYS rises another bar.
    Good job!

  2. I agree, you really do appreciate one another more when you live your partner’s reality for a day. This past summer my husband was home during the month of July as usual (he’s a teacher) and so I got a temporary full-time job for 6 weeks after literally two decades of being a SAHM. We all felt a little lost for a few days, but gradually adjusted. The primary benefit, besides the extra $$$, was that we all appreciated both roles, the breadwinner and the stay-at-home parent, more than ever. Great post!

  3. As a SAHM of 5 (many moons ago) yes, it is exhausting. Unlike in a workplace, there is time for a stop for coffee. At home you are always on call, especially with little ones. I found that when I finally went back to work (youngest was in the 4th grade) I was able to relax more and seemed to work out a plan. At home it would depend on the kids – if they were sick or in tantrums. I dont regret staying at home, loved it….but was more organized when I had to go out to work. Of course, hubby was the best help…days he came home from work and I walked out to just “window shop” gave me an hour to relax….and now they are all grown. Life passes very fast, enjoy every minute and love what works for you.

    • Thanks for reading and for the comment Agnes. What I had not really thought about before is that my husband does that all day, and then if I am sick or had an extra long day at work, he does it some in the evenings. I try to give him breaks on the weekends so he doesn’t burn out. You are right though. It’s non-stop.

  4. My husband and I swapped for 2 weeks while he was laid off…. we had 2 weeks at home together, then I started my new normal of being a working mom while my husband got to be a SAHD for 2 weeks before he started his new job. It was interesting to see how we were totally different stay-at-home parents. For me, the house was usually a mess but the kids & I ran around doing all sorts of activities out and about & dinner was made (most of the time). For my husband, the house was always so clean but the kids got a lot of tv time.

    Now we are both working parents with the oldest in school & watched by one set of grandparents for about an hour or so & the youngest watched by the other grandma during the day.

  5. I love your perspective! I think it would be so healthy to switch places with our spouses occasionally to gain insight into their day. P.S. You know me, I’m a SAHM…I’m telling the my husband about the foot rub clause..sounds like the perfect arrangement to me??


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