Weekly Column: A Day in the Life

©Stephenie Freeman

Did catch the episode on Oprah last week where “Cutie Pie Nate”, Oprah’s interior decorator extraordinaire, played daddy for a day? Nate was summoned to help out a stay-at-home mom who was in need of a break. Nate stepped in, took over, and sent this mommy off for a day of shopping and lunching with friends. She made him a list of everything that she was planning on doing that day, grabbed her purse, and was out the door within minutes leaving her kids with a virtual stranger.

I can’t say that I blame her.

When I first saw the previews for the episode, I thought that it sounded like a nice idea. I was looking forward to the show, having DVR’d it so I could watch it in peace with a glass of wine, which is exactly what I did.

Yes, I watched with anticipation, waiting for Nate to fall flat on his face. I wanted his day to be a disaster. I wanted Nate to complain about how hard everything was; for him to beg for mercy. I wanted visual vindication that my job is absolutely one of the hardest in the world.

Instead, after running a handful of errands and emptying the dishwasher, Nate looks at the camera and simply says, “This isn’t so bad.”

I laughed out loud. Spoken like a true dad, even if he was only pretending for the day. Three hours into the day and all he can think to say is, “I don’t know what this woman was complaining about. I think this job’s pretty easy.”

The day goes on and things start to catch up with him a little. Nate starts looking a little tired and even admits that he feels like a train ran over him. By dinner time he’s lost all of his enthusiasm and instead of cooking a healthy dinner chooses take-out instead.

Not so fun anymore is it Nate?

I’ll admit that I was happy to see Nate admit defeat and finally sing the praises of stay-at-home moms everywhere. I couldn’t help but think about how at the end of the day Nate went home to total peace and quiet to sleep soundly, without a child waking him up in the middle of the night. He probably even got to sleep in the next day. He didn’t have to wake up and do the whole damn thing all over again.

Newsflash Nate: Mothers don’t get worn out because of one busy day. We get worn out because we are constantly repeating that busy day over and over and over again in mind numbing fashion. Here’s what a typical day looks like at my house. Take last Tuesday for example:

Hit the snooze button three times.
Took a shower. Actually put on makeup.
Made breakfast.
Packed Cheese’s lunch.
Dressed the boys.
Brushed their teeth.
Bushed my own teeth.
Fed the dogs.
Dropped off the kids at school.
Headed to the Cheese’s classroom to volunteer.
Returned emails, played around on Facebook, and worked on volunteers for the Fall Festival.
Picked up the Monkey from preschool.
Made lunch.
Started a load of laundry.
Made the beds.
Took out the trash.
Scooped poop in the yard.
Washed my hands before getting the Monkey a snack.
Burned the microwave popcorn.
Wished I hadn’t already taken out the trash.
Picked up the Cheese from school.
Etcetera, etcetera.

At this point in the day it was only three o’clock in the afternoon and I still had miles to go. May I also point out that I refrained from listing the 457 times that I had to tell a child to hurry up, stop bothering his brother, drink his milk, or put on his shoes. I also did not include how many times I got in and out of my car, picked up a toy, put something away, cleaned up a mess, or flushed a dirty toilet.

Hey, Nate. You want some wine? I do.

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