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I write about what matters...to you---
women, wives and moms---
about your family, faith and future.
I write about what's hard, what helps and what heals.
I show you how it's done. And not done.
I hold your hand as you find what matters to the Savior.
And let go of those things that mattered to you, but not to Him.
I write about what matters...to Him.
               Sonya Contreras

A Day in a Mom's Life


Jeremiah's gemstones

Ever been asked as a mom, “What do you do with your day?” as if, you have nothing to do but sit around twiddling your thumbs and wondering what to do?
A day for a mother of toddlers is physically draining, while a day for a mother of teenagers is emotionally draining.
This might help you see.
It started about 5 AM. I slept in, feeling yucky and sluggish with a headache.
I almost missed seeing my husband leave for work. I spend two hours rotating water sprinklers, (Our pressure isn’t strong enough for all to work at the same time) while pushing laundry through its cycles (my washer doesn’t want to spin all the time), and making sure everyone who needs to leave is able to get in the bathroom.
James’s dog started to have her puppies. I directed Jeremiah to secure an area away from the older puppies we’re watching for another son, so they’d be safe when we leave.
I hurry my youngest along, so he’s ready to leave. (Every step must be reminded.)
Watching my two sons leave for community school, I silently pray they arrive safely and see a purpose for their classes. (Their stories of class time makes me wonder about their purpose too.)
We leave the house shortly after 7 AM.
Just as I leave, one son texted requesting me to find a special calculator for his class.
The hour trip seems less stressful listening to an audio story and talking to God.
We make a special trip to Office Depot. The calculator is out of stock. I’ll have to remember to order it when I get home, so I won’t have to make another trip to town.
We rush through Lowes for a door knob to keep the dogs from opening the back door.
We fly through Smart and Final for the groceries from that store for the month.
We won’t make it to Wineco and Costco before art class, so we’ll make another trip to town another day.
WalMart is our last stop. I help Joshua prepare for his hunting trip. His bow is ready, but he needs more food. There’s too many things that I could worry about his trip, but I push them to the back in my mind as I give them to God. Worry doesn’t protect him. But God will.
In WalMart, I receive a call.  One son is trying to skip a class at community college. He needs his transcripts.
Did we even make them? And where would I have put them? I tell him, “I’ll be home by 2.”
We hurry through the errands and arrive at art class, ready to sit and paint, or for me—maybe just sit. My youngest looks forward to class all week.
During class, my son with the puppies calls. He's returned home from his classes. The poor mother had eleven puppies and can’t make enough milk.
I promise to pick up milk-replacer and a bottle or two before I head up the hill. (I don’t want to make a special trip later.)

I try to relax as I paint but can only think of puppies starving and a son who must get his transcripts ASAP.

We finish art class. Good thing my son suggested drawing gem stones, so it doesn’t have to look like anything real. Because mine certainly doesn’t.
We chug up the hill, I consciously slow down so I don't speed and get a ticket (wouldn't be the first), unload groceries, cramming as much as I can into the house freezer. The freezer stuff has already sat in the hot car a long time during art class.
I remember the transcripts and search for them on my computer files. The computer freezes. As I wait for the screen to do something, I look through my hard-copy files for a miracle (maybe we have a printed copy). I find only a three-year transcript. Didn’t he need four years to get into college? I vaguely remember he started full-time without it. I call my husband for his memory. (I rarely call my husband at work—he’s in “work mode.” I call the front desk, because he won’t answer his phone and wait for him to come out of a room.) He calls back without finding them on his work computer.
In the meantime, my son calls about his transcript. He needs it by 3 PM for his counseling session.
I wonder why I feel like I’m putting out fires all day.
Pounding on my keyboard without response, I decide to change the batteries in the mouse, with no improvement; and wish my headache that started this morning would disappear.
I tried to hand-write his final year, but that looks tacky. I will scan what I have. It’s now 2:30. I feel more pressure. I scan but when I email it to him the printer spouts that “It can’t find the server.”
I look at the time. Yea, the internet shuts down to nothing at this time and there is nothing I can do it improve it.
My son suggests driving down the hill to meet him half-way.
I race down the windy cliff-sides, praying he won’t speed too fast on his motorcycle.
We meet.
I give the needed transcripts (I hope three years are enough.)
I retrace my way back home, more leisurely.
Swimming time (the every day 2 PM event) has come and gone, without swimming. No one asks to go…maybe they noticed how frantic I was to get the transcripts ready. If that's the case, that would be progress. But it's probably they are busy, that makes me wonder with what. . .
It’s too late to think of anything great . . . or good . . . for dinner.
While my throw-together meal cooks, I practice the piano a few minutes so I won’t embarrass myself (again) for the church offering (I’m substituting this month).
I watch my time, so I don’t burn dinner. (Which happens too frequently.)
I remember another son must have a sign for his church event this week. My computer is still slow, but I’m able to type now without the internet, so I make the sign and attach it to cardboard.
My son with the transcripts texts me that “He worked it out. He'll be home late.”
He often stays in the Valley to do his homework, since the internet doesn't work well here.
My husband comes home.
Dinner comes and goes. They praise my dinner, in spite of not-being-great. I wonder at their taste buds, but gratitude keeps grumbling away. For which I’m grateful.
I get a text from another son, who drove five hours north to visit someone. He “arrived, got rear-ended but is ok.”
I text back, “thanks, ok.” I want to call him, but know he’ll call when he can.
My husband reads a chapter of Proverbs for our devotions. I wonder where wisdom fits into my life. My thoughts aren't too coherent at this hour anyway. Maybe wisdom isn't for me after 8 PM.
We wind down for bedtime.
(I'm not sharing with you any of their deeper needs that press on my mind constantly. See It's Not My Story for why.)
Another day is finished.
Or so I thought.
I wake at 2 AM and take some headache medicine.
After searching the house and yard, I realize the motorcycle is not home yet and neither is my son.
I hate to wake my husband, but. . . .
My husband and I talk and pray. And wake the others for any possible text from him.
I do laundry, put away dishes, clean, until he returns after 3 AM repentant for causing concern.
Maybe now I can sleep.
Maybe that day is now over. Should I dare hope?

As I lay in bed I think, “How could I forget to order that calculator?”
At church someone asks what I did all week. I smile and say, “I was busy.”
What would you say?

The lesson?
If you are not carrying a steady conversation with God throughout your day, you will never survive motherhood.
"Pray without ceasing." 1 Thessalonians 5:17



What would you say?

Didn't know whether to laugh or cry, different happenings but same "putting out fires," especially when the kids were in college instead of home school. Why did they always wait until the last minute to print off a paper and "of course," that's the one day it isn't working, so they copy it to a CD and take it along. Seems like it was Always Something! I'll admit, I am enjoying a slower life, still pretty busy, but "usually" not nearly as much pressure, at least until one of the grown kids calls and needs me now! Thanks so much for your articles, I love them (even if I am behind!).

I have often been tempted to say, "Well, I watch soap operas and eat chocolates all day!" But I don't. I try to smile meekly and sweetly, (hard to do sometimes) and say, "My days are busy, but a very happy busy!" and then talk about the weather or something.....Keep up the great work Sonya. Another great article! xoxoxo Helen

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Author of Biblical fiction, married to my best friend, and challenged by eight sons’ growing pains as I write about what matters.

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