“So, what’s on the agenda for today?”

He asks me this question every morning as we get ready…

He showers, shaves, gets all handsome and fancy, smelling good in his collared shirts and slacks, while I put on the cleanest pair of yoga pants I can find and brush my teeth quickly before my 4-year-old boss comes barreling into our room.

“Ummm… surviving?”

That’s usually my answer.  Because as a stay-at-home mama with a 4-year-old, a 1-year-old, and a bun in the oven, I’m honestly trying to survive over here.  I’m not out running an office or making big decisions or changing the world…we’re mostly getting through the day without too many timeouts, without too many tears or boo-boos, counting down the hours until DADDY’S HOME.

He laughs, responding with, “No, what are y’all really doing today?”

One look tells him I am serious.  That we will be surviving.  We are not setting out on some Instagram-worthy adventure, I am not recreating something I saw on Pinterest (people really do that?)… I am keeping your children alive.  I will feed them and clean them up and play with them and keep them from tackling each other, then feed them and clean them up again and pray they nap and feed them again and clean them up some more and play again and then I will celebrate when you get home.

Now, we do have some pretty awesome adventures…some social media-worthy moments, some days where I pat myself on the back thinking, “I was a heck of a mom today.”  But those days are not every day, those days are not most days.  Most days, we survive.

And then, it happens again, when he walks in the door after work…

“So, what did y’all end up doing today?”

You see, I only became a stay-at-home mama a little over two years ago.  I went from working full-time, to working part-time, to staying home all the time.  (High fives to all the mamas, because no matter how you slice it – if you work all day and then come home to be a mama, if you work part of the day and spend the rest of the day being a mama, or if you spend all day, every day being a mama – it’s all hard, y’all.)

And while I truly wouldn’t change it for the world, becoming a stay-at-home mom was a tough transition for me.  I’d gone from being in an administrative position in an elementary school, to being the boo-boo-kisser and peanut-butter-and-jelly-maker.

So when my husband asks me what we did today, the truth is…

I got Cameron Kate up and dressed and convinced her to let me brush her hair.

And got Everette up and changed his diaper while he screamed for “MUFFINS PLEASE!!”

And made breakfast for CK while E scarfed down his muffins, screaming for “MORE MUFFINS.”

And then I did the dishwasher while inhaling a banana.

And went to do a load of laundry, realizing there was already a load in there I forgot to start.

And I kissed a boo-boo.

And got a bandaid for said boo-boo.

And cleaned up the toys from the morning.

And we went for a stroller walk.

And I made a doctor’s appointment.

And paid an online bill.

And got the kids a snack.

And took CK to swimming lessons while dealing with an impatient toddler.

And ordered pictures for E’s baby book.

And put CK in timeout.

And made the kids lunch.

And put E in timeout.

And then vacuumed while eating my own sandwich while bouncing E on my hip because he must be teething or something (HELP).

And read the kids books from the library.

And put them down for naps.

And squeezed in a quick workout video, prepped dinner, and checked my email.

And got the kids up, feeding them a snack while I called the insurance company.

And stared at the clock (because why are the hours between post-naps and daddy getting home SO LONG).

And tried to convince CK that the number “eleventeen” does not exist.

And nor does twenty-ten.


And started cooking dinner.


And I run and take a quick shower, we eat dinner, I do the dishes while T gets the kids ready for bed, we split bedtime duty, and then hellooooo ice cream and couch and trashy reality tv with my husband.

But usually, I’m asleep in like 20 minutes.

So, no, I didn’t change the world today.

But that’s okay.  My “accomplishments,” my “what-I-did-today’s” may not always be visible, or tangible, or worthy of celebrating…

And every day I tell myself that it’s okay – that it’s enough.  That I am enough.

I am the meal-making, dish-doing, house-cleaning, laundry-folding, boo-boo kissing, book-reading, errand-running, activity-planning, appointment-making, milestone-documenting, budget-keeping, letter-teaching, present-buying, party-planning, grocery-store-going, dinner-cooking mama and wife.

And right now, that is enough.

I don’t have a boss patting me on the back, telling me, “Good job! Way to fold that laundry!”  And I don’t have a paycheck to take to the bank.

But I do get paid in the best possible way.

It comes in the form of a husband’s smile when he walks through the door… a little girl squeezing her mama’s hand when she’s scared… a toddler who needs a kiss after he’s fallen down.  And a home that I take pride in keeping warm and happy and afloat amid the wonderful, brutal, beautiful chaos of our lives.

Today, we survived.  Today, I was a mama and a wife.  And it was enough.


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Jessie Peele
Jessie is a happy-hour-loving, cupcake-eating, running-obsessed, reality-tv-addicted single mama, currently living in Carrollton, GA. She was born and raised in Columbia, SC, attended Clemson University (Go Tigers!), and taught elementary school for about ten years in Winston Salem, NC. Life brought her to Carrollton in January of 2014, and after four years in Georgia she's still getting used to living in a small town. Jessie was a stay-at-home mama for 3.5 years, but when life took an unexpected turn, she became a divorced mama who found her way back to the classroom. With three kids in tow (Cameron Kate, 7, Everette, 4, and Brooks, 2), she is now a full-time elementary school teacher and a part-time skincare business owner via Rodan + Fields. In the nooks and crannies of her day, she loves running (bonus if it's WITHOUT the stroller!), binge-watching on Netflix, baking and eating anything sweet, drinking a good craft beer/vodka cocktail/cold margarita, and blogging about all things mama-hood on her blog Cupcakes & Running Shoes: http://cupcakesandrunningshoes.blogspot.com/.


  1. It’s more than enough! Your kids’ childhood is going to be memories of you making muffins and teaching them to count and fixing their boo-boos. It is hard and beautiful all together.

  2. Kudos to you for finding joy in the chaos! When making that transition away from working outside the home, no one tells you that toddlers make the worst bosses ever. “Enough” really is enough ๐Ÿ™‚

  3. I LOVE love LOVE this article!

    I feel the same way… all the time. I work outside the home, but always wonder if I’m doing enough with my little one and my older two, am I being the best Mom/Wife/Employee I can be. And how can I possibly be good at all of those things?

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