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A Homemaker's Cottage (Eleventh Issue) by Sonya Haskins.
Featured 14 June 1999 and archived 2 July 1999
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Sonya Haskins is the full-time stay-at-home mom of Sarah, Micah and Christopher. She also writes magazine articles and is working on her first book. Sonya welcomes comments from readers and constantly seeks to meet new moms to interview for the book.

All this material is copyright protected and cannot be used without the written consent of the author.

Do you ever wonder what you did all day before you had children? I wonder. My husband wonders. All our friends with children wonder.

I now get up just after sunrise and start the day. This includes breakfast for the children and myself as well as any miscellaneous picking up I can do. Of course some mornings a little cuddling is in order before I begin the tasks.

Although I stay at home and don't rush off to an 8 - 5 job, I mentally try to arrange how I will accomplish all the tasks before me for the day. This might include laundry, errands, grocery shopping, doctor appointments, always includes dishes, cooking, picking up, and so on. I start these tasks and pick up as I go along.

Each and every day I try to integrate the children into what I'm doing. If I'm mixing recipes, I let them pour the ingredients. (Yes, even a one-year-old can do that.) If I'm putting away the dishes, they hand them to me and I put them away. We enjoy doing the things together and I believe this also teaches them about household responsibilities.

Some days we go to the park or out in the yard and play. These are fun times. Some days we stay in the house and play. Some days we go to a friend's house and play.

Evenings are spent cooking dinner, picking up (a recurrent theme by now, as you can see), bathing the children and getting them ready for bed. By the time the sun goes down, I am exhausted and ready to fall asleep with them, which I usually do.

Since I became a mother, I have had more energy required of me than from any of my previous bosses, any band concert I was ever in (at least they ended), or even the time I ran a marathon (I've never done that again!). Parents must be stamina experts.

I think we all secretly know the answer to my original question...regarding what we did before we had children. The answer is "relax."

Please give all feedback on this column to the author Sonya Haskins.