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Find out what I do all day as a stay-at-home mom! Bonus included: My all-time favourite recipe for a classic apple tart courtesy of “Behind the Half Door: Stories of Food and Folk” by Brighid ‘Biddy’ McLaughlin and Kady O Connell.
“But what do you do all day?”
“How do you put up with the kids all day?”
And my favourite:
“Why don’t you get a real job?”
An amazing thing happened when I quit my job and became a full-time homemaker. Suddenly, all of the pressures I felt to keep house melted away and I wanted more responsibilities. The perilous balance I had struck of working, meetings, caring for my daughter, and maintaining a happy home was nearing its use-by date. I couldn’t do it forever. I had to take days off work just to fit workouts into my schedule. Working two jobs is not fair.
Now, my weeks are open-ended and I don’t even know what day it is most of the time because I’m not living for the weekend anymore. Can you even imagine that? Not living for the weekend – such a free and radical idea. It doesn’t bother me if I vacuum on a Saturday or fold laundry. It doesn’t bother me if my husband asks for a snack once the kitchen is closed in the evenings. I am so happy to do it! This is how it feels to not end each week with an empty cup.
I’m a typical Type A who likes structure, and routine, and has a keen penchant for making to-do lists. But I can become extremely uptight if I don’t allow space for flexibility. So, I’ve devised my working week up into ‘themes’ and I can choose whichever theme I like on the day.
In the midst of any number of tasks listed above, I make time for all the typical necessities for running a household, like cooking, washing dishes, and baths. I have time for myself most days thanks to naps. This precious hour is for me to use however I please. Sometimes, I read or make a nice lunch, or simply stare out the window while sipping a hot tea.
The benefits far outweigh the alternative lifestyle. The majority of our meals are homecooked and made from scratch, I’m never behind on laundry, and the kids get to spend every day at their leisure focusing on what matters to them. They play and follow me around everywhere, getting involved with everything I do. When I’m rested and thriving, my family is too.
An apple tart is an Irish institution. Here’s Nell’s Apple Tart from one of my most beloved cookbooks “Behind The Half Door: Stories of Food and Folk”
The recipe called for a much bigger tart than I wanted so I used the leftover shortcrust pastry to make a blackberry and apple galette.