What American society says I should do daily:
1. Feed the kids a nutritious breakfast
2. Do flashcards with my 4 yr old; review colors with my 2 yr old; language development with my 1yr old, all while cleaning the breakfast dishes
3. Go to story time at the local library
4. Go to playgroup at the local park. Remember to cheer each and every time my kids go down the slide because it's obviously all their doing and not gravity. Oh and talk with the other moms about nothing but our children.
5. Have a well balanced lunch
6. Nap for the little one; arts and crafts for the older two; laundry, housework, etc
8. Bath, books, bedtime
9. Clean kitchen once again
10. Time for mommy (to research which kindergarten is the best and how I can push my kids to the limit academically. It's never too early!)
What I actually do with my day:
1. Give the kids a nutritious breakfast.
2. Let the kids watch cartoons (yes even the 1 year old) while I thoroughly enjoy a cup of coffee
3. Morning nap for baby, I take a nice, hot shower and tickle a few bellies or toss them over and over again on my bed while they giggle
4. Run errands for myself; stop by the park on the way home to let the kids get totally dirty and slide a billion times. Since the park is near railroad tracks, we have to go explore the tracks too in the hopes that a train will pass. (No luck today though.)
5. Realize that I stayed too long at the park, so lunch will have to be veggie burgers from Burger King. I only allow fast food once every two or three months but only b/c my tummy can't take too much of it.
6. Nap time for 1 year old, 2 and 4 year old run around and play on their own while I surf the web and/or read a good book. Quickly clean the kitchen and perhaps vacuum. (If not, the cleaning can wait until Saturday.)
7. Go to the gym by myself after the husband comes home from work.
8. Nutritious dinner cooked either by me or the husband, clean up the kitchen with help from the kids
9. Bath, books, bed
10. Spend time with a good book, sew, knit or do whatever I want.
A few reasons for this list comparison---Ladies, take plenty of time for yourself because if mama ain't happy, ain't nobody happy. Let your kids play freely because they'll have all the time in the world to learn when they're in school. We worry too much about being perfect when we should worry about being perfectly happy.