What are you going to do today?
Those are probably two of the hardest questions for me to answer. When I worked a full-time job, they weren't always easy to answer, especially if the person asking knew nothing about database administrator, but in my head there was a concrete answer, even if it was difficult to articulate.
Now that I've been a stay-at-home mom for 3 years (and I truly can't believe it's been that long), my head immediately answers those questions with a bit of a snarky thought along the lines of, "What do you want to hear about first? The litany of messes I cleaned up today, or the baking I accomplished?"
When there are small children at home all day, the monotony can be similar, but at least there is the accomplishment of keeping a small child alive and well for another day. When your kids spend all day at school, a stay-at-home mom can really start to question her value. Or at least I have.
Ultimately, I don't know that I have anything profound to say on this topic. I just wanted to share for anyone who might feel alone in this situation. Now that my kids are mostly tweens/teens, the value of being a stay-at-home mom can feel even less than when you have small children who need your help with homework or want to share about their day. I do think that teens need a parent around who is interested and cares whether they would ever admit this or not.
One thought that I will share is that you really do have to find joy in the doing. I don't make granola bars for an after-school snack hoping that someone will be particularly appreciative for that gesture. In fact, I'm just as likely to hear, "Granola bars AGAIN." The value of the gesture is not defined by the gratitude of the recipient, or lack thereof. The same notion holds true of staying home in service of your family. My value in working here at home, whether I'm cleaning the bathroom, canning spaghetti sauce for a future dinner, or planting yet more succulent shoots into empty yogurt cups, is not defined by whether someone outwardly appreciates that fact. My value is in the doing.