I am so stoked about this new feature! It is a five part series featuring a snapshot into the lives of 5 mums with very different parenting lives. First up is a Stay at Home Mum and who better to give you a glimpse into this (far from)glamourous life than ME!!! Here’s an average day in my life with the time rounded off because it just looks neater that way…
5:30 – I wake up because the room is so damn bright. We don’t have a bathroom door to the en-suite(which will be rectified VERY soon) so the light from the window is super bright even with the blinds closed. It’s also crazy hot. I love you Summer but this is just getting ridiculous. I should get out of bed and do some exercise since I’m awake already…instead I pull out my phone and open iBooks.
6:30 – My alarm goes off. I hit the Stop button as fast as I can so that it doesn’t wake the baby then lay in bed a little longer.
6:40 – I roll out of bed and head to the loo while wondering when did I get so old that I wake up with back and neck pain every morning like a geriatric.
6:45 – Quietly make my way to the kitchen after changing out of my pjs and into something
unfashionable comfortable to put the kettle on for our breakfast oats. While that’s boiling I tidy up the lounge and dining room.
6:55 – I remember that I didn’t actually make the oats so I hurry back to the kitchen to pop some in the microwave. Once it’s done I divide it into three bowls so that it’s cool enough by the time the girls are ready to eat.
7:05 – I grab A’s lunchbox from the fridge and fill her water bottle then pop both into her school bag before going to wake her up. All of this is done in super stealth mode so as not to disturb E.
7:10 – The waking up process begins. A is not happy to get out of bed (I feel you kid) so I give her five minutes to slowly accept the inevitable. I pick out her clothes in the meantime. Then I hear a scream.
7:15 – E is up and not happy to have woken alone. I carry and console her while checking that A is up and out of the bed. The three of us head to the bathroom to brush our teeth because it’s a morning ritual and MUST be done together or the day starts going downhill. Kids love routine.
7:25 – The tv goes on to keep both girls in one place while they have their breakfast. I eat quickly then change A out of her pjs and apply her sunblock while she eats.
7:40 – Time to leave for school! E stays with hubby because she hates car rides and sitting in traffic with her screaming isn’t the best way to start a school day.
8:20 – It takes us 40 minutes to get to school even though it’s less than a 5km drive. We listen to audio Disney books on the way there and chat about random stuff. It’s kinda cool actually except that I drive a manual car and my left leg is going to look like The Rock’s soon. Hugs and kisses for my big girl with a little pep talk before I head back home.
8:40 – Back home. Luckily it only takes 8-12min on the way back. E is highly excited to see me but also a bit miffed that I left her behind so I sit with her on my lap for a bit and watch some cartoons. Baby snuggles are the best!
9:00 – I sneak off the couch so I can vacuum the living area and kitchen. Apparently I’m not very good at sneaking because E is right behind me and trying to ride the vacuum cleaner. It’s also time to load the washing machine. How we can use so many towels and clothes I will never know. Hubby is still at home so we get some time to chat while we’re getting ready for the day.
9:35 – Hubby leaves for work and the tv goes off. Time to play with the little one. We have a tea party but she insists on drinking both of our imaginary tea. Poor me! I love our one-on-one time together. It’s so difficult to get that quality time when you have more than one child. She is growing so quickly and knowing that she is the last child we will have makes everything she does extra special and somewhat bittersweet.
10:15 – E is starting to get crabby. I make her a bottle of milk and take her to bed. I lay next to her while she drinks her milk and rolls around getting dozy. While she’s doing that I catch up on some social media (WhatsApp, Facebook, Instagram) I usually spend longer on there than I need to. Damn addictive stuff!
10:45 – I remember that I didn’t put the clothes on the line. I want to kick myself because it is now BOILING outside with temps reaching almost 36 degrees Celsius. I get about a third of the clothes on the line when…
11:05 – I hear a mournful ‘Moooooooorm’ from the room. E is up. It’s too hot in the room for her to have a nice long sleep. I give her an ice lolly to keep her busy while I check the fridge to see what’s there for lunch. Not enough leftovers from supper so I put the oven on to make some crumbed fish. While that’s happening E and I make our way through another round of ice lollies and play with some toys. The lounge now looks like a toy explosion.
11:50 – The fish is ready just in time. I take it out and rush to put some shoes on and grab my handbag to go fetch A. Then I smell something suspicious. I look at E and she is smiling at me and pulling at her nappy. Why do kids always make a poo when you’re about to leave??? I change her with one hand while using the other hand to prevent her from rummaging around in her now stinky nether regions. She of course finds this hilarious and tries even harder.
12:05 – Clean nappy on and both our hands well scrubbed, we rush to the car. I hate being late to fetch A up. I know she waits for me and I never want her to wonder if I’m coming to get her or not.
12:15 – We get to school in 8 minutes and I curse the morning traffic again. I unstrap E and we go into school to get our third musketeer. She is so excited to see us and seems to have had a good day. We fetch her bag and bottle from the locker and she carries both while I carry E. When we get to the car I let A in and close the door. Then I go around and strap E in. Then back to A to strap her into her car seat and it’s time to head home. I’m quite hot and sweaty by this point.
12:35 – We’re home and it’s straight to the bathroom to wash hands and faces. I give them both ice lollies to cool down (yep, we go through about 80 ice lollies a week) And while they chase each other around I get lunch on the table. We always eat together. It’s something I go out of my way to make sure we do because it’s such a great way to connect with each other without any distractions. We have a strict ‘no phones’ rule when we’re at the table.
13:00 – Lunch Time. A tells me about her day and E throws about half her food on the floor. My stern ‘No!’ Gets repeated with a giggle and I can’t keep a straight face.
13:30 – I put a cartoon on while I clear the table. It’s so hot that we’re restricted to the lounge where the aircon is on full blast but still not making much of a dent in this heat. We veg on the couch for a bit but they don’t sit still for long. I leave them to play and check social media again. Part of being a blogger means constantly checking for messages or uploading a post on one of the platforms.
14:10 – What the hell?! Where did the time go?? I hate social media. The girls are now a bit grumpy from the heat and general tiredness. It’s time for E‘s second nap and she’s rubbing her eyes. I don’t like this part of the day because I have to leave A alone to watch TV while I make E sleep and I know she gets very lonely. I make a bottle of milk and tell A to wait in the lounge and not to come to the room. I put Doc McStuffins on for her and give her a bowl of mini pretzels to snack on
14:30 – E has drank her milk and is laying down quietly next to me about to fall asleep. I see the door open and A is peeping at me. I make slow shooing motions to tell her to go back to the lounge. E sees me and wakes up. This happens about three times before I use my shouty voice to tell A to stay in the lounge. E eventually falls asleep on my chest. I wait a bit then move her to the pillow.
15:00 – I go to the lounge and hang out with my poor, lonely daughter who is now sad because I shouted at her. I make amends then we draw and chat and it’s lovely. It’s possible that we have another ice lolly.
15:30 – E is up. While they play I take out stuff for supper and start on the prep. I don’t get very far before I hear crying. One of them pinched the other and they’re not friends anymore. I stay to mediate but they’re both grumpy. It’s time to take the fun outdoors and work off some energy.
15:45 – We go outside and I open the sandpit for them to play. The cats wake up and lazily walk outside for the first time today. Being outside makes the girls (and myself actually) instantaneously happier and the grouchiness evaporates. While they’re digging about in the sand I fill water in the water table for them.
I’m feeling hot and lazy and try to not get involved in their playtime. Then I feel guilty and help look for stones to decorate a sandcastle. E is still very little at a year and two months so she’s often getting in trouble for pinching or breaking sandcastles. I have to scold her enough to satisfy A‘s sense of being wronged but not enough to make her think I’m angry. It’s a fine line. This is my favorite part of the day. I love seeing them getting messy and having fun. A wants me to chase her but I insist the grass is too poky when I’m actually just too lazy. I justify my laziness to myself by saying that I have to keep an eye on E to make sure she doesn’t eat anything weird.
16:30 – Husband returns from work!! We’re all super excited to see him. We chat a bit together then he watches the girls while I go in to make supper
16:45 – I hear crying. The little one is looking for me already. I go into turbo mode to get everything ready. Quick and healthy is my cooking style. We eat a lot of stirfries and oven roasted meals for this reason.
17:15 – Supper is ready. I go outside for the last bit of playtime. The girls are so excited I’m back that you would think I was gone for hours. I love them so much. They are now covered in sand and missing most of their clothes. They look beautiful. I leave the bedroom sliding door open so that they can go in and out while I get their bath ready.
17:30 – I pop them both in the bath for a scrub and soak. Hubby empties out his car and does a bit of unpacking. We still have boxes that need to be put away. (We moved house three weeks ago).
17:50 – I take the girls out and change them into their pjs with lots of giggles.
18:00 – Bubble Gubbies (aka BarBar) goes on while A helps hubby set the table for supper and I have a quick shower.
18:20 – We sit down to eat. I feed E from my plate because she has gotten into the habit of flinging her entire bowl of food when she encounters something she doesn’t want to eat. Not cool. I can see the girls are tired now. They’re getting quieter and E is starting to get irritable.
19:00 – I take E to bed and hubby takes A to her bed. I’m back on social media to see what I missed. I can never keep up 🙈
19:15 – E is out for the night. I go to A to tell her a bedtime story. Once I’m done it’s her dads turn to sit with her until she falls asleep. I go to the lounge and plonk on the sofa. I’m pooped.
19:30 – Hubby is out of the room and we chat a bit.
20:00 – I load the dishwasher and remember the balance of the clothes still in the washing machine. Ugh. That’s tomorrow’s problem.
20:30 – I make A‘s lunch for School the next day and put it in the fridge ready for the morning,then tidy up the kitchen
21:00 – We both have so much of work to do but decide to watch a movie instead. We don’t have a babysitter since moving to Jhb so date-nights-out no longer exist for us. This is how we now have our dates. Together on the couch, watching a movie on the laptop and sharing a set of earphones. It’s quite lovely.
00:00 – Omg. Why did we watch such a long movie! (It ended up that long with breaks in between to check on the girls, make some tea and just have random chats) I kiss hubby goodnight and head to bed. He will be up another two hours or so doing his work. He always puts family time first even if that means he only gets about four hours of sleep a night. He’s really such a great dad and husband in so many ways.
00:30 – I can’t sleep. I remember the book I was reading that morning and decide to read one more chapter
02:45 – Crap. I accidentally read the whole book. I’m gonna regret that in a few hours…
I love being a stay at home Mum. Yes I miss my financial freedom and just freedom in general but spending so much of time with my girls is worth all the crappy housework I have to do. They are growing so fast and I know that they will stop needing me as much way before I am ready to not be needed. While I am still their favourite person and the keeper of their secrets I will treasure my time with them as the gift that it is.