So, now that I'm famous, a lot of people ask me what an average day in my life looks like.
What? You didn't know I was famous?? I totally am! My blog got 7 hits last week!! And only two of them were from my mom!!
Just kidding. My mom doesn't even read my blog. I don't think. Mom? Mom, are you there?
SO, not one to hold back, I'm here to pull back the veil on my life. My only caution is this: the life I am about to describe is glamorous and wild beyond what you could ever have imagined. Reading about it may make you green with envy. Also, I just lied.
A Day in the Life:
5:00 am- Alarm rings. Roll over & turn alarm off. Much to husband's dismay, repeat this process 5 times in the next 30 minutes.
5:32 am- Get out of bed. Cry a little on the way to shower. Promise self that I can take a nap this afternoon. (yeah, right)
5:35 am- Get in shower. Ahhhhhhhh. Begin to perk up.
5:45 am- Put pajamas back on (what? its WAY to early to pick out clothes, plus its FREEZING this early in the morning!!!) Get GIANT cup of coffee, get bible, books & journal, get to sofa, get under blanket, make snuggly nest on sofa with my things, ahhhhhh. NOW the day can start.
6:45 am- David brings Henry to Sofa Nest. Kiss Henry, nurse Henry, give Henry back to David for breakfast, getting dressed, and general Daddy Time.
7 am- Drag self out of Sofa Nest. Go to bedroom, get dressed, attempt to manage hair & makeup. Look in mirror. Feel slightly dissatisfied with reflection. Have one of the following reactions: Swear to eat better today, swear to go the gym tomorrow, decide to buy better/cooler/trendier clothes tomorrow, wish my tummy looked like it did before pregnancy, vaguely remember that tummy was not that great before pregnancy either, curse fashion industry for creating false images of perfection that I cannot live up to, remember that I actually love the fashion industry, wish I had enough money to actually participate in the fashion industry, realize that I am now standing in front of mirror, and cannot remember why. Decide to leave mirror. It's not really my friend.
7:30 am- Girls arrive! Hello Darling Daytime Daughters! Get everyone in, get everyone settled, put away food, bottles, diapers for the day, etc.
8:00 am- The whirlwind of managing everyone's excrement begins! Yeah, you heard me. Excrement. First, take A potty. Then, change K. Henry will now be rapidly trying to escape the horror, oh the horror, of having his diaper changed. Catch him. Try to ignore totally disproportionate to the situation screaming, change him. ( To spare you the monotony, this happens every hour on the hour- A is still in training, potty-wise, and K & Henry wear cloth diapers, so I at least check them every hour. This will now simply be referred to as "The Whirlwind.")
8:20 am- Drag everyone into playroom! Yay! You love it in here! It's so much easier for me to manage you! Set up the babies with toys, and have circle time with A. Numbers, letters, colors, shapes, songs, oh my! Occasionally interrupt circle time to separate babies and prevent them from chewing on each other.
9:00 am- The Whirlwind. Put Henry down for nap. Feed K her bottle. Put K down for nap.
9:30 am- Set up A with coloring/painting/playdough/craft/puzzles. OH MY GOSH, as fast as you can, fast fast, fast, before they wake up, clean up from breakfast, reply to all emails, return phone calls, make appointments, prep stuff for dinner, ANYTHING IN YOUR LIFE that you have to do other than taking care of babies, DO IT RIGHT NOW, QUIIIIIIIIIIICK!
10:00 am- Collapse from dehydration and exhaustion. As soon as body hits sofa, expect to hear K waking up. She has radar. Also, she does not like naps. Sad. Get up K, get A her snack. Decide I also want snack... ahhh, NOW I feel better! Tackle The Whirlwind (minus Henry) with renewed vigor!
10:30 am- Henry wakes up. Change him, give him milk. Everyone settles into the living room floor for playtime. Yay puzzles, yay blocks, yay toys.
11:00 am- It's time for a walk! (What? Baby & toddler toys bore me quickly. Don't judge.) First, The Whirlwind. Put on A's coat and shoes. Put on K's coat and shoes. Put on Henry's coat and shoes. Quickly re-put on whatever has been taken off in the last 2 minutes because they are BABY HOUDINIS!! Buckle K in stroller. Buckle A in stroller. Put Henry in Baby wrap. Start the walk! WE'RE OUT OF THE HOUSE!!! HOORAY! IT'S A WONDERFUL WORLD! LIFE HOLDS SO MUCH POSSIBILITY! BIRDS, SKY, GRASS, LEAVES FLOWERS!!
(Alternate possibility: It is raining. We can't go for our walk. Cry, wail, say that life isn't fair. Turn on The View to comfort self. Continue to play with baby toys. Sigh.)
12:00 pm- Whirlwind. Feed K bottle. Bring all munchkins into kitchen. Wash everyone's hands. Buckle Henry into highchair one. Buckle K into highchair two. A can get into her own chair. :) Give A her lunch. Give Henry his lunch. Get K's lunch. Get sippy cups. Sit in between two highchairs, alternately feeding both babies. Sweet Potato lies in wait under table, grabbing whatever scraps fall. A lot of scraps fall. Some are purposely thrown. Whatever. I pick my battles around here. (Side note: what do people do who don't have dogs? do they have to sweep all the food up??? Sounds terrible.) Clean up all children, unbuckle everyone, back into living room.
12:45 pm- Turn on cartoons. I love you PBS kids. Clean kitchen while children are held captive by the Magical Magic of the television.
1:00 pm- Put Henry down for nap.
1:15 pm- Put A down for nap.
1:30 pm- Put K down for nap.
1:35 pm- DO THE HALLELUJAH DANCE AROUND THE LIVING ROOM!!! The Holy Grail of childcare has been achieved! The Simultaneous Nap! Hallelujah!!!!!!!! Now, QUICK QUICK, WHILE YOU HAVE TIME, clean up the house, reply to all emails, return phone calls, make appointments, prep stuff for dinner, ANYTHING IN YOUR LIFE that you have to do other than taking care of babies, DO IT RIGHT NOW, QUIIIIIIIIIIICK! Oh, yeah, and go to the bathroom! Oh, yeah, and make your own lunch! Eat it! Clean up! Talk to David when he calls on his lunch break! Pass out from joy & exertion!
2:00 pm- Now, Sophie's Choice time. There's half an hour left before K will wake up. The choices are:
1. Read current book
2. Watch Real Housewives (don't you dare judge me) while reading blogs and stalking people on FB. Honestly... it's averages to about a 50/50 split between which one I choose.
2:30 pm- K wakes up. Snuggle her, change her, set her up w toys.
2:45 pm- Henry wakes up. Snuggle him, give him milk, change him. Set him up with toys.
3:00 pm- A wakes up. Snuggle her, potty trip, get her snack. While she eats snack & Henry plays, get K her bottle.
3:15 pm- Afternoon playtime! Often, everyone is in a good mood and can entertain themselves with toys and such, with reasonable interference, for a while. Run around, get a few things done, finish prepping dinner stuff if needed. Otherwise, lay on floor and let children climb all over me. What? That counts as playing with them.
4:00 pm- The Whirlwind. Get all the girls stuff together so they are ready to go. Then, storytime! Read board books together. The same 2 dozen or so board books. Everyday. Every. Single. Day.I can recite almost all of them from memory. The useless things that I give my brain cells to...
4:30 pm- Girls get picked up! Shoes, coats, packing bags, hugs, kisses, waves byebye.
4:45 pm- Mama & Henry Time!! There are 3 options:
1. Run an errand. It is so great to leave the house.
2. If the weather is super lovely, go for another walk. Repeat- it is so great to leave the house.
3. Turn on Elmo, lay on the floor together and snuggle/play. Sometimes, slothfulness is better than leaving the house.
5:30- Diaper change. Dinner for Henry & Sweet Potato. More lying in wait. More scraps on floor. More kitchen cleaning. (For me, heaven is going to be a huge kitchen that cleans itself perpetually. Can't wait.)
6:00 pm- Bathtime! Henry's favorite time of the day. I usually sit next to the tub & read a book or answer emails. Is that weird? He doesn't need me, he so darn happy in there.
6:30 pm- Pajamas, milk, playtime.
7:00 pm- Blessed Bedtime. Blessed, blessed, blessed. Henry is never cuter than he is when he is going to sleep at night.
7:15 pm- David gets home! OMG, ANOTHER ADULT! OMG, OMG, OMFG! MUST TALK, MUST TALK A LOT, MUST TELL HIM EVERYTHING, MUST ASK HIM WHAT HE THINKS ABOUT EVERYTHING! IGNORE THAT GLAZED LOOK IN HIS EYES, KEEP TALKING WOMAN!!!
If you are still reading this, I am so totally impressed with your commitment to this post. Even I didn't read this far. I will spare you the details of my life from 7pm to 11pm. I will tell you however, that it involves significantly less diapering.
I'll also say, that I left out a few things in my day.... like the constant wiping of noses, the time-outs, the moments where I turn my back for a nanosecond and all hell breaks loose, the additional dog & cat that need to be fed/pet, what happens if, heaven forbid, I get a phone call, if the doorbell rings, the times when one of the babies is feeling cranky and wants to be held every. second. of. the. day. You get the idea.
Here's the thing... Is it fun some days? Yes. Is it miserable some days? Also, yes. Is it exhausting everyday? Totally, yes. Would I have it any differently? Um, some days, yes, yes, yes! I know I'm supposed to say no, but I'd be lying. Some days I'm dyiiiiing to trade lives with someone, anyone else.
But, this is where I am. This little tiny nook of the world is where I'm making my life, nurturing these children, growing my own spirit, subduing my little plot of earth. And over the past year, especially the past 6 months, I have been searching to make peace with that. To resist the temptation to long for what I don't have. To recognize what a privilege it is to mother my son, to care for these girls, even on the days when it feels more like a punishment. To live fully in the moment, to enjoy what I have while I have it. To be thankful for today, for ALL of today.
Once I heard a great talk on a passage from Jeremiah, and the focus of it was this verse:
"But seek the welfare of the city where I have sent you into exile, and pray to the Lord on its behalf, for in its welfare you will find your welfare." Jer. 29:7
It was kind of a 'grow where your planted' kind of talk, reminding us to be willing to fully give ourselves to the place we are in life, literally as well as metaphorically. I read that verse the other day, and that talk just came flooding back to me.
Sometimes, stay-at-home-motherhood feels a bit like exile. It can be decidedly unglamorous. Repetitive. Thankless. Hidden.
It's constant companionship, yet still solitary. Still lonely. But, this little patch of life, these little bodies, little souls- they are my city. I pray on their behalf. I seek their welfare. And, in their welfare, I hope to find some of my own, too.