Sometimes when counseling a mother with a second child I am asked about my daily routine and how I manage to balance house, 2 kids, 1 part time job and 2 volunteer jobs so I decided to write down what a typical day looks like for me during the week. I have the advantage/disadvantage of not having a car so I don’t have to worry about errands such as grocery shopping. Weekends and Wednesdays (if I have a babysitter) look different but this gives you an idea.
All of these activities are done while having a 3 year old asking what something means, to spell something or to say something else.
7:30- Shammy wakes up but he knows better than to try to wake me up so he cuddles me while I snooze.
7:45- Zen wakes up and has his morning “milkie”
8:00- we finally get out of bed and the boys beg to go to the computer room where they beg to watch their preschool videos. I do my best to wake up and catch up on e-mail/Facebook while they do their videos
8:10- we all change out of jammies and head downstairs for breakfast.
8:45 to 9:00- done with breakfast and tidy up a little.
9:00- the boys watch PBS Kids while I shower
9:15- I empty the dishwasher and/or start a load of laundry, the boys usually help with the laundry.
9:45- Homeschooling, reading or playing together with blocks or puzzles. If the weather is nice or the boys have a playdate we walk to the park playground.
10:30- small snack
10:45- the boys have free play while I continue the laundry or do some minor cleaning like sweeping, vacuuming or scrubbing a toilet. I check Craigslist for new daycare/babysitter ads. Call daycares to be disappointed that they don’t have space or I can’t afford their rates. Have mini anxiety attack over not having a babysitter.
11:30- start to cook lunch
12:00- lunch time
12:20- post lunch cleanup and diaper changes
12:30- nurse Zen and attempt to put him down for a nap, lately it can take as much as 45 minutes for him to fall asleep
1:15 I do at least 20 minutes of cardio exercises using the XBox Kinect, Shammy will either join me if it’s an exercise he likes or play with a homeschooling app on his Kindle
1:35-15:00- Shammy will either color, read, practice writing or watch Sprout while his brother sleeps. I will attempt to do some work, return breastfeeding calls, answer La Leche League help forms or do homework, I am not always successful and end up reading a book instead.
15:00- snack time
15:15- play with the boys or they have free play while I try to finish some work or try to talk a breastfeeding mom off the weaning ledge
16:00- the boys clean up whatever mess they made during the day while I do some assorted cleaning such as floors, bathroom, etc or may be talking to a breastfeeding mom that is freaking out about not having enough milk
17:00- start to cook dinner
17:40- hubby gets home, we eat dinner
18:00- Tidy up after dinner, start to load the dishwasher, the boys usually hang out with their daddy.
18:15-19:15- If I am lucky the boys are upstairs driving their daddy nuts and I catch some me time that I spend reading or watching Doctor Who. Sometimes we will take a family walk to the park and let the boys run around and throw a ball for a while.
19:15-20:30- family time, usually in front of the TV :-/
20:30- small snack
20:45- finish loading the dishwasher, take out trash and recycling, bedtime prep
21:00- bedtime for the boys
21:10- mama computer time, usually spent looking for a babysitter online, checking out part time job listings, doing volunteer work such as bookkeeping for Best for Babes or web stuff for La Leche League. If I am specially awake I will read or watch something on Netflix or Amazon Prime.
23:00- I am usually still awake but I drag my rear to bed and toss and turn for half an hour before I fall asleep.
And throughout all of this sprinkle a generous amount of kisses, hugs and cuddles. My past self would be horrified at how much screen time my kids get but I am not perfect and sometimes it’s the best way to ensure that they stay out of trouble while I get something done. As it is my house is never perfectly clean but I do enough here and there to keep it livable and prevent it from getting out of hand.
It has been a while so I’ll give a recap… In the last couple of months we moved to a new house. One that is in a (supposedly) safer and quiet community (so quiet that we didn’t hear fireworks on New Years) and is right next to a park. It is a 2 story house villa which I love despite the inconveniences that living in a 2 story unit with kids brings.
One of these inconveniences is that our computers are upstairs while I spend most of my time downstairs with the boys. This meant that every time I felt inspired to write something it didn’t happen because the computer was no longer in the living room like I was used to. To try to remedy that I have a bluetooth keyboard now so I can write on my Kindle Fire without cursing the touchscreen keyboard’s existence.
Babyproofing a set of stairs when renting can be challenging. We have a pressure mounted gate at the bottom of the stairs which although it won’t stop Zen if he is determined to go up, it does work well as a deterrent and keeps them from trying to play on the stairs. The top of the stairs is still open and after 3 months it hadn’t been an issue until last week when Zen figured out how to climb down, at least he did it safely!
At our new house we converted the master bedroom into a computer/play room and chose a secondary bedroom as our sleeping room. This room has wall to wall mattresses on the floor and no other furniture making it the perfect cosleeping space.
During this time Shammy has made excellent homeschooling process. Since he is only 3 years old I wasn’t pushing any curriculum or lessons, just trying the whole homeschooling thing on for size and it’s been working very well. Shammy is now able to read at a primary school level and is starting to write. I admit to using a lot of technology tools such as ABCMouse for math and social science and Kindle Fire apps for writing. We do reading the old fashioned way though in addition to e-books.
While the holiday season was very enjoyable, it also meant the end of the daycare that the boys were attending 1 day a week while I worked at the WIC office. I didn’t expect it to be so hard to find alternate care but it has turned into a 3 month nightmare. Despite the things we didn’t like about the old daycare we now miss it because it has been so hard to find anything after searching for so long with no luck. Granted, we may have higher standards and a lower budget than some parents but it had never been this hard to find the right match. In the meantime my mother in law has helped out but I can’t count on that as a long term solution and I fear that we may reach the point when I may be faced with having to quit my job (which only has me out of the house 1 day week) because of this.
I did the math and working full time after factoring the cost of daycare and other expenses wouldn’t allow me to provide any extra contribution to the household budget than I do now unless I got a REALLY good paying job, something that doesn’t exists in this area.
This 3rd trimester seems to be flying by, 37 weeks today! I guess it’s a good thing since this round has been a LOT more uncomfortable than my first pregnancy. Despite feeling crappy in one way or another 24/7 I still don’t have the “I’m sick of being pregnant” feeling that a lot of moms talk about. I’m sick of feeling crappy, of swollen feet 24/7, I’m sick of not being able to clean my house even if I want to, I’m sick of having small tasks such as picking toys off the floor leaving me in pain and gasping for air but I’m nowhere near sick of pregnancy itself. Does that make me a masochist?
What I think does make me a masochist is to agree to go to Disney World so late in pregnancy. I had done pretty good at keeping swelling at bay until that uber hot day waddling around a park. Now I have permanent cankles as a souvenir but it was worth it to see the look of absolute joy in my son’s face when meeting his favorite Star Wars character Chewbacca. Chewie was a good sport and gave him a hug before posing for photos.
I’m excited and terrified at the fact that I’ll soon be tandem nursing. Even though Shammy has made great strides in his weaning journey, he is down to nursing twice a day for a short time I’m afraid that he’ll regress to close to a newborn pattern once baby is here. Meanwhile I still enjoy our bond although I admit that sometimes it’s not comfortable, we’ve been having latch issues recently and it’s hard to nurse while having contractions but it’s hard to resist when he asks nicely. Plus he’s still getting lots of immunity from it, he’s been exposed to sick people, even his father was very sick and they had very close interaction yet Shammy remained perfectly healthy, can’t beat that benefit!
Something that I’m a little anxious about is sleep after baby is born, not about how much or when I’ll sleep but rather WHERE I’ll sleep. Right now we have an awesome cosleeping arrangement with a king size mattress and a full size mattress together on the floor, everybody has plenty of room to roll around and lots of room for a new addition and if Shammy rolls off the bed it’s only an 8 inch fall that sometimes doesn’t even wake him up. However when Shammy was born I had a horrible time getting up from a regular height bed, I don’t see any way that I could possibly get up from the floor at least for the first week or 2. I’m dreading having to sleep in the crappy futon but I may have no choice unless a recliner mysteriously shows up in my front door.
As much as I love that Shammy has been able to rear face in his carseat this long and I would love to keep him that way, he is at the max for height for his seat rear facing even though he has many pounds left for weight. Sadly there are few carseats that I can buy that will give him many inches to grow AND fit in the backseat of our car and they’re out of our budget so this month we get to turn his seat around at the same time that we install a second carseat. I admit to feeling a little heartbroken about this but at least he was able to make it to the month of his 2nd birthday rearfacing thus meeting the minimum safety recommendation.
My nesting urge has been stronger this round but it also has been somewhat unconventional. Instead of being obsessed with cleaning (I’m upset enough that I can’t clean what I want) I’ve been nesting by stocking up on consumables like toilet paper and trying to pay some bills in advance to make it easier on hubby while I’m not working.
When people ask “are you scared?”, they usually refer to labor and birth but to be quite honest what I’m terrified about is being home alone with 2 kids for a whole day.
Given my slow rate of writing this is most likely my last post this pregnancy, the next one will probably be a birth announcement, agh!