I recently had a friend ask me what my day looks like. I proceeded to give her a brief description of what a regular day entailed, but it sounded too easy. I tried to explain that there was a lot more to it than what I had just described, but I didn’t know how to include all the details without reciting an essay. Well, I’m going to try to write it down tonight. This is what a regular day in the life looks like for me during the week with the kiddos.
6:00- Snooze the alarm 1-2 times until I can force myself to get up and run.
7:00- Get back home and find kids in our bed watching Baby Einstein on YouTube while Luke lays in bed trying to get motivated to greet the day. I jump in the shower while Luke gets kids set up for breakfast. We tag team and Luke gets ready while I finish breakfast with the kids.
7:30- Say good-bye to Luke, hoping deep down inside he’ll come home early from work that night. I don’t want him to go, but I wish him a good day anyway. Jude finishes his breakfast, and asks to get his “day clothes” on since he is still in his undies (his regular nightwear). Attempt to clean Claire’s breakfast off her face and hands, maybe even hair if she’s feeling creative that day.
8:00- Dress Jude. Wrestle Claire so I can change her diaper and clothes. Poopy diapers make this endeavor especially exciting. Kids follow me into bathroom while I try to use potty and wash hands. I get up and Claire goes to exploring the potty and plays with the toilet paper roll. Try to shuffle kids and myself out once my hands are dry. Kids play while I try to get some housework done. Jude’s voice is quickly escalating because Claire is starting to ruin his train track. I leave soapy dishes to intervene and then go back to dishwashing. Claire want to be picked up and starts crying because I do not pick her up. I abandon my station at the sink, and leave the rest of the dishes for later and play with the kids.
9:45- Get myself and kids ready to go to library. Brush teeth and round up sweaters/coats so we can leave. Jude gets frustrated because he cannot figure out how to get his socks on correctly. Finally leave the house, but we are running late. Snack on the run.
10:15- Kids enjoy their time at library. Claire wiggles off my lap during storytime, and I have to play referee during playtime, but kids have a good time. Jude starts saying he is hungry.
11:30- Get back home with kids. Jude reminds me for the 100th time he is hungry. Sit Claire and Jude in front of TV so I can prepare lunch. Eat lunch as Claire shows signs that she NEEDS a nap. Food flies off her tray as she begins to get very tired. I quickly get her cleaned and tell Jude it’s quiet time. Leave Jude in living room with some quiet toys while I go into our bedroom to lay Claire down for nap.
1:00- Get Claire down for nap and fall asleep on accident. Quickly jump out of bed when I hear Jude flush toilet. Tell him to wait so I can get a wet wipe to help him clean his bottom. We wash hands and head into the living room.
2:00- Jude and I work on some science experiments or building and Jude asks for a snack. I tell him that he must wait until after 3:00. We play a little more together and then we both kill time individually while Claire naps.
3:45- Claire wakes up and I get some snacks while they watch a show. I am getting quite fatigued at this point and start counting the minutes until Luke comes home. Kids and I head into their room to play and listen to toddler songs on Pandora.
5:30- Luke is home! Everyone is excited. He changes out of his suit as Jude begs to go outside before dinner. Luke opens the back door so Jude can go play and closes the sliding glass door. Claire gets frustrated that she cannot go out unattended like Jude. Starts to cry. Luke picks her up so they can go outside together while I prepare dinner. Dinner is served and Luke and I catch up on each other’s day. Clear table after dinner.
6:45- Luke bathes kids while I wash dishes and pick up the house. Teeth are brushed.
7:00- Luke takes Claire to get her down for the night, and I get Jude. We watch a few YouTube videos (nature, Rube Goldberg machines, how things are made), and I tell him a story or two.
7:30- We cuddle and when I get up to go he asks that I stay a few more minutes. Sometimes I end up falling asleep again.
8:15- I head out into the living room and Luke and I hang out together or individually. We’re exhausted and want to “veg” at this point.
11:00- Bed for the parents!
And that’s my day, folks! One or two weekend days a week I get some “me” time and work at a local hospital. My shift doesn’t start until 3:30, so I still tag team with Luke until then, but it’s nice to have the help! Note that this is a typical day, and not a day when all hell breaks loose because the kids are sick, teething, or just plain crazy. Those days are very difficult indeed. But, you know, I’m very aware that I am lucky to have the opportunity to stay at home with them. I am very lucky that I have THEM. A former co-worker of mine just lost her teenage daughter this week. There is no way I can even begin to imagine the heartache of losing a child. Parents love their babies no matter what age, no matter how difficult the work is, no matter how tired they may be. Parents invest a lot of time, energy and emotion into these little ones. Parenting is not an easy job, but we wouldn’t have it any other way.