A couple years back we did our first A Day in the Life Round up. I and fourteen other West Coast parent bloggers shared what a day in our life was like. We are bringing the series back for another round!
I love a day in the life posts. Maybe because I really genuinely wonder what other moms and bloggers are doing with their day. Maybe because writing this post is more for myself, to document what life is like these days. To remember that though they were filled with sweeping crumbs and buckling up seat belts and treating myself to a nice drink while I did ten loads of laundry on Friday nights – that a day in my life also had this routine that was comforting and left room for kitchen dance parties and couch naps and park picnics.
So here is a day in my life (when Conor is at work and I’m solo parenting for a week), with three kids who are now a fresh 5yr, 3.5 yr, and 1.5 yr!
Did you know that kids have secret meetings about who is going to wake up at 6:20am each morning? They alternate turns, and one of them initiates the gradual wake up of each kid. Thankfully Daylight Savings is messing up their plans lately. I might be the only mom who praises the Spring Ahead. Spring away! If Dawson is still asleep then I take the older kids to the couch to quietly watch tv til he wakes up. I contemplate doing some stretches, that sounds like something productive and healthy people do. I fall asleep instead.
This part of my morning runs on autopilot. Radio is playing, everyone is at the table, coffee is on and breakfast is happening. If we are gonna be out the door at 9 then breakfast is toast with PBJ, or oatmeal. If we have nowhere to be in the morning then it’s waffles or pancakes.
This is also the time I hang out around the toaster and browse through my bullet journal. It sounds totally dorky but if I don’t remind myself of the things I want/need to do that day, or what I want to focus on that week, then I feel like my day is more reactive than proactive and I feel unproductive and cranky at the end. In between dishing out toast, checking out the bullet journal, and sipping on lemon water I usually take the time to also read Jesus Calling. Inside the cover, I see the book was a present to my mom from her friend, but she had long forgotten and gave it to me as a present. One of the best presents she’s ever given me.
The rest of the morning is spent with the kids following me like a gaggle of reckless, hyper ducklings as I pop in from room to room getting myself dressed, doing quick makeup and hair, packing snacks, and returning to the kitchen for second breakfast (it’s a thing).
For a few days each week we take Levi to morning preschool. Getting out of the house each morning has been one of my biggest mom sanity savers so I stay out and about with the other two kids. Most mornings we crash a momfriend’s house, go to the park, have people over, go to Strong Start or Beer League Choir. As long as we are anywhere kid proof so that they can run off and be kids. Then I can just chill with my mom friends, drinking something warm and having random conversations about everything from homemade chicken stock to underwear preferences to childhood cartoons. I really don’t know where I would be without the women in my life, they really are an answer to my prayers.
It’s home for lunch. We stick to a rotating menu of lunch choices so I don’t have to use my thinking brain cells when everyone is lapsing into debilitating hangry-mode. Unless it’s feeling like a ‘special day’, then we might grab burgers and fries on the way home.
After lunch we get the floors cleaned(ish), dishes shoved presentably into the sink and I put Dawson down for a nap. Then I make an espresso and it’s quiet time. (Angels start singing, obviously). This is my time to do online work, it’s my power hour. The older two know they can do anything they want as long as they are quiet. Which might look like some outside play (if I can convince Levi there aren’t bears in the yard), playing at the table with a craft or legos.
Often it ends up with Levi watching a movie and Lenayah falling asleep on the floor or couch. Which then ends up with me cuddling up beside Levi while working on my computer, taking too many pictures of Lenayah napping, convincing Levi he can ward off starvation for another hour and sending Conor random memes of the Office or Nacho Libre as an expression of my undying love for him. Hour! Of! Power!
After a post-nap cuddle with Dawson, we have tea time. It’s a new thing we started in place of ‘snack time’ because I find the mindset of gathering around tea is different than that of water and random pantry mix. Levi isn’t really into tea, but there is usually a sweet treat involved so joins us and sips water out of his special cup that his Aunty Brady made.
Lenayah is most excited about tea time. She loves her little mug of honey, milk and steeped warmth. She loves how we stop everything, gather round the table and check in. I grew up to the soundtrack of a kettle whistling and my mom had a perpetual tea time. I’m sure she wanted it to be something her kids joined in on as she did with her mom. I’m sure I immaturely declined her invites to the table often enough that it became a solitary activity for her. Now each day we have tea time I feel like I am mourning those lost opportunities of having tea with my mom and getting to know her when I was younger. Each day we have tea time I am feeling like I can regain those lost years of connection between mom and daughter as I build up this tradition with Lenayah. Each day we have tea time I’m learning it is about more than just tea.
As tea time wraps up I do the dishes and start dinner prep.
Most moms will agree that this is also the time of day when everything starts to fall apart. Older kids are getting tired from the day, little kids want to do what the older ones are doing, they all want to help make dinner but you just want to be alone listening to a podcast and slicing onions in perfect uniform fashion because you can control onions! Or is it just me?
Slowly, it starts to resemble a toddler frat house. There is music blaring for dance parties, crafts are strewn across the kitchen like confetti, half-dressed kids are in between costume changes, toys are being pulled out of closets and rooms, and for some reason, I have to take off my socks because I’ve walked in some mystery puddle of water.
As dinner is getting ready I might sit and get a couple pages out of my many half-finished books, while the kids build a pirate ship out of couch cushions. Or I might keep adding to the dinner menu yet another side dish while the kids watch all the Daniel Tiger. Regardless of how it pans out, you can bet that Lenayah ends up painting at the table and Dawson is crying at my legs for me to pass him a spare piece of cheese.
On a good night Conor is home by this time and we wait to eat dinner with him. There is no excitement like Dad coming home and I’m constantly thankful Conor is willing to walk through the door and absorb all the kids’ energy. I think I will forever have this mental picture of him in his coveralls, sitting at the table trying to eat dinner while it is still warm, all while responding to three little voices telling him bits and pieces of their day and vying for a seat on his knee.
In between pajamas and tidying up toys there are floor parties, books, bedtime snacks, a pre-bedtime show (right now we are watching Human Planet, usually it’s a cartoon), and me reminding Conor not to rile up the kids before bed. He never listens. I pretend I care and play the bad cop ushering kids into their beds for songs and negotiations about leaving the door open.
I’ve also learned that by 7:15pm every toddler in our house is on the edge of fatal dehydration. Fatal! Every night I heroically save their lives with benevolent sips of water and hall passes to the bathroom. I’m pretty sure they will nominate me for Mother of the Year from these merciful acts of parenting, but I think they are still upset I wouldn’t let them have a face-painting competition with my Urban Decay eyeshadow palette, so probably not.
Conor and I usually clean the kitchen, and if it’s early enough, we have a nice drink and watch us some Netflix (we are deep in Scandal right now . . . if you are my in-real-life friend you are probably sick of me talking about it, so you should just watch it and know). Sometimes Conor heads to the gym and I find myself doing some yoga, browsing videos of tiny homes on youtube and texting my momfriends – who are all sitting with our phone in our hands to catch up now that we are without distractions and demands.
Conor is usually off to bed. I know I should go to sleep too because I have this ridiculous goal of becoming a morning person. I also have this goal of doing things I love to do. I stay up because this is my most indulgent time and I want to be selfish with it. I do a bit more work online, eat a snack and cap it off with a possible shower.
I lay in bed wondering why I didn’t go to bed sooner. I have this mental tug of war over getting more sleep and spending the nights to do all the things I want to squish into the day. Then I stack an end of the rope with the ‘meh’ factor and the tug of war stops. I mean, sure I didn’t eat enough vegetables or keep the house spotless. I probably lost my temper with my kids or handled a sibling spat poorly. I know I gave Conor side-eye when he initiated another tickle session with tucked-in kids. And of course, I spent way too long looking for the ‘best’ image for a blog post that might not get much traffic. But these days are full and tiring and I want to mine them for all their goodness and tough lessons alike. Because I believe that nothing is a loss in our lives – no matter how we spend them. Every day you can do something that your future self will thank you for. Every circumstance in our lives is working towards something, every day is another step, and we can be part of that by letting ourselves live passionately and purposefully. Even when the purpose is to do 10 pushups that day, or tell your husband you love him in 3 different ways (bears, beets, and Battlestar Galactica)
So I tuck in, load up the kindle and read until my eyes tell my brain that I can’t read ‘just one more chapter’. . . . and we start again tomorrow.
5 More A Day In The Life Of Posts for You
Now it’s time for some more Day in the Life Of posts from my Canadian blogging friends. Get ready for some wonderful inspiration on what these phenomenal women do every day:
Karen: A Day in the Life of Spill It Mom
Codi Lyn: A Day in the Life of Creative Wife, Joyful Worker
Tamara: A Day in the Life of Discovering Parenthood
Michelle: A Day in the Life of a Stay at Home Mom
Holly: A Day in the Life of a Working Mom