Ever so often, someone will ask what I do the whole day, and/or comment that I “must be” very free, especially since I have a helper at home.. Or they ask why I need to have a helper, since there are others (whose kids go to child care or to a school with extended hours? Hello??) who don’t need one. Sometimes it’s hard to give a straight answer, because I don’t know where to go about starting to tell them all the hundreds of things I do a day, while trying to restrain myself from giving a sarcastic answer.
Perhaps they think that being at home with the kids means waking up at a leisurely time, having meals without having to rush, having the time to visit the newest hottest cafe in between shopping, going for manicures, pedicures, attending events, dinners with friends, etc. Well, the reality is far from that!
Join myself and 23 other mummy bloggers write about their day on Mum in the Making’s Day in a Life blogtrain!
So what do we do all day? Here’s what a typical day is like.
7am – Alarm rings. I stumble out of bed, and wake up Mittens. We have to be in school by 750am on Mondays (so I might let him sleep until 730am on Monday mornings). If we’re up early he goes early for silent reading. We get ready, he has breakfast if he’s feeling like it, and we skip and hop across the overhead bridge to the school. We are so lucky to be living so close to the school! Sorry kids, for “depriving” you of the experience of taking a bus. But I’m sure we’d all rather sleep in more!!
740-750am – I arrive back home and collect Abacus to bring him to school, which starts at 8am. Sometimes he is not even dressed or had breakfast, but we still have time to do so. It would be easier if he came with me to send Mittens to school, but he usually likes to play with his toys for a while before he starts his day. If Scout is awake, I will get her changed and she’ll accompany me to the school. We walk all of possibly 100 metres to the school.
805am – 2 kids down, 1 to go! If Scout is not awake yet, I have some time to have my breakfast, or go for a quick run, or I might try walking up some flights of stairs. I’m so unfit and need to lose all that baby fat. Actually I think since baby is coming to 3 years old now, I have to take ownership and stop blaming her. I need to lose MY fat from all that eating.
2-3 times a week we will head to buy groceries, and Scout is an expert at using the self-check out machines at Fairprice. We aren’t in a rush, and it’s enjoyable to only have to look after one kid because there’s no one to fight with. Hurray!
We are usually home by 9am. If we’re not running errands, then we’ll just be at home having breakfast and playing. Today I am checking up on the translation and meanings behind the (apparently) commonly used Chinese idioms so that Mittens and I can learn it together, while the girl plays stamping.
950am – We leave for school (yes, all of 100metres away too) for Scout, and usually the hubby leaves for work at the same time. He walks too.
1005am – 3 kids down, woohoo! If I’m not running errands at this time, I’ll be at home catching up on work, emails, blogging, and whatever. Sometimes I’ll head out for a spot of shopping (I file that under “Errands”, of course), because I love going early in the morning when it’s not crowded. But I also have to figure out what’s for lunch, so either I have to give all the instructions to my helper before I leave, or I will ta bao lunch.
1200noon – The younger two kids finish school at the same time, which is super convenient. I can head down 5 minutes before they’re due to be released, and we’re home by 1210-1215 depending on how fast they walk.
1215pm – Lunch time. Usually it’s a hit or miss. Some days they are full from snack time in school and don’t eat much, sometimes they gobble up everything. I don’t really sweat it, but it’s definitely good if they can eat more!
1230-1pm – Woohoo! Nap time for me! I mean, the kids. Who am I kidding, on some days, I really need this nap, despite a coffee in the morning. Usually Scout is kicking and screaming, which just confirms that she needs it, but all the better because it means she’ll sleep even faster! Lately Abacus has made my job so much easier and will just declare he needs a nap and go down without any resistance.
On occasion, I will let Abacus go without his nap especially if I want him to sleep super early that night night. I know, I’m so manipulative! Most days he will have an hour, an hour and a half. Scout sleeps about the same amount too, which really annoys me because she’s 2 years younger!
130pm – After a 5 minute nap or longer if I’m really lucky, I feel a bit recharged (better than nothing!), and I head out to pick up Mittens. If I’m really unable to drag myself out of bed, my helper will pick him up from school.
145pm – He’s home and has lunch after a shower. Why are primary school kids so sweaty?? After lunch is homework time, and it’s nice to have some peace and quiet to do homework with him without the younger ones playing or fighting for attention or whining. Occasionally Mittens and I might pop out for lunch with hubby, but his work is rather erratic, so it’s hard to have a lunch date.
3pm – Hopefully the younger ones are awake by now, otherwise I would have started waking them up by 230pm. I still want them to be sleeping at a decent hour at night.
If the kids haven’t run off to play with their own toys, I try to get them to sit down and do a little “work”. It’s hard to do anything with 3 kids clamouring for attention all the time, but I really should be doing more with them.
On that note – so glad we don’t and don’t feel compelled to have any other “enrichment” classes.
Depending on the weather and the dinner menu, we might head out to the playground anytime between 3-5pm. If we go earlier, we’ll come back early to prep dinner. My helper isn’t quite the co-pilot on cooking yet, so for some items I have to hover to make sure it turns out decent. If the kids are filthy from playing outside, we might shower before dinner, and I pray they don’t make too much of a mess at dinner.
If it’s Fridays I am more likely to bring them out to the museums, parks, zoos, since we don’t have to rush back to be in bed by 730pm.
6pm – Dinner time! Shower after dinner, and the kids play or read books while I’m taking my shower. I prefer for them to read because if they start playing it’s hard to get them to settle down, but of course they prefer to play rather than read.
7-730pm – 930pm – Start reading time. The earlier the better, because my target for bedtime is 730pm. It used to be 8pm, but Mittens can sleep for a whole 12 hours, so ideally he should be sleeping at 7pm to wake at 7am! I might do lights out at 8pm and Mittens will be asleep in 5 minutes, but if the other 2 had long naps they might not sleep until as late as 930pm. The husband usually has to make an extra effort to be home in time to catch them before they go to bed, and even then I’m usually chasing the kids to bed. I’m anal about their sleeping hours because it’s for their own good.
Once they’re asleep, I might start oiling them with Young Living oils, especially if they have not been feeling well. The hubby calls it marinating the kids 😀
And then I’m finally free! Hallelujiah! Time always passes faster when the kids are asleep, and this is my time to catch up on work, making photobooks of our holidays, surfing, blogging, planning for the next holiday, and generally just enjoying the PEACE.
There is never enough time to do anything. Sometimes by the time I think of going to bed it’s already 1130pm, and then by the time I get Mittens up to have a pee, check all the diapers, etc and make sure all everything is settled, I only get settled into bed past 1230am. If I’m lucky, no one will wake up for milk, nightmares or anything, and we can all sleep through to the next morning. On some nights though, they might wake up one after another, someone has peed in his bed, someone needs milk etc, which leaves me knackered the next day!
But there you have it, I am very lucky to have some alone time each day, but I would hardly call it “very free” what right??? And even though I have quite a bit of time with them, there never seems to be enough time to squeeze everything in!
If you would like to read on how other mothers, SAHMs, WAHMs, FTWMs, PTWMs, and everything else inbetween spend their day, hop on over to Mum in the Making’s Day In a Life!
Next up on the train is Miss Growing With The Tans!
Adeline is a part-time chauffeur, and a full-time entertainer to her almost three-year-old son, Noah. She dreams of having forty-eight hours in a day, supposedly so that she can finish everything that she wants to do, but actually, she just really wants to sleep more. She blogs at Growing with the Tans and do pop by her blog tomorrow to see what a typical weekday looks like for her.