Today’s guest post is from Fiona and she shares her day with us!
A day in the life of …..
5am – Husband leaves for work in London at 5am every day, so the boys are up at the same time. They want to go play downstairs – all I want is another hour in bed, I’ve been up half the night with my youngest Zachariah. It’s gonna be a coffee kind of day.
5:30am – Cbeebies hasn’t even started yet so I can’t plonk them in front of that for 10 minutes but the youngest has got toys out already so they’re happy playing for a while. 2 dogs and 4 cats are vying for my attention, it’s feeding time at the zoo, so I sort them all out and put some coffee on for me and grab the kids a breakfast snack – they can’t eat their ‘proper’ breakfast this early, quite frankly neither can I!
I’m exhausted, I feel sick with tiredness, and I’ve got a ‘to do’ list as long as my arm, an ironing pile as tall as I am and about 3 zillion other things to do. Zachariah, who’s 1, hasn’t slept for weeks, we’ve been having a particularly prolonged episode of sleep regression as he’s just hit his walking milestone and he’s unsettled. I’ve been through this before with my eldest Seth, who’s 3, but he didn’t sleep through until he was 2 and a half and all I can see this stretching out in front of me for another 18 months. Who knows if I’ll make it without collapsing because I’m struggling at the moment.
7am – I get the boys dressed, my eldest is going to nursery for 3 hours this morning and my youngest has got his second settling in session before he starts properly next week. They have some proper breakfast and we have the usual screaming ab-dabs whilst teeth brushing with Seth – I’ve no idea why a child who has had his teeth brushed every day since 6 months old hates it so much, but it seems to be just that he can’t be bothered standing still long enough so I persevere through the meltdown. I grab a shower (30 seconds before they destroy the house) and Zach comes in the bathroom, moves the shower curtain and soaks the floor and himself. I’ll have to change his clothes now. I let them watch some Cbeebies for half hour and we read a book. I answer a couple of emails that I got late last night from client’s and catch up on my social media accounts (important for my work to be responsive to messages and keep up with what’s going on).
8:45am and I pile them in the car to get to nursery for 9am – we play ‘eye spy’ on the way but at the moment Seth’s version is eye spy with my little eye, something beginning with red …. Drop Seth in the pre-school room downstairs and shoot straight upstairs for Zach’s session – I’m staying with him for a few minutes and then going down to the staff room to see how he gets on without me. I’m allowed to use my phone in the staff room area as there are no children in that part, so I catch up on some more work and reply to a few friends’ text messages – I somewhat neglect my own life because I work every spare hour that I have. Freelancing is a hustle all the time. Pitching and rejection, pitching, a little success, writing articles, some will be published, some may never be, researching – it’s time consuming and scary, there’s no guaranteed income like when I was employed but financially I do need to work and earn.
Someone comes and gets me at 10:30 and says Zachariah is fine but shattered and rubbing his eyes so I go grab him, get him in the car, sing songs to keep him awake because I have to go food shopping and I feel bad having to wake him up to put him in the trolley – success, he’s awake when I get there! Rush around Aldi, pick up some stuff I don’t really need from those random ‘middle aisles’ and then shoot straight back to nursery for Seth at 12 noon.
1pm – we’re home and I’ve unpacked the 55 bags of shopping. Even though Seth had lunch at nursery he’s hungry – these boys are big eaters, my food bill is ridiculous. I make lunch for the kids, neglect to make anything for myself so grab coffee and a cereal bar and commit to a healthy dinner to make up for lack of lunch. I neglect myself often, despite my better judgement and awareness, I don’t feel like I can spare the time to sort myself out because it’s more important to sort the boys.
Make mental note to self that I must get better at this. Zach has a little nap as he only slept for a few minutes in the car after picking Seth up.
2pm – I’m working at the laptop at the dining room table, and the kids are in the playroom with the patio doors open, I’m watching them while I work but they’re happy messing in the ball pit – Seth has also put every other toy into the ball pit, and is trying to drag his brother in there too – I tell them about 359 times to please stop dragging each other about and put the toys back because there’s now no room in the ball pit to actually sit but of course they ignore me, and go destroy somewhere else. The house is upside down, I’ve got meetings this week and I don’t know if I’ve got any clean, ironed work clothes – I make sure my husband and the kids have always got what they need for the next day, but of course I check my own stuff last – there are the lunch dishes to wash, a load of washing to put out, a load of drying to get out and fold, dinner to think about, I haven’t hoovered yet today and the clean clothes I took upstairs yesterday are still sat on the ottoman and need to be put away – plus we’ve been doing a full refurbishment to our house for almost 4 years (and in that time I’ve had 2 babies in 2 years) so there is lots of ongoing work and half finished rooms and decorating – I’m sick of it – sometimes I hate the house just because it’s more work and money that we never have.
3:30pm – I play outside with the boys, they have some strawberries as a snack and we pick some tomatoes from the little greenhouse we’ve got – we grow fruit and veg every year and my eldest loves it – we picked our potato crop a few weeks ago and he helped me wash them to use for dinner – kids always seem to be enthralled when they’re eating stuff they planted, helped to grow and then picked. I think about dinner, but don’t come to any conclusions – I wish I was that really organised mum who planned out meals for every day of the week but I just haven’t got the time or inclination.
4pm – I run a bath for the boys, hopefully hubby has set off from work but it can be a long journey out of London and into Essex during the week – it’s only 30 miles or so and lots of people do it, but the traffic is generally horrendous and it’s anyone’s guess what time he’ll arrived home. It can take 90 minutes on a good day, 3 hours on a bad one. The kids splash around in the bath – we always do bath before dinner, this is a routine that really works for us as my eldest goes to bed at 6:30pm and gets very tired after dinner so any other way just wouldn’t be practical for our family. They managed to soak most of the bathroom floor and drench me in the process but such is life. I’ll worry about cleaning the bathroom later or my hubby will do it when he has a shower before bed. I’m past caring about every room been spotless 24/7, it’s not possible and would be more pressure than I need to put on myself.
5pm – The boys eat dinner at the table with me – their dad is sometimes home, often not – so it’s just us 3 but I’m absolutely vociferous about eating at the table for dinner together – when daddy is home it’s a really nice bonus for them. They have chicken breast, green beans from the garden and potato and carrot mash. I’m vegan so I have the veg with vegan sausages. Hubby arrives and joins us for 5 minutes, wolfs down his food quickly so that he can spend some time playing with the kids. We leave the table clearing until later, and their dad plays ‘horsey’ with them – which involves poor Phil on his hands and knees crawling around the room with Seth (and sometimes Zachariah) on his back. We get some more books out and read on the sofa, before an episode of whatever he would like to watch to settle down before bed – usually Paw Patrol or Bob the Builder.
6:30pm – Phil takes Seth to bed, they read a book about machines or diggers or dinosaurs – Seth’s favourite stuff. I give Zach a bottle and put In the Night Garden on for him – that’s kind of his cue to start getting sleepy – it sometimes work, sometimes not but he loves watching it and then listening to the bedtime story. Phil comes down and we have a cuppa, chat about the day for 5 minutes, then start the big clear up and get the house back to some kind of normality.
8pm – Zachariah finally goes down, after fighting it for an hour – we don’t have the television on any normal channels while the kids are up so no news or soaps until they’re in bed – there are just too
many inappropriate things on them, even Emmerdale and Coronation Street (I’m a northerner living in the South so I love my northern soaps lol). We have an hour watching television or doing bits around the house, I jump on the computer and catch up with some work – Phil gets a quick shower and gets the dogs and cats sorted for bed, locks up etc so it’s not such a mission at bedtime.
9pm – Phil goes to bed – he’s up at 4:30am and drives to work so he needs to get a few hours a night as he has a really physical job. It means we don’t get much time together though and our child-free time is really limited – some nights we barely speak to each other. It puts a strain on us sometimes, with 2 young kids and a house that’s a mess a lot, and both working it’s virtually impossible to get any time together and I think we suffer because of it. We say often we need to make more time for us, go out together as a couple more, but we rarely do it. Something always gets in the way, or other priorities crop up and we take a back seat. I think I feel it more than Phil. He gets to be out at work every day, talking to other adults, having some kind of life whereas I’m isolated much of the time. My friends have kids the same age, we can’t meet up very often, I get very little time where the boys aren’t with me – I have to take them literally everywhere apart from the gym (which equates to 2 or 3 hours a week).
9:30pm – Everyone is in bed and I have a glass of wine and crack on with more work writing an article and catching up on emails. I’m really tired and my eyes are struggling but this is maybe my only hour where I’m not trying to split myself into 2 having to watch the kids, or stopping to play with them, and trying to make sure I make enough money this month. It’s a hard balance but I’m lucky that while they’re still so young I get to spend time playing with them and taking them out and can pick and choose what we do and when we do it – it’s just more tricky financially.
10:30pm – I’m done, I go to bed and hope the kids both sleep before it all starts again tomorrow.
Fiona Brown, Mum to Seth (3) and Zachariah (1), Owner of The Mummy Consultancy http://www.fionalbrown.co.uk
You can find Fiona here:
How does your day usually pan out? Let me know below.
Thank you for reading x