I’m just a mom, trying to get through this life one day at a time. This is my “day in the life.”
Some days I nail this mom thing, other days I crawl into bed licking my wounds and hoping that my children’s future therapists defend my parenting at least a little bit. I try not to let the “mommy wars” get to me because in the end, all that really matters is that my children are growing into decent human beings, but that doesn’t come without constant self-criticism and pep talks.
Here’s how my day shakes out:
6:30 AM– My husband wakes me up bringing me a cup of coffee. I know, settle down ladies. This is real. Every morning this happens. It’s ridiculous. I probably should be delivering more in the bedroom because let’s face it, I’m tired and grumpy and so is my husband, but yet each weekday morning there is my coffee. Yes, I will surprise him tonight with a quickie and everyone will be happy! I think about this while I reach for my phone and do a quick scroll to check the scoop for the day. Then I peel myself out of bed, wash my face that I neglected to wash the night before and throw on some exercise clothes while greeting my sleepy babies. It’s gonna be a great day! I love my life! I really need to wash my face every night.
7:15 AM– “Have a good day!” I say to my husband as he walks out the door. I turn back to my children and their partially eaten breakfasts. We have to get out the door in 5 minutes and teeth aren’t brushed yet. I coach myself to keep it cool because I know if I start to panic, things will go downhill quickly and everyone will leave the house in tears- and I have to get them out the door and fast. I sip my coffee and plan my strategy, “do you want me to pack your breakfast to go?” One does, one doesn’t, but either way, it gives me the opportunity to usher them off to brush their teeth. I only need to remind them 7 times that they should be brushing their teeth and not making faces in the mirror.
This I call a win!
This morning I feel like a good mom because no one is crying, I kept my cool and the kids get on the bus on time. Some days it goes differently and I spend the next hour berating myself and feeling guilty that I’m not more patient, more loving, more kind.
7:45 AM– I’m standing at the counter making a list. Today I need to menu plan and grocery shop, get a workout in, write a blog post, and clean the bathrooms. Oh, and I should throw a load of laundry in (runs to the basement to throw in laundry). Oh and pick up the dog food. Okay, what time is it? If I work out first I can clean the bathrooms and then take a quick shower. I’ll eat something after the shower and then I’ll menu plan and grocery shop, because everyone knows you save money when you don’t grocery shop on an empty stomach! And I can write when I return… I really should start making my kids homemade snacks. It will be less expensive and healthier. We do have to reduce the sugar intake in our home. What can I make that is healthy and my kids will eat? I should look on Pinterest. Decision made: I’m gonna menu plan first. Let me check Facebook really quick though.
2 hours later…
10:00 AM– Okay. Menu planning is done and I found a great way to clean the dishwasher while I was on Pinterest! I haven’t done that in a while, so I’m just going to do that and then clean the bathrooms. I should probably eat something. After scouring the cupboards I realize I haven’t gone grocery shopping and thus, there are no fresh fruits or vegetables. I eat one of the kids’ rejected cereal bars that I had bought on sale and thought would be delicious. It tastes like dry crumbly cardboard with old fruit inside. No wonder they hate them. I’m never buying these again!
See, I really should make cereal bars myself. Did I put the ingredients on my list?
11:00 AM– Dishes are done! Dishwasher is clean, bathroom is good to go. (Runs to the basement to switch laundry from washer to dryer). Hmm. I haven’t worked out. What happened? Well, I should still shower before I go grocery shopping, maybe I can work out later. And cleaning burns calories, right? Plus I only ate that cereal bar. I wonder how many calories were in that? It’s okay. I can play outside with the kids later. That will be good and I really have been wanting to actually play with them. That’s why it’s so great to get all of this cleaning out of the way!
2:00 PM– I’m home from grocery shopping, picking up dog food, filling the car with gas, which reminded me that I need to schedule an oil change (done!), which reminded me that I need to reschedule a well-child checkup for my oldest because she has dance on the day I originally made it (done!), which reminded me that I need new hip hop sneakers for both kids (went to Marshall’s!) which reminded me that I have to pay the dance studio this month (done via smartphone!). After putting the groceries away, I prep dinner and then realize I haven’t eaten since I ate that cereal bar. The kids will need an after school snack though, so should I just wait? I should have something healthy though.
I eat a carrot. Unpeeled. This is my life.
2:45 PM– Drop the chicken into a marinade- Will the dog eat it if I leave it out? I’ll make a barricade on the stove so she can’t reach it- I have to get out the door to get the bus. I glance in the mirror-Do I seriously have one earring in? Why didn’t someone tell me? Have I been walking around all day with one stinkin’ earring? I am a pirate. I take it out and run out the door.
3:00 PM– I offer the kids a healthy snack. I ask them if they want to play outside. They want neither. The 8 year-old goes to her room to get her Playaway. The 5 year-old goes to the playroom and starts playing with Legos. They need some down time after school, but it’s really just about 10 minutes before they will start asking me for something! I can wait.
Oh, I can fold laundry. (Runs to the basement to grab load of laundry from dryer.) Folds ½ load of laundry.
5 Year-old: “Mom will you play Parcheesi with me?”
Me: “You don’t want to play outside?”
5 Year-old: “No, I’m hungry.”
Me: “Okay, what would you like for snack? Apple and peanut butter? Cheese and crackers? Unpeeled carrots?”
5 Year-old: “Can I have a cookie?”
Me: “No, let’s have a healthy snack.”
5 Year-old: “But I NEVER get a cookie.” (I think you know how the rest of this goes.)
3:30 PM– We finally sit down to play Parcheesi after snack negotiation and me coming to terms with the fact that no matter what we are doing, we are still spending time together and we don’t need to be running outside to have fun! My 8 year-old makes her way to us and wants to play too. As we play Parcheesi, I’m consistently batting away the running “to do” list that is flashing in my brain. “Be present” I tell myself. “Your kids need you present” I say in my head. I have fun and laugh and play and consistently discuss how fun the game is and referencing the old saying, “it doesn’t matter if you win or lose…”
There is only one instance of tears, but it quickly passes. I silently applaud myself for not getting annoyed or upset with my kids.
4:30 PM– Time to start thinking about getting ready for soccer. Did the kids get a good enough snack? I’ll pack extra snacks for the soccer field. “What do you want for soccer snacks?” “Can I have a cookie?” See above conversation. I pack water bottles, the 8 year-old searches for her soccer gear. “Thank goodness I did that laundry earlier,” I say, as I pull her soccer shorts out of the unfolded half of the laundry.
We find her soccer bag. She pulls crusty, dirty soccer socks out. I shake the dirt out of them and hand them back to her to put on her feet. At least she has clean shorts, I say. Dad gets home. I grill the marinated chicken before soccer so that it’s ready when we get home.
5:30 PM– Soccer life. Touch base with other moms and dads and discuss the juxtaposition between wanting to be a parent who is present for your children but also feeling the need to get the rest of your daily activities in order. We say how happy we are that our children are engaged in soccer, but also how exhausting it can be to have to be at the soccer field 4 days a week.
7:00 PM– Home from soccer and feeding children while talking about how next we are going to get changed for bed. Surprisingly, the children exclaim that they are not tired while simultaneously being on the verge of tears over bedtime. Again. Let me just say that bedtime has not changed and is consistently at 8 and 8:30 respectively- Even though my 8 year-old insists that ALL of her friends get to stay up until 9. What? That can’t be real life, right? Wait, when was the last time they bathed? Is this a battle I should embark on right now? Should I insist that they clean themselves? Maybe I’ll just wash their faces. Tomorrow they can bathe. After the 5 year-old’s soccer.
8:15 PM– 5 year-old is making noises in order to keep himself awake. I lay down with him for 5 minutes just to help him settle because it’s easier than coming up stairs every few minutes and encouraging him to stop moving his body and breathe in and out so his body will calm down.
8:30 PM– 8 year-old insists that she can’t fall asleep after trying for approximately 30 seconds.
9:00 PM– I collapse on the couch next to my husband and we flip on an episode of Frankie and Grace because we really only have the ability to stay up for another 30 minutes before collapsing in exhaustion.
9:30 PM– We head to bed. We always go to bed together. It’s nice. I grab my Kindle off my bedside as I go over all of the things I did not get completed today: Writing, work out, being an amazing parent who doesn’t get frustrated with her children, washing my face, sex. My husband falls asleep in a matter of seconds, never knowing about my plans for him. I lay awake half reading, half making proclamations to be a better mom/wife/person tomorrow. This is life.