When I was pregnant with Noodles, I came across these "sample schedules" of moms in different situations...breastfeeding 2 month old with a toddler, bottle feeding 6 month old with a 5 year old, etc. etc. I read through the ones that would apply to me, because I wanted to know what my life was maybe going to look like. But after he was born, and as he grew up, I realized that these were lies. Beautiful lies, but lies. Or else I was doing something terribly wrong. I felt really inadequate as a mom because I didn't have my shit together like those moms. So I have wanted to make a "Real Sample Schedule of a Stay at home mom breastfeeding a __ month old with a toddler" for awhile.
Fast forward to last week. We had a REALLY horrible day. Like really bad. It was one of my worst days in years. Bambino was just all kinds of defiant and crazy, and Noodles didn't nap at all. And I was just beat.down. And I felt like I was alone. And I felt like I couldn't be a good mother ever. Now, that's a bad day.
But, even on a typical day [and today was a very typical day...a few toddler moments from Bambino, Noodles had one solid nap]...even on a typical day, when I am laying in bed at night, usually I think, "I didn't get ANYTHING done today". Because, honestly, there isn't a whole lot to show for my days now. There's still a mess [even though it feels like I've been cleaning all day], projects have been pushed back one more day/week/month, I certainly haven't painted or even drawn anything new most of the time, and I didn't even read a chapter in one of the 8 books I'm in the middle of. Sometimes I didn't even get a shower [Eeew...I know]. And I'm left with that feeling of "what has actually been accomplished today?" a lot.
So, I did this to have something to show for my day[s]. To see what a day really amounts to in my life. To remember that just because I can't see a tangible result right now, doesn't mean that I didn't do anything important.
And the reason I did this on the internets and shared it with all you fine people is this...I know I am not alone in feeling that way at night. I know it. And I am friends with a lot of mothers online, and I know there are people in every one of our lives that say things that sometimes devalue our priorities [I'm not saying moms are freaking saints...but it can be tough and lonely at times. And largely thankless.] I hope that they'll really see what their days add up to. And I hope all the non-mothers will too. Because you have friends, wives, and mothers of your own.
So, I'm glad I did this...maybe the next time I have a thought like that, I will remember to come back and look at all the wonderful things I get to do in a day with my beautiful boys. Thank you for sharing in this day with me and my boys. And I would encourage you, tired, beat-down mother who can't see all that you do in a day...document just one day. Just one. Unless the first one is a really bad day. Then do two.
So here was our Day in the Life...
Noodles fell asleep long enough for me to fold about 5 more items. I picked him up and he spit up all over me. Luckily not on the clean laundry though.
Got Noodles comfortable in his Standie Baby Gym thingamajig and put on some Jeff Buckley for him so I could take out the trash, straighten up a bit after last night, throw some potatoes in the oven for later and get some dishes done. I got through about 1/3 of them before he got fidgety. Now we play in my room!
Time to play catch up [while feeding Nolan again].
9am: Bambino wakes up as I'm finishing up folding laundry...figuring out how to fold the fitted sheet took about 5 minutes. Got Bambino changed and the boys played a bit while I slept the floor. Bambino got upset because he wanted to watch movies [Already!!!!?!] While I followed him to calm him down, Noodles got into the pile of dirty sweeplings that were left by the trash because someone seems to have hidden my dustpan.
9:50 Take Bambino outside for 10 minutes before my phone call therapy session and Jacob wakes up.
10:20...laundry folded and distributed to the proper rooms....the boys' stuff hasn't made it in the drawers yet, but that'll do. Total time 2.5 hours folding 1 basket of laundry.
10:30: Run to Sprouts for eggs and waffles 'cause we're apparently out of both. [Get to listen to this song in the car.] Return and start making breakfast...egg squirts all over me [I still need to change pants.] Jacob takes over breakfast [plating Bambino's food] cause Noodles pooped again. Bambino helps hold his hands and put baby powder on. I scarf down some scrambled eggs with tomato [and let Noodles try some egg...it's a no-go] then take Noodles to my room so he can eat.
11:15: Noodles is finally going down for his morning nap when Bambino decides to complain [really loudly] about not wanting to finish eating. Noodles wakes up. I take a 10 minute break and get to sit and just listen to birds and cicadas. Sitting still for so long makes me realize I have to pee. While I'm in the bathroom Jacob teaches Bambino to imitate Stewey Griffin "Mah, Mama, Mah, Mah, Mah, Mamma...." I remember I still need to change my eggy pants.
Catching up part 2: Noonish: Play with Noodles and get some stuff ready for activities while Bambino finishes eating [yes...still eating]. Entertained Noodles for a bit while Jacob showed me some Smothers Brothers stuff. [Youtube that]. Tried to get Noodles to nap after eating again, but no dice.
1pm: Mama made "Gloopy Gloop" [cornstarch and water] and we played outside. The cornstarch apparently irritated Noodles' skin so he got a quick bath and soothing lotion, ate, and is now finally taking a nap. Bambino also got a bath and mama ran to the gas station and listened to this song on the way.
2:00 ate a slice of pizza leftovers. Couldn't even tell you what kind of pizza it was. Then played dinoland with Bambino [toy dinosaurs on a mat]. Then we busted out his new Same or Different flash cards and he was totally engaged in those for about an hour. We went outside and checked in on the Gloopy Gloop [more solid now] and all his "why"s led to a conversation about evaporation, condensation, and precipitation. Then we discussed some minor particle physics. No biggie. Came inside and read a book. Mama's in need of a break. So Bambino is watching a movie really quickly while I wait for Noodles to wake up from his nap [long nap today]. ...and the nap ended as I was adding the photos
Okay...4ish [?] Set up a nifty puzzle-esque activity for Bambino [Thanks Gillian for the idea] He loved it...though he looked at the shapes and knew what most of them were already. He asked me to do another one on the back...I did and we're gonna do it after he finishes his dinner. Started getting his dinner ready and while it was cooking got a few more dishes done while Noodles munched on some veggie puffs [He ate like 4! Yay!] I've been playing with him while big brother eats...and it could be awhile until he finishes. Noodles was like "scream talking" to the jackalope tattoo on my calf, but the video camera wasn't handy so you'll have to be satisfied with your imagination on that one.
For the rest of the evening we all just relaxed. It was a lovely evening though. After I turned off Bambino's "stories" [Ha!]...we read 3 books...he read the first, "Chomp" Then I read him a story from the Curious George Treasury...then we read You Are Stardust. Noodles was getting fidgety. I fed him but he was too excited to go to sleep yet. I let him play quietly and Bambino and I slipped outside to play with balloons...one popped. I wish I had a photo of that to share with y'all, but that memory is just for me I suppose. Then we came in and Bambino laid down and he and Nolan fell asleep. I'm off to do my nighttime ritual stuff, then probably have some gelato and finish off the piece of vanilla cake I gots at Sprouts earlier. Goodnight.