Sure, you see the mums at the cafés, catching up over lattes, baby’s in tow. But what you don’t realise is that that is probably their only outing that day, sometimes for that week. They aren’t talking about future holidays or all the designer clothes they are buying, they are talking about their kids, their husbands, the mess they left at home and they are rarely talking about themselves.
So to those of you that think that as mums all we do is catch up with other mums over coffee here it is. A real day in the life, my day in a nutshell. Nine months in, we are busy, we are random, we are chaotic and we can experience every emotion in the space of one hour. There is no set plan, we play each day by ear, our routine is vague and sometimes nonexistent, so here it goes… Welcome to our life.
6.50AM: We are woken by Leo stirring on the monitor, I check the time, what a luxury, he let us sleep in. Leo sounds happy so I snooze.
7.10AM: No longer happy, up I get and straight in to Leo’s room, he is standing in his cot, his mobile pulled down, proud of himself he greets me with his big smile.
7.12AM: Nappy change.
7.16AM: Play time while I am still waking up, by this stage, Duncan is now out of bed and having his breakfast.
7.30AM: Coffee time. Oh and breakfast for Leo and myself.
8.05AM: Breakfast is finally finished, time to clean up and get him out of the chair.
8.12AM: Duncan leaves for uni, he has work tonight so won’t be home till after 7PM, long day ahead.
8.20AM: Shower. My hair desperately needs a wash but that won’t be happening today, I lock Leo in the bathroom with me and have a quick shower.
8.30AM: Makeup, it’s a good day so far I have successfully washed and made myself presentable.
8.45AM: With Leo not letting me move without him being attached to me I realise that I have woken up to a super clingy baby this morning.
8.50AM: I put Leo with his toys in the lounge room, cranky and grizzly but I need to brush my teeth.
8.52AM: He finds me in the bathroom.
8.58AM: I give in and breastfeed. My intention of holding out until 9.30 clearly isn’t going to work today.
9.22AM: Leo is asleep, too scared to move him I let him sleep on me while I check Facebook, Instagram, emails and watch morning TV.
9.40AM: Awake. That was not long enough but he is all smiles.
9.43AM: Nappy change and time to get him out of his pyjamas.
9.54AM: Leo is clean and dressed, making the most of his post sleep good mood I get the first load of washing on and quickly run to make our bed.
10.00AM: Find Leo’s missing sock, put it back on and bring him into the lounge in time for my guilty pleasure, reruns of 7th Heaven. I catch up on the lives of the Camden’s while playing with Leo on the floor. Leo is a climber so most of this play time consists of me chasing and lifting him off the couch and only seeing about 60% of the episode, luckily it’s a pretty slow show so I am able to follow.
10.46AM: In preparation to leave the house I offer another feed. Not interested.
10.57AM: Nappy change. With a strong and rolling baby this is becoming the hardest part of my day. If it were summer we would be doing a lot of nappy free time outside.
11.03AM: Load up the nappy bag, find a jumper for Leo. He throws a slight hissy fit, so I wrestle him into the pram.
11.08AM: We make it out the door, off to meet my much needed and much appreciated mothers group.
11.15AM: Coffee and catch up with the girls.
12.58PM: Realise what time it is and start walking home, Leo is overdue for his lunch, hence the slight crankiness.
1.08PM: Leo has fallen asleep. Exhausted from his play date with his little friends.
1.11PM: Arrive home, the sudden stopping on the pram tends to wake him up so I quickly park him in the lounge and put the now well and truly finished load of washing on the rinse and spin cycle.
1.17PM: Still asleep. Looks like his lunch will be late today and I might actually get a chance to eat slowly rather than at my usual fast ‘child is trying to steal my sandwich’ pace.
1.35PM: By some miracle Leo is still asleep, I prepare his lunch and clean up the mess from mine.
1.42PM: Washing machine is finished but yesterday’s washing is still on the line, time to get that off and fold it.
1.50PM: Stirrings in the pram. Leo is a awake, looks like I’ll hang the washing later.
1.52PM: Quick nappy change.
1:55PM: Lunch time, I sit with him, watching his every mouthful as he slowly makes his way through his meal.
2.15PM: No longer interested in food, I clean him up and free him from the high chair.
2.19PM: Post lunch outfit change, for me not for Leo. Somehow I have managed to be covered in more banana than he has.
2.21PM: Washing with my little ‘helper’. It’s a nice day out so we play out there for a while, exploring the grass and the dirt.
2.45PM: Now extremely dirty, we come inside for another wriggly nappy change and a change of clothes.
2.50PM: Practise our waving in the bathroom mirror, our latest trick proving to be very entertaining.
2.55PM: Leo has solo play time while I put on yet another load of washing and tidy up the kitchen.
3.20PM: Nappy change.
3.30PM: Afternoon tea time, which, after a later lunch, quickly turns into a game of throwing everything on the floor.
3.43PM: Sticky afternoon tea = Sticky baby. Clean up time.
3.50PM: With a change of pants we catch the last ten minutes of Playschool.
4.00PM: Find the missing sock, put back on and head out the door for walk number two for the day.
4.55PM: Home with a sleeping baby, make the most of the opportunity by hanging second load of washing on clothes horse and getting a start on dinner.
5.00PM: Dinner not started, Leo is awake. Maybe we will read for a while instead.
5.20PM: Momentary distraction allows me to sneak off into the kitchen and leave Leo in the very capable hands of Giggle and Hoot.
5.34PM: Not long and my ‘helper’ has returned, this time acting as kitchen hand rather than laundry maid.
5.55PM: With the contents of my kitchen cupboards all over the floor Leo’s dinner is ready.
6.00PM: Leo’s tea time. Messy but fun.
6.25PM: Bath time. Supposedly used to calm some babies down before bed, bath time in our house tends to do the opposite, Leo gets so excited and amped up during his bath. It is both gorgeous and hilarious.
6.35PM: Out of the bath and into pyjamas, definitely the biggest wrestle of the day, psyched up from his bath Leo is rolling all over the place.
6.45PM: A few more bedtime stories.
7.00PM: Start the last breast feed of the night. Leo is not really interested.
7.07PM: Duncan is home, YAY!!
7.11PM: Leo spends some time with his Daddy while I clean up after Leo’s dinner and finish preparing ours.
7.37PM: Duncan and I eat our dinner in shifts, while one eats the other one plays with Leo.
8.00PM: Feed Leo, or at least try to, he is not at all interested so into bed he goes. Dishes for me.
8.08PM: Eight minutes of crying and no sleeping baby, I feed again.
8.24PM: Bedtime, hopefully for the night. Either way that’s it for me. I rarely feed over night nowadays so when Leo wakes it’s Duncan’s job to settle him.
8.25PM: Cup of tea, couch time with Duncan and something mindless on the TV.
There it is, that’s my day, and that’s it every day, or at least a version of that. Some days are easy, some days hard. There are no days off, no sick days, that’s just what being a mum is. You get paid in cuddles and belly laughs, it’s busy, it’s hectic and it’s awesome.
So next time you wonder what mums do all day or you scoff when you hear a woman state her ‘job’ as a stay at home mum, just think, her day at home is probably a hell of a lot busier and a whole lot more testing than yours was at work.