Seriously, I don’t know.
I can see a lot of faces in my life wondering this on a daily basis. The house isn’t hoovered today, what did you do all day? The clothes have not been put away, what did you do all day? There’s no dinner, what did you do all day? The list goes on…
I wish I could answer the good question in a simple sentence. Such as, I slept all day. Or, I watched TV all day. Unfortunately, the answer is never that simple. And I have a feeling that a lot of you mums and dads would agree with me on this.
So, let’s break it down.
I wake up a few times in the night, because my darling daughter isn’t quite happy with something or just had a nightmare. Most of the time, a cuddle, breastmilk or gentle rocking does the trick. Before you think my husband must get up in the night to attend to the baby, stop right there. This is a one-man show or one-woman show. Obviously, he is the one with the paid job, so I feel like I cannot expect him to mess his sleep or let him get disturbed. Sure, it’s expected of me. I do try to ensure he isn’t disturbed as much as possible throughout the day. I know he has a lot on his mind…
After a restless sleep, I finally catch on some zzz’s early in the morning for a few minutes if I am lucky. By 6:30am, baby is up and ready for a playtime party! woop woop! I tend to push getting her out for playtime for a little longer. Then comes the fun struggle of changing a pretty full nappy whilst she wriggles like a worm all over the place. We need a whole lot of toys to distract her from this daily routine. Once downstairs, she has her first choice of breakfast. Sometimes, we have to go for option number 2 if she doesn’t like the first one. Don’t get me wrong, I do my best to get her to eat the first option. But if I was in her place and wasn’t in a mood to eat porridge today, I wouldn’t want to eat porridge today. Until she can tell me what she wants, I feel it is my duty to try a few things. I don’t really care, as long she has the nutrition she needs and deserves, and a full tummy.
Breakfast, done. This is when I let her watch some cartoons while I clean the mess, empty dishwasher, tidy up the kitchen, feed the fish, the cats, let the dog out, feed the dog and have my coffee. It is nearly 9am! Where did the time go?
The fun is about to begin! I pop Eloise in her cot and try to get myself dressed and half decent. This is very important to me. If I am not wearing makeup, that means I am having a really bad day. The 10-20 minutes I take to get ready are important for me to feel like myself. If I don’t look good, I don’t feel goo and it plays havoc with my depression. Once ready, I get the little girl clean and ready for the day. By now, she is very tired and cranky. So I have to be quick in getting her in the stroller and also get the dog ready. Around 10 or 10:30am, we are ready for our morning walk! Depending on the weather and how many cats we meet, this is the fun part.
An hour later, we are home and thirsty for milk! So she gets her milk as requested. Once finished, I have to follow my diary for the next few steps. I am either out for a baby class or meeting a friend for baby playdate. Whatever we do, lunch is served around 12:30 to 1pm. I find this is an important thing for her to do during the week. Socialising with other babies is a great way of learning new things and growing as a human!
We are home by 2 or 3pm and ready for our next bottle of milk. Soon after she has that, I let her play in the pen and hoover the main areas while her bottle is getting ready. Only for the cats and dog to bring rubbish through pretty instantly. FML. In the meantime, if we have visitors and they see Eloise pick the tiniest speck of dirt, I get the ‘mummy hasn’t hoovered today.’ look.
If things go well, she is sleepy around 4pm. A 30 minute nap follows, and I get to prep her dinner as well as some for the adults. If I get a chance, I will have my first real bite of food of the day. A cured sausage, cake, bread, whatever the hell I can lay my hands on!
4:30pm, I let her have some more play time after waking up from her catnap. For this part, I run around the house making sure she’s not eating anything she shouldn’t or climbing places she shouldn’t. I have realised that when other people look after the baby, they do a few other things whilst letting her roam around. I don’t like this one bit, it’s an accident waiting to happen! Sure, if everything is 💯 secure and there is no way she can hurt herself, that’s different. However, knowing my baby, I know she’ll find something to test the limits with. Not kidding, yesterday she somehow managed to crawl under the walker (it’s the one you sit or walk in around the room) and get stuck. Took her a few seconds to realise the predicament she was in before she came through the other side. Wasn’t an easy task, but I wanted her to learn how to get herself out of trouble. No crying, just a bit of whinging when she realised she may be stuck! I’m amazed how her brain works at just 9 months old! Obviously, I was watching her and ready to rescue if I thoughts he needed help.
5:30pm, I let her watch tv while I get her dinner ready. And during the time it takes me to feed her, I am also cooking food for us adults. By 6:30pm, she’s eaten and playing in the leaving room while I put my feet up and eat dinner with my husband. It may not seem like much, but that’s a short while of relaxation I really need. Occasionally, I get up and stop her from trying to leave the room or destroying my Xbox. She likes pressing the power button on the console on and off because of the sound it makes.
After dinner, I casually leave her in my husband’s company and start clearing up the kitchen and get ready for another bottle.
8pm, we are in the bath for some splish splash! Takes me a good half hour to get her prepped for bed.
If things are going in my favour, she is sleeping by 9 or 9:30pm and I get to have a shower. This when I work on the laptop till my eyes can’t stay open any longer.
This is a generic day in my life. Doesn’t include the times we have family or friends over. For example, my in laws will be over and look after Eloise, so I just sit on the sofa or study. When such opportunity arises, I prefer to sit quietly and be left alone. Not told what to eat, drink, or anything else. I like to be left alone to get on with stuff 99.9 percent of the time. This gives me the time to work out what I need to do with my life in general and for the week ahead. Sometimes, I rely on my husband to look after baby so I can make batches of meals for Eloise. This takes a long time as I make everything from scratch and freeze a few portions for her.
After all this, when I get the look of ‘What did you do all day?’, all I want to do is punch the person in the throat and walk away. Of course, I would never resort to violence but I damn well want to! By some miraculous way, I also manage to fit in my editing for the charities I work for, study, do some of my own freelance work, and clean the general areas. Apart from my dressing room. Until I redecorate that room, it will continue to look like makeup and clothes have no particular homes…
This, is a snapshot of my daily life and that of other parents out there. Next time you wonder ‘what does she/he do all day?’, think twice! Mind your own damn business! You have no idea how many shitty nappies or tantrums the parent has been through on top of their own problems in life. Be kind.
Disclaimer: This post was written in a sleep deprived state of mind. There are bound to be errors. I should really go through and edit. However, I am too tired to even think about such a thing at this hour. So please forgive me for any errors you may find.