Typical Day in the Life // Feeling Spent

>> Tuesday, September 12, 2017

I have to pause my planned content to share with you all that I am absolutely spent. Our lives seriously went from zero to 60 in a second flat, and I’m still gasping for air. There are times I wonder if I’m just deficient as a person. Am I lazy? Unmotivated? I see so many super moms getting everything done and looking good while doing it. Their kids are clean, well-fed, and they just seem to have it all together. I know images can be deceiving, though.

Regardless, we went from the luxury of all being home during the summer with really no plans (and I had scads of time to work uninterrupted during normal working hours) to being here, there, and everywhere. This schedule is our new normal, so we’ve got to get used to it somehow. I’ve never been a coffee drinker, but I’m learning.


// WEEKDAYS 


5:30 AM: Alarm goes off.

I immediately stretch to wake my body up and tiptoe downstairs to work on the computer. Working these days is writing for Healthline. I write clinical and lifestyle pieces of a variety of health topics. I love this job because the pieces have to be longish, well researched, and then reviewed by a medical professional. Anyway, today, I wrote an article about nyctophobia or fear of the night/dark. Sometimes I feel like I’ve written 1,500 words before I’ve woken up . . . as if I was in some weird zombie-like state.

On days I don’t have work, I try to get out and run ASAP. PS: I HATE running in the morning. I feel sluggish and tired . . . and I’ve just always been an evening runner by preference. But I’d rather run than not run, and this is often when I get the time. It’s just random which weeks I have lots of work, which weeks I don’t, and which it’s a mix. I have toyed with getting up at 5:00 AM, but I need to first get used to 5:30 and possibly shifting my bedtime. Sleep is weird these days, but I’ll explain that more later.

6:45-7:00 AM: Ada is usually waking up during this time. 

I try to get as much done as I can by 7 before I start turning the focus on her. We pick out her outfit, get dressed, brush hair, eat breakfast, pack her lunch, and I also just like to spend a bit of time with her before she’s gone from 8AM - 4PM each day. While she was done during this time slot last year as well, I still haven’t gotten used to seeing her so little during the week.

7:15 AM: Stephen leaves for work. Though last week he was leaving closer to 6:45.


7:30-7:45 AM: Eloise wakes for the day somewhere in this window. I get her up, changed, dressed, and give her a bit of a snack before we rush outside to wait for the bus.

8:00 9:00 AM: Bus leaves at 8:04. Eloise and I go inside to eat our breakfast together. 

She’s a slow eater and I also try to get stuff done while she’s in the high chair. I don’t think she’s actually in there for an hour, but it seems like we’re always done with breakfast/etc. by around 9AM.

9:00 - 10:00 AM: Run errands/get groceries/etc. 

Usually I need to run to the post office to ship out something for Poshmark, or I try to get us to the library to check out a few books. We’ll have a library reading hour coming up later in the month on Thursdays. If there’s nothing specific we need to get done in a day, we’ll take a walk or clean up the house a bit or just play. I may try going back to once-a-month grocery shopping to cut out the need to hit the store each week.


10:00 - 12:00 PM: Nap . . . I laugh. 

Eloise was consistently napping for two hours during this time. Now? Not so much. Something’s been going on lately with sleep (and I know these things go in cycles, so I’m not freaking out). She’s waking many times throughout the nights. Morning and afternoon naps are crap or amazing, and switching to just one nap was a disaster. So, we’re in a transition. As I type this it’s 11:15 and she’s waking up. I can’t complain. She slept for over an hour. It’s just hard to do what I would like and/or need to do.

Because usually during this time I would be able to finish freelance work or write for the blog or list items for Poshmark. If I wasn’t doing that stuff, I’d try to sneak in my workout for the day. Now, it’s a free-for-all, get as much done before she wakes. And usually when she wakes, she’s quite cranky. This, too, shall pass.

12:00 - 1:00 PM: Lunch time. 

Again, she’s not always in the high chair for this long, but I try to cook or clean while she’s eating and maybe watching some Daniel Tiger. I eat, too. I should do a post on the meals we eat most frequently. I feel like I cover dinner, but not breakfasts and lunches as much.

1:00 - 3:00 PM: This is a random slot of time. 

Sometimes this shifts if Eloise didn’t nap in the morning. Sometimes my parents come up during the week from PA to visit. Other times, I’ll have a play-date or friend-date scheduled. Other times, more errands and/or cleaning, which is proving futile with a toddler running around and climbing the dining room table.

I’m keeping it loose because I know once we go down to one nap that this is probably when she’ll be sleeping. Oh, this is also the slot of time that’s best to try to go to the children’s museum. We have a membership and it opens too late to go in the morning.

3:00 - 4:00 PM: Eloise attempts an afternoon nap. 

I try to get a breath, check emails, and just sit for like half an hour before Ada gets home. Occasionally I will have to finish more work from earlier if naps got in the way of finishing for a deadline.


3:45 PM: Ada’s home from school. 

I spend as much time with her alone as possible before Eloise wakes up. Then we all play together for an hour or so before dinner.

5:00 PM: I start/finish dinner. 

Ada is usually watching television in the living room (we originally got rid of the TV in this space, but it’s been helpful -- I’ll write more sometime). Stephen gets home anywhere between 5:15 and 6:00 PM. It’s much better during XC season than track season. With track, he has frequent meets during the week and may be home as late as 9PM sometimes.

It’s hard to plan family dinner as a result. Also: On Tuesdays we have gymnastics at 5PM. We have family dinner maybe 2-3 times during the work week. Otherwise, the girls eat and Stephen and I eat after bedtime. I resist signing up for too many activities for Ada’s sake (overtired) and my own sanity. I think one class is enough at this age. In a couple years we may add something like piano lessons.

6:00 - 7:00 PM: Daddy + daughter time.

Generally this is my only real guaranteed hour off for the day. The rest is a crap-shoot despite hot organized it may seem. Nothing ever really goes as planned, so I’m often scrambling.

Stephen spends time with both girls during this hour playing outside, taking a walk, or hanging in the living room playing guitar while they run around. I run if I didn’t have other time to exercise during the day. Sometimes we all take a walk together, get ice cream, or do something else as a family. Sometimes the house is such a disaster that I spend the whole time speed-cleaning.

7:00 - 7:30 PM: Baths, stories, bedtime. 

I think I’d like to start prepping for the next day more during this time slot. It’d make the mornings easier to pack lunch, set out clothes for school, etc.

7:30 - 8:00 PM: Stephen puts Ada to bed. I nurse Eloise to sleep.

8:00 - 10:00 PM: Adult time.

Stephen and I eat dinner if we didn’t have family dinner. We watch television, chat, or just generally zone out. Both of us are usually spent by this time of day. So, while I’d like to become more mindful of screen time and spending quality time together -- getting used to this routine is kicking my butt. So, if that means I watch YouTube, so be it!

10:30 PM: Lights out.

I try to get to bed by this time each night. But I’m finding that I’m very tired with how little Eloise is sleeping. I may try shifting this back to 10PM.


// WEEKENDS


This schedule is much the same on Saturdays, as Stephen is away at meets. But Ada is home all day, so any of the nap times are spent with her doing crafts, reading books, playing outdoors, going to birthday parties, or watching movies. We pick up our farm share several towns away, and this is a nice morning activity. Stephen leaves before 7AM and gets home between 3PM and 6PM from meets. There are a few that are away where he’ll be gone one or two nights as well. I have a goal to go to some of the home meets with the girls.

I’ll be honest that having a frantic week schedule and then waking up on Saturdays to solo parent again can be frustrating. I am thankful that Stephen has taken on additional responsibilities/gigs to make this WAHM thing work. It means I can take on slightly less work than I used to, which is essential now with two kids . . . no relatives who live nearby for child care and no real guaranteed work time.

Sundays we try to do basically nothing. Or just something very low key. On weekends, Stephen and I try to give each other some solo time to go out. We’ll take turns going to the movies (we both want to see IT this weekend). Or maybe seeing a friend, etc.

// Thoughts


So, that’s my typical day-in-the life. I am sure I am missing something or haven’t completely described a time slot . . . but I think you get it. I don’t feel like our days are any more busy than anyone else’s.

But I’ll be honest that sometimes I wish I could either just be a SAHM or a working mom. WAHM isn’t necessarily the best of both worlds. It’s just another world. With staying at home and not working, I feel like I could get a better handle on my household and have more focus -- be more present in what I am doing versus always feeling so frenzied. With working, I feel like I could focus better on my job tasks and carve out more sanity by feeling better organized.

What I’ve discovered through chatting with friends, though, is that there’s really no perfect life. We all do the best we can. And even those moms who seem to have it all together are struggling just as much as the rest of us!

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