|Photo Credit: Hello Love Photography|
As I heard the words coming out of my working, no kids, girlfriends mouth, my mind quickly began to reel. A day in the life of… me? Why would she or anyone care about what I do? My day wont be riveting or exciting enough for her. She will fall asleep as I rant off a typical day… “Oh, well, when I finally got Big Sis and The Twins buckled in their car seats and into the car, The Twins, both of them, had up the back explosion, so we all had to go back upstairs to take baths, change and essentially start the morning all over again, and then… ” Rachel?* Are you there? Hello? [dial tone]
Understandably, I instantly get a pit in my stomach. My girlfriend goes to work everyday and makes a difference, she talks to adults and affects the lives of other people, she can walk out of the house, attractive and presentable, coffee and purse in hand… She can be smart, pretty and put together. How do I tell her that I’ve gone… [sound effect, dun, dun, dun…]stay at home mom.
So, my first thought was the obvious answer. Lie.
“Well, Rachel, long story short, I double nurse the twins every single feeding like an absolute super hero, never supplementing because we all know, that is of course EVIL. I prepare, from scratch, with all organic ingredients, every single meal for the one and only Big Sis. No expense to consider, she deserves the best. And, not to boast, but she eats every last bite. All of her leafy greens, lean proteins, fruits and vegetables. She turns her nose up at ice cream, cookies and packaged, processed snack food. Because, well, I taught her they were very, very, very, bad. And I definitely do not use those as bribery items. Never. Disgusting. After everyone is well fed and rested around our very strict nap schedule, never a complaint, we seamlessly get into the car and head off to gymnastics or dance class or French class. We are very cultured in this household. At gymnastics class, The Twins and I cheer on Big Sis and watch as she doesn’t hit, steal toys or push the other children. I think I actually witnessed her breaking up a fight between two other out of control toddlers. (Where are their parents?) Telling them to apologize for their actions. She is just so darn good. After she received 25 star stickers from her instructor for being so amazing we head home to relax and work on a very complicated, yet educational, Pinterest inspired project, all with the TV off. We actually cancelled cable. WE don’t raise our kids on the TV. The TV is no babysitter here. How tragic, those poor, brain dead kids. When the sun sets and we have just completed our organic, perfectly nutritious dinner, with no objection we head upstairs and begin our nightly routine. Tubby time, brush teeth, potty (we ALWAYS use the potty), cozy up and read books and off to dream land Big Sis goes. I spend quality time talking to my 3 month old Twins and tell them about our days events so that they can start talking and reading, maybe next month we hope, all while nursing and playing Mozart in the background. I feel as though hubby and I get smarter as we do this too. After The Twins drift off to sleep, hubby and I gaze at each other lovingly, we cheers to our days accomplishments with sparkling water and kiss each other goodnight. See? My children would be nothing without me home.”
I quickly realize, my girlfriend knows me well and wouldn’t believe all this. So my second thought was to make it brief, dramatic, chaotic and move on. Oh, and I’ll make me smart. Really, really, smart and always, about the kids.
“Oh, its chaos. Not a minute to spare. There is constantly a baby dangling off of my boob while Big Sis needs constant attention or else I would walk into a room and she will have piled up boxes, of which she has collected from all over the house, to climb and reach the top shelf that contains all of our glassware. I make absolutely no time for me time because that would be selfish. I prepare meals and dinner is on the table for hubby every single night. Oh, and they are really tasty. We do educational projects; maintain an active social life for Big Sis and we never miss a meal. My meals are always pretty healthy so it’s pretty time consuming. Laundry is done daily, never a backup and the house is always clean. And at the end of the day hubby and I sit down with a glass of wine and chat about the events of the day AND discuss what is happening around the world, of course. What is this world coming to?”
But I don’t go that route either. I go for the full on truth. Boring or not. Knowing, no lives were saved or diseases cured in my neck of the woods. However, when I start describing my day, listing off a day in the life, in a non-emotional, list checkingmanner…
“Well, my day usually starts between 2:30 and 4a with getting up to nurse the babies. They sometimes eat at the same time and they sometimes don’t. So that dictates how many times I am up before 7a. Big Sis gets up around 7a and we all climb into bed together. I run downstairs and make a quick, quick breakfast and my life line, my coffee. We eat in bed. I strategically place Big Sis on my hubby’s side… 😉 [evil laugh] I bath, diaper and dress everyone. Pack my diaper bag and either pile everyone in the stroller for a walk or in the car to head to the gym. I am totally a better mom if take a break to exercise. If we go to the gym, Big Sis plays with other kids for about an hour (or two…) and I take a moment to myself. (Did I hear shrieks?)We come home and eat lunch, whatever I can get into Big Sis’s body. Something, anything, just please, eat something. After sprinkling a few nursing sessions in with The Twins, while Big Sis entertains herself in her playroom or with the iPad or TV… it’s usually getting pretty late. So when everyone is content I zip through the house, throwing clean laundry to the already existing mountain of clean clothes and chipping away at the dirty clothes, I run through the house and half ass a cleaning session, getting the essentials like piles of diapers, rolling hair balls from my post partum shedding head, the dog and overall accumulation of dust. Attempt to put all the toys back into the playroom as they slowly creep out again as I do this and prep dinner. Chicken fingers or yogurt… and heating up what hubby and I prepared on Sunday. This is happening while the twins are going through their witching hour(s) of not feeling content, wanting to be held and constantly nurse so I
stuffserve up a bottle of formula for each. After running around, sweating and all out exhaustion hits I open wine. My other life line.”
this is what I actually end up hearing…
“Between 2:30 and 4a I roll over to see four eyes gazing at me with two big sweet smiles. They actually make me laugh through all the tiredness and haze. Morning is pretty cozy sitting and eating breakfast with Big Sis. Our walk is an adventure in the stroller and I love how Big Sis dictates it and sings to everyone that goes by. She will sometimes run beside me and tell me, “she’s running.” Which I think is pretty cool, because I love running too. When I pick Big Sis up from the gym daycare, I feel relieved when she is not ready to go. She loves playing with the other kids and its awesome to witness this transition from enjoying just playing alone to wanting to surround herself with other kids. Embracing them and playing pretend. They are “her girls” and “her boys.” I love on the drive home, when one of The Twins starts to cry, Big Sis gives them their binky. Watching her mature daily does not get old. When The Twins are chillin’ and I’m running around the house trying to clean, do some laundry, make lunches, or work on a fun personal hobby (dare I say), I love poking my head in their Pack n’ Play to hear them crack up laughing, huge smiles and screechy coos. My fav. And when the “witching hour” strikes, I love being forced to sit down and hold the babies as Big Sis plays around us. I don’t worry about the huge pile of laundry, I will chip away at it, the house is kinda clean, if clean includes rolling balls of dust, but, I do the best I can. I feel so lucky to spend my days with these three and watch, first-hand; them discover the world around them and embrace life with them, in the eyes of a kid.”
So next time I get asked the question, “What’s a day in a life?” I’ll answer confidently and honestly.
“I do everything possible, everyday, to raise three good kids the best possible way I know how. I make daily, difficult decisions that I have to trust and follow thru on. There is no time for questioning myself. Every day is a different adventure and learning experience. I by no means accomplish everything I put my mind to. But I’ll keep trying. I’m always behind. We have major ups and downs. But at the end of the day, my driving force is the unconditional love for my family and that is what dictates my day. And then, I have wine.“
What’s a day in a life for you?