What Do I Do All Day?

I thought it would be interesting to outline the things I do during the course of an average day. I’m not doing this to make myself look busy, or worse, so you can feel sorry for me. It’s just for fun, so take it that way.

We all know how busy all mothers are, but I have had people, mainly those without children, say, “Mothers just sit around with their children all day.”  Or, “A stay-at-home mom doesn’t work.” “She’s lazy.” And on the list goes.

If you are a mother you know that is definitely NOT TRUE. You spend the day running from morning to night, and then collapse into bed wondering if you really accomplished anything more than exhausting yourself. I know there are mothers out there who have learned to pace themselves, and no matter how much they have to do in a day, they look as if they have just stepped out of a spa and are totally relaxed at any time of the day. But they are rare. Most of us barely get a chance to sit on the toilet without being disturbed (especially true if you have small children). Logan will actually cry if I go in the bathroom and close the door. It has to be open or he has to be with me.

Okay, so what do I do all day? Let’s start in the morning. (Just so you know, this is an average day. Not all this happens daily or at the said time.) I try to wake up around 6:30 or 7:00. I don’t always succeed but when I do, or Glad wakes me, we take time for spiritual input. Time spent strengthening your spirit is important to your happiness and inspiration, and it can be a sanity saver. We either read something from the Bible, or books on spiritual principles. Of course my first stop of the day is the kitchen where I make some coffee to help me wake up. I prefer hot coffee in the morning and cold coffee later in the day when it is so hot.

Logan usually wakes up by 8:00, so then we stop reading, and go make breakfast, tidy the room, etc. Lila may or may not be awake at this time so I take advantage of getting stuff done and Logan fed before she wakes up. When she does, I nurse her, change her diaper, and get her dressed.

Breakfast is over by 9:00. Up until now, Glad has been teaching daily, so he would be gone most days by 9:15. His classes will be over soon. (Also, the family we stay with are traveling now so I am at home alone with the children and the dog.) One good thing we recently did was hire a maid for 2 hours a day to come clean the house. This is making a world of difference for me. She will clean anything I want, plus will do extra like hang laundry, general tidying, and does the floors daily.

So now I just have to oversee her while caring for the children instead of trying to do all the work myself and not getting it all done. She usually comes by 9:30 and is gone by 11:30. I’ve made a plan of how to cover all the necessary jobs over the course of a week. The house is much cleaner for it.

Lila usually takes a nap by 10:30 or 11, so that is when I take some time with Logan for school. We do reading practice, phonics, discuss books and pictures, pre-writing practice, and Hindi. His current favorite activity is coloring. I also want him to learn Tamil but haven’t found a good interactive CD yet. The Hindi one I have has the instructions in English so I can use it with him. Both of us are learning through it. Okay, so I only know a few words but it is better than nothing, right? And when Logan starts talking I’m sure he’ll be able to say the Hindi words that he knows.

Once the maid is gone and Logan’s school is over, I check on what to make for lunch. If Lila is awake then I nurse her again. Sometimes she will play on her own which gives me time to do things like laundry or chase Logan out of the fridge or cupboard where he knows he is not allowed to go. Today Logan and I made a banana cake since the bananas were going bad and I didn’t want to waste them. He loves bananas and banana cake, and it’s healthy so I don’t mind him eating it.

I make lunch for us by 12:30, usually something simple, such as yogurt and fruit with a peanut butter sandwich or pancakes, or a pasta salad with things like sprouts, chickpeas, and paneer (a cheese). Or if there is leftover dinner I may heat that up so we don’t waste it. Now that everyone is gone I also have to make food for the dog. He doesn’t eat dry dog food. It’s too expensive, so we make him soya chunks with some chicken liver and rice. He will also eat eggs, milk and cold cooked cereal in the morning. (Sometimes I wonder if he is really a dog.)

I feed Logan by 1:00 and get him ready for nap by 1:30. If Lila had a short morning nap she will also nap when Logan does, but if she had a long or late one, she will be awake when he sleeps like she is now. She is playing in her bed while I type this. (Since everyone is gone, I will also have to do the dishes and feed the dog. I hope I don’t forget.)

Once Logan is down, I have to decide what to do with my “free time”. Ha. I usually try to get some exercise, or check my mail, or update my blog, or do all of that and, oh yes, relax, before I wake him up at 3:00. I used to let him sleep longer but I found that the longer I let him sleep, the later he goes to bed at night (no, really?). I want him to sleep earlier so the most I let him nap is 1 ½ hours. But it seems that no matter how long or short a nap he has, he still takes about an hour to fall asleep at night.

I wake him by 3:00, put him on the potty, etc. Lila is usually asleep at this time so I take him out of the room. Sometimes we watch some T.V. together (Animal Planet) or I might be in the middle of my workout and I have him sit by me while I finish. By 4:00 I give him a snack, a cup of milk with something to eat, like that banana cake, or a banana or raisins and dates, etc. He loves that kind of food.

Then Lila gets up. I feed and change her, and then we get ready to go outside. We are usually out by 5:00. It is too hot to go earlier most of the time, though now the monsoon has arrived. Today it has rained all day so far. If it is too muddy and wet I will keep him inside and try to find a way for him to get indoor exercise. Otherwise we go out for a long walk, sometimes for shopping, sometimes to the park, sometimes just around the neighborhood.

We are back around 6:30 or 7:00. When the others are here, they take turns cooking dinner but now that they are gone, I will be doing it, or sometimes Glad will if he is home. I usually plan it early and even try to do some prep before our walk so that I just have to throw everything together. We eat anywhere between 7 and 8:30, depending on who is cooking.

After dinner, I stick Logan in the tub and give the baby a bath at the same time. I’ll have to start doing that separately since the tub is getting crowded with two of them in it. Then it is into pajamas. Sometimes daddy will have playtime with the kids (if we ate earlier). If we ate late, then I try to get Logan into bed by 9:15 at the latest. Sometimes he does go to bed later but no matter what, it always takes him an hour to fall asleep. He tosses and turns and plays and gets up whenever the door opens and cries if one of us isn’t there. Usually he is asleep by 10:00 but not always. Lila will nurse and then fall asleep on her own. I just lie her in bed and she will suck her thumb and fall asleep.

After Logan is asleep I can finally take a shower and relax. Sometimes we try to watch a movie but don’t always manage to as it is usually 10:30 or 11 before we can start so if we want to get up in the morning we just go to bed.

And it all starts again the next day. Sometimes I do find pockets of time for things like primping, doing my nails, etc. but that is rare. I can’t find a long enough time when I don’t have to touch anything to give my nails time to dry properly. Oh well. Such is life.

Things That Make My Week

This week two things have happened to both make my week good and bad. Well, not bad in a terrible sense but more like very difficult.

The bad thing is that the washer broke down. The repair men have been here no less than four times this week and it is still not fixed. First it was the motor, then the timer, then something else, then the new motor was actually not new and needs to be replaced again. And I am still waiting for them to show up again and get it going. The good thing about this is that the machine is under warranty so the company replaces parts for free, but I’m starting to wonder if it’s worth all the trouble.

I’ve been doing laundry by hand all week – Logan’s pee-pee laundry, Glad’s clothes that he needed for his trip, the baby’s diapers. Actually, I decided to make it easy for myself and use disposable diapers until the machine is fixed, but there is still LOTS of laundry, including bedding. All my sheets are dirty and will have to be done by hand if this thing isn’t fixed soon. Logan peed on several of them this week, so I can’t leave those for too long. And with Glad gone I am doing everything myself. I’ll be happy when he gets back.

The good thing is that a special prayer was answered this week. First a little background. For some time now I’ve wanted to get a rocking horse for Logan.  Not because he wanted one, but because it is something fun for a child his age and I just wanted to get it for him. You know how when you’re a parent you sometimes want to get things for your child “just because”. A shop near our house had a cute one that wasn’t expensive, but it was money we couldn’t afford to spend when there are so many other more important things to buy, so I had to not think about it. A few days ago while looking at a picture of a rocking horse, I told Logan, “Let’s pray for one.” He folded his little hands and I prayed a simple prayer, “Jesus, if you want Logan to have a rocking horse, please give it to him.” Then I forgot about it.

Yesterday we got a parcel of things for the children, mostly clothes, but when I opened it, the first thing I noticed was…you guessed it…a rocking horse! I was so excited because this was my desire, not even something we really needed – it was just a want, and here the Lord went and gave it to us. Maybe He was just waiting for me to pray for it. It may not be as fancy as the one I wanted to buy, but seeing how much Logan enjoys using it makes me happy, and it was a chance to show him that Jesus answers prayer when we ask. That truly made my week.

Thank you, Tina, for the parcel. The baby clothes are just beautiful, and as for the horse, you have made a little boy and his mommy very happy.


So happy with his new toy.

Keeping Order

Today my life feels rather disorganized. No matter how hard I try to keep some semblance of order to what I do, it gets over-ridden by impulse. I get bored by routine. Most days I want to break out and do something different, anything, just to have a change of routine.

But then the other side of the coin is that I love order. It bothers me when anything is out of place, not to mention that if it is misplaced I usually can’t find it. Just trying to keep my room tidy is a major chore, thanks to my small helper who’s job is to make as many messes as possible to keep mommy busy from morning till night. As if I don’t have enough to do already!

I spend much of my time tidying and re-tidying, folding and re-folding, picking up the mess that I picked up 5 minutes ago, and trying to figure out how long the pair of pants my husband left on the chair has been sitting there. Are they still clean? Can I put them back in the cupboard or do they belong in the laundry basket instead?

At times I just give up and leave the mess, until it bugs me so much I have to tackle it. Then I get into everyone’s’ shelves and refold all their clothes and line them up neatly, hoping it will last at least for the day. The children’s shelves will stay neat as long as I am careful but mine is usually messy. By the time I am done with theirs I don’t have time to get to mine. And as for my husband’s shelf, well, he seems to always want to wear the shirt that is at the bottom of the pile and the rest get knocked over in the process. After a few days when I can no longer see the neat piles of clothes, I pull everything out and fold the whole thing again. Then he complains that he can’t find anything when its neat. I don’t even bother anymore with his sock and underwear drawer. At least no one can see that.
I suppose things will never be perfectly neat and tidy, but then again, I will never lack for something to do as long as messes abound.

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