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.