I've been on my own on weekdays with a 3 month old, 2 year old, and almost 4 year old for a little over a week now, and here's what our real life day looked like in all the mom guilt survival glory.
FYI we usually do some sort of outing but the van was out of commission this week and I learned I am sure not cut out to be a LITERAL stay at home mom.
Some point when it's still dark out to 6:45 am: Remi is on and off fussy and even in bed with me has a tough time settling down.
6:45am It's time to accept that sleep, for the moment, is over. I hold her in bed and drink cold brew and browse social media. Eric leaves for work just before 7.
7:15 Baby is finally out. Dalton throws the door to our bedroom open and bolts in yelling "HAVE YOU SEEN MY POLICE DUMP TRUCK?!" Royce is not far behind him, holding out a small jar of crystallized ginger that had fallen off the spice rack for me to open. I give them each a piece. They like it.
Everyone goes downstairs, except Remi who's now sleeping in the rock and play. We locate the police dump truck in the middle of the kitchen. (Currently, every vehicle gets "police" in front of it and can be used to do police work.) The boys ask for cereal for breakfast and we begin our morning routine of screen time until I feel I am awake enough to parent.
The very first day Eric began the school year, Dalton suddenly announced he didn't like to watch shows with mommy, only daddy. We watched no shows. Same thing on day 2. I had no idea what to think because I had planned to rely heavily on screen time to successfully complete this two year leave of absence. Thank goodness, on day 3, he decided that "Remi was upset" and she needed to watch his favorite show to cheer up.
|Dalton teaching Royce to use the remote.|
Screen time is a always one of the top squares on mom guilt bingo. I'm not immune to the guilt but I've mainly moved past it. I don't stick my kids in front of the tv 24/7, we do plenty of fun non screen activities, so, whatever. We watch a good amount and I don't have any sort of self imposed time limit. I realize kids can learn from tv but let's get real, how much are they really learning from Paw Patrol?
We do only watch in certain spots in our daily routine, to avoid Dalton asking for it constantly and it being a source of meltdowns every time I say no. Before nap and bed we only do one show, because, duh, sleep (and thank goodness for Amazon prime which makes a billion shows with 10 minute episodes). Mornings however, are unlimited. The boys usually get distracted and start chasing each other or something and forget its on before I have to turn it off anyway. This morning they actually brought over books and wanted to all read together!
Plus Royce wandered away and started doing his name and alphabet puzzle so, probably not ruining them with screen time. I'll ruin them some other way.
|He can do the whole puzzle himself!|
8:00 While she's in her bouncer and the boys are watching shows, I try to not be a total slob and empty the dishwasher. Fun discovery: I left the lemon in my lemon squeezer before I ran it last night!
Royce is that judgy sanctimommy telling me not to create bad habits.
Around this nap I lost track of specific times, but we enter the vortex of trying to get everyone dressed, sunscreened, possessing a clean butt, and outside to play.
|Somewhere in there she woke up and I probably fed her.|
|Also in there I made us all eggs.|
10:00ish maybe: We complete several laps around the neighborhood. It's hot AF. Remi is in her favorite nap spot, the ergo. She likes it extra when I'm pouring sweat on her so this morning was her best life.
We play the "stop/go" game (literally just saying stop and go as we go on our walk) in my futile efforts to get Royce to stop running away and disappearing when we play outside. 50% success rate.
Finally I convince them to sit in the shaded backyard and play with their spray bottles so I can feed Remi and not spontaneously combust.
She hangs out in her bouncer while I make lunch. I loooove how our kitchen looks out to our backyard so I can watch them play while I cook, or in this case, put turkey on bread.
|Creeping on them out the window.|
|You better believe I didn't waste my good Aldi pretzel bread on them.|
12:15 Book and song for Dalton and BYEEEEE felicia. He plays in his room for quiet time and usually comes out to "go potty" about 45 times, comes out for at least one drink, and then 1-5 random requests like "mommy can you draw me a C after my quiet time?". But overall he plays in his room by himself.
12:30 Remi is actually sleeping on her own! Workout time!
|15 minute random Youtube tabata full body workout.|
1:30 Remi's up
1:45 Royce is up, which also means Dalton's quiet time is over. We play outside a bit and then I get about 4K steps getting everyone in bathing suits to go swimming at our neighbor's pool!
We are so lucky to have the best neighbors! Their pool was 92 degrees so even Remi loved it. Until she got tired and she didn't.
3:45 This is where the wheels began to fall off. Remi was overtired and crying, but wanted to be held, and I needed to change all four of us out of swimsuits. This is also where I could see why people space kids out more so you don't have to do pretty much everything for everyone.
4:00 Get in the car to meet Eric for dinner. Remi is still overtired and now crying harder and I feel terrible for keeping her in the pool too long and also about to hyperventilate with all the crying. We pull away from the house and Dalton loses his mind because him and Royce were sharing grapes and even though he had plenty of grapes Royce got more of the vine. I drive around the block then pull over and break the vine in half while taking deep breaths and trying not to have a nervous breakdown. This settles Dalton down but Remi is still screaming and I'm still using labor breathing to try to get through this car ride. Halfway there she stops crying and falls asleep! This has never happened with her or any of my kids that I can recall. MIRACLE! Life becomes enjoyable again.
4:30 The whole reason we went out for dinner was because a pizza place was having 50% off for teacher appreciation night. Which was ironic, because the restaurant outing that had us swearing off all restaurants for a minimum of five years was a packed Red Robin on teacher appreciation night back in June. We're slow learners.
But this time around was a roaring success. No line, and a huge green area for the kids to play and run around, and we got dinner for all four of us for $11!
|It looks like Eric is on his phone here, but he was really just reading a card with the types of pizza.|
6:30 Everyone gets home, bathtime for the boys, marathon nursing session/boob catnap for me and Remi. Show, books, songs, bed by 7:30 for the boys.
7:30 I contemplate trying to get away with another non bath day for Remi, but I can't remember the last time she had one so it feels wrong. She loves her bath and is kicking and smiling like crazy. Until I take her out and then she's pissed.
8:00 I get her settled down temporarily, or long enough for me to shower anyway. There's something about that swaddled little burrito sucking the pacifier that's just so precious.
8:30-10:00 Eric and I take turns helping her settle intermittently while we chat a bit and he watches football and I write this post.