“Oh, you’re a stay at home mum. What do you do all day?”; “Oh it must be so great to be able to just stay home with the kids”; ”Do you have a nap each day?”
See, here’s the thing. A stay at home mum doesn’t not work…she works HARD. She just does it at home…sometimes in her pyjamas and sometimes covered in wee, poo and other bodily fluids (generally not hers!). Technically I guess I’m a work at home mum. I just tend to tell people that I’m a stay at home mum because it’s easier than explaining that I’m a birth doula, training to be a Hypnobirthing Australia practitioner, birth activist and writer. But this holds true for ALL mums who don’t work outside the home. So here’s a “day in the life” of me.
I woke up at about 7:30am with a little toddler boobing away. Okay…I was pretty much in a state of somewhat awakeness since the little dude came into my bed at 4am, but 4am is way too early to start a story, so 7:30am it is! Little dude had a feed and Ms 3 yelled out from her room. My partner got up to her and then I got up and showered while he made me a coffee and (I think) fed the children. I checked my messages and blog and then headed out for the morning.
First stop was to pick up a safety rail for my bed so the little dude doesn’t fall out again. Then we went to the shopping centre and had breakfast. I had just finished breakfast when I felt that I was going to have a severe case of the runs…Perfect timing! I attempted to run to the toilet, pushing the little due in the trolley and yelling back to Ms 3 to “hurry up” and god only knows what everyone was thinking as they saw us. Made it into the disabled loo with barely seconds to spare. While on the loo, Ms 3 decided she was going to play with the lock on the door…because she didn’t want to be in there. Then she refused to go to the toilet as she wanted to go to the toilet at the other end of the shopping centre. So we walked down there.
Once she had wee’d she calmed down and had a play in the little play area outside the toilets while I checked messages again. I moderate a few facebook groups so I try to keep an eye on things throughout the day. I also sent a text to my partner to get the mince out of the freezer for dinner as I had forgotten. I managed to remember to buy the newspapers and some taco ingredients, but forgot socks and the fishy poster. We finally made it back to the car…and finally managed to get everyone and everything in and I decided that I would still hit the indoor play centre since it still had an hour to go.
Play centre fun.
We got there and I had to argue that Ms 3 didn’t need to take her phone in (yes…very hypocritical of me!). We went in and I put the kids down and paid and bought a coffee and something to eat (and just remembered that I left an uneaten banana in the car…ooops!). Then realised that Ms 3 still had her thongs on while playing on the jumping castle. So I had an argument with her to get down and take them off. Finally managed to get them off her. Sat down for 30 seconds to sip my coffee as peacefully as one can in a play centre and then I was off to check on the kiddies. Bumped into some women I went to school with, which was lovely. Noticed that Ms 3 had a tiny wet patch on her pants so took her to the loo and hoped the little dude didn’t do any damage while we were gone. Once finished at the centre it took about 15 minutes to get out and to the car while Ms 3 argued that she needed “one more jump”, and then sat and put her thongs on, then had a tantrum because she couldn’t see in the mirror and I couldn’t pick her up to help her.
Picked up some seedlings for a food swap group I’m in. Little dude slept for a few minutes, very fitfully. We’ve turned his seat to forward facing and he doesn’t seem to sleep as well. Awesome. Once we get home I try and get him off to sleep, but no go. So I start to think about making lunch for everyone and then getting some work done. When my partner tells me that he’s taking Ms 3 to the shop. “Ummm…what about the little dude?” “Oh no, I couldn’t handle walking there with both of them”. Uh, okay.
So the little dude screams for a while, boobs for a while, finally gets happy enough for me to make some lunch. He throws most of his lunch at me while I eat my lunch. He gets wiped up and put on the floor to play. I don’t bother cleaning his chair, because frankly I just want to lie on the couch and rest. I take photos of the little dude climbing on the chest of drawers beside our tv and then cure his tantrum, caused by me taking away his climbing chair, with more boobing. We sing and dance and boob. I doze a bit in the feeding chair. I manage to drink a cup of coffee. Check messages. Race out to the computer and open all the documents I’ll need when I’m able to write later. More boobing and then at about 5:30pm the little dude finally falls asleep. Just as his sister and her daddy arrive home.
A day spent trying to ensure the Little Dude doesn't fall off the various things he climbs up on
Ms 3 tantrums a bit. “I want up with daddy” “don’t put me down”. Obviously very tired and also smelling of wee. I pour a glass of wine with the intention of going to do some work, finally. Ms 3 notices the neighbours are playing out the front and wants to go play. So I spend the next hour sitting in the gutter out the front, drinking my wine and chatting, while trying teach Ms 3 about sharing. She keeps pulling the tinsel of the neighbour’s bike so I pick her up and head back inside. Once inside I try to get her into the shower and get spat on (unintentionally I think), wee’d on, kicked, hit and then soaking wet from the shower. Ms 3 is screaming. And the little due is screaming. My partner is skyping with his dad – great timing! Ms 3 ends up going to sleep on him, while I sit and try and boob the dude off to sleep.
Once my partner has showered I pass the little dude to him. And manage to have my own shower. Then realise that I never made the tacos. I grab my wine and head out to the study to check what’s been happening. I want to do some activist work, but am not in the right headspace. I facebook and catch up with what’s happening. Amend a previous article. Have some cheese and crackers for dinner. And now, at 10:30pm, I am writing this article. It won’t get published tonight, because I’m about to fall asleep on my desk. Which would be no good…because I can’t boob the little dude while sleeping on my desk! And he’s likely to be awake very soon.
So that’s a day in the life of a stay at home mum / student / activist / writer. And that was on a day when my partner was home – I can’t even think what it’s going to be like once I’m on my own and outnumbered by toddlers! I’m guessing that I won’t have time to write about it though.
Just for the record – staying at home is NO consolation for getting wee’d on several times a day.