What do you do all day?
And I don’t mean that in the condescending tone of a childless neighbour or dangerously-close-to-a-smack-upside-the-head spouse who works outside the home. I mean it as “what does a day look like for you as a stay-at-home Mama?”
I decided to answer that question by keeping track of a whole day at the Den. For reference, it was this past Monday, September 28th. (I scribbled notes on a piece of paper because otherwise I would not be able to recall the details I’m about to share.)
8:30 AM: Wake up. Both kids are in my bed, Papa Wolf left for work around 7 AM. I am not complaining about 8:30 as a wake up time. Generally, Cub is up no earlier than 7:30, and I’m down with that.
We lounge in bed, reading stories for a while. Maybe I’m nursing Little Miss… I have no idea. We discuss how Cub needs to go pee on the potty. He is resistant. I probably offer a bribe (iPad) to get him onto the potty. I get them both dressed… whether or not I’m dressed at this point I have not recorded in my notes.
9:20 AM: We make it downstairs and I’m happy to see that Cub immediately occupies himself. I put on the water to make coffee.
I get my laptop running because today is the Periscopathon and I’ve got to help Kathy and Tricia at Funky Fluff with their Scope, which is on at 11:30 AM EST (I’m on MST). I’m hoping Cub will play by himself while I do this… but I am wrong. I sit him at the table with me and the iPad. While the Scope is going on, I get toast for us for breakfast and drink my coffee. I’ve got Little Miss Cub in the Huggaloops and am dropping crumbs on her, some of which I find only later in her neck rolls. Funky Fluff’s Periscopathon Scope is a success. 10:00 AM: Time to get us ready to get out the door for Cub’s playschool class, Lil’ Bookworms, which starts at 10:45 AM. (It takes us less than ten minutes to drive there, but I need at least half an hour to get me and the kids out of the house.)
10:30 AM: We’re in the car!
10:40 AM: We pull in to the community centre and Cub tells me he does NOT want to go to Lil’ Bookworms. I tell him we’ll just check it out, and thankfully, he’s down with that. We arrive at his classroom and I’m glad the class is not called Apostrophe-Use Worms. [Superfluous apostrophes aside, I love that she tells us the day’s agenda, and I love the variety of activities he gets to do during his hour and fifteen minute class.]
Cub is slightly reticent about my leaving him, but I get him started on the hopscotch and sneak away.
10:50 AM: With Little Miss Cub in the Huggaloops, I sit down in the car to make a phone call about our condo that is still for sale in Montreal. (This was a carefully timed phone call, since if I had tried to make it with Cub around, he would have dropped whatever he was doing and demanded my undivided attention as soon as I dialed.)
11:05 AM: Forty minutes of Lil’ Bookworms left and I have to get groceries at Walmart. Our grocery budget has $16.50 left for the month and I am determined to get what we need for that amount. “Parent with Child” parking spot is available. SCORE! We get what we need at Walmart for $17.50, I count that as a win.
11:45 AM: Cub seems to have had a great time, and he is SUPER excited about the pet spider he made. He walks his spider out to the car.
The spider is the highlight of his day! We drive over to our community garden plot because I want to pick some parsley and lettuce. We harvest what little is left and though I had told Cub we’d play at the park, I realize I bought frozen corn at Walmart and so we need to get home. Luckily, my suggestion that the pet spider would like to see Cub’s toys satisfies him and he forgets about the park.
12:30 PM: When we get home from an activity, I try to always get him to pee and then wash his hands. Spider comes to the bathroom. Cub goes off to play independently while I make myself lunch (bagel with cream cheese, tomato and lettuce from our garden) do the dishes and cook up some quinoa for that night’s dinner. Since he’s playing so nicely, and Little Miss is asleep in the Huggaloops, I try to get some blog work done. I put on some Radio Lab (I listen to podcasts or CBC radio all day long) and put the finishing touches on my Rumparooz review. Cub decides one of the attachments to our Dyson is an elevator, and Red Skull and Henchman (his Lego men) are having a blast in there!
For a while, Facebook goes down. I realize I cannot contact the main people I correspond with for work everyday without Facebook messenger. I should get their phone numbers.
At some point I give Cub lunch, but I don’t know what he ate. I know he ate while watching a movie on the iPad… ooh… I think he ate pita bread and fruit sauce. While he’s watching something about Thomas the Train and Diesel, I work on some more blog and social media stuff.
1:45 PM: Time to turn off the iPad and my laptop (not because I’m done work, but because I try to be reasonable-ish about his screen time). We’re going to make a web for Cub’s spider! We use the Magformers (a review on those is pending), and I get the genius idea to use them on the FRIDGE! Now THAT’S how you make a cool spider web.
2:30 PM: Once he wanders off to play by himself, I start a load of laundry and start prepping for dinner. I had planned on making quinoa salad for dinner, but realize I haven’t soaked the chickpeas in time. I start the chickpeas soaking for tomorrow, and move ahead on the meal plan to Moroccan Lentil Stew. I peel all the carrots I bought so they’re ready for the week. Moroccan Lentil Stew is my favourite freezer meal, so I’m doubling the recipe. Lots of veggies to chop! (Little Miss Cub is still in the Huggaloops.)
Radio Lab is teaching me all sorts of stuff about Nazi prisoners of war in the United States while I wash and prep my veggies. Cub is playing really well on his own. He’s in underwear, so I’m constantly checking in on him about having to pee. He comes into the kitchen and starts spinning, and he’s saying something that takes me forever to comprehend. Turns out he’s spinning super fast to get to Gotham City, where Batman and Joker live.
3:30 PM: Gotta change those undies but he does get some pee into the potty.
3:50 PM: We make an adventure out of taking the recycling out. He has a race with his shadow back to the house. We cuddle on the couch reading library books while I nurse Little Miss Cub. Cub decides he wants to cuddle his sister.
(I’d like to mention that I definitely changed Little Miss Cub’s diaper and nursed her at other points during the day, but I clearly never wrote that down.) At some point we start fiddling with my iPhone, watching videos I’ve taken of him and looking at pictures. We film a slow-motion video of Cub running, which he thinks is pretty funny. It is. We need to film more things in slow motion!
4:30 PM: I smell poop. We get some of it into the potty. He plays iPad (or watches a show on it, not sure). I write a sponsored blog post for later this week.
5:10 PM: “NOBODY TURN OFF MY IPAD!” Luckily he doesn’t put up too much of a fight. For supper I’m having my lentil stew, which of course Cub’s not going to touch. He gets left over Bunny Pasta (Amy’s Bunny Noodles). My new #momhack is that I pureed sweet potato and froze it, and now I add it to Bunny Pasta and he’s none the wiser.
In order to not burn Little Miss Cub’s scalp with my stew, she is in the bouncer.
My dinner dates:
For dessert, Cub and I share our “chocolate cake,” which is chocolate chip zucchini loaf we made together last week. More secret veggies!
5:30 PM: Papa Wolf gets home. Cub is obviously getting sleepy (the benefit of him not napping during the day). We got mail! Cub receives a belated birthday present from my aunt. We also got our Amazon order!
6:00 PM: I get Cub into his pajamas and brush his teeth early because he’s going downstairs to snuggle with his Papa and watch Dino Trucks. While they’re downstairs I clean up the dinner dishes. Once those are done, I run about frantically with this small amount of Cub-free time and Little Miss asleep in the bouncer…
My notes end here… but based on the photos on my iPhone, I know that at 6:58 PM I’m pumping milk for the Calgary Mothers Milk Bank.
At 7:18 PM, Cub and Papa have finished putting up the key rack I ordered from Amazon. I’m pleased!
I remember that while Papa was putting away his tools, Cub and I cleaned up all his toys, which we don’t normally do. (But I really liked waking up on Tuesday morning to a tidy living room.) No more iPhone photos to corroborate, but, by 7:30 I’d have been putting Cub to bed. We probably read at least three Super Hero stories and sang lots of songs until his breathing slowed and he was asleep. I assume I snuck out of his room.
Then, the night must’ve been like every other night: trying to get as much work done for my social media clients as possible while Little Miss Cub is in her bouncer or in the carrier or with her Papa. Usually I get into bed with her at 10 PM, and I think that on Monday night I was editing blog photos on my phone or something while nursing her until she finally fell asleep at around midnight.