Hi my dears, I thought I would do an updated “Day In The Life…” since my last one was when Charles was six months old. I chuckled as I read through it again — how things have changed! Life revolved around breastfeeding and expressing breast milk. Gosh I don’t miss it much although I do feel nostalgic when I cradle Charles in my arms and think back on the hours we spent together bound in a symbiotic bond.
Everyday is quite different but we have a pretty solid weekly routine. I was wondering which day I would pick to talk about but I think I will just choose a typical Thursday as we are at home together, not at day care, or with the babysitter. It’s a snapshot of a WAHM type day when I am actually at home, if you will.
7-8am Charles wakes up and plays with his teddy bears in his cot while the husband and I try to sleep a bit more. We hear him but wait with eyes closed and ears open till he gets sick of being by himself and wails for us. One of us will get up, say good morning to him and is always greeted by a big grin as he bounces up and down while holding onto the rail of the cot. After changing his diaper, we’ll bring him to our futon to have a family hug but he’s not interested in that for long and makes a beeline for our TV remote.
We just lie in bed till he asks for milk (he has a very specific whine) and one of us will take him upstairs and feed him a bottle of formula. After he’s fed, I’ll make his breakfast which is always rice and oatmeal cereal with pureed fruit and/or yogurt. I’ll also give him a tiny quiche or half a muffin or Vegemite toast to chew on. He doesn’t really eat real solid food yet — he just bites, sucks, and spits it out. I’ll round up his breakfast with just a tiny bit of cow’s milk, then I’ll brush his teeth and give him his sippy cup which is filled with water.
830am I’ll have scoffed down my breakfast by now — either a bowl of granola and Weetbix or a big green smoothie and I’ll proceed to make coffee and oats for the husband. I dole out supplements for both of us
9am Breakfast duty is over and I’ll wash my face, brush my teeth, and get ready for the day. I put on makeup if I’m going out, but today I stay barefaced because it’s an “at-home” day.
930am I play with Charles while I check Sparkle emails, Instagram, Pinterest, and Facebook. Yes, I’m a social media fiend. Then I might make some of Charles’ pureed meals as I often run out of food for him. There’s only so much freezer space we have and containers to hold the food, so I tend to make batches of his food on Sunday or Monday and then again on Thursday.
10-1030am Charles would usually ask for another bottle feed and I watch him to see if he’s sleepy. By now he usually has had a few tantrums and meltdowns (it can be caused by us not paying attention to him or he just wants to be carried or he’s had a tumble) and if he rubs his eyes, I pop him straight into his sleeping bag and say, “It’s time to sleep, Charles.” And close his room door.
He’s loves putting his arm on Bazzer, his favourite teddy bear, while he snoozes.
1030am-12noon This is when I get into action and shoot recipes for Sparkle’s 30-Day Challenge which would take me about an hour. It involves ironing tea towels, blending up drinks, or whipping up a salad. I also heat up Charles’ pureed food so it can cool down before he wakes up. I chop up fruit and veggies for babyled weaning — and spread out a large plastic sheet under his high chair.
Here are some of the food and drinks I whizzed up for the Sparkle 30-Day Challenge…
12-1230pm Charles cries for someone to get him so I head to the nursery and scoop him up from the cot. I strip him down to his nappy and bring him upstairs for lunch. Mealtimes are such messy affairs that it’s better to do without clothes as food stains are hard to remove, e.g. avocado, blueberries, and tomatoes. I usually let him go with babyled weaning for maximum half an hour or till he whines and sweeps everything off his high chair table. I feed him the pureed food and get him to drink a bit of cow’s milk.
1230-130pm I shower him off because there is food stuck to his chest, nappy, and limbs. After changing him into his outfit for the day, I attack the high chair with the Babyganics Toy & High Chair Cleaner and wipe up food smears on the floor.
130pm-2pm I quickly make a lunch of pita bread, salad, and pan-fried steak strips with yakiniku sauce for the husband and I as I’m starving by now. Charles just wanders around and puts his fingers into things while throwing stuff on the floor (like newly folded laundry). He likes hanging around the dining table while we eat and babbles with us.
Charles’ toy box — this is only 30% of his stuff in the living room…
2pm-5pm There’s not a lot of structure here as I’m juggling shooting more things for Sparkle, surfing social media, shopping online for groceries, reading blogs or watching YouTube beauty videos, while keeping an eye on Charles. Now and again, I have to pick him up or play a bit with him because he doesn’t like being on his own too much. I might change his nappy, give him some water in his sippy cup, or watch a kiddy show on YouTube with him, like Peppa Pig, Sesame Street, or The Wiggles. I’ll also put on his favourite Music Together tunes if he gets too whiny and we’ll dance and bop to the music. He likes to wander around the balcony and we let him touch the plants but if he starts ripping up the flowers, we’ll forcibly remove him and bring him back inside. I like to read to him and try to go through at least two children’s books a day.
Our favourites (or rather mine) are Hairy Maclary, Dr Seuss, and Aussie-themed animal books
5pm I heat up his pureed food and prep his plate of solids. I might snack on something myself and just chat with Charles as he goes, “Bah bah bah, nah nah nah, tat tat tat, mmmmmmm…!”
530pm I strip him again and put him in his high chair and supervise him as he prods, nibbles, and throws food around. I might have an eye on my phone as I check my various social media accounts (I feel like I’m on my phone alot as I type this out!!)
6pm I feed him his pureed food. Sometimes he not hungry so I shower him off again and dress him, and then clean up the high chair and floor AGAIN. It’s really the bane of my existence but I’d looked at some mummy blogs online and I think we need to soldier on with the babyled weaning so Charles can just practice eating three times a day. He’s certainly not a quick learner when it comes to food and I think patience and time will see him progress to eventually feeding himself.
630pm I try to feed him again — he usually takes some food in and always loves to have about two ounces (60ml) of cow’s milk.
645pm-720pm I throw something together for the husband and I. We used to eat after Charles’ bath and bedtime routine but it just took up too much of the evening — when Charles goes to sleep, it is precious me-time for both of us! So I decided to have dinner in the window period after Charles has eaten and before his bath. He really just plays during this time so I prefer to make a quick dinner now. I have a weekly meal plan that I stick to religiously because I don’t feel energetic nor very sane by this time to conjure up something different or exciting for our evening meal. I make tacos, cottage pie, green Thai curry, lamb curry, lamb chops, steak with veggie sides, big salads with grilled meat, Chinese stir-fries and mapo tofu — several examples of my fail-proof dishes
720pm-745pm The husband and I sit down to eat while trying to entertain our little monster as he tends to get clingy and tired by now.
745-8pm Bath time! It’s a really lovely slice of family togetherness as we play with Charles in the tub. He has these vehicle rubber toys that fill up with water and they turn into water guns. We’ll play peek-a-boo with the wash basin after we soap him, brush his teeth, and wipe his face.
8-815pm The husband lounges in the bath while I rub Earth Mama Angel Baby Bottom Balm on his limbs (it’s just an oily balm good for moisturizing skin, calming mosquito bites, or minor cuts and rashes; it smells so amazing and I think it helps to signal to Charles this is an aroma associated with bed time), change the bub into his PJs, and feed him his last bottle of the day. I zip him up in his sleeping sack, kiss him on the cheek, put him in his cot and say good night. He’ll usually play with his teddy bears for a while and even talks to himself until he drifts off to sleep. By the time I check the baby monitor at 830pm, he is fast asleep in child’s pose.
815-830pm I take a much-needed shower and may soak in the bath for a few minutes. I love this part of my day as I feel like I’m washing away the day’s troubles (and sweat) down the drain. I feel relaxed and de-stressed.
830-1030pm I get back onto my computer and work on Sparkle-related stuff. I’m editing the pictures I’d taken in the morning, planning the next day’s schedule, catching up on emails etc. The husband and I might have a work-related discussion. I might also use a bit of this time to make apple sauce or pureed meals for Charles. This is one of the most time-consuming aspects of being a stay-at-home mum — the sheer amount of cooking I have to do really surprises me.
Freezer drawer full of Charles’ pureed meals
1030pm I go back upstairs to make Charles’ morning milk feed and take food out of the freezer for the next day. I might have a warm cup of tea and read blogs or watch YouTube while I wait for the husband to finish up on his work.
11pm We try to watch a TV show around this time, but more often than not, we crawl into bed at 1130pm or later and I end up falling asleep while watching TV.
1230am I wake up wondering what I missed – these days I’m not fussed about not knowing the plot as I just relish the action of vegging out before declaring it’s bed time. I brush my teeth and call it a night.
And then it starts all over again… You might wonder if I do much housework as a WAHM — not much to be honest, as we have a cleaner who comes in every Sunday who does the bulk of bedsheet changing, laundry, vacuuming, mopping, and cleaning hard-to-reach corners. The husband takes care of the laundry once or twice during the week, does the dishes, and takes out the garbage. I might take in the laundry on Monday or Tuesday from Sunday’s load, and wash an occasional lot of dirty dishes but that’s about it. The house usually gets trashed by Tuesday and the floor gets grimy and gross by Friday, to which I just ignore till Sunday.
I’m responsible for all the food shopping, meal prep, child care (the husband of course helps but I am in charge of day care, babysitting, doctor’s appointments, health, nutrition, research, and shopping), and running of the household. I buy almost everything online because I simply can’t spare the time nor have the iron will for dragging around a squirmy toddler through cramped aisles in shops.
Sometimes, I feel fed up and run down with the drudgery of doing domestic tasks repeatedly but I also find a lot of comfort in our routine — it works for us now. If there’s no discipline in our household, I think it would be chaotic and three very hungry people.
What’s life like with your baby or toddler? Or what do you think of our routine?