I often wondered what stay-at-home mums did all day and sometimes I also feel like I’ve been busy but haven’t had a lot to show for it. But you know, the thing about having children is that they cost a lot not just monetary-wise, but time-wise as well.
I’ve learned that just hanging out and playing with your baby is an integral part of child care and it’s time and energy consuming. It’s completely intangible but certainly such a precious transient period.
Another new emotion for me is mummy guilt — as much as I love my boy, there are times when I would reach for my iPhone because I feel bored of offering toys and picking them up over and over again. I would miss him when we are apart and even wish for the morning to come earlier so I can hold him, but there’s the conundrum of my mind wandering and craving for adult stimulation when I am actually with him. I have this irrational fear my brain will go to mush if I don’t engage in non-baby stuff.
Anyway, here’s a snap shot of a random weekday as a SAHM…
7-730am Rise and drink a glass of water. I latch onto my breast pump and away I go for half an hour. The husband is usually up with the bub from 6am so he is fed and his diaper is changed.
8-830am I make my breakfast and breastfeed while I chow down on cereal or oatmeal.
9-930am I make the husband breakfast while he plays with Charles.
930-10am The bub takes a short nap while I wash up over the kitchen sink. My bathroom is actually downstairs but I’ve learned to just stay upstairs near the living room area where his cot and play pen are because there have been too many times when I find him crying and screaming after disappearing for 10 minutes. Being nearer to him means I can rush to him whenever necessary. If he’s still sleeping, I might change out of my PJs.
1030-1130am I just hang out and play with Charles. I’ll breast feed him again, and by this time, he might need a top up of expressed breast milk.
1130am-1230pm I pop him into my red Boba wrap and do the laundry and get lunch ready. The reason for this is that Charles suffers from separation anxiety where he cannot even be left alone for a minute. If he is, he would cry and scream so for a peace of mind, I tote him around while I do my chores. Sometimes he falls asleep and snores in the wrap which is so cute. I also make sure I change his diaper before I put him into the wrap — don’t want any accidents on my clothes lol!
1230-2pm Again, I’ll just hang out with Charles and read the news or surf blogs while I put him in his Bumbo seat. He may or may not have a long afternoon nap — sometimes he just needs 30 minutes, but at other times, he’ll knock out for at least an hour to an hour and a half. There’s no clear cut sequence of events here as I try to multitask (blog, read, shop online) and play with him. He would breastfeed and need another expressed milk supplement by this time.
2-3pm I’ll breastfeed and change his diaper after he wakes up. I generally stop breastfeeding between 3-4pm because I need 5-6 hours to build up a reasonable supply again. Around this time, I will also get ready to go out — I’ll put on his coat and Uggs as I juggle getting the nappy bag ready. There’s not a lot to prep but I need to make sure I have formula, warm water, a bottle and a clean pacifier in the bag.
330-530pm I take a long stroll and use this opportunity to run errands. I may pick up some miscellaneous items at the supermarket or drugstore but I mostly buy the bulk of our groceries online at Seiyu. I get food and household items delivered twice a week — it’s a great little service and I couldn’t live without it. I also feed him a bottle of formula while we are out.
6-630pm I make a cup of tea and play with Charles for a bit before winding him down for his bedtime. He scoffs another bottle of formula as he has a feed every hour after 4pm.
630-7pm I turn on the heaters in the bathroom and his room to warm up the temperature and strip him down for his bath. We have a small bathing seat for him which makes it easy for me to shower him on my own. He loves his bath time and would want to suck on the shower head and grab his wash cloth.
7-730pm He’s changed into his PJs and I put on some cream on his eczema — it’s like dressing a little monkey who is intent on sucking his toes while I struggle to get his flailing arms into sleeves and pant legs. He has another bottle of formula and drops off into a deep sleep as I gently put him into his sleeping bag.
730-830pm I prep our dinner and we have a little chat about how our day went. I fill in the husband on any funny or cute thing Charles did during the day.
830-9pm The husband washes the dishes while I take a shower. This is when I can just fully relax and breathe in my gorgeous shower products.
9pm-1030pm I take this time to catch up on blog reading and Facebook and we might watch a TV show if the husband doesn’t have any work or business calls to do. I also express a bottle of breast milk to store for the next day.
1030pm We dreamfeed the bub and change his diaper and hope he will sleep through the night! I wash a bunch of milk bottles and change the water in our Milton sterilizer so I can pop in my breast pump.
11-1130pm We might continue watching TV or I would read before calling it a night. The husband sleeps in the play pen while I snooze in our bedroom. Charles’ cot is still in the living room because it’s so cold at night and the nursery downstairs feels too icy for comfort. It feels like we are an old married couple who sleeps separately but we are extremely paranoid about the bub getting sick again. He’s not quite sleeping through the night consistently so the husband camps upstairs just in case he cries. When the warm weather rolls around, we’ll all be downstairs in our respective rooms.
As you can see, life is very simple right now and I’m the one in the family who keeps the household running and cares for the baby during the day. One thing I didn’t expect was how fun it would be to be a mother – I guess I had visions of endless drudgery but it’s so much more than that! It’s learning to be in the moment with your baby and helping him grow physically and mentally.