A few years ago, one of my younger brothers asked me what exactly I did all day long as a stay at home mom. I wasn't sure how to answer and I guess I didn't answer to his satisfaction because he looked at me in semi-disgust and told me to just get a job already. He was 17 at the time and if he were to ask me again today, I would answer with a play by play of the day's events. Then I would ask him if he would babysit for me so I could go get a pedicure.
So here you go, a day in the life of Margaret...
6:00 am Nurses Asher. Rolls Asher over to Clark's side of the bed. Praises Clark for being a morning person.
7:30 Wakes up for the day.
7:35 Wanders downstairs, participates in family prayer, says goodbye to Clark.
7:38 Eats a bowl of cereal, wanders upstairs, gets dressed, makes bed, collects dirty diapers that have gathered in various places during the night. Grabs clothes for Booker and Asher. Ike's already dressed, I'm assuming he had an accident before I got up.
7:45 Makes sure everyone is dressed and fed. Empties out Ike's froggy potty downstairs and his Elmo potty upstairs. Tries to ignore the bomb of a mess that has gone off in the kitchen and family room.
8:00 Nurses Asher so he's got a full tummy at the gym.
8:10 Loads up the car. Doesn't forget: diapers, wipes, change of clothes for Asher, extra pair of undies and pants for Ike, headphones, water bottle, Ike's blankie and baby doll. Forgets: towel for the gym and sippy cups for the boys. Not a big deal.
8:20 Leaves for the gym.
8:40 Drops the boys off at the daycare.
9:00 Gets interrupted on the elliptical by a daycare worker. Asher is fussy.
9:10 Picks up boys from the daycare. Loads up car. Doesn't forget: to buckle Ike's buckles. Forgets: to hand him his baby doll and blankie before I start driving. Doh!
9:30 Arrives at Safeway. Asher is hysterical. Hops into passenger seat to nurse Asher while Booker and Ike watch The Last Unicorn in the backseat. Tries not to flash the gentleman who just parked next to me.
9:45 Enters Safeway with one sleepy little baby and two wild little boys. Shops with one carseat in cart, one 4 year old hanging off the cart (threatening to tip it over) and one 2 year old bolting down the aisles and out of sight.
10:25 Checks out with a full cart of groceries. Foolishly refuses help out to the car from the bag boy. Doesn't forget: milk, trash bags and bag of chips for Booker's preschool graduation tomorrow. Forgets: diapers for Asher. Dangit.
10:35 Loads up car and makes the quick drive over to Beyond Bread.
10:40 Enters Beyond Bread and orders a last meal of sorts (my six weeks of postpartum vacation are almost up and tomorrow it's back to diet and exercise). Grabs a to-go bag that includes Max's Muffaletta and a creme brulee. Doesn't forget: Diet Coke. Almost forgets: to get a gift card for Booker's teacher. Back to the car.
10:45 Tries to ignore cries of We're HUNGRY from the backseat.
11:00 Pulls into McDonald's drive through and orders two happy meals.
11:05 Pulls into a parking space to hand out food, open chocolate milks and happy meal toys.
11:30 Pulls into garage. Unbuckles Ike. Carries in Asher. Brings in groceries. Almost drops watermelon on garage floor. Drops a 12 pack of Coke Zero cans on the kitchen floor and watches as they scatter.
11:35 Asher is hysterical. Puts frozen stuff in the freezer. Leaves everything else on the counter.
11:38 Nurses Asher while trying to eat sandwich and read People magazine. Brushes an artichoke off Asher's forehead.
11:45 Burps Asher. Changes diaper. Gets sippy cup, blankie and baby doll for Ike. Carries unhappy Ike upstairs and puts him down for a nap. Doesn't forget: to lock the door so he can't get out of his room.
11:48 Returns downstairs to a fussy baby. Rocks baby, checks email, wastes time on Facebook.
12:00 Puts cold groceries away.
12:05 Helps Booker build a fort out of the couch cushions.
12:15 Puts on a quiet time movie for Booker. Sits down on the couch with Asher in one hand and People magazine in the other.
12:35 Rocks Asher to sleep. Puts baby in the swing. Back to couch.
12:45 Passes out on couch. Mumbles Mmmmmm Hmmmmm everytime Booker asks for a snack out of the pantry.
1:15 Wakes up to a crying baby, a pool of drool on the couch cushion and several Fruit by the Foot wrappers strewn about. Collects crying baby.
1:20 Changes diaper. Picks up a dozen Coke cans. Puts away remaining groceries.
1:30 Movie is over, time to clean up. Straps fussy Asher into baby backpack and starts to straighten up downstairs. Does dishes and picks up dirty clothes. Tries to sweep and mop with baby strapped to my front. Decides this is a bad idea after hitting Asher in the face with mop handle.
2:00 Sits down to start blog entry. Types with Asher in my lap.
2:25 Hears Ike yelling upstairs. Sends Booker up to unlock his door. Puts sleeping Asher in his swing. Changes Ike's stinky pull-up and puts on his swimsuit.
2:30 Puts on an episode of Scooby Doo. Finishes straightening up the downstairs.
3:00 Finally relents to going out to the pool with Booker and Ike. Doesn't forget: towels, phone, scriptures, People magazine, water bottle, sunglasses and baby monitor. Forgets: to put sunscreen on the boys. Shoot!
3:50 Notices pink shoulders. Convinces boys that they would rather jump on the trampoline than swim. Locks pool gate and heads inside.
3:55 Empties out trash, toys and t-ball gear from car in anticipation of trip to the car wash tomorrow morning.
4:00 Contemplates dinner. Admires sleeping baby. Back to the garage for more car de-junking.
4:15 Remembers the pink shoulders and tells the boys to come inside to eat some grapes.
4:17 Admires sleeping baby. Sleeping baby! Remembers that I haven't showered today.
4:20 Finally takes a shower.
4:30 Hops out of shower, throws on towel and runs around house to check on the boys and access the damage. Child #1 is in the toy room playing with puzzles. Child #2 is wandering around in his underwear, looking guilty with Oreo crumbs all over his face. Child #3 is blissfully sleeping in his swing.
4:35 Gets dressed, puts on makeup and blow dries hair.
5:00 Gets dinner started. Downloads some photos off my camera while water is boiling. Helps Booker with some letter worksheets.
5:20 Sits down to eat dinner.
5:30 Asher wakes up. Nurses Asher in the other room. Panics when I overhear Ike yelling that he is "cleaning up his pee pees." Puts Asher down and runs into the kitchen where Ike is spreading pee all over the island countertop with his hands. Watches as pee spills onto my niece's graduation announcement and onto the gift card I purchased earlier.
5:31 Strips Ike down and sends everyone upstairs to the bath.
5:35 Resumes nursing Asher upstairs. Bathes all three boys.
5:55 Gets everyone in their pajamas.
6:00 Helps organize toy room cleanup. Heads downstairs to cleanup after dinner. Grumbles that Clark has to work late tonight. Remembers that Clark wakes up early with Asher every single morning with no complaint.
6:45 Drops Booker and Ike off at friend's house. Heads over to the church for a temple recommend interview.
7:15 Picks boys up and heads home.
7:20 Puts bandaid on Ike's finger. Kisses him better. Helps with teeth brushing. Reads three bedtime stories. Turns lights out.
7:45 Retrieves creme brulee from the fridge. Heads back upstairss to watch Top Chef Masters. Admires sleeping baby still in his carseat. Anxiously awaits the sounds of the garage opening and closing.
So that was super long and pretty mundane. But there you have it. In twenty years when my kids are grown and gone, I'll long for these busy days full of sippy cups and snacks and swimming sessions. I'll miss the chaos. I'll miss the routine. Sometimes I feel like I'm just treading water and trying to stay afloat, waiting for the moment that Clark walks through the door. I need to work on slowing things down. I need to enjoy these moments with my boys a little more. And more than anything, I need to take this mothering job more seriously. Because those guys can't fire me even if they wanted to.
Phew. And now your reward for making it this far...
Milk drunk Asher.
Milk hungry Asher.
Give it a try- keep track of your day's events. You'll surprise yourself with how busy you can be "doing nothing." And if anything, you'll surprise your 17 year old brother.