Ever wondered what my days are like? I don’t imagine you have. But just incase, here you go, a not so brief tale of what mommy life is like and an intro and big welcome to my day.
This is a day in the life of a stay at home, “single” because daddy’s gone 2000 miles away for work for the next few months, disabled mom.
A Little Backstory
The day starts at 6 am, which is incredibly too early because I never sleep and since daddy has been gone (since January 1st), the baby has decided to change his sleep schedule (not to mention his attitude) drastically. After the baby finally has fallen asleep somewhere between 10:30 and 11:30 pm, which is entirely too late for an 18 month old but yeah…you try telling him that, then mommy (that’s me) gets to go lay down too. I say lay down because that’s pretty much all that’s happening for the first hour, there is no sleeping going on.
After finally falling asleep one of two things happens…1. numbness in one or if I’m lucky both of my arms sets in (This is due to a pinched nerve in one arm and neuropathy in the other.) so that wakes me up from the pain and I have to readjust, or 2. the baby wakes up…which happens anywhere from one to three times a night now since daddy’s been gone (He needs a diaper change, for me to find the binkie that is 2 inches away from him, unwrap his blanket from around his legs, or give him a bottle because apparently even at night he needs to eat every 3 or 4 hours otherwise he might starve to death despite his quite svelte figure of ONLY 27 pounds.).
I digress…so back to the day.
It’s 6 am and my alarm goes off on my cell phone. It’s a bunch of guns shooting off and I chose it so that when, or I should say IF, I am sleeping deeply I will be awoken by its insanity. Now it’s just damn annoying since I don’t sleep much and definitely not deeply. I roll over to smack the phone to shut it off hoping that it hasn’t woke the baby or the 4-year-old who has usually made her way to my bed by this point.
My 16-year-old has been up for 20 minutes already and she somehow does that every day despite not having to leave the house for an hour and half later. I sit up, stretch every muscle I can, squeeze my hands into fists to get them moving, and rub whatever joint is the sorest (IE ALL of them). Then I stand up and everything snaps and pops as I walk to turn the alarm off because I am apparently the only person in the house that can do this and without doing this nobody can open the door to leave.
Sometimes the baby is up at this time and if not then the 4-year-old is at least. Some days they are both up, but if I’m super lucky which doesn’t happen often, then they’re both still sleeping in which case I tiptoe as quietly as possible out of the room and close the door behind me, I think maybe I can have a quiet cup of coffee or my own breakfast quickly without having to share it.
Let’s Get Ready Already
I check the 4 and 9 year olds’ backpacks hoping to not find homework that needed to be done to turn in today since I can never seem to remember to check them when they come in from school the day before. Hopefully there is no work to be done because at this time of the day I don’t have the energy, the time, or the brain capacity to help them and they would be totally on their own and most likely lost. Make sure everyone has their breakfast or plans on eating at school. Check for lunch money or lunch boxes, any papers that they needed signed, and send them out the door with their coats and gloves packed because this is Missouri and you never know how the weather is going to be in 20 minutes. I make sure the umbrellas are packed too.
Then the cats need to be fed too. Sometimes they’re waiting at the front door whining as soon as the porch light goes on, because of course it’s still dark when everyone is getting up and leaving for school. And other times I put the food in their bowl and stand there for 10 minutes calling and calling for them. Occasionally they come running from the neighbor’s house or from the backyard and sometimes from across the street which I wish they would stop doing because it nearly gives me a heart attack every time. Give them a few minutes of attention because obviously they’re my furry babies and I love them both too.
Food, Yes Please
The 4-year-old needs her breakfast. Four mini chocolate frosted donuts. Yep, that’s right. Not 3, not 5, and definitely not white powdered donuts. It has to be exactly 4 mini chocolate frosted donuts every single morning including weekends (Except sometimes on the weekends she eats the 4 and then asks for more, and occasionally she only eats 2 or 3 instead of all 4.).
This morning she wanted to go to preschool so she ate her breakfast quickly and let me get her dressed without too much of a hassle. Except the socks. Oh holy crap. The socks. Socks are a big issue with her, even on good days. They’re too tight, they’re not straight enough, they tickle, they’re stupid (That’s my favorite!). On days that don’t go easily with eating breakfast and getting dressed she can also have stupid shirts and pants, which is usually because she doesn’t want to wear THAT outfit that day or because the sleeves or pant legs are too long and need rolled or pinned.
Are We Leaving Yet
I pack the baby in his car seat which is a feat in itself because he’s nearly 27 pounds and despite the car seat saying it goes to 50 pounds I think the manufacturer lied because this kid is barely fitting anymore and it’s actually like shoving an extra large bag of full-sized marshmallows into a tiny little snack-sized zip baggie. Imagine that.
Strap the baby down, shove a binkie in his mouth, and cover him in a nice warm blanket. Why…why a blanket and no jacket or coat you ask? Well…safety. The safety 5 point harness needs to be tight enough to keep him safe in an accident and a jacket or coat would leave it too loose. And don’t forget that the buckle should be at the height of the armpits…which is getting almost to be choking him. Might be time for a new car seat.
After the baby is strapped in and starting to sweat his butt off waiting on us I start with the 4-year-old. Which shoes would you like today? The boots, the Frozen tennis shoes, the rainbow tennis shoes, the Minnie tennis shoes, the Elena tennis shoes? I don’t know why I ask because even in the summer it’s always the boots. We put the boots on, sometimes on the wrong feet so then we have to switch them. Get the coat, zip it…always. Toss on the backpack and then we’re out the door. But not off to school yet.
She then needs to play with the cats. Our male, Milkshake, likes to chase sticks because in his past life he was a dog. And our female, Muffin, just needs to be petted and loved. I’m pretty sure she doesn’t understand the concept of toys or playing, she is our pound rescue kitty. Ok…there’s the older kids’ bus driving by the house again for the 5th time now so that means GET IN THE VAN NOW or we’re going to be late. And yes, my kids’ bus does pass my house that many times every morning because our poor bus driver (who I have to say is also the most awesome man ever) actually picks up about half the town on his route. It’s crazy.
Finally We’re on the Way
I drive to the next town, about 5-6 miles, and wait in line to drop the preschooler off. She beats me in the back of the head with her fist and then elbow as she climbs to the front seat because damnit I’m not parking this van to climb out and walk around to open the door for her. Really, could we just get a couple more teachers on bus duty so us lazy (or exhausted) parents don’t have to get out of the car?
My phone rings, actually vibrates because since we’re a little behind on a few bills I can’t stand the calls so I’ve turned the volume completely off. Luckily it’s strapped to the dash so I see that it’s lighting up and hear the vibration. It’s the school. What the…?! It isn’t even 7:45 and I’m already getting a call.
Picking up the phone I realize it’s actually a person instead of those annoying automated calls reminding parents of something for the one thousandth time. It’s the nurse at my 4th grade daughter’s school. She’s in her office feeling like she’s going to throw up. Great. I explain I’m dropping another kid off and will be there to get her soon.
Come On, Hurry Up
Stomp on the break so I can lean all the way over to swing the passenger door open for her, luckily she can at least push it enough to get it closed. I see her walking up the sidewalk to the door with other kids so I pull away. Time to turn the radio up just a little and have the last few minutes of silence that I will get for the entire day until bedtime.
I rush back to pick up my 4th grader which isn’t quick at all because there is construction work going on in town. And instead of them doing this work which I’m assuming is on sidewalk improvements in just one spot at a time, no no no…let’s do this work in 15 different areas down this one stretch of street that is pretty much the busiest one in town.
Finally I get to her school and have to wait in a line of parents dropping their kids off because I have the baby so I can’t park far from the front door cause damn this kid is heavy to carry. I park and he’s asleep so that means carrying him in the car seat up those stairs and inside. Grabbing my 4th grader, I then have to carry the baby, car seat and all, back down those stairs and swing him and the car seat up into this stupid van. (I say stupid only because at this point I’m already exhausted and fed up with everything. I don’t really mean stupid because I f-ing love this van and would be so heartbroken if she ever died.)
At Home Again
We go home, the cats greet us and try to come inside. Big no no. (Nobody start on me about the cats being outdoors. They love it, my son is allergic, we need mice control and pets. They are beyond well taken care of, trust me. End of story.) We go in. I get the baby out who is now awake of course, and my 4th grader goes to take a nice bath and get on some pjs. It isn’t even 8 am yet. And guess what?! I am so done with this day and beyond exhausted.
There is too much that happens throughout the rest of the day to even begin to try to explain it all. So a quick run down…
What Really Happens Here
Back to preschool to get the 4-year-old. She wants BK fries and I have forgotten all of my money and debit card. To the house, get the card and back to get fries and now chicken for the 4th grader.
We eat lunch. The 4-year-old takes a bath and puts on pjs. We play, we scream, we cry. There are fits and tantrums and meltdowns. There are shitty diapers and outfit changes…6 times throughout the entire day. And one nearly gives me a heart attack because I temporarily forget what we had for dinner last night and that the baby ate black olives. Imagine refried beans with half smashed black beans spread throughout. Yeah, see THAT in a diaper and you’re going to freak out and start screaming asking everyone what the baby ate.
We have snacks and watch Moana, again like every day because it’s our favorite and at this point I could recite and reenact the ENTIRE movie. The house is tore up and cleaned up on repeat until bedtime. The 4-year-old needs me despite me being 6 inches in front of her. She smells me. One million times she smells me. My face, my arms, my legs, my clothes…she smells me. It’s a sensory thing and she only does it to me. I cuddle, I hug, I kiss, I sing, I play, I hold. We laugh, we love.
Is It Over Yet
By the end of the day I’m exhausted. I have barely eaten. And have cleaned up toys and spills and messes. I have washed and dried and folded and put away laundry yet I am still not caught up. And the exact same for the dishes. The cats are off on an “adventure” again which really means they went to the neighbor’s house I hope because despite calling and calling for them they didn’t come, which is becoming the norm some days and nights. (They’ll be back, they know where they live and who feeds them. Secretly I think they run away so they don’t have to listen to the chaos that’s happening inside our house.)
I can’t stand to hear one more scream, or cry, or fighting kid. Can’t even deal with one more shitty diaper or outfit change, so I’m praying for no more. I gave up on cleaning up the toys or trying to finish the laundry and dishes because it’s like a constant tornado right behind me. It’s impossible to keep up with the damn binkies and as I’m on my hands and knees searching for another lost one the baby walks up behind me with one in each hand. (I swear he’s hiding them on purpose.)
Hello Again Nighttime
I just sat down and realized I forgot my medicine this morning, which I will pay for tomorrow with a hell of a lot of pain and a bad attitude (which the kids will have to deal with). And the last thing I remember eating was a bowl of disgusting cereal at 6 am. It is now 8 pm.
So I give up and ask the baby (the only kid still in the room with me) if he wants to watch Super Why. He grunts so Super Why it is. I can feel a migraine coming on again…#2 in as many days. I just want to sit here for a minute and breathe.
How Exactly I Keep On Keeping On
The baby leans over and puts his head on my arm. That’s pretty much the whole reason I keep going.
I don’t get hugs or kisses or cuddles from all 5 of the kids anymore, the teenagers are too old for that stuff and the 9-year-old is off in her own little world usually. But these fleeting moments are what I live for. The little unexpected cuddles and hugs and occasionally a kiss. They all need me, and God I need them.
I’m stressed beyond belief and at times I feel like I’m losing it. I get no breaks, no vacations, no sick days. There isn’t any pay and my bosses, well they can be assholes sometimes…they’re also tiny little dictator terrorists. But I wouldn’t change this for anything. At least not more than a day. A day I would take, just for a little break.
Everyday I wake up and I don’t know what’s going to happen. With these 5 it’s always a surprise. But man am I so glad for this insane ride. And deep down inside while I’m stressed out and sighing and hoping that it’s nap (or bed) time soon, I’m also so happy I could burst and am praying that it never ever ends.