A Day in the Life of Parents……..

I thought it would be good to share some experiences of everyday parenting for those who have had children to feel reassured that you are not alone on routines, and that people who are considering being parents can see an average day in the life of ……

Enjoy !

Full time stay at home Mum of two toddlers

I’m a Lucky Mum

When I was asked to write this paragraph I protested – I’m a terrible person to write about being a mum with two small children, I’ve got it really good! A lot of mums have to work hard, with a mad rush from dawn till dusk, juggling work, cooking, feeding and shopping, not to mention cleaning. I hear from some that it is easier going to work than it is being at home with two small children. Not for me. I think I always wanted to be a mum and to be able to be a full time mum is a bit of a dream. I love the small talk at playgroups, mucking in with getting out the toys and watching small children battle over the shiny toys. I love the walk to school, in all weathers, and there has been a lot of weather about this winter so I should be jaded by it by now. But I’m not. Perhaps I’m on a bit of a high at the moment, not for any particular reason, but maybe spring is on the way and it feels good. I have my youngest starting pre-school soon. It will be the first time in 5 and a half years that I will not be able to justify my leisurely existence with having to raise our offspring. Does this mean I have to go back to work? I really hope not.

I’m Still Me

I get up at 7am and we are out of the door at 8am for the 40 minute walk to school. We always walk. We have seen every type of weather and my eldest has only been at school for 1 and a half terms. She’s already on her second pair of shoes. I stopped looking glamorous when I had kids and now I find that I have to have a different wardrobe for the older woman. When did that start? I give my youngest leftovers from last nights dinner and I eat what she doesn’t. Is this a balanced meal? I haven’t officially worked since I had my daughter 5 and a half years ago but I have been totally immersed in the school parents association. I’ve become class rep, newsletter editor, trustee for the school association and now I run the local Rainbows for 5-7yr olds. If anyone says I don’t work I want to clobber them. I love the playgroups and the friends I’ve made through them and I really believe they will be with me forever. They’ve been with me through every high and low through this most life-changing experience of starting a family. When my youngest starts pre-school soon, I will go cycling, running, do more diy and definitely make the garden look lovely. Spring is on the way and it feels good.

I am a mum with two small children. But I am definitely still me.

Dad of newborn who went back to work

To state the obvious, having a baby has had a huge impact on my routine. It has materially changed my body clock, when I eat and sleep, and even my commute to work. I’m waking up at 6am and am generally in the office by 8am. This is partly because our (now 13 week old) son, Finn, tends to wake up around this time and needs changing, and partly simply because I am going to bed earlier. I am as such getting pretty much the same amount of sleep as I used to… but the late evening football match, DVD, let alone night out, has, for the moment at least, been resigned to memory.
Let’s get nighttime out of the way. My wife is breast-feeding, so apart from the odd nappy change when required, there’s not much for me to do when Finn rouses. That said, interrupted sleep (Finn will generally wake up two or three times during the night) does have an impact on my state of alertness, particularly by the following afternoon, when a few yawns tend to creep in. I am nevertheless becoming accustomed to being 10-20% more tired during the day. I am also starting to sleep through some of the night time feeds – which presumably my wife has mixed feelings about…
As for the day? Well, work is work. Around that, one of the unexpected changes is that I am enjoying my commute – a 25 minute train sandwiched by two 10 to 15 minute walks. I think this is due to two related factors; first, the commute is now pretty much my only ‘me time’ and so attains a sort of scarcity value that I had not anticipated just a few months ago. Second, I have now, probably to make the most of this time, started listening to music and podcasts – I have for example discovered Mayo and Kermode’s ‘wittertainment’ film reviews. All very enjoyable even though there is little chance I will actually get to see any of the film’s reviewed!
The return from work is now invariably something of a dash to arrive home in time to cook dinner and for Finn’s bedtime routine, starting with a bath at around 6.30pm. He loves the bath. He doesn’t love being put into his sleep suit and into the cot for bedtime. This can sometimes be a low point. You get home from work fairly tired, but have to spend most of the precious alloted time with your son trying to stem the flow of tears or at least soothe him. Being able to spend real ‘quality time’ with Finn at weekends, does make up for this, but it does take some getting used to. In any case, the day comes to a close shortly afterwards. Having had a feed, Finn usually drifts off at about 8pm – and I won’t be too far behind him!

Mum of  toddler twins…. back at work

As I write this article I am sat at work, on set for the show Bedtime Live. I am a freelance floor manager and usually work a couple of times a week on various TV shows. The director has just called a 10  minute break and I have a lovely hot cup of tea by my side. This is the most relaxing 10 minutes I will have for the rest of the week, you see, I am a mother of 2 and a half year old twins!

When not on a day of rest, by which I mean when I am not at work, my day starts between 6 and 7 am when my daughters, Lola and Darcy come into our room.  Mornings are my favourite part of day. Me, my husband and the girls snuggle up in our bed whilst the girls drink their milk and we drink a large cup of caffeine to kick start our day.

My husband works from home, so usually heads upstairs to his studio at 9am. I have to be so disciplined  and ignore the fact that he is upstairs, but the temptation to call up for help when you have two manic little girls creating mayhem downstairs is hard to fight!

The girls are brilliant to hang out with and are growing up at a ridiculous rate. Their vocabulary multiplies by what seems like the hour. They make me laugh continuously and have brought immeasurable happiness to our lives. However, it is hard work. Imagine spinning plates on a cross trainer for 12 hours a day…that is the only analogy I can find to describe the energy required to look after twins!

I like the girls to have routine as they function so much better, as do I. Tuesday morning is Monkey Music and Friday morning is nursery. Other mornings are usually spent running round the park. I spend a lot of time running from one twin/hazard to the other!  Once home, it’s lunch; sarnies, soup, mess!! By around 1pm the girls start to get clumsy, which means it’s nap time. My problem though, is that the girls refuse to have a nap at home. I have tried many a time to get them to nap in their beds, on the sofa, in their buggy, but they do not sleep despite being exhausted. The only solution I have found is to drive them around in the car until they fall asleep which only takes about 15 minutes. Once asleep, I drive to my favourite place….the graveyard!!!! Although this sounds terribly morbid, trust me, it is my place of quiet, where I can either get work done, or close my eyes and get 40 winks without any disturbance from anyone!!!

After their nap we usually go for a walk or play at home if the weather is bad. At 4.30 the TV goes on and suddenly the mayhem turns to calm and stillness as the girls become hypnotised by the Disney channel, allowing me the space to cook their dinner.

Bedtime is quite a long process. We head upstairs at about 6.30 for bath time then it’s pyjamas and stories whilst they have their milk.  They do anything to stall getting in to bed and going to sleep. Once lights are eventually out, I sing a few songs to them as they fall asleep and then commando crawl out of their room. (Not a Bedtime Live tip!!)

Father of two girls

Hi everyone,
My name is xxxx and I’m a daddy.  I am 36 years old, have been with the love of my life for 12 years and we have 2 beautiful daughters aged 7 & 3. This is my very first blog and my good friend Tanya has asked me to write about what its like to be a dad.  I didn’t know where to start at first but then I decided that all I need to do is be honest and I can only share my opinion about what I know through my experiences and I hope that any other dads or mums can relate. You’ll see a few more short posts from me in the future and my thoughts about striving to be a good dad, every day and in every way.
My father wasn’t a good dad, simply because he couldn’t “keep it together”.  But after nearly 8 years of putting my heart and soul in to being the best dad I can be, the truth is that it is difficult to “keep it together” all of the time.
When I say “keep it together” in mean in regards to loving, caring, chastising, comforting, understanding, encouraging and being a positive influence in the lives of my children.  Setting an example, being someone they can and want to talk to and giving my children no possibility of doubt about my love for them are ongoing priorities in my life.
Being a dad may not be easy but as long as we are able to “keep it together” in terms of the purposes and practices we put in place, the attitudes we reflect and the values we embrace, I truly believe that overall we can “keep it together” as dads if sincere efforts are made.

Full time stay at home Mum of two toddlers

Woke up at 7, got 1 child washed and dressed whilst hubby dressed the other, dived back into bed for 10 mins avoiding getting up! Kids drink milk downstairs watching tv. I get showered and dressed hubby leaves for work. Get kids and myself breakfast, drop 4yr old off at nursery for 9am run home have a cuppa. Spend morning playing with 2yr old with train set and cars and a bit of tv. Lunch at 12, then leave house at 12.30 scooter under arm (in preparation for daughter when collected from nursery) whilst son scoots alongside me as I walk to nursery. Collect daughter and take both kids to park for runaround (end up carrying both scooters for part of journey!). Weather turns cold so head home again, put washing in, unstack and stack dishwasher whilst kids play together. 3pm leave for shopping centre, take daughters new shoes back for refund as she’s already ripped material off tops after 3 days wear! Get bday present for kids party at weekend, quick shop at tesco for food for tea then kids have ride on Thomas and Barbie car rides. Take daughter to swimming lesson then back home and straight into tea. Shower kids, milk, stories and bed.
P.S. – this is just the basics, I have not included all the arguing, bickering and winding each other up that goes on constantly between my son and daughter and the anger levels and sometimes shouting levels raised from within me when dealing with this!!!

 
If you want to write an average day in the life of your own – please do email me on coldcuppatea@gmail.com and I would be happy to put it up on my site.I also think that it is important for other parents to share their everyday lives with others.
 Thank you all of those who spent time writing these articles and sharing your parenting days. We will get through it !

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