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 ……
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
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
Full time stay at home Mum of two toddlers
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 email@example.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 !