My days at home on Tuesdays and Thursdays are much more relaxed in the mornings compared to my work days. It's really nice not to have a strict schedule on my days wearing my SAHM hat. Truman still has to get to school by 8:20 but there's no daycare time frame and no patient schedule for me to focus on, either.
BUT my home days contain a consistent amount of chaos plugged throughout the entire day. Being home with three kids is not EASY at all, OMG. But it's like the stress gets drawn out from the time everyone wakes up, until the time everyone goes to bed instead of being smashed into the pre-work hours and post-work hours. Chaos still abounds but it's not quite as concentrated into a few select hours.
A general run down of my days at home, in the name of memory preservation since routines seem to change as soon as everything feels semi-settled!
Mornings at home include me waking up around 6:00 and running outside before the big kids get downstairs, which automatically sets my day off in a positive direction. Like I said on IG, nothing like a 3-4 mile jog to provide me with endorphins and energy to tackle the day with my loves. Even if the kids completely kick my butt two seconds within stepping inside the door, at least I had that 'me time' to fake a sense of peace! I have become a huge fan of morning workouts and could technically run before work, too, but nah--I prefer to stick with my days off. One less thing to cram into the work morning routine that way.
I get back from my run around 7:00 right when the big kids are coming downstairs. Nate has already made the coffee and it smells like heaven---especially since I could (in theory) drink it at a more leisurely pace on these mornings. Porter might already be awake and chugging his bottle in the sunroom. I'll usually change his diaper and his clothes after that. I'll start breakfast for Truman and Cecelia but I don't have to force feed my daughter, since she isn't going to Lori's on these days and therefore is not on a time schedule. Hallelujah.
Also, it should be noted that Lori does feed CC breakfast there, so I'm not even sure why I bother at home on my work days. I guess I love breakfast so much myself and believe that the kids should also eat a hearty one to avoid STARVATION but in reality, they might not need to eat a ton immediately upon waking. Light bulb moment over here. Glad I've typed all about our morning routines because it's helped me realize pushing a 'real' breakfast on C and T might not be totally necessary. Truman could probably just have a yogurt at home quickly, then his snack at school will be just a few hours later. I usually pack him a Cliff bar and a GoGo squeeze applesauce for his snack and I'm sure that would be a good second breakfast in a pinch.
ANYWAY, back to my days at home.
Nate leaves for work around 7:15 so I'm on my own for child prep after that. I'll encourage Truman to eat, get dressed, and brush his teeth before I walk all three to school around 8:10. If Cecelia is still in her jammies and isn't too hungry, fine by me. Porter might need two breakfasts on a day at home, so he can probably squeeze one in before our school trek and one again after. I either eat breakfast before school or once we arrive back home, too---breakfast flexibility for all!
Once we have successfully deposited Truman at school, CC and Porter and I walk home and begin our 2.5 hours without the eldest. I must say, having 'just' two children seems quite simple these days even though Truman is consistently the easiest one of my bunch anyway. I think no matter how many kids you have, it always seems easier when one of them is elsewhere---but having two kids never felt easy when it was just Truman and Cecelia. And having two kids is NOT easy in general, don't get me wrong. I just think this must be some law of the universe: subtract one tiny body from the mix for a short time and succumb to the feeling of being needed by less people. Definitely a true scientific fact, unless one of the present children is also the dominating factor in life (ahem, Cecelia) and then science gets thrown out the window because said child equals three children at times. She's a pipsqueak but she is a force to be reckoned with, that girl!
This seems like a good time to give a specific example about how Cecelia's mood makes or breaks a day at home. Today, Cecelia literally woke up PISSED at the world. Actually, she woke up calling for me and since I was on my run, Nate went in to check on her. That was highly offensive for her and she wailed and sobbed and cried 'no daddy!' for a good 30 minutes while I was away. I got her to calm down when I arrived, but it really started our day off with a bang. She proceeded to whine, throw Truman's card game on the floor, refused to pick it up, and then needed a string of time outs in her room to decompress. By 8:30, when we returned home from school drop off with another round of tears because someone bumped into her on a slide, I texted Nate to say that I felt like a failure of a mother. Because OBVIOUSLY my daughter hates me and hates life and OMG she's so strong willed. I really dislike feeling like I'm constantly trying to break her, or discipline her, or teach her that she cannot always get her way. It's exhausting when we have mornings (or days) when we butt heads. I hate seeing her cry, it breaks my heart....but at some point, it also angers me because I cannot help her and it's pointless to reason with a two year old. OMG. Anyway, this is an example that serves as a nice reminder for me: being at work is sometimes easier than being at home. At least my patients appreciate me and don't cry 75% of the time I'm with them (slight exaggeration). <sigh> #girlmom #savesherdramaforhermama #loveheranyway #butwoah
SO! during Truman's school we will sometimes run an errand or two, but Porter's beloved nap schedule rules our lives. He goes down around 9:00 and most of the time, I will take a shower at that point while CC plays in the bathroom with my makeup or jewelry. She'll eventually finish her breakfast, I'll eat mine if I haven't already, and we will probably begin a load of laundry. We will clean kitchen counters, dishes, etc if feeling an extra burst of caffeinated energy. Cecelia really does adore 'helping' me with housework and kind of eats up the 1:1 attention during Porter's morning nap. I do my best to really praise her for being a big helper and sometimes we just need to hug it out if the morning has been rough. But other times, she's been silly and playful and happy without the drama. I mean, I hate to only mention the challenging times with my little lady. She is so loving and hilarious and sweet most of the time. Her hugs are the best, her giggle infectious, and she definitely adores her brothers. I *think* she loves me, too;)
Once Porter wakes up from his first nap, around 10:00 or so, he gets a bottle and then we fill some time with playing/dancing/puzzles/laundry. If it's really nice outside, we might head over to school slightly early but our standard is walking out the door by 10:50 for Truman's 10:55 release. Living across the street from school does NOT suck, I tell you.
Truman loves to play on the playground with his friends for awhile after school and most of the time Cecelia and Porter allow this. We head home by 11:30 or 11:45, and *this* is the pivotal time in our day. Just a few months ago, CC would have to go down for her nap immediately because life was just too much at this point. But lately I've been attempting to get a real lunch into all three children and myself at the same time. This is monumental, yes.
If I can successfully navigate the choppy waters of three hungry and rather tired children, I like to feed everyone, push CC's nap to 12:30, give Porter a bottle after that and then put him down as well, no later than 1:30. Many times this winter, we would do a playdate with friends from about 11-1 after school but before naps---which was always a great way to pass that critical time. Truman gets his iPad time during a part of the duel naps and I get cracking on phone calls and paperwork for my next day on the job. If there is time remaining after that, I might enjoy some 'veg out in front of the computer time', before changing laundry. Truman and I will color or do a craft project until one of the babes wakes up, usually around 3:00.
The hours from the end-of-naps until bedtime are witching hours to the max. It could go either way: CC and Porter might wake up super happy, or they might be angry at the world. It's anyone's guess really. Many times I sneak in a few photos of the children at this time of day. Again, it could go either way, but who could ever complain about getting to spend time with these little angel faces?
Heart eyes x 1 million
Truly, not even posed--Truman just snuck in the frame last minute.
Yes, Henry, I will rub your belly right after those two giant baskets of laundry are folded. Help a sister out, will you?
My girl, matching ponytails, and her amazing little profile.
This boy wrote me a 'Happy Birthday' sign in chalk with Yaya on my birthday. Sweet boy.
Post-naps: Porter gets another bottle, and CC gets a snack (or a super late lunch if she refused before her nap). We usually play outside at this time of day, either in our driveway or we go to a playground. Lately Cecelia is obsessed with swings and would seriously ride them for hours upon hours. Sometimes I oblige her, because Porter also loves swings and Truman is happiest chasing other kids on the slides. Occasionally we'll do a Target run, walk to Starbucks, do a library trip, or an afternoon playdate with friends.
Dinner time on a Tuesday or Thursday means I can either feed the kids and then eat with Nate when he gets home, or if I'm starving I'll eat with the kids and Nate can re-heat his meal later. I start making dinner around 5:00 and we are usually sitting down around 5:30 or 5:45. Porter is in his high chair the entire time I'm cooking and Cecelia is either sitting on the counter and stealing food as I prep it, or she might be playing with Truman nicely. Dinner time with the three children is getting easier with time but it's still pretty freaking hectic without Nate to help in the madness management.
Nate usually gets home from work around 6:30 these nights, and we all get a little excited to see him walk through the door. JUST A LITTLE BIT. We'll all play and I will clean up dinner before the kids start their bedtime.
Porter gets a bottle around 6:45, jammies, and I get to rock him for a bit before he goes down around 7:00. Truman and Cecelia are heading upstairs with Nate around this time for their routine: jammies, 3 books, teeth brushing, 3 songs by Nate and then two made-up stories by me. I walk out of their room to complete bedtime around 7:30 or 7:45.
After that, if I haven't eaten dinner already (jammed it into my mouth while telling the children to eat their food), Nate and I will make our dinner together. If I already ate, then Nate will reheat whatever I made for the two of us.
Then begins the wonderful evening hours with just Nate and I laying on the couch, talking, watching TV, and likely on our laptops. The past few months we have been binging on Lost--up to season three, no spoilers please! This is when I will blog, catch up on emails, and may need to do more paperwork for my 'real' job. Adult bedtime is somewhere between 10-10:30 and occasionally we might pass out on the couch first. Oops!
So yeah, days as a SAHM--the highest of highs, the lowest of lows!