I feel like there should be achievement badges for adult activities like parenting. For example, a couple weeks ago, Benji came crying to me and said he’d bonked himself; I looked and gave him a hug, but told him, “If it’s not bleeding, you’re probably OK.” It felt like a milestone in parenting.
The last week has reminded me of what being Mommy exclusively looks like. For example, take the last two days:
5:30 am – Wake up and go downstairs to start making oatmeal.
5:45 am – Benji wakes up and is starving. Give him some almonds and water to hold him for a while.
6:00 am – Benji officially “gets up” and wants to play.
6:00 am – 8:00 am – Help Benji make his own oatmeal; troubleshoot issues with oatmeal (not enough banana slices, need more oats, need more water); try to eat own breakfast before it gets cold; read Benji story while he eats; Ian takes over playing with Benji while I brush teeth and put on clothes; play games until school time.
8:35 am – Pack up nap bag; get Benji and self ready for going out in the 18-degree temps. Leave for school.
9:00 am – Drop off at school. Teacher reminds me that I volunteered to make play-dough for January.
9:05 am – Stop at potential daycare for discussion. Write check for first month. Feel conflicted. Get phone call from friend about date to go for a walk.
9:15 am – Put gas in car.
9:20 am – 9:45 am – Drive to friend’s house.
9:50 am – 1:30 pm – Go for walk at the Arboretum and out to lunch with friend. (Ellen Aagaard, who we try to see monthly and usually manage quarterly.)
1:30 pm – 2:15 pm – Drive to parents’ house. Pick up swimming suit for lessons starting this weekend.
2:15 pm – 2:45 pm – Walk with mom to grocery store. Purchase groceries (long line), walk back to car, drive home.
3:00 pm – Get home. Make play-dough for school.
4:00 pm – In-laws bring Benji home. He’s a in a good mood but tired from not napping.
4:00 pm – 4:15 pm – Try to plan logistics with in-laws but constant interruptions make it difficult.
4:15 pm – 5:45 pm – Play with Benji. Ian coming home late.
5:45 pm – Feed Benji dinner.
6:00 pm – Ian gets home tired.
6:00 pm – 6:30 pm – Play more.
6:30 pm – 7:30 pm – Ian puts Benji down for bed.
7:30 pm – Eat leftovers with Ian and discuss daycare.
9:00 pm – Go to bed. Sleep badly due to anxieties about daycare and new job situation.
Another busy day; instead of going blow-by-blow, let’s do another metric. On Thursday, in addition to all the necessary stuff like getting everyone fed and dressed, dealing with kitchen cleanup and dishes, making lunches, dropping off/picking up from school, and putting down for nap, I:
- Cleaned out the garage. Filled recycle bin and garbage can. Swept garage and tidied up remaining stuff. Figured out what will be given away.
- Sorted through humongous pile of rags and retained only the ones good for bike cleaning. The extras filled up an enormous paper yard waste bag.
- Sorted through all old bike parts and collected everything to be recycled. Tidied everything else.
- Drove to recycle place and dropped of huge load of recyclable clothes and old bike parts, including a big pile of tires and tubes.
- Stopped by Big 5 to buy new toe warmers. (Who knew they expired? They do. It’s disappointing to have tepid toe warmers.)
- Cleaned out my bike area of the laundry room and broke down a bunch of cardboard boxes. Filled recycle bin with flattened boxes.
- Researched Light & Motion light replacement (8 years old; amazingly, the battery still works, but is fading fast) and obtained existing-customer 30% off coupon (yeah!).
- Continued to research childcare options. Filled out next year’s kindergarten registration form. Read daycare packet and began completing forms (there are a lot).
- Did trainer ride with intervals during nap time, making it a whole 20 “miles” and finishing 5 minutes before Benji woke up.
- Printed out planet pictures for Benji. Drew extra planets that were missing (all the dwarf planets, plus the Asteroid Belt, Kuiper Belt, Oort Cloud, and the Sun). Helped him cut them out. Played “planet game” twice before going totally crazy.
My days this last week reminded me how much work it can be just to be a full-time mommy. Every day this week has involved more activities and running around even than when I was working from home; after all, back then I had a responsibility to complete my work, so all my free time went to that. Now I have some time to get all those neglected around-the-home chores tidied up before I start the new job, and it’s reminding me how much unnoticed work mommies do to just keep life running smoothly. Kudos to all mommies out there! You deserve a gold star!
Now I’m off to join the ranks of the fully-employed, and only time will tell about when all those mommy jobs get done, and by whom!