This is a blog post I wrote in 2016 when I only had two children, Aston was still in kinder and Will was in childcare. I wanted to share it again with you for those that only have two children or are thinking about their second and who have requested a post on how I managed the kids. I will give you an updated one with three kids soon.
One of the most common questions I get asked is about a typical day in the life for me.
I kind of always skimp over my day when I explain it or answer the question in an interview. Tonight, I am going to give you the full blown version, it might be an insight for you, it might not, it might be what you think I am going to say and it might not, either way, it is a very common question and I am going to answer it now.
“Mummmmayyyyyyy!” my alarm goes off sometime between 6:00am and 7am from either Aston or Will, depending who had a later night the night before. I hit the snooze button, aka, a few more ‘Mummmmayyy’s’ and then either Josh or myself (it depends, if I kick him and he grunts and wakes up and goes or if he ignores my kick and snores, then I have to get up, damn it!) will grab that child, put them in bed with us and hope they go back to sleep or at least lay there quietly until the real alarm goes off, aka the last child to wake up. We usually start our day between 7- 7:30.
Second child is awake and it is all systems go. Josh gets up and jumps in the shower, whilst I put the dog out, clean the potential wee she has done near the back door throughout the night, usher the kids down to the lounge room to keep them contained and not causing mayhem around the house, I turn the TV on Nick Jr and then I start to make Aston’s kinder lunch and breakfast.
You would have seen in a recent Facts about me blog post, I make mentioned that I make Aston the same lunch every day, just alternating the sandwich. So I make his popcorn, hummus and crackers, fruit and sandwich all whilst putting Aston’s toast in the toaster and mixing up Wills weetbix. Meanwhile, Josh is enjoying his hot shower and strolls out slowly to our bedroom, gets himself ready for work. Back in the kitchen, I finish the lunch, put the breakfast on the kids table, call them to eat and I go to each of their bedrooms to pick out their outfits for the day.
By now, Josh is taking a stroll to our local café to collect our morning coffee’s before he heads to work. I pick up any mess I see, darting from room to room picking up dirty clothes and random things and putting them where they belong then make my way to the kids and dress them one by one as they are still munching and watching Paw Patrol . Note: I never used to let Aston watch TV in the morning until Will became a toddler, then I do what I got to do to get shit done and if you have a negative option about this, close this tab now because I don’t want to hear it.
Josh gets home with two take away coffee’s in hand, leaves one on the bench for me and says goodbye to the kids and me (potentially in the shower) and leaves for the day, this is 8am (but more often he leaves by 7:30). I am passable in appearance (if I don’t have an appointment or meeting straight after kinder drop off I tend to just throw on clothes and no make-up. If I do have a meeting, I get up super early, before alarm cries, and do my hair and make up and am ready before kids wake.) It is 8:15, I think I have time for a slice of toast, I make the toast, Will spills water all over his just-put-on jumper, I change him, I eat the toast, it is 8:35. I need to find and put shoes on the kids, brush their teeth, style their hair and then spray it with hair spray so they don’t get nits (fact) and somehow get the three of us out the door and buckled in the car in 10 minutes. It is 8:56am we are late, Aston starts kinder at 9am, I prefer to drop Will off first because, well, hell.
We are late to kinder drop off, Will chases Aston into the kinder gates, he falls over, cries, I carry him, he is heavy, he wants to get down and play in the sand pit, I keep holding him, he flops his body so I cant carry him as he screams, its hell. I get Aston to his class, I drag Will out of there kicking and screaming, I get the usual, side half-smirk that basically says, poor-you-Jess-ha-ha-see-you-at-pick-up, because, you know, we have to laugh it off you know, hell.
I drop Will off to Childcare. When we arrive, he refuses to get out the car. I pull him out, carry him in and when we get to his class, every day, he stands there with his eyes closed. Little Will thinks that if he has his eyes closed, then no one can see him so he basically isn’t there. Nawww, he melts my heart at how loving he is to me, despite the rough and tumble. I spend a good ten minutes with him to get him settles.
I go home, I sit.
I sit for about as long as it takes to flick through my instagram and emails and see if any urgent emails have come through. I toy with the idea of actually posting to instagram but the dirty dishes on the sink keep looking at me and the fact that my coffee is cold and I haven’t started the day with a coffee yet usually means I get back up and go and buy myself a coffee so I can start my day, finally.
I like the walk to the coffee shop in the morning, I like seeing other humans, talking to familiar faces in the coffee shop but I also like walking back home and accomplishing the endless things I have to get done for my day. Once the house is as tidy as possible, I sit down at my desk and answer emails.
Do you actually know how long it takes to get back to people when you are already days behind? Ages! Do you know how lazy I get that when I see an email not addressed to ‘Dear Jess’ I delete it immediately? I try super hard to answer as many emails as possible so I can get on with creating content for my blog. On a normal day, I don’t have a photoshoot or an event/meeting, on those days, emails are as insignificant as a pair of stilettoes are to a busy mum. Once the emails are done, it is either lunch time for me or I power through and keep working. Some days I stop for a second coffee but not food, as it is quicker and I find that I forget to eat until it is time for kinder pick up.
By 12pm I am creating content for the blog, scouting the net for certain products I think my readers would like, writing blog posts like this and taking photos of myself using a tripod and a remote for Instagram. Before I know it, it is 2:30pm my work day is basically over as in 15 minutes time, I would leave the home to pick up the kids. By now, I am already behind on todays emails and have accomplished only 40% of the blog post that would be due to go live that night.
2:45 get in car pick up Aston. It is about an 8 minute walk to kinder, but I need more time up my sleeve so walking currently isn’t an option. I let Aston have a quick play in the kinder yard for an extra 10 minutes whilst I explain how busy my day was to the other kinder mums, although when I say it out loud, it totally doesn’t sound like I was busy at all, what? A few emails, prep for a blog post, sip on a latte? Pffft. So then I think, maybe I am not really busy, what did I accomplish? I am going to have to make up for it tonight when the kids are in bed.
Drive to pick up Will from Childcare. The groundhog day begins, “Mummmmmayyyy I’m hungaaaryyy, I want banana bread!”
“mummmay did you hear me?”
“Wait til we get home Aston”
“No, I want some now”
“Aston! My car isn’t a kitchen!”
“Mummmmaaayyy! Don’t yell at me! You hurt my feelings”
Stab to the heart! My precious little darling, his feelings are hurt, I can’t believe I hurt his feelings, am I a mean mum? I didn’t mean to yell, will he remember this moment forever?
“I am sorry Aston, I will get you some at home” (and I will buy you 20 toys tomorrow to make up for it)
Will is always so happy to see me and Aston pick him up. He screams my name and runs to me and cuddles me. Our exit is really fast, we get to my car, I always make both boys enter the car from the curb side car door, Aston goes through the car to get to his seat and once Will is strapped in, I walk around and strap Aston in.
“Mummmmayyyy! I want banana bread!”
“Soon? No soon, do you even have any? Can you go to Thomas Dux and get some?”
“Tomorrow Aston, we aren’t going to Thomas Dux tonight”
“Agh! This makes me angry!”
“Grrrrrr Angyyyyyyy mummmmay” Will starts to copy him.
At home, its fucking World War Z! Kids run in the door, they let the dog in, the house is crazy, kids begging for food, kids fighting, kids pushing children sized chairs to the kitchen bench to steal food they cant touch. I put on their favourite movie right now, Rio, make them a snack and they sit and watch it. I have half an hour before the zombies wake from their zoned out time. Quick, check your instagram, Quick, put a photo up (OK my instagram photos don’t just go up, they need to be chosen then put through three apps for colour editing before publishing) Quick! Answer that new email! I get in a zone myself and feel a little excited that I am accomplishing a couple of things. Then, they wake-
“I’mmm hungaaary mummy, I am hungarrrryyy!”
Shit! It is 5pm, the kid’s dinner time, kill me now!
The zombies come towards me, one by one, arms out towards me, heads tilted sideways, sometimes drooling, a runny nose here and there, and definitely ready to attack. My arms stretch out holding garlic, cheese to tie them through and send them away. Be gone!
I boil some water for pasta, carrots and broccoli, I cook up the lamp cutlets, cut up some tomato and avocado.
Dinner! I set the kids up at their kids table for dinner, sometimes I put the tv on (yes, yes I do! So sue me!) then I sit. I sit, and look at my emails and instagram and try and get back where I was before, I have around 15 minutes before the fed children are active again. But wait… my dinner! I head back into the kitchen and start preparing some adult food. This is usually a nice quiet time, I get to snap chat my food prep, cook at my leisure without too much pressure, until 6pm, bath time! Stove off, bath tap on!
Wrangling the kids into the bath takes some skill and bribery. One child might be hiding in a wardrobe somewhere and the other glued to the tv, I grab, strip and put one child in the bath and hunt down the second. Jealousy is a bad yet good thing sometimes, when one of my boys is actually in the bath playing with toys, the other is usually desperate to get in and snatch that toy off him.
20minutes of peace, wet, splashed peace, but I pick my battles, a little bit of water never hurt any mama. I watch the kids whilst they bathe, whilst I watch snapchat- mmmm some me time!
Man, just writing this is boring me, as it is seriously my every single day, are you bored yet? Well, try living it.
Meanwhile, I pick up Will, kicking and screaming out of the bath to get him dressed in his pj’s. Trying to dress this child is like trying to dress a fish out of water, throwing its body up and down, up and down. The wild one is dressed, I then have to pull the plug out of the bath to get Aston out of there, he loves his bath time (once he is in there) as he has a great imagination and likes to play with the bath toys or imagine he is swimming in the ocean. I dress him, it isn’t as painful as dressing Will, but it is a mission in itself as he is a boy, and boys like to be nude and run around talking about their bum bum and think it is so funny. No, it isn’t funny, “Put that doo doo away before Chase thinks it is a sausage!” That line gets him every time. We seem to take about the same things whilst I get him dressed, such as
“Remember when you were just turned four and you didn’t wear pull-ups to bed? Remember you went 10 days without wetting the bed? Do you think we can start wearing undies to be again soon?” and
“lets try and get dressed super fast before daddy gets home!”
I settle the kids down in the lounge room, they usually find something to play with at this point whist I think about some adult dinner again. Josh gets home, 7pm. Kids go wild, Aston hides from him behind the couch as he does every night and Will runs to him with his arms out screaming ‘Daddddyyyy’ as if I have tortured him this whole time and he needs saving.
Josh kisses the kids and goes straight to the fridge to find food. I quickly run into the kitchen and pretend that I have something great cooking. Everyone fights for Josh’s attention, even me (just a hug, all I want is a hug, please would someone please hug me?) I dream of that hug whilst the kids get hyper and I try and make a decent dinner of meat and three veg.
Tonight, dinner might not be that fab but Josh isn’t too fussy, he likes good basic food like Aston does. We eat as quick as we can because the kids are just striving for our attention, whatever happened to quiet time? What ever happened to that nice, after bath, quiet time we almost had? Josh usually finishes first and plays with the kids. I get back into the dungeon aka kitchen and start cleaning up. Before I know it, it is 7:45 and those kids need to get bed stat! I actually cant even be bothered telling you how hard it is, how many bribes, how many tears it takes to get them down, but usually, Will is asleep first and Aston has ten books, water, a sandwich, a night light, a tuck in, the toilet stop, the brush his teeth, find my teddy and one hundred ‘I am scared’ moments before he actually gets to sleep.
Finally some peace, but wait, I must work and finish off that post, that email that whatever it is. I say goodbye to all hopes of a cosy couch night and pull out the laptop and finish off some work. Josh watches the golf and does a little work on his computer (or so it seems) and when it hits 10pm, I am out. I am done, we both make our way to bed, we catch up on each others day and I finally, finally get that hug I have so been longing for.