By Mummy Contributor Amanda (@littlenancygifts)
Day 1 vs Day 2...as told by a stay at home mum with 3 under 3 1/2.
You're ready for this. Take things one feeding block, one hour or one minute at a time if you have to. Stay calm. Any crying or distress is only temporary. You've got this. You'll be fine. You'll survive.
It sounds dramatic or like I'm heading into a gun fight armed with a banana but this was my inner monologue on Day 1 without my husband, at home with my three babes after he returned to work. I have two boys, SJ- 3 1/2 years, Hanes -19 months and Marley, my five week old baby girl.
6:30 am start - Not too bad! SJ stayed sleeping until 7am. Hanes woke and had his morning milk and cuddle while I moved Marley, who was still sleeping, and her bassinet into the living room. I managed to feed her before the boys were due to have breakfast. So there she was, sleeping soundly while I got the boys fed. I even managed a quick shower while Hanes was distracted by a recording of ‘In the night garden’. I don't get it, but hey the toddlers go nuts for the craziness of the pinky ponk’s and ninky nonks! Showered before 9am = mum win!
The rest of the day carried on like this, as if I was Supermum, as if I had summoned powers of well behaved children who ate their food and well-timed breast feedings. I had snacks and TV shows at the ready to distract from a tantrum while I sat idle with a five week old babe attached to me.
I managed to get four loads of washing washed… and hung! Can I get a "hell yeh"?! I vacuumed as we had guests coming for a quick catch up at 4pm - now, just on this point, that may sound like nothing but us mummas know 4pm is literally THE worst time to visit someone with children. No, I take that back, it's the second worst. The absolute worst would be 5 pm. It's the ‘play your cards right hours’, meaning don't push the toddlers, pick your battles, it's the end of the day so everyone is tired and hungry and you just need them to make it to bed time. At any moment your wonderful loving beautiful children could turn into tiny dictators who hate everything and are going to let you know about it.
My guests were every parent's dream. Entertaining the kids while I got dinner ready. The kids ate ALL their dinner and when Daddy arrived home we headed to the beach for a 15 minute walk before showers, pj’s and bed.
I knew it was a mirage. I have been a stay at home mum now for over three years. Noone was fooling me, not even my own spawn. I knew tomorrow was a new day and I was braced for anything….
5 am start. I unintentionally joined the 5 am club. Apparently joining the ‘5 am club’, makes me a hustler - it means I'm making time to chase my dreams, it means I’m making time to be awesome... I may be awesome, but at this stage of my life I like my dreams to be dreams. Like, the ones that are in my head, while it's resting on a pillow, and I'm asleep!
I digress. 5am start. Hanes is awake and ready to start the day while I'm mid breastfeed with Marley. Marley off, and moved into the living room, Hanes given milk and a cuddle while Marley re-attaches. Multi tasking, like a boss. SJ, the total champion, sleeps till 6:30 am.
Breakfast was not as successful today as Marley was quite unsettled. Out comes my Elki baby carrier - total life saver, especially for me. I suffer with a chronic neck injury and have never been able to wear my babes using traditional carriers but the Elki carrier is amazing. I managed to get her sleeping so hands were free to feed Hanes who refuses to learn how to use a spoon or fork!
The next breastfeed session I tried out a new ‘distraction’ biscuit on Hanes. Epic fail. He took one bite, spat that out and in a display of his dissatisfaction with my chosen biscuit he proceeded to crumble it into teeny pieces and then stand on it so it was good and rubbed into the rug.
Once Marley had fed and settled, I headed outside to find the boys bouncing on our trampoline surrounded by the entire 70 piece food set that was supposed to be in the cubby with the toy kitchen.
Before anyone freaks out, we have huge windows in the living room and so I was watching them play the whole time. Witnessing the horror that was the 70 piece food set being sprawled all over the lawn and trampoline.
No shower was happening today before 9am. This Mumma made herself a second coffee and said to herself "ahhh motherhood, one day you're the boss, and the next day, you're on your hands and knees picking up a miniature plastic dill pickle chuckling to yourself".