So, what do you do all day?
That’s the second most-asked question I get from people since I quit my full-time job to be a stay-at-home mom (future post to come on that!) to our five-month-old son. (‘How does it feel being a mom?’ and ‘Is he sleeping through the night yet?’ tie for the top two questions I get asked). I’m not sure if they’re asking because they think I might just be at home relaxing away and binge watching movies/shows on TV or if they feel bad for me that I’m stuck at home alone with a baby and having no interaction with an adult. Well, to clear up a bit of the mystery, a day can go something like this:
6:30AM/7:00AM — We hear Joshua start to fidget around and babble in his bassinet (which is still in our bedroom). We leave him there as long as he doesn’t start to fuss and/or until my husband Paul and I muster up the energy to start off the day. If the fussiness starts, we sit him on our bed so we can try to sneak in a few minutes of sleep, which always fails since Joshua wants us to converse & interact with him. We try anyway; persistence is key, right? =P
7:00AM/7:15AM — We get out of bed. Paul gets JT out of his swaddle / sleeping clothes and changes his diaper, while I fix our bed and get myself ready for the day (which just means washing my face and brushing my teeth =P)
7:30AM-8:00AM — JT’s first feeding time. I watch the news on TV and Paul makes a quick breakfast for us two before he heads out for the day.
8:00AM-8:30/8:45AM — JT has a diaper change and has his first play time of the day. We normally watch Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood on TV for a few minutes; or I sing songs to him – basically we engage in activities that don’t stimulate him too much so he can sleep more quickly/easily for his first nap of the day. Around this time I take out whatever food needs thawing so I can cook it later in the day. Once I see that he’s getting drowsy, I swaddle him and take him to the bedroom to put him down for his first nap. He mostly always fights his drowsiness in one way or another. This kid likes it when I chant his name but I have to find the right combination of swaying, rhythmic pattern, and way of chanting his name that would finally lull him to sleep – unfortunately for me, his preference changes all the time.
9:00AM-10:00AM — JT’s first nap time. His naps can be as short as 30min or as long as 2hrs. I try to kick it into high gear and do as much as I can — have my quiet time with God, wash any dishes in the sink, hand wash Joshua’s clothes (since we have no laundry at our place), fold & put away Joshua’s previously-washed clothes, tidy up a bit around the house, and/or eat a quick snack — basically whatever I can accomplish before he wakes up!
10:00AM-10:30AM — Second feeding time. While JT breastfeeds, I browse on my phone or watch TV. It can get challenging to pay attention though since by this time, JT is much more awake and is constantly fidgeting, gets distracted and looks around the room often, desires my attention and to hold his hand, aaaand he wants a fairly quiet environment while he eats. So I resort to singing his favorite song Itsy Bitsy Spider multiple times to entertain him / get him to focus on eating, or I stare at him & make funny faces (which fortunately doesn’t freak him out the way other people would normally react if I did it to them).
10:30AM-11:30AM — Second diaper change / play time. We do tummy time, read a couple of his books, do some leg exercises while singing songs, walk around the house & show him pictures of our family, stand in front of mirrors so he can see his reflection (to which he bashfully smiles upon seeing himself), and maybe take some pictures to send to his papa and other family members. The getting-ready-for-nap routine happens again.
12:00PM-1:00PM — Second nap time (assuming he actually sleeps for at least 1hr if I’m lucky). I use this time to do whatever activities I couldn’t do during his first nap time. I marinate whatever I thawed earlier; and I try to let it marinate for at least 20min before baking it (I always bake rather than cook since it’s much easier to manage while also taking care of a baby who can just demand your attention at any given moment). I also try to do some blog-related activity, if possible, and quickly sneak in a quick lunch (which I inhale if it actually ends up happening) before JT wakes up. Eating has become mostly a means of survival than enjoyment at this point. If I don’t get to eat an actual meal, I’m always gulping down water to stay alive (or eat a Oreo or two. It has become a food staple in our house lately).
If you haven’t caught on yet, my day is pretty much a 2-3hr cycle of eat-play-nap. It happens 2-3 more times before bedtime happens.
1:00PM-1:30PM — Third feeding time. I do pretty much the same thing during his previous feeding times. If something’s baking in the oven at this point, I end up interrupting JT’s feeding; and he has no problem letting me know how mad he is by the shrill cries he’ll make. I guess I can’t blame him — imagine enjoying your meal and then suddenly having your plate taken away from you before you’re actually done eating; I’d be confused and mad too!
1:30PM-2:30PM — Third diaper change / play time. We do similar activities as the previous play times, with the addition of ‘independent play’ for JT in the jumperoo. This way I can also try to finish a couple of chores that are left undone at this point (which is always the case). If it’s nice out, we’ll try to sit outside on the porch for a bit before I get him ready for his next nap of the day.
3:00PM-4:00PM — Third nap time. I’ll try to blog and/or finish more chores, although the length of his nap by this time of day tends to be shorter.
4:00PM-4:30PM — Fourth feeding time. If Paul is home by this time, we try to chat and catch up with each other for a bit before he goes back to work mode for a few more hours. But again that’s hard to do since JT likes quiet; so there’s quite a bit of fussing from him =P
4:30PM-5:00PM — Fourth diaper change / play time. If Paul’s not too busy, he’ll play with Joshua for a few minutes before working.
5:00PM-6:00PM (on a good day) — JT naps. I shower (if you’re a mom, you know how much this feels like going on vacation!), and Paul is available to tend to JT if he wakes up early from his nap. After I shower, I bake brownies for me and Paul to eat later in the day! Then we give JT a bath when he wakes up from his nap.
5:00PM-6:00PM (more typical day) — JT refuses to nap. I play with him and keep him entertained until it’s time for bedtime.
6:00PM-8:00PM — We go through the bedtime routine with JT: we take him to the bedroom where we talk and play with him quietly for a bit, change him into his sleepwear, pray with him, put him in a swaddle, and read him Goodnight, Moon. Then we turn on the white noise machine while I breastfeed him in the dark. On a good night, it only takes one hour or less from the start of his bedtime routine to when he’s down asleep in his bassinet. But let’s get real – it’s usually a battle!
8:00PM-10:00PM — On a really good night, Paul and I will enjoy this 1:1 time. We catch up on how each other’s day was, and we eat dinner/dessert while watching DVRed movies/shows (no commercials, please) — and if we’re feeling more adventurous, we order a movie On Demand! (Call us ‘old’ but we actually DVR Jeopardy and Wheel of Fortune since I’m usually not out of the bedroom in time for us to watch them live together.) This is also where I would do some blog-related activity while Paul works on church stuff.
10:00PM-6:30AM — JT wakes up for night feedings 2-3x within this timeframe. Paul goes to the bedroom to start sleeping once JT wakes up for his first night feeding. And for the first two feedings, I go out to our living room to pump breastmilk after feeding JT (I enlist Paul’s help if JT fights going back to sleep, so I can pump and hopefully get back to bed faster). I try to sleep whenever I don’t have to feed, pump, or put JT back to bed.
Note: The times are of course just approximations; and Joshua taking at least 1hr for each of his naps for an entire day has only happened 3x so far! It took me two days to write this post; and in both days, his naps have all just lasted 30min!
You may wonder where I have interactions with other humans during the day. That happens via texting, Google Hangouts / FaceTime, and/or home visits from friends (the last one is my favorite!). My husband also set up one day every week where he’s the main person taking care of JT, so that’s basically my designated ‘me’ day =)
So there you have it! There are some days that are smooth sailing while there are some days where JT seems to be going on strike against taking naps and all I’ve eaten for the day are sweets, chocolates, and gulps of water. The days can feel very repetitive/mundane yet at the same time, no two days are exactly the same! One thing’s for sure – with what I’ve been experiencing so far as a mom, I’m in for an adventure ❤
Was my typical day more or less what you thought it to be? Is there anything else you may be wondering that I can perhaps answer?