October 26, 2016

All in A Day’s Work

Category: Parenting

Barely a week away to October closing its curtains and I’ve concluded that a minimum of 20 published post for this month is now deemed impossible. I’d be lucky to hit 18!  

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Day after day after day since last week, I’ve been meaning to get some blogging done to fill in the gaps with something in between my scheduled Fabulous Flavours and Sunday Humour. after all, this is not supposed to be only a recipe and a humour blog and I aim to hit my monthly average of 20 posts this month. 

And then, day after day after day, I get caught up in the ebb and flow of things. There are no such things as having a little time to breath. Or think. Let alone write. There.is.always.something. SOMETHING.

Sometimes, I’m on my feet for hours. At home. Who stands for hours at home?! It’s not like I have protruding haemorrhoid that I could not even sit down without my whoopie cushion.

By the time I tuck the kids in, do whatnots and roll myself on the couch, I’m too tired to reach out for my laptop. Too exhausted to think; yet I ponder and wonder what I do all day!

Which makes me then think: How do other bloggers manage to constantly push out a post? And really, just what the hell have I been doing all day in these past few months being a SAHM? After all, would I not have the time for other things especially time for myself since I don’t have to go to the office anymore?

Turns out, I don’t. Like I said, there.is.always.something. Heck. I can’t even steal a half hour nap. The chores and the “surprises” never end.

A typical day on my working days goes like this:

Wake up. Get the kids ready (sometimes Silver Bullet showers them if they happen to wake up early). Breakfast. Send Hurry them to school. Walk myself home. Make a pot of coffee to last me through the day. Turn on my laptop and start my work day with the occasional toilet breaks. No lunch break. Full-on focus till it’s time to fetch the kids from school 7 hours later. Pick up the monkeys kids. Sometimes a 20 minutes-detour for small groceries.

Get home with 1.5 hours left before dinner time. Chat/play/battle with the kids. Prepare their dinner. Give them their dinner no later than 5.30 p.m. Sometimes I cook for us while the kids eat, most times I sit along with them. Tell the muppets 1000x to eat their food. Then get them to clean up after their meals. Tell them 10x to clean up after their meals. Then get them to tidy up the mess they made with their toys. I start vacuuming as I remind them for the 500th time to clean up before threatening that all their toys will go to the bin by the count of 10. Usually, works by the count of 9. Then I herd them upstairs for a shower and a change of clothes to get them ready for bed. If it’s an unlucky day (like most days), the shower would flood and I would have to spend another 10 minutes on my knees cleaning the bathroom and the drainage. While the kids run amok.

Then it’s story time. They only get TV time on non-school days after their shower before their story time. I then spend about 10-15 minutes separately with each kid chatting with them about their day while lying next to them in their beds. Sometimes longer because I fell asleep.  This is usually about the time Silver Bullet comes home. I’ve had my power nap.

Once the kids are settled up and IN bed, we have dinner. I usually continue for another 1-2 hour of work to make up for my 8 hour work day. After that, it would the chores: laundry, folding, ironing, dishes and household errands in no particular order. Other times, I try to apply for a job, bake, blog, insert-whatever-chores-including-cleaning cats’ puke on the bed, replying phone messages and emails. Or just some TV time with Silver Bullet.

Lights out tend to be waaaay after midnight these days. I blame it on Gilmore Girls. Or John Oliver. 

On a typical non-working day:

Pretty much all of the above. The exception is me not logging in for work but that is currently being replaced with driving lessons and other work-related assignments.  My time with the kids is stretched out longer as the imps are on half day; with some Fridays being a non-school day. (urgggh!) Most times, the little critters prefer to play outside for hours on end before dinner time. Convenient, but it drives me crazy to do that day after day and intermittently watching them from the front door. Besides, I do want to spend time with those imps too. Them playing outside all the time do zilch for bonding opportunity.

To maintain my sanity and maximise our bonding moments, I have bravely towed them along and ventured out to the next small-ish city by train. We shop a little and walk a lot. Just to kill a few hours of the day before we head home for dinner. The kids get spoiled – from ice-cream to hot chocolates, milkshakes and even Burger King (!). This Mama can be the most obliging! But, it’s getting a bit too chilly to bring them out for big walks these days. I’ll have to get creative soon.

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Grubbs ‘n Critters ©

Most times, we have dinner outside if Silver Bullet decides to pick us up on his way home. The rest of our routine after dinner is pretty much the same. 

Don’t get me started on breaking up fights, screaming at disciplining the kids, trying to get myself heard when both of the kids are talking over each other for hours on end and then repeating myself one thousand times over. Along with one thousand other things to sort like insurances, mortgages, looking for a potential new place to live and then getting an avalanche of unexpected mishaps.

Just like that, the day is gone. Done! I have not even gone to being an active member of the community or any local mommy groups here in the Netherlands yet!  Time really passes us by so quickly.

While I cannot wait for the day to end just so that I could park my ass on the sofa, I sometimes often wish for 5 more extra hours in a day to do other things I couldn’t do in the day. Like blogging. And reading. And I don’t mean skimming reading a Dutch newspaper or my driving theory book, mind you. I mean reading a proper, printed book. Kids’ bedtime stories not included.

Or better yet, doing jack-all; being bored out of my skull.

And, on days when the kids do behave well, I almost want to splurge the extra hours on them.

Funny that. Wait. Hold that thought.

In all fairness, despite the kids driving me crazy day in, day out, I have enjoyed being a SAHM tremendously. Spending all that precious time with Spud and Squirt these past few months has been amazing. My patience grew exponentially and our time together has brought us much closer. Every day I see the subtle changes in them. I watch them grow from under my nose. I’m always (almost!) there first when things happened.

It gives me a different perspective of life. It has been amazing and most rewarding.

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Grubbs ‘n Critters ©

Sure I moaned about how I felt my world has shrunk before but when it comes to special close bond I now have with the kids, I really wouldn’t trade it for the world! Plus, they know my look now. You know, that one, silent killer look that would (almost!) have their tails in between their legs. Hah!

Still. That don’t stop me from wondering wtf do I really do all day?! I mean, really? I think we should all get some sort of a degree or certification to justify the “things”  we do all day without actually knowing what we do and somehow we get to be an expert in this, no?

So here’s my question: SAHM/SAHD or not, what do you do all day, and STILL be able to not only get some blogging time but replying to comments and reading other blogs?


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Comments
  1. Ann…you’re not alone. I have no small children at home and I still don’t know what I do all day, other than my job at the Red Cross. I don’t even cook every day. I usually prepare meals ahead of time for at least 3 week days and then we either eat leftovers or whatever till the weekend.
    Give yourself some credit. You DO work 8 hrs/day! And you take care of your muppets (that one made me giggle), the house, dinners… Plus, you blog almost every other day!!! 20 in a month?! Do you know how many posts I do in a month? FOUR! Five if I have time to squeeze in one Photo Friday post.
    Reading other blogs and commenting? Yours is pretty much the only one I follow. Even then I miss some of your posts. The last two times you nominated me for something I didn’t even follow up with a post about it because, let’s be honest, I couldn’t nominate anyone else. I don’t have time to read other blogs and find out who they are. Sad, I know. It’s not by choice.
    There are bloggers who pay to have VA that helps them with blogging and social media presence. If they monetize their blog they can afford it and it’s a great motivation too. So, they seem like they have super powers to lead the perfect life, be there for their kids, family, friends, have a blog or two, and be active on all platforms. Or maybe it’s just me – I’m old and without energy, lol. XOXO

    • Old?! Far from it, Jas. You are 50 going on 35 (at least looks wise) and one damn hot grandma at that, too. 😀 Hmmm…4 vs 20, now it;s sounding like I don’t have a life! bwahahhaha! But at least, I don’t feel so bad to scale it down to 10 now.;p
      I think once blogging becomes a chore, it has to be re-considered. For me, I still love it and I do want to blog as often as I can with thought sin my head all the time, but I just can’t. Plus, I can’t often write quick enough. Being a SAHM, I think the work is more than 8 hours a day!
      I don;t cook every day either – I do what you do, leftovers as I usually cook a lot to last for a few days. Sometimes, freeze them. I love full fridge! I get antsy if it isn’t. Take it easy on the awards, Jas…they do take a lot of time to think through and I don;t blame you for not nominating. I think I have a couple outstanding still…
      Ah..the day I can monetize my blog…!! hahahha! ;p
      xoxoxox.

      • 35? Tell that to my bones…or my memory, lol. I used to post 2-3 times a week but, like you said, it became a chore. Besides, writing in English doesn’t come easy to me. It’s my third language and I got a 50-yo brain, ha!

        • It’s hard to believe when you say that writing in English doesn’t come easy for you. You are too humble. I think I spotted more grammar errors in my writing vs yours, Jas. Your English is good enough, if not almost perfect! 😀

  2. Did you just call it a non working day???

    • Eeks I did! LOL. Which essentially was in reference to days when I don’t need to log in for work and you are right! Non-working day?! Non-existent.

  3. Hey Mama! You just got a holiday going to Paris..or was it also a working-holiday? :)))

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