Thursday, 19 June 2014

Being a (sort of) stay at home mum

If you have read any of my previous posts you might have heard me mention how I sometimes like to split my days into 'units' just to get through them. Much like Hugh Grant's character in About a Boy. Doing this sort of helps me get through the day. Not that I don't adore getting to spend my days with Ava but sometimes too much children's telly and Dairylee can drive you a little insane. 

Although I do work two days a week, I still think of myself as a stay at home Mum as it's what I do the majority of the time. Ava goes to nursery two days a week. I work one of these and on the other I usually spend the entire day with my head buried in the laptop catching up on any writing, blogging and general life admin that I need to do. 

Recently I was talking to another Mum who commented that breakfast time was the worst part of her day and probably the most stressful. I am quite the opposite. I adore breakfast time in our flat. Ava likes to wake me up by tickling me and shouting 'wakey wakey' in my ear. Sounds annoying but it's the best part of my day. There's cuddles in bed and maybe a little tablet watching if Mummy needs a bit of a lie in.... I love the whole stumbling out of bed thing while Ava shrieks that she can't find her Peppa slippers. The morning ritual of switching cBeebies on, then the radio. Putting on the coffee before pouring Ava's apple juice. Next is the morning meltdown because she can't have Coco Pops (strictly a weekend cereal under my facist ruling). The next half hour is spent in our pyjamas - her chomping on cereal and dancing around while I check the headlines and the FTSE (Twitter, Instagram and Facebook).

To be honest, I find this part the most enjoyable and easiest of the day. I love it. Even if I did make the mistake of telling her where bacon came from the other morning right in the middle of her favourite Peppa episode. But then I guess I only have one kid. And I only have to worry about getting her dressed and out of the door for nursery one day a week. I imagine trying to get 2 or 3 of them plus a baby organised and out the door before 9am of a morning would be a bit stressful. 

The rest of the day I find a bit trickier. A trip to the supermarket between breakfast and lunch usually. I prefer to buy what I need each day as opposed to doing a a weekly shop. As a result we spend a lot of time in supermarkets. But I love supermarkets so....

Often we come home for lunch before heading back out again. Usually the park, softplay, a museum or a little road trip if the weather is nice. On particularly bad weather days (or Mummy has a slightly sore head days) we have been known to stay in our pyjamas all day. This always involves crisps and Pixar and while it's maybe not the best parenting, now & again it's allowed.

The real test for me though is between the hours of 3pm and 5pm. Ava gets cranky because I have tried not to let her nap. Sounds cruel but she would be up until midnight if she did. If she's really tired then she's doing that whining thing, hanging onto my leg and wanting to be picked up constantly. By this time I'm kind of sick of talking about why we never see Postman Pat's wife and have started eyeing up the clock and counting down the hours till wine time. My patience is lacking at doing a Hello Kitty floor puzzle for the 18th time and I'm starting to really miss having a significant other to walk in the door from work and give me ten minutes of peace to myself. Or even a chance to pee by myself.

By the time half four rolls around we are in the kitchen starting her dinner. And I mean 'we' in the literal sense. Colonel Gaddaffi insists on sitting on the worktop talking me through her entire meal just in case she catches me sneaking some carrots into her cottage pie or some vegetables into her pasta sauce.

By the time she sits down to her dinner at 5pm I can relax a little. I am on the last stretch. The end is in sight. She procrastinates with her dinner so much that this usually takes us up to half five and I can sneak a read at my Marie Claire magazine. Then there's dessert. Maybe a smoothie after dessert which brings us up to 6pm. Bathtime. By the time she is out the bath, dried and ready for bed we are at 6.30pm. The end is so close I can practically smell it. She jumps up onto the sofa for cuddles, a biscuit and a half hour of watching other kids opening chocolate eggs on YouTube (no idea either). And then 7pm is bedtime. Some casual negotating goes on about how many books she is getting. A bit of standard bribery to get her to brush her teeth - and then BOOM.

Lights out.

And I go straight to the fridge, pour a glass of wine and genuinely can't wait to hear that shrill little 'wakey wakey' in my ear first thing the following morning.

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