I’m sharing part 2 of my day-in-the-life post! (Forgive me for the horrible photography happening in these two blog posts…all pics were taken in a hurry!) Yesterday I shared PART 1 all about a typical day of work while I have childcare, and today I’m going to share a day of life without childcare. I get to be a stay-at-home mom two days each week. The stay-at-home days are FOR SURE more exhausting than anything else!
I briefly mentioned this yesterday, but I’ll say it again because it’s worth repeating: the work/parenting balance is tricky! Like, harder than I ever imagined it would be. As someone in a creative space, there’s an endless pit of stuff that I could be doing. Since I’m self-employed, the more I put into it, the more I get out of it. And I love the grind and I love long hours of work…I really do!
But I just have to make a decision at some point about how much I’m willing to do at this stage, and I’ve decided that it’s three days of work per week. That’s it. I could definitely do more (and it’s really tempting!), but I’ve decided that three days of work (about 20 hours) and 2 full days at home is how I want to spend my time for this first year of Dayton’s life.
I feel lucky that I can make this work – doing something I love for a few days each week and I get a few stay-at-home days with my boys. It’s still tricky, though. There’s a constant voice in my head that’s saying “your career could be SO much more! you could be making bigger strides and landing bigger partnerships and making more money!”
But I know that when I get near the end of my life, and I’m looking back at my life, I won’t regret the hours and hours I’ve spent with my babes. These are the sweetest years of life. We’re in the good old days. And these baby years are going by SO fast.
6:30 am: hi, good morning! Up at 6:30 this morning to squeeze in a quick Peloton ride before Dayton is awake. I’m loving the Peloton right now. I can roll out of bed, change clothes, and quickly hop on the bike for a ride. I’m amazed at how much I can sweat and shake in just a 20 minute ride! My legs feel like they’re getting stronger, my lung capacity is DEFINITELY getting better, and (most importantly) I mentally feel really good and empowered after just a short workout.
Such a fan.
My favorite instructors right now are Kendall and Robin for rides and Tunde for arms. Holy moly…when I add one of those 10 minute arm workouts to the end of my ride, my arms are on fire!
7:00 am: Littlest one is up and ready to nurse! We do our normal ritual: I nurse him downstairs (always using that amazing Haakaa to catch the extra drips!) while I watch the Today Show. So much happiness in my mornings right now.
A quick shower and change of clothes for my day.
I always wear athleisure if it’s a day at home with my boys: this nursing sports bra (because I’ll be running around with Milo, but I need to be able to nurse Dayton quickly), some leggings (they must must must have pockets!), and a shirt for whatever weather we’re having in Austin on that day.
Milo is up! Drinking his “hot nook” (hot milk) like he does every single morning. He still wants it heated up…the way I gave it to him when he was 12 months old and we were transitioning from nursing to bottles.
A few snuggles with his daddy before Nate’s out the door to his office.
I love six months! It’s just the best age. He’s still a baby and all snuggly and cozy, but he’s starting to explore and learn how to scoot around on the blanket to get the toys he wants. He’s starting to make the cutest sounds and really interact with me. I wouldn’t mind if I had a 6-month-old baby around the house for the next 5 years. 😉
He sees it. He wants it. He goes to get it!
8:00 am-ish I grab a scone with butter and jam, plus two eggs scrambled in some olive oil + salt and pepper. (Scone and eggs are eaten at two separate times, about 30 minutes apart, and the eggs are slightly cold by the time I finish them because #babies.
One of Milo’s favorite activities is playing in the kitchen sink. He asks for “his” step stool out of the pantry, and I turn the faucet on to a slow trickle of water (cold water, mommy!) and he washes plastic dishes and pretends to give his little friends baths. ^One of the many wonderful things about Milo is that when he’s really focused on something, his tongue sticks out.
^Telling me something really funny about his little friend.
^Doing a high-pitched falsetto voice that he does whenever he’s pretending that this little friends are talking.
I am so obsessed with this little boy.
Breakfast time for Dayton boy!
I don’t know, ^8:30 am or so now? It feels like the day has been going on forever, yet we still have 5 hours until Milo’s nap. The conundrum of stay-at-home life is this: I get to spend my day with the two most fascinating and adorable humans in the whole world, and we have the entire day to fill and an entire city to explore, yet it’s so boring. Ha! If you’ve spent a few days at home with a 2-year-old, you know exactly what I mean.
During these moments, when we’ve already been playing for an hour and I still have FIVE HOURS left of this, I try to focus on something really small to help me stay present. So I really concentrate on Milo’s adorable voice while I’m having a conversation with him. Or I focus on the shape of Dayton’s mouth when he’s showing me his big, gummy grin. Or I think about my breaths (am I staying energized by taking deep breaths?) and posture (am I keeping my core strong, my jaw and tongue relaxed?) while I’m building endless “cakes” out of Milo’s foam building blocks.
I’m not always perfect at it, and sometimes I look at the clock and wish time would speed up. And I’m just sharing this to make sure you know that if you don’t looove every single minute of every single day, you’re normal.
Dayton typically stays in a blanket in the middle of the upstairs living room, and Milo and I run around him and play. Dayton just watches us and chews on his toys and smiles at me whenever we make eye contact.
A big favorite these days: gathering aaalll of his “friends” (including his dinosaur toys from the bathtub) and loading them onto the train, and then pulling the train around through the Jack and Jill bedrooms. This vintage train was a hand-me-down from some neighbors friends of ours. I had this exact train when I was a little girl in the 90s!
All aboard! And then we run. I pull the choo-choo and Milo pulls the snail. (And I remind myself: I have a masters degree and I started my own business. And I’m spending my morning being bossed around by a toddler telling me to “run, mommy!” It’s all so bizarre.)
9:30 am: I put Dayton down for his morning nap. No picture – I remember on this day Milo being kind of frustrated that I had to stop playing with him while I got Dayton ready for bed, so I was probably handling that situation instead of taking nap time pictures of snuggly little Dayton. But he is soooo so cute in his cozy sleep sack right before he falls asleep.
And then it’s time for the second (third? Idk..) part of my breakfast. Beet juice for me (and some yogurt for Milo.) I’m trying really hard to squeeze more veggies into my day in order to keep my energy up! Juice is an easy way to do that in the mornings.
I let Milo watch Mickey Mouse while Dayton’s napping, and I have another 1/2 cup of coffee and read my kindle for 30 minutes. Deep breaths. And then I spend the second half of Dayton’s morning nap packing lunches, loading the diaper bag and stroller into the car, getting Milo’s shoes on, and getting myself ready to go out the door. Then Dayton’s up at 10:30 am on the dot (I don’t let him sleep any longer than that, otherwise he won’t nap very well in the afternoons.) Dayton nurses for the second time, and then I get him in the car and we’re out the door!
^The weather was sunny and 75 so I absentmindedly started singing this ancient song, and then Milo kept asking me to sing it “again? again?” and so I deferred to the pros. This was the soundtrack of our drive to the park.
^ The prettiest day! We have plenty of parks that are either walking distance or a quick drive away, but I often drive to parks around Austin just to explore! We went to one about 20 minutes away and Milo had so much fun playing on new playground equipment.
I always wear Dayton in the baby Bjorn while Milo runs around, and I don’t know what I’m going to do once Dayton starts crawling and wants out of the infant carrier! It’s so convenient to have him strapped on to me right now.
12:00 pm: we stop playing and eat lunch!
Dayton snacked on some rice crackers in the stroller.
He was sitting across from me and then said “mommy, I want to sit by you!” and he ran all the way around the picnic table and came and sat by me. I mean…MY HEART.
We played for a little while longer, and then around 12:30 I packed up the boys and drove back home for naps. I nursed Dayton for the third time, got both babies asleep upstairs, and came downstairs to get two hours of work done.
1:00-3:00: work time! I brought my laptop to the couch and watched an episode of Inventing Anna while I got a little bit of work done.
Ok, from 3-5:30 we had the BEST time, and I have exactly two photos from this entire portion of the day. Both boys woke up from their naps. I nursed Dayton for the fourth time, and Milo had his cup of “hot nook.”
I’m part of a group of ladies in my neighborhood who meet up in one another’s backyards for monthly wine nights, and we’ll sometimes text each other if we’re heading to the neighborhood pool or park in case anyone wants to meet up. So I texted the thread: “heading to the park at 4:00!” and a bunch of other parents and their little ones showed up, too. Ahhh! I love our neighborhood! It’s such a fun place to be a parent because there are so many young couples with young kiddos.
On this particular afternoon at the neighborhood playground I got to meet two newborn babies (both born to moms who are in our wine group!) and catch up with some friends and talk about potty training and watch Milo playing with his friends. I’m so thankful that we’re in this neighborhood for this stage of life. I remember when we decided to move and it was such an emotional stage of life, and saying goodbye to our beautiful home that was walking distance from downtown was a big deal. But this is 100% the right place for us to be right now.
^ So we played and played and played all afternoon at the park, and then when it was time to head home for dinner Milo wanted to run. And he wanted to make sure I was running, too! So we both ran home just as Nate was pulling into the driveway.
6:00 pm: a beautiful March evening calls for dinner outside! Nate grilled some kebabs while I fed Dayton.
^Ha! The best shot I got of all four of us: Nate’s leg, my hand, and both of my little boys staying busy in the backyard.
^ The most unappetizing photo, but dinner was truly delish! It was eaten in giant, hurried bites while I also juggled a fussy baby who was nearing his bedtime.
And then from about 6:30-7:30 there are no photos because #bedtime. Nate and I both got the boys down (Dayton at 7, Milo at 7:30). It was blur of baths, nursing Dayton for the 5th time, reading books to Milo and then getting both babies asleep.
7:30 pm: done for the day! I always always always spend about 10-15 minutes tidying up the house right after the boys are asleep. I used to try to keep things tidy throughout the day, but I realized it was a huge amount of my energy, and it wasn’t really worth it because life with a toddler = a slightly messy house. So I just wait until the end and then do one quick cleaning session at the end. It involves cleaning up from dinner, wiping off the kitchen counters, starting the dishwasher, tidying up toys, vacuuming the couch, and just making the downstairs look nice. I was vacuuming the couch and saw a little blue stone buried in the cushions, so I pulled the entire cushion off and found all of these. 😉
And then I got to hang out with my husband for a couple hours! We watched the final episode of Succession on HBO. I’m so sad that I’m done with season 3. I need season 4 to come out stat!
10:12 pm: I took a screenshot as I was turning out the lights.
And that’s a day in the life of a stay-at-home parent!
I’ve been recapping these normal days for years, so if you want to go back and read any of them, here ya go: