Tuesday, November 4, 2008

a day in the life

If you have a baby AND hold down a job or have other kids, you're my hero. If you have a baby AND hold down a job AND have other kids, well, there are just no words to describe my amazement.

I have one baby and my only job is to be a stay-at-home-mum. And I can't believe how fast the day goes and how little I get done. Seriously. Sometimes I look at the clock and it's 7:45am and then 5 minutes later I'll look again and it's 4:30pm. And I can't name a single thing that I've accomplished in that time. But there are women, millions of women out there, who have jobs and multiple kids and still find time to check email, have a hobby and exercise on a daily basis.

What am I doing wrong?

In an attempt to answer this question, I am outlining a typical day in my life with my 10-week-old baby Maya. Please note that the following does NOT take into account if we have to leave the house for any reason (doctor's appointments, grocery shopping, etc.) or if Maya's having one of her hungry or gassy days that require even more of my attention than usual. That's a whole other level of craziness.

It should also be noted that Maya is a fantastic sleeper but a terrible napper. Bless her heart, she will sleep for about 12 hours at night and usually for 6-8 hours at a stretch without waking up to feed. But napping is another story. She takes random catnaps here and there - if I'm lucky - and those typically don't last more than 30 minutes.

So here we go, here is a typical day in the life:

7:00am - Maya wakes up, feeds, change diaper
7:30am - Playtime
8:45am - Feed, diaper change
9:00am - I *try* to get Maya down for a nap, doesn't always happen. If she does nap, I try for a shower, I do laundry, empty the dishwasher, try to get some breakfast, etc.
10:00am - Feed, diaper change
10:30am - Playtime
11:30am - laundry, feed, diaper change
12:00pm - Playtime, if Maya isn't been too demanding I try to eat something quick
1:00pm - Feed, diaper change
1:30pm - *Try* to get Maya down for a nap. If successful, check email, blogs, laundry, etc.
2:30pm - Feed, diaper change
3:00pm - Playtime
4:00pm - Feed, diaper change, more laundry (if you're keeping count, YES, I do laundry ALL day)
4:30pm - Playtime
5:00pm - Feed, play
5:30pm - Feed, play (Maya is always really hungry in the evenings)
6:00pm - Bath time
6:30pm - Feed
7:00pm - Daddy plays with Maya while I make dinner. She usually nods off around 7:00/7:30pm
7:30pm - Parents eat dinner
8:00pm - We watch some TV
9:30pm - Bedtime for parents. I try to wake Maya for a feed around this time so she'll sleep longer but she usually doesn't wake up. Check diaper.
1:00am - Occasionally Maya will wake up for a feed at this time, maybe twice a week.
3:00am - Feed, change diaper
7:00am - We start all over again!

So what am I doing wrong? Where does the time go? Is it me? Am I missing something? I really want YOUR opinion. Please comment if you have any ideas.

I feel like I'm insanely busy all day.  But busy doing what?  I know it seems like I do a lot of feeding, and I do. But I let Maya feed on demand and for as long as she wants. I don't know how else to do it. I don't want her to be hungry. I do want her to feel like she can eat anytime she feels the need. Is that wrong?

Is anyone else experiencing this black hole of time suckage? I feel like I have to formally schedule in cutting my fingernails and drinking a glass of water. And going to the bathroom.


Hekateris said...

Yeah, that sounds about like my day...

...hie thee to a bookstore and get a copy of What Mothers Do...When It Looks Like Nothing.

Trust me on this one.

Fertilized said...

you are busy doing a great job raising your daughter the way you want to.. and you are doing a fine job at it. keep trying with the naps, they will come, things change for the better at 3 and 6 ish months ..keep up the good work, housework will always be there but that tiny baby stage goes quickly. continue to enjoy being able to be the stay at mum type ;)

christina(apronstrings) said...

shut.your.mouth. you are doing a GREAT job at being a mom. who cares about the house? you have the greatest job on earth.
how do i work and have an infant---i don't sleep. i have an awesome asst at work. and annyoed clietns.
i don't care about typos. : )
so, seriously, lay off of my buddy.

Road Blocks and Roller Coasters said...

Sounds about right. That's what my days look like when I'm with Lemy by myself. It's hard, simply put.

My only suggestion on the nap front (since Lemy is the charter member of B.A.N.) is to try and get her down for a nap after 75 minutes of awake time. They say to do it within 120 minutes of waking, but I find that if she is not napping by that 120 minute mark she won't nap at all.

This has worked for us though she still only naps with people and not by herself--but a nap is a nap, right?

Don't beat yourself up about what you're not doing. You are doing a fabulous job and being a mommy--everything else can wait. :)


Anonymous said...

It sounds like you are doing a great job to me! I can't imagine how demanding it is to have a little one!

sarah23 said...

Honest question (not meant to be snarky at all)... what happens during these "playtimes"? Is this interacting with her, taking her outside, showing her toys, or ??? Sorry to be so clueless, but I need to figure this stuff out.

I also think you sound like a great mom! I can easily spend 7+ hours getting little accomplished, and I don't even have a baby distracting me.

Kathryn said...

Sorry for the delay in posting...I have a baby about the same age (turned 12 weeks yesterday). I have to admit that during her "playtime" she is often left to gaze at the play gym or mobile for 10-20minutes by herself while I hustle around the house doing dishes, laundry, starting dinner, etc (always in a safe place, in sight, of course). So I am not constantly playing with her, and though I initially felt a little guilty, she entertains herself pretty well for a little while....

however, I also have to admit that I wish I weren't so anal and could just let things go and play with her more....

but it's amazing how you can spend an entire day and not accomplish anything tangible--except helping your baby develop to be the brilliant little head-holder-upper she is!