Tuesday, June 26, 2012

A Day in My Shoes

I hate the awkward conversations that come up because I have chosen to stay at home with my kids.  I either get the question, "Well, what do you do during the day?" as if there really isn't anything to do.  Or, if I am really lucky, I get the remark from the other person, "I'd never be able to stay at home with my kids. I'd get bored."  Either remark draws a blank stare from me.  I'm just not sure how to respond.  All I can think is, "Seriously?  How do I sum up what I do? Bored.  I wish!"  So for all of you who have wanted to ask this question but are too wise to do it, let me just share my day with you as an example of what a stay at home mom does.

One word.

Survive.

No, I'm not being dramatic.

My morning began with a cranky Pax crying at 3:20 a.m.  I squint at my cell phone clock and realize I am an hour and half late on one of the Reglan doses.  I guess I overslept the alarm.  I roll out of bed to watch my 3 month old bubble up baby acid like a geiser.  Nice.  I turn off his Angelcare monitor and pick him up to nurse him and give him his medicine.  Sleepy Pax nurses on one side for what seems like forever before falling back to sleep.  I gently tote him back to his bed on the other side of our room and turn on the angelcare monitor again.  Five minutes later, he rouses up and begins to cry.  I turn off the monitor again, and pick him up to nurse him again.  My head feels like it has been smashed by a train.  Pax falls asleep again and I transfer him to the bed. I pop an ibuprofen to help me deal with the cold that I caught from my sick toddler. I lay down, and Pax wakes up again.  It's 4:30 a.m. now, and I am miserable.  I tap Bryan on his shoulder and beg him to take a turn.  He shuffles out of bed and takes a shift.  He gets Pax to sleep and lays down.  Pax cries again.  We both sigh.  I get up this time and am awake enough to realize that I had forgotten to swaddle Pax as tightly as normal, so I change his diaper and rewrap him into a Pax burrito.  The kid is out in ten minutes and stays down.  I fall asleep sometime after 5.

A couple of hours later, Pax wakes up for good, and I nurse him in the bed with us.  I read my Bible reading plan and devotional on my iphone for a few minutes while burping Pax.  Abby bursts through our bedroom door chattering about Dora or one of her imaginary friends.  My quiet time is over.  I roll out of bed, and since I'm struggling with horrible vertigo (thanks Meneire's!) brought on by the nasty cold I am fighting,  Bryan takes a shift with the kids.  I shower and try to pull myself together for the day.  When I get dressed, Bryan informs me that he has managed to get Abby and Pax both fed and Pax is down for a catnap in his swing.  I take over with the kids, and he showers to begin his day.  I pour a bowl of cereal and eat it while holding a needy Abby in my lap.  We both know that Pax will wake up soon, and I'm trying to give her the one-on-one attention she craves before this opportunity passes.  

Silly Abby
Once Pax wakes up, he is happy for about 3 minutes then begins to fuss and want to nurse again.  I nurse him, and Bryan takes Abby with him to a meeting.  I spend the whole time they are gone trying to settle Pax down.  A couple of outfit changes later for both of us, Pax is still spitting up and crying.

I finally give up on comforting him and put him in his swing.  While he is crying, I try to tidy up the kitchen by unloading and reloading the dishwasher.  It's time for lunch, and I nuke leftover potato soup.  Abby and Bryan are eating while they are out, so it's just up to me to take care of Pax and myself.  I take the hysterical Pax out of the swing and try to calm him down.  I then attempt to feed him his oatmeal and bananas while I eat my soup.  No success.  Pax clamps his mouth shut and spits everything I push in out.  After a few minutes of seeing Pax's wailing and gnashing of teeth (that is the two bottom teeth that are coming in), I give up.  I put him back in his swing and let him cry it out while I finish cleaning up the kitchen.  I look out the window and realize I forgot to feed and water Lottie this morning.  Poor dog.  I feel guilty so I let her in the house.  She flips and flops with excitement and searches the house for dropped toddler snacks.  I'm sure she wasn't disappointed.



About that time, Abby and Bryan return from their meeting.  Bryan and I plan out the rest of the day so our schedules will be synced.  Bryan begins to work in the office.  Abby goes to her playroom for a little while.  Pax wakes up again after only a short catnap.  He's spitting up again and screaming.  I tote him into our bedroom and change his diaper again.  I settle him in his nap nanny with a toy, and he is content for about ten minutes.  I start a load of laundry and try to put finished laundry away.  I only get partially done before Pax is screaming again.  My phone alarm rings.  It's time for Pax's medicine again.  It doesn't seem to help any.  Frustrated, I pick Pax up and tote him with me into the office. I settle him into his bouncer, so I can file away the papers Bryan has finished sorting.  Lottie walks in, licks Pax in the face, and Pax is crying again.  I bounce him with my foot while I finish filing the papers.  Bryan leaves the house for the rest of the day.

Guilty Lottie... look at those guilty eyes.



My patience is gone.  Pax is still screaming, crying, and spitting up everywhere.  He wants to nurse again.  I nurse him, and I give up and put him in his baby carrier.  Yes, I am a human kangaroo.  Content finally.  Pax falls asleep on my chest in the carrier, and I sit down in the recliner exhausted.  I want to take a nap too.  After all, Abby is content.  Pax is content.  I've kicked Lottie outside.  Did I mention that I put Peeperz outside at some point in the midst of all of this too?  I pick up my journal to scribble out my frustrations and to try to focus on the positive.  I write out a quick prayer asking God for grace to finish the day well.

I look at my clock and realize I have to get Abby and Pax into the car if I am going to make it to fax some important paperwork in time.  I load up the kids into the car.  Pax is screaming and crying again because he is out of the baby carrier.  Abby is wearing a white fur trimmed red cape with a Dora backpack stuffed with My Little Ponies, fake food, and a toy lizard.  I look like I just rolled out of bed.  Quite honestly, I just don't care.  I think to myself, "Well, at least I showered."  We make it to fax the paperwork in time, and we pick up dog food at my parents' clinic.  I reload everyone into the car again and realize it is supper time.  We run through McD's to get something to eat since we still have to get a few groceries.  We pull into Walgreens parking lot to eat and I nurse Pax again at the same time to try to calm him down.  He has been screaming since we left Moss Point.  We finish eating then go into Walgreens to get more baby food.  They're out of what I need.  Of course.

I reload the kids in the car.  Pax starts his normal screaming/crying routine again.  I call Bryan to tell him we'll be home late.  No problem though, because he's going to be home late too.  We head to Walmart in Ocean Springs and get out again.  I put Pax in his baby carrier and he goes to sleep.  The poor kid smells like a mix of sweat and spit up from crying so much today.  Abby frolics and dances beside the buggy, and I do my best to keep her from spinning into anyone as I drop items into our basket.  At this point, my curls are sticking up in all directions, and I know I look like one of "those" stay at home moms.  I look sleep deprived and crazy.  Again, I really don't care.  We make it through Walmart, and I reload the kids into the car.   Abby spills the rest of her Happy Meal into the back seat of the car while getting her My Little Ponies to jump from her lap to the seat.  Great.  Pax wakes up but is surprisingly quiet.  Phew... close one.

I pull into the driveway, and Pax starts screaming and crying again.  I get out and get the kids inside.  I bring in the groceries while Pax is still screaming in his carseat.  I go back out and clean up the mess on the back seat.  Pax is still freaking.  I go in to get him out and sneeze and pee all over myself.  TMI I know... gotta love what pregnancy does to your body.  So... I settle Abby and tote the screaming Pax in his carseat into my bathroom so I can take a quick shower.  After showering, I get dressed and finally get Pax out to nurse him, give him his medicine, and feed him his bananas and oatmeal.  Bryan gets home, and I hand him Pax.

I put Abby in the bathtub, wash her hair, and Bryan lets Lottie inside again.  I take Pax back from Bryan, and he takes over bath time duty with Abby.  I make a bath for Pax in the sink and get him clean and swaddled for bed.  Pax begins to cry again, and I nurse him until he falls asleep.  I lay him down in his bed, and go to get Abby out of the tub.  

Pax angry about his bath


Somehow, Abby got Lottie into the tub and now she's wet too.  I go to grab my camera to snap a photo, and Lottie leaps out of the tub and slides down the hallway soaking the floor.  Bryan and I rally our wet puppy up, and dry her off the best we can.  
Lottie right before she charged out of the bathroom

Next, we get Abby out, and I get her dressed, dry her hair, and give her the medicine she needs.  Bryan brings Peeperz inside again.  At this point, I hand off Abby to Bryan, and he reads her a night time story and gets her to bed.  Peeperz in tow, I go and finish putting up the groceries and put up Pax's baby tub.  I pick up the living room and Bryan and I get ready to go to bed and start everything over again the next day. 

So there you go... that's what a day in my shoes looks like... minus the web and graphic design stuff that I usually do too.

I want a shirt that says, "I'm a mom.  What are your super powers?"

I think it'd sell.

Seriously.  Jesus is what gets me through each and every day.  Being a mom has taught me how much I really need Him in every way.

Because I need new mercies for tomorrow, I'm going to bed.

Good night.

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