I wanted to take a moment to capture in writing what this stage of life is like for our little family. I will never claim to have it all together, but there are sweet pockets of time in life where you start to feel like you're getting the hang of something, and that's where I'm at with being a mother of two! I have so much to juggle on a daily basis (who doesn't!?!), so something I've been working on is allowing myself to sneak in a few minutes of work, chores, or reading when there is a moment where both the kids are occupied or sleeping. I used to think it wasn't even worth it to start something if I didn't have time to finish it, mainly because it takes time to get into the flow of work. But long blocks of uninterrupted time is a luxury I don't have at the moment, so 5 minutes here and there will have to do for now!
An Average Day in our Household
I currently don't set an alarm to wake up, because I hear my husband's going off to get him up early for school. Plus, Pippa usually ends up in our bed at some point during the night, so there's almost no hope of me getting up before the kids to get things done, since she would hear me and wake up too. Generally Pippa and I roll out of bed at 6:30, make the beds, empty the dishwasher, make our shakes (
in Spanish, so Pippa calls them
and get set up for breakfast. After she eats, I bribe her to wear her eye patch with a few episodes of Daniel Tiger or Little Einsteins on Netflix. This syncs perfectly with Teddy's wakeup time, as he is ready for his first bottle around 7.
He happily bounces in his exersaucer and watches Pippa watch TV, or plays with the dog for a solid half hour after eating. I'm learning to use this time to get my biggest chores out of the way. I get ready for the day, wipe down counters, throw in a load of laundry, and generally declutter the main living area. Once I hear Teddy squawking, I know it's time for his morning banana + rice cereal combo, and he and I get some bonding time. Pippa is likely playing Little People at this time, or stacking every toy, blanket, and pillow in the house on a "boat", which some might call a "couch" or "sofa".
After Teddy Bear eats his breakfast, he's ready for his morning nap. This chunk of time is really a wild card for me. Ideally, Pippa is still playing by herself, and I get a few minutes to sip my coffee, read some articles or blogs online, or even write a little bit for my own blog. Since she's two, though, I definitely can't count on that time being my own. Some days we get sweet snuggle time and read books together, some days we do flash cards of sight words, and other days we FaceTime with a family member. I also try to take this time to get Pippa's lunch packed, make sure she's dressed, has her hair done and teeth brushed, and is generally ready for school.
morning coffee and work time
Recycled picture from October, but basically what our morning walk looks like
When Teddy wakes from his nap (around 9:30), we take the dog for a walk. Pippa gets a cup of cereal and a cup of water, Teddy gets his taggy blanket, and I pop my headphones in for some quality podcast time. We log about two miles, and I'm usually sweaty from pushing the double stroller while holding the dog's leash. Let me tell you, though, that Florida sunshine is a dream compared to slogging through the slush during "spring" in the Midwest. By the time we return, Teddy's ready for his second bottle of the day, and Pippa destroys any semblance of a clean house I accomplished in the early morning hours.
(Alternate post nap activities include the park, the library, or running an errand).
ready for school!
At this point, we drop Pippa off at school, and Teddy and I get some uninterrupted bonding time while we both eat lunch - a shake for me, and rice cereal with coconut oil for him! When he goes down for his post-lunch nap, I run around frantically for 5 minutes because I have no children to entertain, and I don't know whether to read a book, work my business, take pictures for Instagram in the beautiful afternoon light, or fold laundry without a toddler present (the ultimate luxury).
I almost always have to wake him up from his nap (I know,
, don't wake a sleeping baby), because I have to get to school to teach, and he needs his third bottle before we leave. I dread the next part of my day, which involves slinging 3 heavy bags over my shoulder (one for work which contains my laptop, one bag with all of Teddy's things, and my purse with a full water bottle), scooping up Teddy's carseat (strength training), and barreling out the door in the midday Florida heat. Any hope I had of my hair and makeup staying on point is gone as I deteriorate into a puddle of sweat.
one-on-one time with Teddy
I get the privilege of teaching middle school aged kids in the afternoon, and it feels good to be a professional for awhile. It also makes me even more excited to go home and cuddle with my own kiddos when I'm done! The afternoons are a blur of reading books, snacks, Teddy's third and final nap, all the laundry I folded getting dumped on the floor, and more stacking things on boats. Once Justin gets home, either he or I whip up dinner (I'mma be honest, it's either pasta with meatsauce, burrito bowls, or tacos) while the other one tries to keep witching hour at bay, which is a fruitless task. Then it's dinner, baths, pjs, prayers, and bed. Once the kids are in bed and sleeping, Justin and I get work done for school (lesson planning or correcting), and I work on building my business or writing for my blog.
Whew. That's it! It's crazy trying to fit in raising kids, teaching, building a business, writing a blog, and keeping the house running smoothly, but it's the life I chose, and the life I love. I find that approaching all areas of my life as though they were a job (including being a mom and keeping house), I am much more productive, and I feel better about what I've accomplished that day. I try to remember that whatever I do, I'm doing it to God's glory and not to impress others. Some days that involves exciting things like leading Bible study or delivering a lesson on limericks, while other days it means cleaning up accidents and refolding the laundry for the 4th time. Así es la vida, friends. The beauty is certainly in the mundane.