This is a day in the life of contributor, Heather, a stay-at-home mom who balances a few part-time jobs while caring for her brood of four kiddos: a five-year-old kindergartener, a four-year-old preschooler, a potty-training two-year old, and a good-natured fourteen-month old.
6:40am Turn on Keurig. Open lunch boxes on counter. Sneak upstairs to wake up top bunk occupant. Cross fingers that he will escape room without waking bottom bunk.
6:50am Make two lunches and one breakfast. Remind eldest son 14 times to eat his breakfast quickly. Get out sippy cups for younger siblings. Get frustrated at trying to find lids in chaotic sippy cup cabinet. Swear to myself I will organize it later.
6:55am Big good morning to animated two-year-old and his four-year-old sister (who’s proudly showing what outfit she’s chosen). Notice wet shorts on younger lad. Zip upstairs to rip sheets off his bed. Put in basket to wash them for the 4th time this week. Make breakfast for my middle duo.
7:15am Backpack zipped. Kiss my kindergartener and husband goodbye.
7:25am Is that the baby I hear? Yes. Remind kids to keep eating. Dart upstairs to rescue him from his crib.
7:30am Breakfast number 4 is served. Press “brew” on Keurig, then commence dicing bananas and tearing up toast.
7:40am Sit at table with iPhone and coffee. Munch on whatever has not been eaten from kids’ breakfast plates. Dice more banana while returning emails, checking Facebook, and deleting junk mail.
7:55am Free baby from high chair and turn on PBS kids to distract middle children. Baby follows me to bathroom. Hand him a brush and a plastic container for entertainment while I do morning routine.
8:10am Contacts, make-up, and hair in pony tail. Clothes on. Make sure kids are still staring at Wild Kratts. Remind daughter to brush her teeth. Remind son to use the potty.
8:20am Change and dress baby. Turn around the backwards shirt and shorts two-year-old picked out and dressed himself in. Tell him to find his shoes. Brush daughter’s hair into a ponytail while she insists she’d rather wear it down.
8:30am Take a sip of coffee. Cold. Stick coffee in microwave to take along. Load backpack. Tell daughter (again) to get her shoes on. Remember today is show and tell. Search the house for something that begins with letter “G.” Break a sweat. Try to locate baby. Check diaper bag supplies. Announce it’s time to go.
8:40am Three kids buckled in. Depart for preschool 15 minutes away.
9:00am Unload. Preschool drop off. Kisses. Turn around and go home.
9:20am Back home. Give baby more Almond milk. Tell son to go potty, again.
9:30am Lay baby down for nap. Get two-year-old busy with legos. Pull out iPad and try to get a few thoughts down for the 4 blog posts I have due this week.
9:40am Realize the sound I hear is someone peeing on a hard surface. Investigate. Clean bathroom floor.
9:45am Back to writing. Type with one hand as industrious toddler uses a toy wrench to tighten fingers on my right hand.
9:50am Give said toddler a snack to keep him busy while I update a few of my 7 Facebook pages. Decide on dinner. Put meat in fridge to thaw.
10:05am Surrender and turn on short movie for toddler so I can get some writing done.
11:00am Time for a trip to the playground. Kids in stroller. Shoes on. We’re outside. Catch up with some neighbor friends there.
11:50am Lunchtime. Peanut butter and jelly. Grapes. Countdown to naps. Remember bottom bunk is sheetless. But, washer is full. Drat. Switch laundry to dryer. Put sheet in new load.
12:30pm Turn on Caillou. Surround baby with interesting toys. Find something in fridge to warm up for my lunch. Open microwave and find my coffee. Decide lunch takes priority and resolve to reheat coffee later.
12:55pm Take baby upstairs while I put new sheets on bottom bunk. Grab full hamper of dirty clothes in one arm and baby in other and go back downstairs to retrieve two year old for nap.
1:00pm Pull-up on! Nap #1 begins. Take baby back downstairs for a few more minutes of entertainment. Sit on floor with iPad throwing a ball with him while typing a post.
1:30pm Naps #2 and #3 (That one’s mine.) Lie down on bed and close eyes for 10 minutes until I hear garage door open.
2:15pm Back home. Snack after a busy day at preschool. A few more minutes of writing for me while she rests on the couch.
3:00pm Elementary school pick up time.
3:20pm After-school snack #2. Discuss his day. Look through school folders for homework and teachers notes. Switch laundry. Start to tackle pile of dishes. Unfortunate obstacle. Must unload dishwasher first.
3:50pm Surrender to kids’ pleas to use the iPad. Get older two set on couch with games while I fold some laundry and try to clean up…or at least remove all choking hazards from the floor.
4:00pm Finish dishes. Start dinner. Realize meat is still frozen. Open microwave to thaw it. Find coffee again. Decide one more reheat would be ok… After the meat’s turn, that is.
4:15pm Two-year-old awake. Ask, cajole, and then eventually force three oldest kids to go play outside until dinner.
4:30pm Baby awake. Put him in highchair to eat immediately (and stay put) while I finish dinner.
5:00pm Bargaining session: What quantity of vegetables must be consumed for a Fudgesicle? (Or, some call it, dinnertime.)
5:30pm Clean up. Change for gym.
5:50pm Arrive to teach my 6pm Spinning class.
7:15pm Home from gym. Bathe two youngest boys while husband helps older kids with showers. Then homework, stories, teeth-brushed, family prayer time, piggy back rides to bed.
8:00pm Four children clean and on their way to sleepy town.
8:05pm My shower time. Finally.
8:20pm Crash on couch and finger through Facebook and Pinterest while husband flips through channels. Remember laundry and sippy cup cabinet organization project. Decide it can all wait. Find coffee on counter. Surrender to fact it must be dumped.
9:30pm Husband and I decide nothing on TV is worth staying up for. Retreat to bed to discuss doing it all over again, tomorrow…