Here is a typical day in the life of a single, working from home, mum…
Baby’s crying. Is he cold? Don’t tell me he’s hungry already. OK, OK, I’m up. Bottle – in. Blissful silence.
OK, now you want to play. Really? No. No, Mama’s going back to bed. No playing. OK, well play quietly then. Sigh, I’ll just put the pillow over my head.
“Mummy, it’s morning time now.” Hmm – what? Ah, Miss 3 is awake. “Go away, the sun’s not up yet. Come back when you can see the sun.” That alarm clock was a waste of money.
Aargh, I’m late. Need to get the kids up, dressed, fed and off to daycare. Great, Baby’s asleep again. And where’s Miss 3?
“Hello, Mummy, I made a river!”
Aargh. “Darling what did you do????” Carpet is soaked, water everywhere, thank goodness I moved my papers last night.
“I got the floor wet, Mummy, but it’s all right. The fire will dry it.”
“Well it’s not really alright, dear, you need to be more careful.” Furiously mopping, but I don’t really have time. “Alright, come here and let me get you dressed. DON’T run away!” Gaaaa.
“OK, I’m going to have a shower.”
“But Mummy, you forgot to get my weetbix.”
“I’ll get it in a minute, I want to have my shower before Baby wakes up.”
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Blissful, shower interlude. Sounds of activity coming from lounge, but I determinedly ignore it.
Uh-oh, now Baby’s crying.
Baby and Miss 3 are dressed, time to get breakfast.
Take prepacked lunch from fridge, pack day care bags, put cereal in bowls, add milk – “not too much, Mummy!” – sit down with Baby and try to feed him while he tries to flick the food off the spoon with one hand and grab the bowl with the other, to the sound track across the table of, “This piece is yucky, Mummy. This piece is pooey. Uh-oh, I dropped some milk on my trousers, waaaa!”
Late again. Wrangle Baby and day care bags into car, come back for Miss 3 – “Mummy, you left me behind!” – come back again for Baby’s bottles and my shoes, come back again for car keys.
Kids are dropped off at day care and I’m driving home feeling strangely light hearted. Bad mother. Don’t care.
Household jobs. Whizz around emptying dishwasher, putting away laundry, getting wood for the fire. Make cup of tea and head into the study.
Emails, phone calls, social media, writing ambitious to-do list, writing realistic to-do list. Hmm, I’m hungry.
Lunch. So what if it’s early. Now back to work.
Write, write, write. Research. Record podcast. Increasingly frequent glances at clock. Nearly time to get the kids. Got to get this done first….
Ahh, am late to get kids. Also meant to cook dinner and pick up library book. Will give them eggs on toast. Drive to day care.
“Come here and put on your shoes, we have to go. Thanks, see you tomorrow!”
Drive home. “Did you have a nice day at day care?” “NUFFIN.” “Okay. What did you have for lunch?” “NUFFIN. Mummy, can I have chocolate cake for tea?”
Dinner. Baby’s crying, too tired to eat really. Miss 3’s crying, doesn’t want to eat. “You don’t have to, but if you don’t stop crying you can go to bed right now.” Crying stops, temporarily. Get Baby into bed, where he suddenly perks up and starts playing and singing. Sigh. Leave him to it.
Oops, meant to give them a bath. Will do it tomorrow. “Miss 3, you have fifteen more minutes.”
“Hold on, Mummy, I’m just taking Dolly to the shops.” “OK, come back in fifteen minutes.” “I will.”
Tidy kitchen. Pack lunch bags. Eat uneaten lunch food. Sneak back into study to finish last few sentences.
“Alright, Miss 3, time for bed.” “Hold on, Mummy, I’m just busy right now.” “Right now, Miss 3. Quick sticks.”
Clean teeth. “Say ‘Aaaah.’” “Eeee. Hahahahaha.” Sigh.
Read stories. Miss 3 goes to the toilet. “Mummy, maybe if my trousers are dry, tomorrow I can have chocolate cake.” “Maybe.”
Turn music on. “Mummy, wait, I’ve got something to tell you.” “What, honey?” “I need you to be with me. Give me some pats.” “OK, just a few pats, then I have to go and have my tea.”
Sneak out and hope for the best.
Eat dinner, tidy up, chat to mum who’s watching murder mysteries. Get chocolate pudding and take it to bed with me to eat in front of TV. Think I should get some more work done but decide to watch Masterchef episodes instead.
Should have stopped reading earlier. Better get Baby up for a bottle or he’ll want one at midnight. Get Miss 3 up for another wee. Back to bed, let’s see how much sleep I get before the first interruption.
“Mummy, I don’t want to sleep in my room. There are shadows.”
Sigh. “Come on then. Don’t you wake Baby.” “I wunt.”
Does this day sound familiar to other single mums out there? Please SHARE in the comments below.