Friday, May 1, 2015

Diary of a couple of busy days

 I am feeling like super mom today. It is not always like this. Most of the time I am just barely able to do the things that need to get done. I spend my days running all the time, letting some chore wait while I collapse in the couch for most needed rest or decide to go out even if there is always something I  could be doing.  (I mean, look at all that laundry that has to be folded).

I normally wake up around 6:30 (when our alarm goes on), I like to be the first to shower, while everyone else is still asleep. It gives me some calm time and a fresh start. After showering I start preparing breakfast, normally some fruit (steamed apple or pear with cinammon, or melon or papaya or mango), bread with cheese and yoghurt for the baby and toast with jam and tea for us. I also prepare a sandwich and fruit for the husband to take to work. The baby usually wakes up when I am in the middle of preparations so things get exciting as she wants to see what is going on at all times. As soon as she is up her pacifier and bottle get sterilized. Either Mark or me give her a new diaper and after everyone is clean and dressed we have breakfast together until it is time for the boy to go to work. This is normally around 8 am.

Yesterday we had swimming class at 9 am, so I let the baby play on the floor for a while. In the meantime I run around preparing our backpack with towels, underwear, soap, bathing suits, sandals; and make sure our diaper bag has everything we need: pacifier, meals for the day, diapers, wipes. We walk to the swimming pool and then we get busy preparing all the stuff we need for after the class (dry towels, soap) and change both of us into our bathing suits.

After class she normally falls asleep quite fast with a stroller walk. I use this time to go for groceries and bring them home, then keep on walking around, taking advantage of the sunny weather. When Yu woke up from her nap we went for lunch at an ice-cream / café that I love because they have the nicest Italian latte's and the baby can walk on the couches by the window, people watching. We eat fruit, a panini with tomato, mozzarella and pesto and the afore mentioned coffee (for me) and  frothy steamed milk (for her). From there we go to the library (a few meters away) and I let her roam free, taking the books off all the shelves as she pleases. (I go around behind her picking them up, sometimes we arrange them together).  We choose a couple of books and a friend calls us, so we go to the center and meet at a park that has a nice playground. We think the girls (mine and hers) are going to fall down for a nap while we walk, but there is too much excitement at the park and they ain't gonna miss it.

So off they go to the slide, the seesaw, the swings. They play until they are, now, for real, extremely tired and it's already 17h 30. We head home.

I go home to a sick husband. He feels weak, he has a fever though he does not recognize it and he is in pain. I remember that by some kind  of miracle there is chicken broth in the freezer, with rice and vegetables, so I prepare it, along with some mint tea. I give him paracetamol, the Dutch's panacea and cure for everything. The baby is still napping while I cook, so we eat without her. When she wakes up, she has her dinner and plays around a little bit but she starts being fussy and edgy so she gets her night diaper and pijama and we start the (long) dance of getting her to sleep. She takes a while, then wakes up at 23h, 1h30, 4 am. Yeah, we are still doing that, and we don't know how it will stop. Theories are very nice in books. But well, we are used to this.

I wake up this morning, the husband is (still) not feeling well at all, I make breakfast, load the washing machine with diapers, do the dishes a million times, clean the table, bake 3 cakes (one after another), two of which are vegan and are looking really good, entertain the kid, make her go down for her naps, hang the diapers, make lunch.

I am feeling so efficient and yet I am not the best self that I could perhaps be. I know the husband is ill and I am doing my best to take care of him, making sure he eats and stays hydrated; but also, I am resenting that he gets to be on the couch resting and he gets annoyed when I ask him for help. I wish I could do all of this graciously and yet what I really want is praise and pats in the back. I want to be told how amazing I am for doing the routine things that are done everyday and are just the necessary things that keep us functioning, no extraordinary feats. So here we are, and it is (only) 14:06.


  1. Oh I can totally relate to this! Sometimes it seems like we don't have a lot to show for how hard we worked but it's the mundane days full of to-dos that make me feel like super mom.

    I'm glad you admitted Yu is still waking a few times a night. I'm right there with you with Paloma!

    1. Oh.. I hope these babies will get the memo soon that the night is for sleeping .
      And yes, the imundane tasks take so much time, and are so necessary. I keep thinking of that analogy of the Red Queen in Alice in Wonderland about how you must keep running to stay in the same place. Story of my life, well I guess everyone's that's just what life is, endlessly fighting against enthropy.

  2. I think the thing about a work-outside-the-home job (like your husband has) vs a person doing all the unseen work of keeping a home running is that the outside-the-home job is done after they get home (typically), whereas the home work is around the clock. Additionally, working outside the home comes with natural praise in the form of a paycheck, kudos, and just general...acknowledgement. I know on the days I or Patrick stay home (my schedule shifts so some Saturdays I work, which means he's at home with her alone that day, and that means some other week day I take off instead so it' s just me with her), whoever's at home has a much harder time getting anything at all done because we're more used to having her as a team and not just by ourselves, so when we get anything done at all, we feel like we need to tell the other person (whereas I rarely feel the need to tell Patrick everything I accomplished at work because I have colleagues to share that with).

    1. Yes, I feel like you nailed it here, it is a hard balance because everyone is working hard, and it is obvious that the person working outside home needs to relax after long days, commuting. Sometimes it is just watching cartoons (anime) or playing squash, but that means that on weekends I still get to be with the kid all the time, whereas I see weekends as time where we both do the work. But it is fair I mean, I get to go for coffee during the week and sometimes even read, so I get my relaxing time in other periods. Not complaining /whining is an art.


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