Sunday, June 20, 2010

Living by the clock: a daily schedule for a single mom of two

As I have said, I am a single mother. My oldest, a 3 year old boy, Bug, and Ladybug, who is currently 7 weeks old.
I am a solo parent, which means the other parent isn't involved at all. There are no weekends with dad or a couple days a week, or anything like that. It's all me.
If a child wants held, the arms are mine. If a child wants heard, the ears are mine. If a child is hungry or thirsty, I'm the one in the kitchen. If a child needs a butt wiped, my nose is the one wrinkling.
It also means that if I want to go shopping, I'm taking two kids with me. So, I don't go to the store to buy cloths. I haven't been in a movie theater since Juno came out. I seldom go out to eat unless someone else is with us to help with the kids.
My biggest pet peeve is when non-single parents (particularly stay-at-home moms) say they FEEL like single parents cuz the other one isn't very involved... I say, if you have an extra pair of hands to hold the baby for five minutes, or someone who can carry in groceries while you take care of fussy kids, IT DOESN'T COUNT!

So, what does a day in the life of a single, working mother look like?

6:45 a.m. - I wake up. I make bug his oatmeal and myself oatmeal. I prep the breast pump.
7:00 a.m. - I wake up bug and get him eating. I pump and eat.
7:15 a.m. - I put my dishes away and clean off the breast pump. I prepare bug's toothbrush and get into the shower.
7:30 a.m. - I get out of the shower. If bug hasn't brushed his teeth yet, I remind him to do so. I remind bug to put away his dishes.
7:40 a.m. - I get dressed except my shirt. I remind bug of all the things he needs to do, including getting his clothes out and getting dressed.
7:45 a.m. - I comb my hair and put it up. I moisturize and remind bug to get dressed.
7:50 a.m. - I get my make-up on and remind bug to finish getting dressed.
7:55 a.m. - I get my shirt on and tell bug to get socks and shoes on.
8:00 a.m. - I get ladybug changed, dressed and fed.
8:15 a.m. - I get shoes on and pack up the breast pump.
8:20 a.m. - I put on the mei tai and put ladybug in it. I make sure bug is ready to go and we head out the door.
8:30 a.m. - Drop off bug at his daycare. Drive to ladybug's daycare.
8:40 a.m. - Drop off ladybug.
8:50 a.m. - Head to work.
5:10 p.m. - Leave work.
5:20 p.m. - Pick up ladybug from her daycare.
5:30 p.m. - Pick up bug from his daycare. Struggle with him and talk to the daycare provider.
6:00 p.m. - Get home. Drop ladybug off on the bed, check her diaper and feed her.
6:15 p.m. - Drop ladybug in the bouncy chair, check the calendar and make the planned meal.
6:30 p.m. - Eat while feeding ladybug.
7:00 p.m. - Put dishes away. Wrestle bug into the bath.
7:15 p.m. - Feed ladybug.
8:00 p.m. - Get bug out of the bath and into pj's. Read books.
9:00 p.m. - Bug is in bed, ladybug is being fed.
9:30 p.m. - Bug is asleep, ladybug is asleep. I get up to finish my work for the day.
11:30 p.m. - I get to go to bed... maybe.

This is approximate times since either child reserves the right to mess up the schedule as they see fit. This is also a typical day, not counting Gramma days, when gramma takes bug for the afternoon. It also doesn't count days when we go out to eat with the grandparents. And weekends are a whole 'nother story.
On an interesting note, people recommend scheduling for parents cuz then the kids learn what to expect each day... this "knowing" takes years... bug still fights and questions every action every day.

Well, it's 1 a.m. and I'm still not in bed... :D

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