Ever wondered what a stay at home parent does? Want to know what an average day is like with a 3.5 month old?
6:30am - Neil is up and getting ready for work, this causes Isla to stir so I lift her from the bassinet next to our bed and pull her close. She nurses and we both drift back off to sleep. Neil comes in and gives us each a kiss before he leaves for work.
9am-ish - We wake up for the day. Isla nurses again and I change her. Then we have a dance party! I play music and sing to her. I usually add some goofy dance moves too. Isla kicks her legs and flashes me some goofy grins that melt my heart.
10ish - We move to the living room. I gather up the baby, my nursing pillow and my phone. I lay her down on her playmat and quickly make a cup of coffee and grab a bowl of cereal. I sit down next to her on the floor and cross my fingers that I'll get to finish breakfast before Isla loses patience. I get about 10 minutes before I have to scoop her up and move to the couch.
11am - Once we sit down she'll nurse again, I'll change her and get her dressed for the day. Then we start playtime. The order varies from day to day but the activities include:
- Reading stories
- Making silly faces at her
- Making silly faces together in a mirror
- Tummy time
- Dangling a toy in front of her and letting her stare at it
- Resting her on my propped up legs and talking or singing to her
- Wandering around the house
- Playing songs on her stuffed dog violet, baby Einstein machine or her toy zoo
- Shaking a rattle
And more! She only tolerates any one activity for about 5-10 minutes and then we have to move onto something else...it keeps me busy!
12:30ish - I put Isla in her swing outside my bathroom door and take a lightening speed shower. If she falls asleep in it I put makeup on and blow dry my hair. If she starts to fuss, it's one coat of mascara and a little concealer.
1pm - I watch What Not to Wear while feeding Isla. I try to eat something myself at the same time. Some days I manage, other days I don't. Then I burp and change her.
2pm - Isla has a full happy tummy and a clean diaper so I get her strapped into the stroller to go out for a walk. As I click the last buckle I hear a massive diaper explosion. I unload her and change her diaper...and her clothes.
2:30pm - We're finally out the door.
3:30pm - After a nice walk and some fresh air we're home. I feed, burp and change her. She snoozes a bit in my arms. I'm starving and I eat whatever I can grab - one handed.
4pm - Depending on the state of the house I might strap Isla into the carrier and do some chores. Otherwise it's more playtime or a nap if she's tired.
5:30ish - I cook dinner with Isla in the ergo baby carrier or in her mamaroo swing. If it's the latter I have to run back from the kitchen to replace her binkie every five minutes or so, otherwise she'll get too cranky.
6:00-6:30ish - Neil gets home. I pass him the baby while I finish up dinner. I hand him his plate and swap him for the baby, then I nurse her while he eats. Then we switch, minus the nursing ;)
7:30 - More nursing
8pm - Bedtime routine! We make the bedroom dark and quiet. Isla gets a massage, her face, hands and bum washed, a fresh diaper, clean jammies and a swaddle. Neil give her the vitamin D drops while I put on her lullabies, tidy the bedroom and turn on the monitor camera. She nurses once more and then we rock in the glider to get her nice and sleepy.
9pm - She's very drowsy, might even be asleep. I creep over to the bassinet and lay her down as gently as possible before tiptoeing out of the room. I sit down on the couch and turn on the monitor.
9:05pm - She's crying. Per the pediatrician's instructions I wait five minutes before going in, calming her down and putting the pacifier back in. I sneak out and make it as far as the kitchen before she starts to cry again. We repeat this for a while. In between checking on her I clean up the kitchen, do some dishes, throw in some laundry and tidy up the mess of toys, clothes, burp cloths and other various baby items in the living room.
9:30pm - Her cries are losing steam.
9:45pm - She's asleep.
10-10:30pm - We head to bed, as quietly as humanly possible. I peek at her and watch her chest softly move up and down. I am amazed by her and how all consuming my love is for this beautiful little person. I close my eyes and I'm asleep in minutes.
Sometime between 3:30am and 5am - She wakes up and I change her as quickly and quietly as I can. Then I put on the nursing pillow, sit up in bed, feed and burp her. When she's done, I lay her back down in her bassinet and we both go back to sleep for a few more hours until the next day officially begins.
So there you have it! That's a pretty average day for us at the moment. It's definitely easier than those early days (the first six or so weeks) but it's never easy. I'm okay with that though. I know it won't last forever so I try to enjoy it all. The good, the bad and the messy.