It’s been 11 months since I felt like I’ve had a solid routine, and I recently embraced the fact. This is just the season of life I’m in, and I learned how important it is to find beauty in the craziness.
I have two kiddos I love more than words can express: my super energetic, sweet Hudson is 2 1/2 years old, and my precious cuddlebug, Everett, is 11 months old. I also work from home part time. I know it’s crucial for children to have a solid routine, so I’ve made sure to establish that for my sons but as for me, routine barely exists right now and that is 100% okay.
This means exercise, going to bed, waking up, meals, and showers are all at sporadic times depending on how the day is going. I never forget to eat, though, and don’t know how some people do! By the looks of my pantry you would think I’m stocking up on snacks for a football team.
Exercise has looked different for me in the last couple years but I still find ways to stay active. I get movement into my day with walks, playing with my kiddos, the occasional yoga class, and random jumping jacks and squats, too.
I realize there are benefits to routine, so this is not for lack of effort. However, after trying so hard to establish a perfect routine while taking care and loving on my two sons, I realized that stressing over it was worse. I learned to embrace the way my life is in this very moment and make the most of it.
Right now as I write this, Everett is next to me and Hudson is in his room, supposed to be napping but is pulling out all the drawers. I like to say I have a rhythm, and it just so happens to look different on the daily.
Here’s a little snippet of one day of my life as a stay-at-home mama! I know some other mamas will be able to relate. This rhythm allows me to find beauty in the messes, the exhaustion, and the imperfections so I can be free to love my life exactly as is.
Close to every morning these last 11 months I hit the ground running, and that’s my cardio. My husband is an amazing help and we make a great team. He can only do so much in the morning though before leaving home for work. Since Everett still doesn’t sleep well at night, this means I don’t either.
Let’s just say that mornings are typically the craziest and least organized part of my day. I put on my fancy ice mask to help with the dark circles. The cold helps wake me up, too.
Breakfast! I make an easy, healthy breakfast for me and Hudson: whole-grain waffles, eggs, oatmeal, or smoothies. Hudson is strapped tight into his high chair so he can’t escape, and I give him a couple hot wheel cars to play with. I breastfeed Everett while I’m eating, then place him into his bouncer.
After eating, the boys play and watch something educational on TV. I’m thankful for all the great educational shows and smile when I hear Hudson practicing numbers and letters. I get myself ready for the day as quickly as I can while checking on the boys every 3 seconds to make sure Hudson is being gentle with Everett. Usually he is, but every now and then he’ll try some kind of ninja move on his little brother.
Once I’m ready for the day and the ice mask did its trick, I get the boys ready. This entails brushing teeth, washing faces, changing diapers, putting on clothes, all while cleaning up from breakfast. Once we’re presentable, then it’s play dates with friends, visiting family, and other activities. Typically two days each week I make sure to have no plans for the sake of my sanity.
Lunch time rolls around. It’s like breakfast, but usually easier since I’m actually awake and in the groove…my ever-changing rhythm! Around this time I’m wondering if I’ll get a nap that day. Some days both boys nap at the same time, which means I scored and get one too. Most days though, they nap at different times. I try not to dwell on exhaustion and enjoy getting one on one quality time with whomever is awake. Also, this is when I sneak in a little bit of work and clean. I love a clean home, but do my best to not stress over the mess if I don’t have the time.
Before I know it, dinner time! Dinner is usually like breakfast. Hudson is strapped into his high chair, Everett is placed in his bouncer, and the TV goes on for the time being; educational shows make me feel less guilty about TV. Currently Hudson’s favorite movie is Pixar Cars, so that’s my back-up plan. Sometimes this is the only way I get things done.
Around now is when my husband gets home and I’m so glad he’s a great cook. Some nights I make dinner and other nights he does, or we team up and cook together until I hear Everett start to fuss because he’s ready to eat and that’s my cue as a mama. I’ve done some meal planning which helps, but it’s a process I’m slowly getting better at. One thing at a time.
The TV goes off and we enjoy dinner as a family. We put an emphasis on this. Then it’s time to clean up and get our boys ready for bed! We wash faces, give baths, brush teeth, and put on cozy pajamas. Then it’s time for more playing and then we clean up toys. We read a couple books and one bible story for evening story time. That’s followed by prayers, cuddles, kisses, and then fussing because it’s bedtime.
This is a whirlwind, but eventually and gradually all gets quiet in the home as our tired boys doze off to sleep. I often say that being a mama is one of the most blessed and beautiful reasons to be exhausted and as much as I miss sleep, I’m doing my best embracing the season I’m in. And tomorrow, we’ll do it all again.