Over the last week I’ve had a comment festering in the back of my head. It wasn’t a comment meant to be offensive, yet it was. It wasn’t a comment meant to make me feel small, yet it did. It wasn’t even a comment that should have affected my life in any way, shape, or form… yet it was.
Last week someone asked me “what do you do with all your free time? Do you just hold the baby all day and take selfies?” In that moment I let it go because it was said in a light hearted, easy breezy, roll off your shoulder kind of way. When I went home that night I asked my husband if I was being overly sensitive and he confirmed what I was already feeling. Nope, I wasn’t.
I was ready to be done with it right then and there until someone else made a very similar comment to me a few days later. I saw red. I know people say these things as jokes because clearly they only see my life through social media, and yes I take a lot of selfies with my daughter and yes I am in fact holding her in most of them. But the great thing about social media is you only get to see what I choose to show you.
So what you don’t see is the pictures I don’t post of me waking up at 3am for feedings and then starting my day at 6am. What they don’t see is my hair a disaster and still wearing yesterday’s makeup and “oh shit, it’s almost noon and I haven’t brushed my teeth today” what they don’t see is me laying on the floor with my daughter for hours on end playing games and working on goals our therapist has set for us to achieve that week. What they don’t see is me rushing to shower while my daughter takes a 15 minute nap. And what you don’t see is all the chaos that is my life. The laundry, the dishes, the grocery shopping, the 3 animals I have that command my attention as well, and me trying to juggle being a wife and having my own identity all at the same time.
So I decided I was going to do a blog post about “a day in the life of” a full time mom and wife, a part time hair stylist, psychologist, and life coach. Because let’s face it I don’t just do hair. I had intended on documenting a day in my life through pictures and video and snarky little snippets but boy oh boy did I pick a hell of a day.
I’ve said this before but it honestly feels like my child turned 6 months old and decided she wanted out of here. She has had very little tolerance for my husband and I over the last several days and I’m just going to chalk it up to teething because I have no other reasons to believe she hates us.
So here goes. Some of these pictures are rough but I’m laying it all out there. All of my mommies can relate to this 100% and I look forward to your comments and stories as well!
Let’s start from the top! I usually stay up later than I should. They say sleep when the baby sleeps! But then when the hell would you have time for yourself? I stay up late to watch mindless tv and to be alone and to not be someone’s parent or wife for a few hours. So let’s go with 11, I went to bed at 11. Well, Ella started wiggling around and crying out for a bottle around 4:30 this morning. Naturally I get up, fix her a bottle, scoop her out of her crib and snuggle her up right beside me. After a few ounces she was already snoring herself back into a deep baby trance. While some may sleep comfortably with an infant in their bed. I just don’t seem to. How can one 12 pound little girl take up so much room? I find myself contorting my body into awkward, uncomfortable positions to keep her comfortable and safe. So sleep doesn’t come quickly or for long. She starts wiggling and talking to let us know she’s awake and ready to rage! Oh btw it’s 6:30. So I pick her up change her and head back to bed to just snuggle and chat for a little bit longer. Daddy makes his way to the shower and we make our way to the kitchen for breakfast.
7:15 breakfast. And oh hey btw I spend a few hours each week peeling and puréeing her food and hand packing it into neat little handy dandy pouches. These are apples. Apples are her jam.
After breakfast I have to fight her with a baby wipe to clean her off otherwise in a few hours you’ll start smelling whatever is living under that chunky chin.
8:08 we make our way to the couch for our second bottle of the day. *editors note here* when I’m feeding her a bottle which is typically a 15 minute process. This is about the only time I get to sit down during the day. And it’s not exactly enjoyable, I typically have a finger being forced up my nose, or clammy little hands pulling on my hair. Lately it’s been a foot in the mouth but whose complaining?
8:38 we finished our bottle and played with our new jumper and rattles until about 10am.
10:02 I decided to put her in her bassinet with a few toys and some sound effects figuring she’d probably just put herself to sleep. 5 minutes into my shower and I remember my child doesn’t put herself to sleep… you fool. Im barely able to rinse the conditioner out of my hair before I’m hopping out to soothe a crying baby.
10:17 made bottle number 3 of the day and laid in bed with her (still sopping wet and in a towel) and tried to calm her down.
10:38 success!! She’s finally down for a nap! I might even get to put eye liner on 😍
10:46 nope… oh hey Ella! you look so refreshed after that 8 minute nap! So I do what any rational parent does and I turn on some “soul decision” pandora radio and put her on my lap while I finish. I teach her how to contour and hilight her cheek bones while she eats my makeup brush that honestly hasn’t been washed in 2 years. It’s totally fine.
10:52 We have a discussion that went pretty much like this… (me singing) “I feel a little poke coming through, on you” “ya, um so Ella if mommy ever finds out you were grinding on some boy, I’ll ground you for life. ok?”
10:57 oooooh this is my jam! Dance party! Gotta teach her those old school classics. Seriously though even if you don’t know soul decision just put on the pandora station… you’ll thank me later. So the eye liner thing didn’t happen I was lucky to get one coat of mascara on and rough dry my hair before she was screaming at me again. So I threw on some yoga pants and a tank top (mom uniform) and knew it was time for lunch. For her… not me. I haven’t consumed anything today so far.
11:29 lunch time!! Oh hey did I mention I make all of her food? Oh I did. Perfect.
11:30 did I also mention I have 3 dogs? 🙄 one of which can jump onto the counters?
11:49 third outfit of the day and we are onto our 4th bottle people!!
12:02 we pack it on up and hit the road to run some errands. Luckily my husband spared me the pain of driving to down town jax so we just had to pick up a few things from hobby lobby and target.
12:29 whoooop we love target! It’s the holy land for moms. We just go and walk around. 9 times out of 10 we don’t even have anything to buy. We just need somewhere to escape to. Next time your in target play a little game for me. 5 points for every mom you see alone with her kid before 11am, 10 points if she’s in yoga pants, and 15 points if she’s got a Starbucks in her hand. 😳 I bet you won’t leave with less than 50 points. And you’re welcome for this new game.
12:35 passed the fck out! A few t shirts for mom, some baby dresses for Ellie, and a bag of frozen Chinese food for dinner. We gone ✌🏽️
1:02 got in line at Panera and got myself lunch! Yay! Doesn’t everyone eat their first meal of the day at 1:00?
1:13 got home and baby is still sleeping!! Got to actually sit and enjoy my lunch.
1:30 still sleeping… so I take the opportunity to respond to client texts and emails.
1:39 oh hey girl!!!
1:42 play time. All the time.
1:43 my husband texts to inform me an electrician is coming over to fix our garbage disposal. Wellllll shiiiit. Sorry love, mommy has to pick up the house!
2:12 full blown melt down. Those are real tears. Real tears are the worst. They make me feel some kind of way. Oh and we are on bottle number 5. After she finishes her baba she’s a happy camper and lets me put her down for a few minutes to make the bed, and start some laundry.
Btw… those are clean clothes on the floor. Can I get a show of hands from anyone else whose husband thinks this is ok? Clean clothes on the floor is a special kind of dumb. I can’t.
3:00 house is tidy, laundry is started and I have no other responsibilities today other than to occupy my sweet girl.
3:35 and we are on to bottle number 6!
Now… this is where I stopped keeping track of time and there are no more pictures because after this… deep breath… We lost our shit.
I’m not sure if the lack of sleep over the last couple days finally caught up to her, if she was stir crazy from pretty much being inside all day long or if she really is teething. All I know is… we were both crying. By 5:00 my husband called to tell me he was on his way home from work but stuck in traffic. I had a melt down. He asked what’s wrong and I said I just can’t seem to make her happy today. Days like this make me feel so much defeat. I decided she was getting an early bath and one last bottle before I tucked her in for an early bed time. Wrong. 2 minutes into our bath the door bell rings and it’s the electrician whom I thought would have been here 2 hours ago. So I yank her out of the tub, throw her in a towel, run to the door, fight off 3 dogs just to crack the door open enough to say “I’ll be right back!” I throw the 3 dogs into our bedroom and proceed again to the front door with a screaming baby on my hip. “Oh hey! Come on in!, sorry she’s screaming in your face. Hope your insurance covers hearing loss” I show him the garbage disposal and the outlets and the breakers and tell him make himself at home I have to tend to my little one.
I pop her back into the bath tub, scrub her down and pop her right back out. By this point she is just done. D.O.N.E. there is no amount of consoling I can do to calm her down she just wants to scream. And scream she does. I again apologize repeatedly on behalf of my infant and swear to him up and down she is usually so good. He gave me one of those side eye half smiles like “ok lady, whatever you say”
My husband walked in the door 5 minutes later and I handed her off and went into my room, shut the door behind me and buried my head into a pillow. After the electrician left I made my way out into the living room where my husband had put her to sleep in like legit 2 minutes flat. Whatever. So I start dinner. Yep. My frozen Chinese food dinner. It was on sale. And if you bought two, you got a free pint of ice cream. Today deserves ice cream.
We ate dinner in silence because frankly I didn’t have anything nice to say about anything at that point.
After dinner I took all three of my dogs out for individual walks. Each one got a lap around the block. Each time I passed a new neighbor on her front porch she looked at me like a nut case when I came strolling by with a different dog each time.
Now it’s 8:22 and I’ve been sitting in the bathtub for the last hour writing this. And maybe eating cake.
So what I’m saying is, motherhood is not easy. It’s not always hard either but it’s not always easy. I have days where I wake up and can’t wait to see my daughters eyes open and I have days where I just want to hide and not have to be anyone’s parent just for a few hours. This is a typical day in my life. I don’t get to sit around and cook nice meals and clean my house the way I’d actually like to, or get to put on real clothes and makeup and be a wife the way i want to. Sometimes I can achieve those things no problem, but sometimes I’m lucky if I get to bathe alone. When you see a picture of my daughter or myself being cute it’s because I want to capture those moments. Who wants to see my piles of laundry and the sink full of dishes that haven’t been touched since Friday? I don’t even wanna see it so why would I share that with the world? My point is… comments like this are demeaning. No I don’t work full time anymore but working isn’t what fulfills me. Being at home with my little girl and getting to watch her grow, and getting to be at every one of her therapy sessions, and getting to be as hands on as possible is what fulfills me. I work 18 hours a week and am still able to contribute to my family in 18 hours what some do in 40. I don’t care about money, I don’t care about getting one more client in or making one more person happy. What I care about is prioritizing my life so I can find some kind of balance between being a good wife and a good mom. When you make comments to women who stay at home with their babies it makes us feel small. Like your taking a jab at the fact that we choose to be the ones who take care of our kids and not a stranger. Us stay at home moms aren’t judging you. We honestly don’t have time. You follow that career path and you work your ass off for that promotion, more power to you!
And all you moms who work a full time job and have kids at home, I see you! It has to be incredibly difficult having to juggle a career and a family life as well. And undoubtedly the guilt that comes along with that. Not being at every class presentation, or every soccer game. We as women, cant win. If we stay at home we are made to feel incompetent and if we do work we are made to feel guilty.
I don’t have it hard, and I’m certainly not complaining. I signed up for this. As much as I’d love to be able to have more date nights with my husband and get my nails done without a screaming infant on my lap, I wouldn’t have it any other way. Well maybe we could do without the screaming… but my daughter brings so much love and joy to our lives that the good days out weigh the bad days every time. What I’m trying to establish here is that in a 14 hour time period I didn’t get a lick of time to do anything for myself. My daughter was awake for 14 hours and all I got accomplished was a few loads of laundry and a 5 minute shower. None of that time was spent wasted watching tv or getting to do something for myself. My days are spent making sure a 6 month old is happy and thriving. So next time you wonder what I’m doing with all my free time… just know I’m busy keeping a tiny human alive.
and fyi… this is what my feet look like right now. Because who the fck has time for a pedicure?