Thursday, 13 January 2011

The Stay at Home Mum.

Me. I am a SAHM. Temporarily at least.

I have a mere three weeks left until I return to work after a break of some seven months. At times I feel it has flown, and at others I feel I have been away from the office for what seems like forever. Life has changed, and will never be the same again. Of course that change, having a baby, has taken getting used to. BIG TIME! And now we're happy with our lot, and have a beautiful little girl who brings light to my life every waking day. Anyhow, back to business. Before I say a sad farewell to being a SAHM for a life of working three days a week (for now), I thought I'd share with you a typical day with Grace.

06:00... Alarm goes off to nudge Matt the Husband out of a warm bed and into his running gear for a training run with The Dog. His goal is the London Marathon this April and he's taking it all rather seriously, hence the early start. I tend to slip back off to sleep, although if I feel the urge I'll get up to shower before having a tidy up around the house while Grace is still sleeping. Sometimes Grace still wakes for an early feed which can be anywhere 4.30am onwards although as a rule she's sleeping through.

07:00... Matt the Husband arrives back, puffing like a donkey pulling a heavy load (and that's only The Dog)... The next hour is spent having breakfast, shipping Matt the Husband off to work and trying to stop The Dog from getting muddy paws on the sofa. Usually around this time, Grace tends to wake up and start chattering to herself - perhaps wondering what's on the menu today. She has a short memory - it's milk. Anyhow, we get her up and dressed, fed and then think about what activities we're going to do today.

08:00 Matt he Husband out of the way, Grace and I tend to read a book or two, or perhaps have a little sing song. I find she's really receptive in the mornings fresh from a long sleep, so we'll usually get through all of her favourites with signing as well.

09:00 Around this time, Grace is starting to show signs of needing a nap so I'll tuck her in upstairs, close the blinds, and give her a kiss goodnight. She sleeps in a sleeping bag now so we don't have to faff with her kicking off the blankets which I am sure has helped with her settling herself back to sleep in the night if she wakes. While she naps, I wash the dishes from breakfast and maybe pop a load of laundry on. It's usually a good time for me to get online to read emails, the news and tend to this blog. The Dog is generally sleepy after her early morning jaunt and it's the only time in the day I regularly get to myself.

10:00 Grace after a nap of around 45 minutes will wake, and we tend to head off then for a play date. Sometimes we head to the Children's Centre in the village, although today we visited Christina and her little boy Dimitris of the same age as Grace. They're starting to show a real interest in each other now, so they lay on the play mat amusing themselves which gives me and Christina the time to put the SAHM life to rights and discuss our worries about returning to work, finances and other such things. Grace usually has her second bottle late morning, so I tend to that, change her nappy and then we sit down to lunch.

12:00 Lunch and more chat over Baby-led weaning over mush feeding and where our thoughts lie on this matter. Christina has started puree feeding with Dimitris and he seems to be taking it well. We're eating soup and bread for lunch, neither of which I would trust Grace with so she stayed playing on the mat having a conversation with a stuffed elephant.

14:00 We make a run for it to miss the school traffic and Grace naps in the car. We manage to get home before she tells me in no uncertain terms she'd like to take her afternoon bottle of milk now Mummy, thank you very much. It's late and I feel a little guilty. Nevertheless Grace forgives easily and merrily took the full 9oz before having some tummy time on the play mat.

15:00 Grace's only regular nap time between 3 and 5pm lets me get chores done, make up her bottles, do some cleaning and spend time with the dog. Grace wakes a few hours later, full of beans and ready for her evening routine.

17:00 Grace and I prepare dinner, her in the Bumbo shaking a wooden spoon, me chopping veggies into big chunks while she watches. We're having mediterranean veg with cous cous tonight. Grace doesn't show a blind bit of interest, although I'm sure she's taking in some of what I'm telling her about home cooking.

18:00 Matt the Husband arrives home and we eat dinner as a family in the kitchen. Grace is getting used to sitting in her highchair although she's still not showing consistent signs to wanting food. We have let her have a play with a piece of carrot and a broccolli spear and we have more planned in, when she's ready.

18:30 I clear up while Matt the Husband takes Grace to the nursery for some play, a bedtime story, and some kick time without her nappy on. He baths her, gives her the last milk of the day, and she's usually asleep by 8pm.

And that's it. Our day. By the time we both sit down to unwind, it's usually around 8.30pm, sometimes a wee bit later. As we like our sleep, we're lucky if we get an hour before we're feeling the need to get some Zzzz's.

Three mere weeks left to this life I have become used to. It's taken me time - I hated being at home in the first weeks after Grace was born. It's been a massive adjustment to make but I rather like it now, and Grace enjoys having me around. I don't know if I could be a permanent SAHM, or whether working full time is right for me either. I suppose working three days a week could be considered a happy medium (although my overdraft provider may feel otherwise!) Time will tell if this is the way forward for Grace and me, but until then, happy days. She's five months old this week, and already Grace is clearly a nice natured little poppet with a smile on her face all through the day. Assuming there is milk.... there must be milk.

So yes, that's an insight into our Daily Routine. It's going to change when I'm back at work, it's inevitable!!

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