Once we become mums we enter some kind of weird time vortex.
Take a look back on the s**t you’ve managed to accomplish in just one day and it’s hard to understand how you’ve managed to squeeze it all in.
Some days I’m so run off my feet with endless things to do that I have to be nearly nodding off where I sit to realise it’s time for bed now.
Where does my time go? My house isn’t big, it’s three bedrooms but they’re tiny, so you wouldn’t think I would be spending hours organising, cleaning and tidying it every week but I am.
My kids obviously are a huge time drain. Work is normally a time vacuum, but this blog and trying to keep a small human alive have replaced that for now.
Then there’s the small matter of my husband, who likes it when I pay attention to him at least every now and again.
Food is another huge part of my day. Thinking about it, preparing it and then overseeing the consuming of it to make sure it goes in mouths and not on faces, in hair and all over the floor.
So how the hell do us mums fit it all in?? I’ve decided to do the calculations because I just know that it doesn’t all add up.
The daily routine stuff
Showering and getting everyone ready: 1 hour
Sometimes I can get everyone sorted in 30 minutes, but other days the kids fight the experience all the way.
Its nice to put at least some make-up on and brush my hair so I don’t look as knackered as I feel. You don’t want to scare the ordinary people outside after all.
Playtime: 11 hours
From the moment they wake up until the moment they go to bed, children are there demanding constant attention.
You can set them up with the most exciting toy in the world, but there’s probably only an hour spread over the course of the day at maximum where they actually entertain themselves.
Nappy changes: 20 minutes
Why when you get pregnant do people make jokes about being elbow deep in nappies? This is the least worrying part of any parent’s day, unless we get a code brown. *See below.
Preparation of food and feeding/serving it: 2 hours
If you’re cooking a roast dinner this rockets up to more than two hours of racing around the kitchen sourcing gravy, basting meat and chopping up veg.
Attempting grown-up conversation: 1 hour
You’ve got to at some point, right? Otherwise you would just go totally stark raving bonkers.
Cleaning: 30 minutes
No matter how much cleaning you do, it’s never enough.
Laundry: 30 minutes
My laundry basket hasn’t been empty for nearly three years.
Fresh air: 1 hour
You’ve got to get outside for at least some of the day or you will go stir crazy.
Bed time: 1 hour
Wrestling two children to bed takes more than just a quick kiss goodnight. You’ve got to bathe them, read to them, and make sure they’re pumped full of milky calories so they’re less likely to wake up at ridiculous o’clock. It’s a long process.
Sleep: 6 hours
This is the magic number that we all dream of achieving when we have small children.
Unexpected time drains: average 10 minutes each
The cat frequently likes to bring little gifts home and leave them on the kitchen floor. If I’m lucky they’re dead and still intact. If I’m unlucky they’re alive and hiding in a very awkward spot while also weeing on the floor with fear.
Yes s**t happens every single day. But sometimes there are those unique bowel movements where the nappy has been unable to contain the mess. This results in an entire outfit change plus the resulting clean up of anything else that got coated in the brown stuff.
Wee can also be a problem. The other day I forgot to change my toddler’s nappy all day. It overflowed. How awful is that?
She got revenge a few days later when she removed her trousers and nappy, climbed on the coffee table, dangled her bum over the edge and peed on the floor. Why? I have no idea, and when I asked, neither did she.
If you follow me on Instagram you may also have heard about this little gem from the other day.
Snoozing peacefully at last. You wouldn't think it from this nice and calm little snapshot but this afternoon was a bit of a s**tstorm, literally. It ended with me having to pick up a poo from the lounge floor with my bare hands to stop my baby lunging for it. How did things escalate to quite such a messy degree? Both kids had a bit of constipation today (too many cheese sandwiches this week? Bad mummy!). The afternoon began with me talking my baby through a painful poo while rubbing her tummy. This went on for a good 20 minutes. Not long after the nursery were on the phone saying my toddler was struggling to poo too. I then had to give them tips on how to talk her through doing a number two (I've filed it under conversations you cannot believe you're having since becoming a parent number 3,125). So she arrived home later, still no poo and pretty upset at how much her tummy was aching. I thought, I know, I'll put the potty in the lounge and she can sit in front of the tv to do a poo. That way she'll be relaxed and distracted. Idiot. She decided to stand up just as the biggest turd I've ever seen dropped out of her bum, landing on the lounge floor. My baby, who before this had been distracted by chewing on something she shouldn't have been, saw this new object land in her field of vision and lurched towards it. With her newfound ability to move at a shocking speed I had seconds to make my move and stop her grabbing a handful of s**t. So I had to take one for the team and picked it up bare-handed. 20 hand washes, at least 10 wipes and a lot of gagging later and everyone is now in bed and the poo is where it belongs. This parenting lark can be utter s**t sometimes, but you've got to laugh 😂
These sap time and energy like no other item on the day’s agenda. The trouble is they strike without warning and unless you can diffuse them quickly they can go on for hours.
With a million different things to remember when you go out, you’re constantly running back and forth between the car and the house to grab the water bottles, hat, gloves, jacket, or bucket and spade.
With a baby growing increasingly active and a toddler who loves to play gymnastics on the furniture, something will get broken eventually. The clean up effort can range from wiping up liquid to a race against time to pick up dangerous bits of glass before anyone gets hurt.
You can add on 10 minutes for irritating traffic jams no matter what the time of day. My toddler has started to use magic to attempt to get cars moving. This causes no end of frustration and screaming when it doesn’t work.
It’s nice to get some time for yourself at some point. Maybe just sit and look at the latest news on the iPad or close your eyes for a few minutes. This is the most likely item to drop off the list of things you get done!
Phew, that’s a lot of stuff, right? And it’s not even taking work into account. Add it all up and we’re over the 24 hours mark.
So what’s the solution? Do we live in some kind of black hole? How are we getting all this stuff done?
But then I realised I’ve assumed that we’re doing all of these things just one at a time. But we’re not.
You’re cooking dinner with one hand and holding a screaming baby with the other while answering toddler’s questions about pirates.
You’re changing baby’s nappy with one hand and building a tower of blocks with the other.
You’re having a conversation with your other half and frequently diverting to answer inane questions from toddler, while keeping one eye on the news headlines on the TV.
You’re carrying a stack of clean laundry to return to the right places while also dusting various surfaces with baby wipes as you dash from room to room.
The only thing to be concluded from this is we are actual superwomen. Give yourselves a big pat on the back and keep on bending the laws of time and physics.