A few naptimes ago, I perused Aby’s blog, You Baby Me Mummy and found her post entitled, “A Day In The Life Of A Mummy Blogger” to be insightful and charming. I thought I would add my freelance writing, blogging, momma of a waltz to the discourse.
But first, set this scene: miniature circles of people forming about the lawn, sharing introductory statements they have all said, maybe even rehearsed, a thousand times before. Name, trade, age. Like the others milling about, my statements have not changed for some moons and yet I still swallow hard ’round each answer I give. Admittedly, I memorize more shoelaces than faces while telling people I’m a freelance writer. A blogger. When I was being admitted to the hospital, I was asked to name my profession and when I said, “writer” the administer jotted down “rider.” It felt odd that her first assumption of my mumbled words was so far from what I had been doing for so long.
Though job titles are well known, the reality of a freelance writer’s day (even moreso a blogger’s or a stay-at-home mother’s day), is not so readily defined. Some may assume the amount of patience it takes to be a stay-at-home mother, the amount of optimism to be a blogger, and the diligence and knowledge of self-worth to be a freelancer. However, I did not and have welcomed the daily quests and tests to find meaning and live as fully as possible in each of these roles. In fact, I may forever be working on this work-baby-life balance. And I am okay with that.
Note: each day is its very own. Depending on our season, my babe and I may be venturing to the park after he has been cooped up while I work. Or we may remain locked inside our shoebox under mounds of blanketed tents, fearing winter’s bad attitude.
Every day finds me working, networking in some capacity.
Every day finds me writing.
Every day finds me ratty in both mind and hair follicles.
Every day finds me elbow deep in dingy diapers.
Every day finds us exploring the tiny towns surrounding our shoebox.
Every day finds me pondering/panicking if I’ve made the right decision to work from home instead of obtaining a full-time gig, if my babe and I are getting enough socialization.
And though I love this messy landmine of a life, it is not for everyone. I have to be regimented in carving out time to write, especially when people nearest to me do not consider my writing to be “real work.” Folks drop by and expect me to put down my pen and paper, and instead perform hostess or housekeeping duties as deadlines loom near. But I do what I feel must be done each day to ensure this shoe box of a home, this sweet babe, and those deadlines are looked after as lovingly as my arms, my hips, and my brain can manage.
And so I shall divulge in what it feels like to waltz within my day to day, currently.
7 – 8 am – Let us pretend that my two year old slept through the night which he is still mastering (Yes, I have tried and/or heard of all remedies, please and thank you.). He is my squawking alarm clock. My feet fly to his room adjacent mine, where I open the door swiftly in order to see his cherub cheeks, his smile smushed between his bed and his wadded blankets. On the off chance I rise before him, I admittedly check my phone to see if my blog has gone viral on any one of my social media feeds, heave a gargantuan sigh, and make a monstrous amount of the weakest coffee that Husband loathes. Most likely the coffee train sits at the station while I tend to my monster bear’s diaper, his yelps for milk, and his manic wave of hair that refuses to be tamed. Husband works second shift and we all dwell within an 850ish foot square. And thus my main job is to keep my terribly two boy babe as quiet as possible during our morning routine. If a deadline approaches, I turn on PBS Kids network while my babe finishes his milk and I finish up a few e-mails and miscellaneous freelance duties. If he is nursing that milk, I can sometimes start a blog post. The most likely scenario is that I am tiptoeing ’round starting laundry, feeding our cat-dogs, cleaning in some fashion.
8 – 9:30 am – We break our fasts in oatmeal or egg form. And it can take an hour or more to get the babe to eat just a few morsels, so we always end with vitamins and a smoothie (if I’ve made it the night before as I cannot blend in the am due to noise level). While he picks and prods his meal, I try to post on at least one form of social media as well as contacting old and new online pals. Of course, mounds of cuddles and kisses occur in between food nibbling. Sometimes we end up in “the cave,” too–blankets and pillows cover our heads and muffle our laughter. We are the luckiest.
9:30 am – My goal is to sport a bra and braid by this time every day, for my mother in law arrives to pick up her first grand-baby–our labrador named Angus. Yep. Before I came along, Husband and his mom had this routine in place. She has two pups of her own, so these three doggies run wild wearing each other out. I’ve the best mother in law in all the land, and I look forward to our mini gabs each morn. She is a selfless mother-woman indeed and I just hope my heart resembles hers. The babe and I clothe our bare legs ’round this time, too.
9:45 am – 11 am – If I have not had the chance to post on my blog, especially in a few days, I use a spare moment to write while Ollie colors or taps his miniature laptop alongside me. This time varies, as we go on morning walks and play dates before noon a few times a week.
11 am – 12 pm – If the babe seems groggy, we cut it early and come back for a cold swig of milk and a little lay down for him. While everyone sleeps, I am running ’round picking up the shoebox, writing or editing freelance work, or both. I used to cook huge casseroles for Husband during this time. Alas, I have cut back the gourmet portion of my days once I started this blog. It’s an outlet that I crave and Husband understand that for the biggest part.
12 – 1:30 pm – Depending when monster bear wakes, we share a lunch of the homemade nacho kind. Husband wakes for work ’round 11:00, so by now we are roaring and quite mighty. This is really the only time Husband gets to interact with the babe, so I try to ensure that we are home. We used to go to the gym at this time, but Husband is trying harder not to be a bear when he wakes in order to get quality time with our sweet cherub. And so, while the babe eats in his high chair with Husband dressing for work nearby, I intermittently sneak ’round the corner to check social media and to post on Instagram. Honestly, I have not adjusted well to being on my phone 24/7 for blog-related tasks. I try my best to put my phone down or handle these tasks when the babe is immersed in his own activity or when he naps. Husband leaves for work.
1:30 – 3 pm – If the babe and I aren’t on the bicycle running errands, we are meeting friends, watering plants, or visiting grandparents. If we are super fortunate, you can find us at a nearby watering hole.
3 – 5 pm – Generally, Monster Bear requires another nap by now. I get some freelance and/or blog writing done. If the babe refuses to nap, we are both cranky because I have not finished my work for the day and the babe has not rested since his morning nap. What a mess we can be; ’tis life.
5 pm – My mother in law brings our pup home and we are either just getting home from errand running, or the babe is waking. Dinnertime commences! Sometimes we will bike to have dinner with some of my girlfriends.
6 – 9 pm – After dinner, I wash that filthy babe who is usually covered in sidewalk chalk and hazelnut butter. We then cuddle through a film of Minions or Puffins birds. The babe’s favorite book, The Little Mouse, the Red, Ripe Strawberry, and the Big Hungry Bear is on the menu before I tuck, tuck, tuck him into his crib ’round 9:30 pm. This may seem late, but we love to relax at day’s end. Just me and my bonnie babe. Oh, and we always search the skies for Mr. Moon.
9:30 pm – Night shift commences. I make tea and do a little kitchen dancing to prep for the work ahead. Because my babe is rubbish at napping, this is the only uninterrupted time in my day to write, respond to e-mails, establish and maintain social media connections, brain cloud new stories, revise short stories, to name a few. If I have not checked in with my girlfriends, I text, snap, and think of them fondly during these quiet hours, too.
12:30 am – If I haven’t crashed by now, I probably should. Speaking of, my bed clothes are calling out to me right meow. (Especially because that cherub in the adjacent room may wake at any moment.)
What does your day resemble? I would love to hear/read of a working momma’s day, as I cannot imagine having to look quite proper all the livelong day as well. Someday, perhaps.