My friends who don’t yet have children love to ask me about a typical day in my life looking after my 10 month old son.
Every parent will say different but I definitely believe that routine is so incredibly important when bringing up a child. Particularly around nap time and bed time. We by no-means are super strict and rigid with the routine; we will take Charlie out past his bedtime on occasion and we won’t freak out if he doesn’t have his naps at exactly the same time and for the exact length everyday. But we definitely notice a difference in Charlie’s mood when his routine is a little thrown out.
Typically my weekdays start out pretty similar but each day I make sure that we have plans so that we are not just stuck in the house. Whether it be going to baby group, meeting friends for coffee, going to a friends house, going to the supermarket, soft play, a walk or going to a coffee shop just the two of us. I usually only have one day per week when I stay home with Charlie, and if the weather is nice we go for a walk round the block.
So I decided to blog a typical day at home.
Friday 11th March 2016
7am: get out of bed and get Charlie up. He usually wakes between 6:30 and 7:30. I go in, open his curtains, change his nappy and take him downstairs. As soon as he catches sight of his walker he wants to get in it (he’s finding his indepdendence now). So he toddles around while I make his morning bottle, let the dog out, and then I sit down to give him his bottle. This is always a struggle, he is just too keen to be looking around at everything and wanting to get back in his walker!
8am: Any parent who utilises BabyTV on Sky as a distraction, will know that you get to find out which shows come on and when. “Charlie and The Numbers” is a personal favourite in our house, and as this comes on at 8am (usually Charlie’s finished his bottle by then), I manage to grab 10 minutes of piece and have a coffee. While I’m making my coffee I will start to defrost some fruit purree that I make in bulk and freeze.
Once I’ve had my much needed first coffee of the day, I start on Charlie’s breakfast. Usually either porridge with the fruit purree, or some toast, or weetabix or an omelette. After Charlie’s had his breakfast I chuck some dog biscuits in Alan’s bowl for his breakfast (Alan is our dog) and then finally mummy gets to have her breakfast. Usually this is around 8:30am. Unfortunately this morning, that most annoying of things happened when you make porridge in the mircrowave……….grrrrr!
We are usually both dressed and teeth brushed by 9:30am.
10am: on this day the weather was overcast and cold – I love going for morning walks when it’s like this. So I got Charlie in his pushchair and set off for a walk round the block. Only, as I stepped out of the door I caught a glimpse of my reflection in the glass, and this is where I realised I hadn’t even looked in the mirror and my hair was just loosely up from when I had first got out of bed. Now I know I was only heading out for a walk but I don’t want the neighbours thinking I’m a total scrubber. So it was back inside for a quick minute so mummy could make her hair look semi-decent. Then we were finally off for a nice bit of fresh air.
Twice round the block takes about an hour. The first half Charlie was sat up watching all the cars go by, while mummy had a nosy at all the lovely houses on the nearby estate (trying to memorise the ones that are for sale so that I could google them later and have a nosy inside – am I the only one that does this?) Oh and as we walk past the local primary school I get a whiff of the school dinners being cooked…………Mmm why do they smell soooooo good!
Finally half way in to the walk Charlie drifted off into the land of nod and I was praying that there would be no loud noises to wake him up – but of course I turn a corner and there is the recycling van, and there is the friendly refuse man who shouts “MORNING” – just as he empties a huge box of glass bottles in to the back of the van!! Charlie’s eyes flicker but by some miracle he stays asleep! Phew!
11am: back home and I get 5 minutes before Charlie wakes up – just enough time to nip to the toilet and stick the kettle on. Snack time! I pop Charlie in his high chair, put some water in his sippy cup and give this to him along with a little biscotti. For mummy it’s another coffee and a granola bar. And we can’t forget Alan – he gets a Pedigree Dentastik. No-one gets forgotten about at snack time 🙂
12:30pm: after snack time Charlie did some running about in his walker while I washed the breakfast pots and tidied round a bit. Now it’s lunchtime. Today I made Charlie cheese spread, ham and avocado sandwiches. He tucks in to these while I have a sandwich too – so much easier now that he can feed himself. It’s sooo messy but he enjoys himself. He gets avocado EVERYWHERE! It’s in his hair, on his clothes, between his fingers and all over his face making him look like the Incredible Hulk!
There’s nothing else for it – this boy needs a bath! So I carry him upstairs, leaving a trail of avocado behind us. I try and get off his clothes in a way that will contain the avocado inside them but of course it ends up everywhere. Charlie has a great time in the bath though – a bonus for him as he wasn’t due one today. Once in his clean clothes and looking even more adorable now that his hair is all fluffy and curly, I decide that we should go out for a coffee together. His turn to pay ha ha.
1:30pm: everything is loaded in to the car – pushchair, nappy bag and Charlie. There’s a costa coffee just 10 minutes drive from home – we are regulars there, it’s just super easy to sit Charlie in a highchair with some toys, or a snack and his water. They bring my coffee over so that I don’t have to struggle, and I get more quality time with my little man while not being cooped up in the house.
I love having plans but sometimes these days where I decide what to do as we go along are the best kind of days. Charlie’s so easy to take out because I just loves to watch everything and everyone, taking it all in. Unless he drops his snack on the floor – then he cries at the top of his voice! He loves his food!
3:00pm: back home. Time for Charlie’s afternoon bottle and nap time. He always fights his afternoon nap so it’s turned almost 4pm when he finally drops off. He stays asleep until 5:15pm – just in time for Pointless his other favourite show. While Charlie has his afternoon nap I either blog, do some coursework or put my feet up and read or watch YouTube videos. On this day I decided to stick with the theme of relaxing and just put my feet up.
The days themselves don’t sound too taxing, but being switched on 24/7 and running around after a 10 month old is tiring. Just carrying him up and down the stairs is tiring (he weighs 11kg). I do particularly love these days where it’s just he two of us. It’s like having a best friend that goes everywhere with you 🙂
As Charlie sits in his highchair, happily watching pointless as I defrost one of my the meals I have batch cooked, this is when daddy arrives home. He gets kisses and cuddles from Charlie and then goes in to his office until 6pm when I have our dinner ready. Charlie is fed and in his pj’s by this point. He sits at the table with us while we have our dinner then we get half an hour to play and read with him until his bedtime at 7pm.
Bedtime: We both take Charlie up to his room where we feed him his bottle and both get him in to his sleeping bag. Then we take it in turns on alternate nights to stay with him and settle him to sleep. Whoever isn’t putting him to bed that night goes downstairs, washes the bottle, washes the dinner pots, tidied away all the toys, books etc. Usually by 7:45-8pm mummy and daddy get to sit down and unwind for a couple of hours before bed.
This was a nice relaxed day for me – but believe my they aren’t always like this. Especially those days when you have to be at a certain place by a certain time – the most difficult thing to do when you have a baby! But I love every minute and I do like to think I do a good job of keeping on top of things.