When you have kids, people tend to give you unsolicited advice or make comments like “It’s the best thing you’ll ever do” or “Kids are such a miracle” or “It’s the most rewarding job”.
Sure, these are all valid points but why is no one telling people the other side of things? The side where you may go several days without a shower or how your kid will get every disease and sickness (some you may not have even heard of) from the ages of 1 year onwards due to other disgusting children at daycare or the library or any place that another child has been.
It’s that whole “Instagram vs. Reality” crap that you see on social media. People tend to show only the good aspects of their lives instead of the shit that goes down behind the scenes. I’m not saying that I’m not one of them. I definitely post pretty photos while on vacation and funny things that my kids do but I also try to show the crying, tantrums and craziness that comes with having a toddler…and two other babies.
Let me give you some insight into “a day in the life of Al”. What a typical day looks like in our household to explain why I titled this post the way I did. This is very rough as we all know shit can change in a split second and the timing below is usually always different.
6:20am: Wake up to our alarm clock that consists of either a screaming/hangry baby or a toddler yelling “DADDY! DADDY! I’M HAPPY” (FYI: she usually isn’t that happy so our day tends to start based on a lie because she is clearly confused on what the word “happy” really means…tricks us every damn time)
6:32am: We bring the toddler into our bed to chill the F out while we feed a baby or two. The entire time we are feeding these babies, our toddler is whining non-stop about how she wants to go downstairs. Our dream would be for her to just fall back asleep or sit there quietly at this point but nope, she continues the whining that turns into crying and just annoying un-needed noise.
6:40am: We go downstairs because our “happy” toddler won. We then continue to feed the twins, which takes what only feels like forever because one of them (the girl) likes to feed on her own schedule and switch positions with the bottle from laying down flat to sitting up, then usually has a big barf all over one of us before continuing to finish her bottle…a lifetime later.
7:00am – 7:15am: The toddler is watching some sort of brutal toddler show like Peppa Pig while drinking a yogurt drink thing, possibly colouring all over her pajamas and I am now heading outside to take the 85-pound dog out.
7:20am: We try and get the toddler to go pee in the potty before we get her dressed. She usually thinks this is a fun time to start running away and wants us to chase her around the house. Naturally, we catch her, start to put her clothes on, she starts to freak the fuck out and tries to fight us by going completely limp and we are now all sweating and extremely frustrated.
7:35am: We rotate twins from activity mat to the circle of neglect and back while I suddenly realize that I haven’t showered in 3 days and quickly go find a touque to cover what looks like an oil spill in my stringy greasy hair.
8:00am: Husband takes toddler to daycare but usually not without some sort of argument about what colour boots she wants to wear or what jacket or how she wants to carry her own lunch but also wants him to carry her to the car like a damn chariot. Now, I’m alone with the twins for the day and this is when I pour my first coffee (key word: first) … mat leave life.
The next part of the day usually consists of me putting the twins down for a few naps (this tends to mean about 5-6 naps a day or so because they aren’t always on the same schedule and overlap a bunch…so, one twin is always napping and one is always awake…see ya later freedom). If life all comes together for a hot second and everyone gets on the same program in the morning, I will attempt to get them in the car, hoping they fall asleep, and then go to my work out class for 30 minutes. This usually all magically happens 1-2 times a week at the absolute maximum but damn, that silent car ride is nice. Sometimes, I debate with myself whether I should just drive around instead of work out so that I can enjoy some “me” time.
We get to the work out and all is peachy right up until I start the actual work out. One wakes up and the other usually follows about 10 minutes later. So, while I start my circuit, I bounce back over to prop a bottle for one while taking the other one out of the car seat to lay on the dirty gym floor and roll around. If I’m lucky, this buys me 6 minutes or so and another mom can usually see me riding the struggle bus and wants to hang out with the babies so they will go over and entertain them. Thank you to those amazing people…entertain the twins any time you’d like!!
Anyway, after getting through the gym, I usually have to feed them a bit before getting back in the car where one one of them is 99.9% of the time starting to lose their shit because I didn’t feed them enough and “rushed” the process. This is where I decide if it’s worth it to go do errands, have lunch with friends or to just go home where it’s safe and they have their toys. Usually, I choose the lunch with friends option and just roll the dice on how the twins will do because I need to see people and talk to adults before I lose my mind…Fun right? Seems to be worth the risk of a dual meltdown in the restaurant. Sorry to all of you who are trying to enjoy your meal beside us.
From there, we make it through the afternoon like it’s Groundhog Day with about 4 cups of coffee… floor mat, circle of neglect, jolly jumper, nap, feed, and then repeat non-stop because again, they are most likely not napping at the same time. If I’m lucky, I will get a shower or nap in at some point but usually I choose the nap over the shower, hence the touque I always wear. To complete this visual for you, I should also add that to go along with the touque, I always couple it with a nice pair of lululemons, a giant sweater, no make-up and running shoes or maybe Blundstones and thick socks. If you’re lucky, you may see me without a touque because I sprayed an entire bottle of dry shampoo in my hair to offset the grease pit. If that’s the case, I tend to avoid open flames because that sounds like a disaster waiting to happen. See photo below:
Around 4:30, my husband comes home and one of us goes to pick up the toddler at daycare. This can go one way or another. We either show up and she’s excited and happy to help get her shoes on, grab her lunch kit and head home with us OR we are forcing her boots on, throwing her over our shoulder while she screams her face off and then we have to judo chop her belly to get her rigid body into the car seat, again while she is screaming about something that makes zero sense like how she wants to jump in muddy puddles (F you Peppa Pig) even though it’s sunny outside and there are no puddles. Thankfully, this is more of a summer thing as she is pissed when we pull her away from the sandbox or other outdoor toys so winter hasn’t been too painful this year.
Once home, we are all home. All 5 of us and the dog. Fun fact: my attire changes around this time and it changes for the worse. Men’s sweat pants, giant xxl t-shirt and definitely braless because who really wants to wear one of those booby-prisons all damn day?! At this point, you’re probably thinking that my husband is one lucky guy… no sarcasm here.
I apologize to those who have been unfortunate enough to see me in this outfit but also, I don’t really care because comfort is key when being used as a human napkin by a gross toddler, getting barfed on by babies and potentially spilling on myself while attempting to hoover whatever dinner we have quickly made in about 2 seconds. You can’t ever be sure how much time you’ll get before one of the kids starts freaking out.
From here, it’s usually bath time for the kids (Bonus: sometimes for me too!) and then bed. After 8pm, that’s where life gets really crazy around here. The kids are in bed and what do we do?! Can you guess?! We sit in silence on the couch. Maybe watching the bachelor or some other easy-to-watch-no-thinking-required type show or maybe my husband will do some work at this point and I will do what you are currently all reading… bloggy blog blog.
That pretty much sums up an average day for us and as much as I may make it look like it’s calm, that’s definitely not always the case. I was telling a friend the other day about how the twins wouldn’t nap and I was losing my shit but then finished it with “but it’s ok”. I realized that this is a pretty regular thing I say when people ask how it’s all going and I think it’s because it really is ok. It is what it is! I’ve learnt a lot about myself these past 6 months and have had to let go of control for the most part between the hours of 630am and 8pm because things tend to go sideways in about 3 seconds around here.
If I was to try and control everything (which is usually my thing), I would not be in a good place right now. My patience is tested to the maximum level every single day. Whether it’s because one of the twins won’t nap and is screaming and waking up the other one or because the toddler has decided that she wants to eat a grapefruit when we have no grapefruits and she won’t let it go so just lays on the floor or starts scream crying about this damn grapefruit before she changes her tune 2 seconds later to screaming because I fed the dog without her help or how I moved her water cup from the floor to the table…toddlers are confusing. After those scenarios, it tends to take everything in my power to not completely lose my shit or cry when I can’t get a jar of pickles open after the kids go to bed.
This is what people need to know (or maybe they don’t because that could really put someone off of having kids). This is the real life of having children. It requires patience and letting go of control a bit here and there and from what I hear, that just gets harder as they get older…cool.
It means that sometimes when you’re so excited because you know your child is going to nap soon and you’ve made all these amazing plans like how you’re also going to nap or clean your kitchen or cook something super awesome or just watch a bunch of tv. Then, you put them down for their nap (omg so excited!) and you head downstairs to pour a coffee, grab a snack and check your phone before turning on the tv to start the two-hour bachelor episode you missed last night, when suddenly, you hear your baby crying after only 20 minutes of sleep. You leave her there thinking “there’s no way she’s going to wake up, she’ll fall back asleep” until 15 minutes later you realize that all your awesome tv plans have now been ruined and you go and retrieve your kid from her crib. That is parenting. It’s really quite amazing how slow time moves during the day when you’re with the kids but when they finally nap, time races by at ten times the speed.
While some of you may be reading this and telling your partner that you aren’t wanting kids anymore, others are hopefully going to agree when I say that all of those things people tell you before you have kids are in fact, very true. It really is the best thing we have ever done. It hasn’t been long (our oldest is 2.5) but it’s also been the most rewarding job we’ve done. Even on those days full of tantrums and barf covered clothes when all you want to do is cry, the good far outweighs the bad.
This is the shit people need to know. This is the shit that makes us try and not lose our shit. It’s the shit that makes people want another child but is the same shit that makes you want to go to bed at 9pm and only want to hang out with your kids on the weekend instead of partying with pals every Saturday and sleeping in like we used to.
It’s real life and it’s real fun!