My typical day began at 4:30-5:00 a.m. when Baby woke up and wanted to nurse, never mind how many times he’d been up to eat during the night.
The Bigs woke up at 5:30 a.m., regardless of how many times they’d been up the night before (“I’m thirsty,” “My leg hurts,” “I’m scared,” “I have to go to the bathroom,” “Can I get in your bed?”).
We had a fairly regular routine in the morning, that only varied depending upon what I did or didn’t do the night before (dishes, school papers, laundry, pack lunches). But, no matter how tired I was at night I always teed up the coffeemaker.
My goal was to leave the house by 7:00 a.m., but it was usually as many as 15 minutes later.
I dropped off the kids at daycare and headed to the office, where I arrived, if I was lucky, by 8:30 a.m.
I worked all day and through lunch because I had to leave early (no later than 4:20 p.m.), to ensure I made it to daycare by 5:30 p.m. when the infant room closed. I nursed the baby while the providers cleaned up and closed up the room.
Baby and I picked up the Bigs across the hall before 6:00 when daycare closed.
Our evening was consumed by dinner, bath, and bedtime rituals – with me scurrying around in between trying to clean up the dishes, shuffle school papers, unpack the lunchboxes (and possibly repack them if I was feeling inspired), and so on. Occasionally if I had to go to the supermarket, I might
Baby went to bed in the 7:00 p.m. timeframe; the Bigs were tucked in by 8:30 p.m. Sometimes my five-year-old missed out on “nunnight” because he fell asleep on the couch. (He took the bus to afternoon kindergarten from daycare and didn’t get a nap like his four-year-old brother, or two naps like Baby.)
I flopped down on the couch and might have opened my laptop to see if anything happened before the end of the business day that I needed to deal with. Alternately, I’d sort laundry or mail. I wanted to read or write, but my body was usually so tired it ached. Often, I couldn’t do much other than hold the clicker and channel surf.
When I started nodding off or after I’d attended to the first of “I’m thirsty,” “My leg hurts,” “I’m scared,” “I have to go to the bathroom,” I gave up and dragged myself off the couch. I might have carried my oldest to bed before washing off my makeup -- and the day.
I'd faceplant on my bed at 10 p.m. so. I was too exhausted to cry about the fact that I would be doing it all again tomorrow, and the day after, and the day after for the foreseeable future, and it would be 5:00 a.m. again before I knew it.
I just prayed, “God, please let me get the rest I need…” before I drifted off.
And such is life for any other single working mom...but hang in there, because it won't be like that forever!
"The days are long but the years are short." ~Gretchen Rubin