Before I became a mum I thought I was busy. I would be in work for 5am (I was a Breakfast Journalist at a large commercial radio station), work bloomin’ hard while I was there, and then go home to have a nap at some point in the afternoon.
Occasionally I’d do a load of washing – back when I only needed to wash a couple of loads a week – and collapse for the rest of the evening on the sofa.
I had no idea what busy was.
As a comparison, I’ve done a little exercise. This is what my life looked like yesterday:
6am: Get up. Tiptoe to bathroom. Shower in record speed. Realise we’ve run out of shampoo. Steal some of the baby’s. Realise we’ve run out of shower gel. Steal some of the baby’s. Emerge smelling like a Johnson’s Baby Factory.
7am: Get baby up, armed with a cup of warm milk as bribery.
7-7.30am: Wrestle with baby in attempt to change nappy / clothes / make her look generally presentable.
7.30am – 8am: Sort out breakfast, preferably something non-messy like toast and fruit. Realise there’s no bread left so plump for Wheetabix instead. Ten minutes later remember why toast was preferred option. Spend five minutes trying to get dried Wheetabix off the crotch area of my dress. Give up. Realise baby is covered from head to toe.
8am: Look at clock, realise we’re late. Throw a babywipe halfheartedly at baby and spend five minutes wrestling her into a coat and hat.
8-8.30am: Drive to work. Arrive at work. Realise baby is still in car with me and not at the childminder’s. Turn around and drive to childminder’s. Drop baby at childminder’s. Drive back to work.
9am: Arrive at radio station flustered, but just on time. Nip to the toilets to have another go at that Wheetabix. Give up. Realise it’s in my hair too.
9am – 12pm: Do work. (Make some phone calls, read the news, make some more phone calls, check some emails, tweet a bit, read more news etc etc.)
12-3pm: Do some reporting from the field. Get lost. Receive text from childminder saying baby is grumpy. Reply to text. Feel guilty. Find required location. Do some more work. Drive back to the radio station.
3-5pm: Work again. Editing and writing this time. Finish bulletin scripts and check in on baby to find she has a biscuit and all is well.
6pm: Arrive home. Sit on sofa with exhausted and grumpy baby. Feel guilty.
6.15pm: Sort out lunches for following day. Unstack dishwasher. Feel resentful it’s not already done. Put load of washing on.
6.30pm: Give exhausted and grumpy baby a bath. Watch as her dad gets her into her pyjamas. Realise I’m still wearing coat. And shoes. Take off coat.
7pm – 10.30pm: Eat cuisine meal of pizza in front of laptop. Work. Reply to emails. Finish off a feature article and some copywriting. Do some social media work for a client. More emails. More work. Feel guilty again.
10.30-11.30pm: Remember baby’s DIY Advent Calender is still not finished. Feel like terrible mother. Spend one hour sewing and stuffing the pockets with second bag of chocolate coins. Feel guilty for eating first bag.
11.30pm – 12am: Attempt to broaden mind by reading some of new novel. Get past first paragraph and fall asleep. Awaken to husband’s trumpets of wind as he gets into bed. Stay awake as husband falls into deep, snore-filled and windy sleep. Succumb to trumpet fumes and fall into second slumber.
To do it all again tomorrow…