So I took the leap. And because the Lord was so kind as to pave my transition with so much lead time and preparation, the leap was very much cushioned. Life as a full time SAHM has been hectic, but also full of moments I wouldn’t trade for anything in the world.
Just thought I should record down how our schedule looks like, at 5 months (FM) and 2.5 years (GM).
(On school days)
7+am: GY wakes up, goes down to the kitchen to unload the dishwasher, make GM’s milk and heat up breakfast, while I try to catch a little more sleep (bless him). Around this time, GM might have woken up. If she does, she’ll stay in bed before GY goes to her, gives her her bottle of milk and puts her on the potty.
8+am: FM wakes up and I go to her room to nurse her. She usually stops crying when she sees me and smiles very excitedly. After nursing her, I’ll leave her on the mattress on the floor for some tummy time while I quickly go wash up and change. Then I’ll bring her down with me to the dining area where GY would be feeding GM her breakfast. If I can, I’ll eat my breakfast too.
8.20am: GY brings GM to school and sometimes eats his breakfast outside. I bathe FM (one of her fav times of the day) and spend some time playing with her. This is usually the only one-on-one time I have with her that’s not hurried or distracted.
9+am: GY comes back and prepares to go to work. If he’s got no morning meetings, he’ll spend some time with FM. By now, FM is usually quite sleepy and cranky. I nurse her and put her to bed. She’s learnt to sleep on her own in her cot after undergoing sleep training at 4 months old. Sometimes, she goes to sleep without any fuss, sometimes she cries for a couple of minutes before going down. After putting her down, I’ll go to the kitchen and spend the rest of the morning preparing GM’s lunch and chopping/cleaning/preparing food for dinner.
Sometimes, I’ll put on a sermon to listen while I work so I’ll get some spiritual input since I hardly get to hear full sermons in church these days. When GY leaves, I’ll see him off at the door. After all the food prep has been done, I’ll mop and sweep the floors, put in a load of laundry and try to tidy up around the house. I’ll also try to eat my lunch before the lunch-nap rush hour when GM comes back.
11.30am: GM comes home with GY and eats her lunch. She’s able to eat on her own but sometimes due to time constraints and also because I want her to eat everything on her plate, not just the things she wants to eat, I’ll end up feeding her. FM usually wakes up around this time too so she’ll join us for lunch. GY buys his lunch from outside and eats with us. After lunch, GM is given a piece of fruit which she’ll munch on while she plays at her craft area or jumps on the living room couch.
12.30pm: I bring GM to the potty and makes her milk. If GY doesn’t have to rush off for meetings, he’ll help me carry FM while I see to GM. If not, I’ll carry FM around as much as possible, and put her on GM’s mattress while I bathe GM. Usually, GM asks for a story while she’s on a potty and I read a brief one to her before quickly showering her down. Then I’ll put on the diapers for her, moisturise her legs and after she settles into the bed, I repeat the nap time rules to her:
1) No touching the electricity 2) No sitting up, standing up or sleeping upside down 3) Her head must be on her pillow 4) No peeling the stickers off the wall 5) No playing with the milk bottle after drinking. She usually gets very excited reciting the rules with me and I’ll have to calm her down. If FM is on the mattress, she’ll usually be at the end of her patience by now and I’ll have to carry her. I’ll say a quick prayer for GM, before asking her “Who wants milk milk?“, to which she’ll exclaim, “I WANT MILK MILK!!!” After giving her the milk bottle, she’ll always try to make me stay with her saying, “Mummy, please lie here“, or “Mummy please lie for a little bit“. I’ll tell her that I need to do housework and try to leave as promptly as I can.
1pm: After leaving GM with the milk, I’ll bring FM to her room to nurse her and settle her down for her 2nd nap, while checking on GM intermittently via the video monitor. If I see her breaking any of the rules, I’ll go in to discipline her. Sometimes, she gets so upset I’ll end up having to lie with her for a while to comfort her before I can leave. I monitor both kids on the video cam until I’m sure both are asleep. Some days, GM doesn’t nap at all and spends almost 2.5 hours squirming about, singing and talking to herself. Our cut-off time for her is 3.30pm. If she doesn’t nap by then, I’ll go in to get her and she’ll have an early bedtime (around 8.30pm).
If both kids sleep, this is the time I get some respite. I’ll do my QT, work on my writing business, read up on recipes, do next week’s meal plan, or just try to lie down for a bit. If laundry is done, I’ll fold the laundry and put them away. Wash GM’s snack box and pack her snacks and diaper for the next day.
3+pm: Usually FM wakes up first, and I’ll go to her, nurse her, change her and spend some time playing with her. GM usually wakes up shortly after and I’ll bring FM to her room and the 3 of us will spend some time playing, reading together. FM adores her sister and would light up each time GM puts her face close to hers, it’s most heartening to watch. I’ll also change GM’s diapers and change her into her “wake-up” clothes.
4+pm: When FM starts fussing a little, I’ll bring her to her room for her 3rd nap. I’ll leave GM in her room and tell her to read some books while waiting for me. After settling FM down for her nap, I usually go back to find GM reading quietly in front of her book shelf in her room. I’ll ask her to pick a book and I’ll spend some time reading to her. As GM calls it, “Mummy is spending time with you“.
Sometimes, we make up stories and have imaginative play instead. She likes to pretend that her blanket is a swimming pool, and she loves diving in. Recently, she’s got an imaginary friend called Flo, the lying fly. She says that Flo lies down next to her while she’s in bed, and she likes to bring Flo swimming and teach her how to blow bubbles. It’s most amusing to watch her help Flo put on the swimming suit, eat dinner, etc.
5+pm: I’ll bring GM down for a snack while I get the food ready for dinner. While I shuffle around the kitchen, GM eats her snacks by herself at the dining table with a book. GY usually comes home around this time, and GM and I love to rush up and “surprise” him. He knows we’re there but always does a great job of acting surprised, haha. He helps me keep an eye on GM while I finish dinner prep.
6+pm: Dinner is served and by then, FM is usually awake and she’ll join us for dinner. If she’s fussy, I’ll eat with her on my lap.
7+pm: Dinner is usually a quick affair and GM gets another piece of fruit while we wash up. Either GY helps me carry FM while I load the dishwasher and clean up, or he shoos me up to bathe and takes over both kids and the washing up.
8pm or so: GY puts GM on the potty and takes a shower himself meantime. I’ll take over FM and run her nighttime routine (wipe down, change diaper, change into PJs, nurse). If she’s not too cranky, she joins us in bed for a bit and we have family night time prayer together. If not, GY prays for her first and I’ll put her to bed. If FM goes down early, I’ll hop over to bathe GM while GY makes her milk.
9pm: By now, GM would be in our bed, all bathed and clean. I believe this is her fav part of the day, to be in our bed with us. If GY happens to be doing his pills, GM would hover around to try and help, she loves watching GY fill up his pill boxes. GY or myself would read to her while she has her milk, before GY prays for the family.
9+pm: GY or myself brings GM to her room for bed. She’ll brush her teeth before going on to her bed. Either of us will pray for her again and spend some time talking to her before we leave her to sleep. Sometimes, she takes up to an hour to fall asleep, but usually before 10pm, she’ll be asleep.
After putting GM to bed, GY and I finally have some time to ourselves. We will (or are supposed to) do our QT, then head to the kitchen to finish up whatever that needs to be done – wash the milk bottle, start the dishwasher, put in whatever leftovers into the fridge, and sometimes, snack on random things. If it’s not too late, we spend some time talking for a bit in the kitchen before heading up to bed. This is one of my fav parts of the day, spending time with GY after a long day.
10+pm: I brush my teeth and lie down in bed. Usually I’m out cold before I know it. GY sleeps before 11pm, but usually after me.
2/4+am: FM wakes up crying for milk. I’ll go in to nurse her, usually with my eyes closed coz I’ll be so sleepy, pop her back in the cot, go to the toilet and head back to bed.
7+am: It’s another brand new day, and everything begins again…