There are many of us out there. Stay At Home Parents. Working Parents. We all began blogging because of this insatiable need to Write. To share. To bring someone else laughter or comfort. To find adult conversations and expand our vocabulary for a change.
To know that we are not alone when our children – whom we love dearly – have pushed us above and beyond our limits of patience and we just want to strangle them a la Homer Simpson.
As an added “perk” we have an overflow of material given to us on sticky plastic Lightning McQueen plates and yogurt encrusted spoons by our children.
The problem is Time.
There simply aren’t enough hours in the day to keep the house organized and less like a bomb filled with trains, balls, stuffed animals, and cheerios exploded.
Much less sit down and put somewhat coherent thoughts down into sentence form in (hopefully) an engaging and witty manner.
But I have to.
I’ve forgotten too many of the little moments from the first three years of Chase’s life because I was too busy (or nauseous) to write them down.
I simply don’t have the hours to repeat the same conversation on the phone to each member of my family recounting the tidbits of “what’s up.”
But mostly my mind has been sequestered so long in the cobwebs of Mommy Brain, that if I don’t start using it, I’m going to lose whatever small amount of writing skill and wit that remains as the Chuggington Theme or the Mickey Mouse “Hot Dog Dance” songs echo in the chasm where my creativity formerly resided.
So I write.
Or try to.
A day of Blogging with Children (aged 3.5 and 1 year) goes something like this on a “typical” day:
Wake up. Begin morning routines where I attempt to silence the Food Eat Now feeling I have as quickly as possible while juggling feeding the kids and getting them dressed/changed/pottied. Pack the Everything You Could Possibly Need Bag for the morning through lunch time.
Sneak onto the laptop while nursing Lil Diva and eating my poptart. Check site stats and comments. Plan Blog for the Day. Wonder if I will get the time to write it. Multitasking at its best.
If children cooperate (and play on their own for a bit), start writing blog.
Stop writing it about two sentences in. Attend to Baby Cling Wrap because she’s teething again. Or climbed on top of the kid’s picnic table and is stomping her feet to celebrate. Or is halfway up the stairs because her brother forgot to shut the gate again. Or squeals in delight as she discovers the bathroom door is open and there is toilet paper to unwind. Or had just found a dirty tissue her brother didn’t throw away and is now trying to eat it.
Change three dirty diapers in less than two hours. Consider starting laundry. Discard idea five seconds later because Cling Wrap won’t release her grip long enough to let me sort clothes.
Check stats again on iPod while Cling Wrap wanders away long enough to grab a toy. Find a comment and attempt to reply, only to be cut short by her barreling into me and knocking me over. The Tackler has taught her well.
Give up writing anything longer than a text for the morning. Attempt reading blogs during the 30 second to several minute intervals of breathing space I get while my baby girl remains glued to my side -whining – until we leave for the gym.
Workout while kids are in the gym child care; usually a group fitness class like Step, Zumba, pilates, or strength training. On a good day, I am not paged for diaper changings or Poopapaloozas for my two hour break.
Hit the steam room and shower. Ahhhhhhhhhh. Feel my patience meter reset to “full” and pray it will stay that way.
Pick up the kids and wonder if the stars will somehow align and have them nap at the same time so I can blog. Feed them lunch. Eat my lunch if I had the time to make anything for myself.
Watch in mirror as Diva falls asleep in the car (85% of the time). Transition her to the crib asap and hope she stays asleep longer then thirty minutes so she doesn’t wake up even more pissed off and cranky.
Check stats/email/facebook while Tackler eats his snack. If he’s kept his underwear dry all morning, he gets to watch a Chuggington. Make/eat my lunch (if haven’t had opportunity yet) or start writing blog. There is never time for both.
Get a few paragraphs written and then put Tackler down for nap once his show is finished.
Bask in the moment where no child is demanding my attention.
Have a cat immediately claim my lap, blocking a segment of the screen and rendering part of an arm useless.
Start to blog in earnest.
Stop blogging ten minutes later (and dethrone the cat) as Tackler gets up to make a deposit in the potty. While I’m ecstatic it wasn’t in his diaper, I attempt to explain that just because he was good and used the potty, does not mean nap time is over. Spend twenty minutes getting him to lie back down.
Return to writing blog.
Stop writing again when Tackler exits room fifteen minutes later informing me that he isn’t tired and isn’t going to nap. Depending on time, either let him play or send him back to bed.
If Tackler does fall asleep (he hasn’t this week thanks to The Cough), Lil Diva wakes up within five minutes, if not instantly as I tuck him in for the last time. It’s uncanny. **
Give up on writing blog once Diva is awake. The drool factor has increased and The Banshee is peaking her head out again. Instead, check stats/facebook/email/ during rare break from Banshee Cling Wrap. Read any new blogs posted as time allows. Otherwise read many books with her or attempt any other activity that ceases The Whine. Even stair climbing.
Countdown to CG’s return home.
The Tackler wakes up and I attempt to find an activity both can do without maiming the other. Typically this involves jumping off the bed in his room. Assuming she doesn’t make a play for his trains and cause a meltdown to ensue. On a bad day, I flee the house as if my life depends on it before my children send me over the edge because ironically, they are often better in public thanks to all the distractions.
CG eventually gets home. Scramble to discover what is for dinner because I haven’t made it to the store and if I did, they didn’t have what I wanted. Cook/eat or Go Out/Eat. Feel guilt for being such a crappy housewife.
Once food is consumed, see if CG and kids are willing to give me some time to blog. If so, blog. If not, attempt happy family time or execute a Kid Split and divide the kids:adults in a 1:1 ratio for remainder of evening.
Begin bedtime routine. Pray Diva goes down without a fight. I take Diva, CG takes Tackler.
Sit down to finally blog if she goes down.
If not, attempt 101 Ways To Get Obviously Exhausted Girl to Sleep. Get more and more frustrated as she whines/cries/fusses continuously because she should be asleep.
Beg CG to put her to bed (once Tackler is down) if I have still failed. I swear she does this on purpose to get Daddy Time.
Bask in the second moment of the day where no children require my services.
Have a cat immediately claim my lap upon sitting down, once again blocking screen view and forcing one arm to go numb as they purr in delight while laying on top of it.
Debate about whether to blog finally, watch a recorded TV show, converse with CG, or crash for the night. The decision depends on: how much sleep was acquired the night before, if I’m still sick, if there is anything I really want to watch, and if my brain synapses are still firing at all or currently in a coma.
If blogging wins, view what I wrote earlier in the day and decide it is incoherent crap and either save a draft for possible metamorphoses later or delete it and start over.
Lose myself in finally pouring my thoughts onto the screen while CG sends me disapproving looks.
Spend forever editing blog as fingers and brain have lost perfect communicative link and the words typed often aren’t what they should be. If blog was salvaged from earlier in the day, notice that tenses switched during times I was interrupted and figure out which one to stick with.
Find photos to add if needed.
Eventually hit Publish, satisfied that blog does not resemble a steaming pile of cow dung and that at least my grandmother will be entertained by it, if not the handful of followers that are not related to me.
Glance at the clock. Curse. Discover I should have gone to sleep at least an hour ago. Probably more like two.
Go to bed finally. Fight with my brain to shut off for the next 15-45 minutes before I finally fall asleep.
Accept that this is the reality of Blogging with Children. And cats.
** Upon very rare occasions, I am briefly blessed with both children sleeping and succeed in writing an entire blog during this time frame. However, the time to proofread or add photos is often denied so the blog sits another eight hours until my children pass out for the night. Then I realize the blog was written as An Afternoon Blog and must alter any references to time being earlier and make it appear as though said blog was written in its entirety that evening.