Week in the Life 2012


Thoughts on week in the life

As I documented my Week in the Life this year, one thought kept flooding my mind.

My life is boring.

Being a (mostly) stay-at-home-mom is a struggle for me, and it’s one I’ve shared before.  I find motherhood both overstimulating and understimulating.  The constant noise and cleaning up and daily grind stuff keeps my mind whirring while it also feels unfullfilling.

I’m not a homemaker.  Meal planning and keeping a spotless house aren’t things I am passionate about.  I’d much rather spend my time writing or teaching a high intensity step class than mopping my floors.

But at this stage in my life, my role as a mother/household CEO takes up the largest percentage of my time.  I grow tired of playing puzzles and cleaning out sippy cups.  Find myself sighing after reading Brown Bear, Brown Bear for the third time that afternoon.  Loneliness prevades many of my weeks when I don’t get time to see girlfriends or spend alone time with Dan.  Groan as Kate whines HOLD YOU and clings to my legs as I try to follow a recipe I planned to make for dinner but realize I’m missing two key ingredients.

In my role as (mostly) stay-at-home-mom, I’m working harder than I ever did at an office job.  I’m up earlier than Kate to train and teach group fitness classes, spend the morning working on posts and answering email while also making several different breakfasts for a picky-eating toddler and cueing up The Fresh Beat Band episodes, running errands and taking trips to the park while writing notes to myself about potential pitches, make lunches and snacks and prevents tantrums while responding to comments and tweets, working on projects while pretending to eat plastic food from Kate’s play kitchen.

I am always wanting to write more articles, draft more posts, take more pictures, develop new creative endeavors.  But most of my days are about pure survival.

It’s grueling.  Isolating.  Sad.  Absolutely wearing on me mentally and emotionally.

While we do do fun things like take trips to Frying Pan Farm Park and paint with pudding and make a mess dying Easter Eggs, I can’t make everyday Pinterest-worthy or blog-worthy or tweet-worthy.  Sometimes my daily life is just plain boring.

Boring is not something I do well.  I crave as much intellectual and creative stimulation as possible.  And when faced with a week of nothing but errands and tantrums, well, that’s crushing to my go-getter spirit.

This challenge I’m facing – this balance between the mundane-ness that comes with everyday motherhood and this desire to and yearning for more in my life – is the crux behind why I made radical acceptance my theme this month.  Radical acceptance has become my mantra when I want to tumble into the worthlessness abyss and let myself decide my life is never going anywhere and instead live in the present moment and let myself feel my frustration in this moment without going any further.

I accept that I feel some moments of my days are boring and feel unfulfilling.  I accept my frustrated thoughts.  I accept my mood just as it is.  I accept the present moment, this week in the life, so I can move forward to the next moment and the possibility of something a little sunnier.

Week in the Life 2012 | Friday

Friday. Dan’s back home. Spin class, blueberry oatmeal, Belle’s walk, make faces into the iPhone.

Kate’s in another mood. And the only remedy is the bubble machine.

Since Dan’s back, he takes a break from work and eats lunch with Kate and me. Kate’s mood enters Level Two: Fuss Extreme Zone.

Try a nap. She desperately needs it. Nap fail. Out to the front yard for more bubbles.

Admire “mama’s flowers.”

More bubbles.

Stand around. Look at mama with distain.

Dan and I call it a day after our evening walk and order pizza.

It’s days like these that are tough. And after a couple in a row (see Wednesday and Thursday), this motherhood all day thing can get the best of me. Part of it was Dan being out of town. And part of it is not getting enough breaks. So after Kate went to bed I took a look at my calendar and called in reinforcements for next week. It’s hard for me to call for help because I view being Kate’s mom as my job. But everyone needs a break from their job every now and then. So I line up my subs for next week and head downstairs for quiet time and Game of Thrones with Dan.

Week in the Life 2012 | Thursday

Thursday started off with more BodyStep preparation, Belle’s morning walk, and lots and lots of coffee.

Most unfortunately, the April weather was up to its usual tricks, leaving us with a gray and drizzly day. Since that meant the park was a no-go, I tried to tire Kate out with a bunch of errands.

We hit up Harris Teeter in the Tysons area because it offers covered underground parking. I like this Harris Teeter because the deli guy is super surly but always gets my order correct. Sadly, when I approached the deli counter, these three guys in suits were ordering hundreds of various deli meats and cheeses in various, nonsensical quanties in a haphazhard way.

I don’t know if it was picnic lunch at the office day or what, but whoever sent these bozos better have tripled checked their order because they had no idea what they were doing. Finally, I interjected and said I just needed two things, so could I please jump in. To their credit, they let me ahead of them. In the meantime, Kate consumed half of the cheese display and a good portion of the sliced bread samples.

After some other errands, we returned home for lunch and Kate’s nap. Again, I prayed to every god I could think of for Kate to take a good nap. And again she woke up within the hour.

And she woke up in one of the grumpiest moods of all time.

Since I couldn’t take another afternoon of crying and barking, we headed out to run errands.

First, the post office to pick up Vienna Moms mail.

And then onto Bank of American to deposit Vienna Moms money.

And then to Great Harvest Bread for a chocolate loaf, because, well, why not?

And then home to take Belle for a walk.

Oh, well, look at that, it’s time for dinner and then bed! How time flies!

Let is be known that Kate also learned a new phrase today. As I was getting her ready for bed, she said to me: “Mama, I mad at you!”

And then she laughed. Like she said the funniest thing ever.

“Mad at you, Mama! He he he.”

She said it so jolly like, I’m pretty sure she doesn’t know what that means.

But in the next breathe she said love you, mama, so I guess it cancels out.

Week in the Life 2012 | Wednesday

Another sunny day. My favorite kinds of days. We got Bellle out for her morning walk, which required extra vigilance because Wednesday is trash day and Belle loves to find rotten apple cores and used paper towels to chomp on.

This morning I had my orientation for Gold’s Gym. Back in January I decided to pursue becoming a group fitness instructor, took a BodyStep training, and now I’m working towards my certification. I’ve had to do a bunch of stuff to work towards my certification and to get hired as an instructor for Gold’s, which is a post for another day, but one part of the procress required this orientation. It’s rare I get to interact with people – in person – outside of the park where I don my usual yoga pants/sweatshirt look, so I thought I’d actually get dressed today.

(Also, thanks for all the bangs love, I love them, too.)

After my orientation, I relieved my mother in law and got Kate ready for nap. I don’t know what’s been up with her recently, but girlfriend keeps saying “Kate tired” but she hasn’t been napping well. On this particular day, it took every single ounce of patience I had to get her down. She fought me at every turn – wouldn’t let me change her diaper, put her in snuggly pjs, read a book. Finally, I just shut the blinds, hugged her snuggled tight to my chest and sang every song from the The Sound of Music I could remember the lyrics to.

She fought and cried and tried to twist away, but I kept rubbing her back and singing way through raindrops on roses and whiskers on kittens until she finally relaxed. For everyone wondering what a SAHM does all day, it’s this type of toddler taming. All the live long day. This is exactly why motherhood requires so much mental and physical effort.

Since I didn’t know how long my efforts would last, I got down to work right quick.

I watched her mess around in her crib on the iPad while I answered email, prepped blog posts, and worked on yet another blog redesign. Yes, another redesign. Change is good.

Sadly, Kate only lasted about an hour, so thus began the longest afternoon of my life.

First Kate got into her closet and tried to put on everything she owned, one outfit on top of the other, after I’d already organized her closet just the other day.

And then Kate and Belle decided to harrass each other, an activity they both hate and enjoy at the same time. These pictures are blurry but perfectly illustrate my afternoon.

Crying AND barking, the soundtrack of my life.

Oh, wait, now they decided to be all sweet looking and stare out the window together.

Then several delivery trucks and a mini van came by, alerting Belle with Homeland Security and resulting in the demise of my wooden mini blinds.

I called it quits and allowed Kate to eat applesauce for dinner.

Note her begruding expression.

I work hard to keep it sunny side up around these parts, but don’t think for a second I don’t have a bad day. Or two. Or three. Afternoons like Wednesday are par for the course at Casa Bagley. And I’m no Maria von Trapp, singing and dancing my way through every tantrum. I get irritable and annoyed and count down the seconds until bedtime.

After I put Kate down in her crib Wednesday night, I gave her a hug and a kiss and said let’s try a do-over tomorrow.

Week in the Life 2012 | Tuesday

Tuesdays are one of my favorite days.

This morning I got up at my usual 5:30 a.m. hour to exercise. I ran through my BodyStep DVD in preparation for team teaching Saturday morning. I watch that DVD so many times to prepare for classes that the instructors on the video feel like my new best friends.

By the time I hit the cooldown track, I can hear Kate yelling for me. Since I’m up and she’s up and the dog’s up, we head out the door for our morning walk.

The Fresh Beat Band sings and dances in the background as I get ready for the day. I’m so glad to see the sun this morning. After two full days of rain, my soul can’t take one more dull day.

This morning we head over to MoBu kids for Kate’s music and movement class. Kate is crazy for this class. My friend, Corrine, and her sweet son, Josh, introduced us to MoBu at the end of last summer, and we’ve been taking the Tuesday morning class together ever since. Kate is head over heels for Josh and Miss Monica, and she has the best time singing and dancing. I think the class is designed so that the kids sit with their moms and sing and dance together. But Kate prefers to sing and dance solo, in the center of the circle, and pretend I’m not there.

Miss Independent, that one.

After class, we head over to Pizzeria Orso for some margarita pizzas. Dining with the kids is always an adventure. The ratio of pizza into toddler mouths versus pizza all over the place is about 50:50.

After class Kate usually takes a nap for the record books. But not this time. I waited a few minutes and crossed my fingers, hoping she’d go back to sleep. But when the whines escalated to full on screams, I knew my alone time was now over. Since the sun was shining, I decided to take advantage of the situation and take Kate outside to play in the backyard.

Poor, Belle. She couldn’t stand being left out. So Kate and I took her for her afternoon walk around the neighborhood.

Kate always travels with snacks.

After our walk, I realized I still haven’t found a hard copy of my Washington Parent article, so Kate and I set off to find my name in print.

After our afternoon adventures, I tried to take the trash out and clean up the kitchen while Kate and Belle got under my legs and vied for my attention. I gave up around 6:45 p.m., tossed Kate in the tub, and tricked her into reading books I like.

When Dan travels and works long days and I’m on my own, my favorite part of the day is after I put Kate to bed and I lay down on the couch and close my eyes and just breathe. Toddlers require emotional and physical endurance to get through the day, so when I have a few moments to sit quietly, I soak in it so I can recharge because tomorrow’s a new day.