Before I had a baby, I didn’t really know what raising a baby actually looked like. I saw glimpses with my nephew and my friends’ kids and the blogs that I read. But I never really “got it”. I wouldn’t say I even really “get it” now, but since we’ve been back from New Zealand, our days have mostly developed a little routine. And so I at least somewhat “get” what raising my particular seven month old looks like. Of course every baby and, maybe more importantly, every age is different, but this is our life as it currently stands.
Note: all times should come with an -ish. I do nothing to enforce a “schedule” per se, this is just the rhythm that has naturally developed.
6:00am: we wake up. I say 6am, but honestly, we’ve been awake a couple of times during the night for feeds/settling. And some mornings 6am is a dream e.g. this morning I think it was more like 4:30am.
6:30am: we eat breakfast with The Engineer before he leaves for work. On mornings where we were up early, breakfast is accompanied by a BIIIG cup of coffee. After breakfast, she has a nappy change and gets dressed. I usually sneak in a shower.
7:45am: she has her first nap. This is usually in a carrier, and we often go for a walk around town to start it off before it gets too hot. If we’re home, I do some laundry or something while she sleeps.
9:00am: she wakes up. She has some milk and we get ready to go out. Most mornings we do something out of the house. Tuesdays and Thursdays are playgroups. Fridays is yoga class. Mondays and Wednesdays we might go for a swim or meet a friend for coffee or occasionally play Bridge. If we have no plans, we just hang out at home.
11:30am: we get home, and she is ready for another nap. She usually has more milk, often a new nappy, and we try to have her sleeping on her bed. She often resists that, but we persist…
12:15pm: The Engineer comes home with takeaways for lunch. She usually joins us, and tries some rice and maybe a curry if it’s not too spicy! I try to time it so that he gets the nappy change.
1:00pm: The Engineer goes back to work, and we just hang out at home. She roams around and finds interesting things to play with. I sometimes do some reading, or follow her around keeping her out of rubbish bins (we are still looking for a gate to keep her in her rubbish-binless room).
2:15pm: she is ready for another nap. While she sleeps I might write a blog post (like today) or muddle around on Facebook or read or start cooking dinner.
3:45pm: she wakes up, has some more milk, another nappy change, and then entertains herself while I start on dinner. Sometimes we go outside and paddle in our little pool, or run some errands in town. Usually we just hang at home.
4:45pm: she gets a bit sick of entertaining herself, so I get involved. We sing (her favourite is King of the Road by Roger Miller. My favourite is Raffi.) or watch out the window, or walk around outside.
5:15pm: The Engineer gets home. He hangs out with the baby while I finish off dinner.
5:30pm: we all eat dinner together. She makes a total mess, so when she’s done, it’s shower time. The Engineer takes her for her shower, and I take a wee breather.
6:00pm: shower is done and it’s time for bed. She has a story with Dad, a feed with Mum, and then goes into her room for bed. This used to be a total nightmare, but the last wee while she has really settled into it, and is usually asleep by 6:30pm.
Once she’s asleep, The Engineer tidies the kitchen, I finish off the laundry or clean the bathroom, or whatever needs doing. Then we have a decaf coffee and dessert while we watch TV. At the moment it’s Breaking Bad, but we’re nearly finished with that (OMG, it’s SO INTENSE!) We go to bed early, because we know that the baby alarm might choose to go off at 4:30am again tomorrow…
And that’s it. Our little life. I like its quietness and predictability, but I have to admit that it is occasionally lonely/boring as well. It’s not always easy to get out to activities or to travel or whatever. But at the end of the day, I know that the predictability is exactly what she needs. So we stick to it and I try to stay in the moment, enjoying what we have now, rather than wishing for the freedom we used to have. Because when I stay in the moment, what we have now is more amazing than all the travel and activities I can imagine.