When people find out I've been a stay-at-home dad for the past five-plus years, one of the questions I am routinely hit with is "What do you do all day?" So, allow me to pull back the curtains on the glory and majesty of at-home parenting.
Please bear in mind that this is only a sample of ONE day, does not include such glorious activities as soccer practice, birthday parties, or play dates, is not reflective of what it's like when one or both kids are sick, and the times are approximate. The details, however, are quite factual.
1:12 am - Crap. Eli woke up. Crying again. Teething, growth spurt, his pillow isn't fluffy enough, the walls aren't the right shade of blue - who knows. Go into his room to soothe him. He starts to settle down. Rub his back. Sing to him.
1:14 am - where the **** is his pacifier?
2:04 am - finally quiet. Now to go back to bed.
2:04:10 am - ...stupid creaking floorboards. Sigh. Time to sing again.
2:42 am - there. Now to ninja myself back to my bedroom.
2:44 am - son of a...when did Kai get into my bed? Carry him back to his room. Lay down in my bed. Now. Back to sleep.
5:30 am - my eldest son, obviously a farmer in the making, is awake. Before the sun. Glorious.
6:00 am - coffee starts brewing. Thank God. Now to get vitamins and OJ for Kai, and prep Eli's milk so when he wakes up he can eat. Also need to warm up breakfast for everyone, pack Kai's lunch, and manage to do all this without making a noise so I won't wake Eli up.
6:30 am - well, Eli's awake. Change his diaper, then try and dress Kai before he eats breakfast.
7:00 am - Ashley is up, so she can watch the boys (aka get Kai to eat and not play at the table/try to go watch TV) while I take a shower.
7:25 am - time to get dressed. I've only worn these cargo shorts three times this week already. They're fine. Check shirt on the floor. Wore it yesterday, but nobody saw me. More or less unwrinkled, with no unknown food stains. It'll work.
7:45 am - get Kai, lunchbox, and coffee into car. Strap Eli in. Drive him to school.
8:30 am - time to start errands for the day. Going to need to go to grocery store/get gas/Target/drop books off at library/run to post office all while keeping Eli awake in the backseat. The car seems to lull him to sleep. He'll need to eat around 11:15 before his nap.
8:41 am - Eli flings his pacifier across the backseat as an act of civil disobedience against the injustice of car seat straps.
8:50 - first stop: Target. Toilet paper a priority in errands today. Will sacrifice groceries if necessary, can fast if needed.
8:52 - Eli mildly and subtly expresses his displeasure at idea of being strapped into the buggy. Moderately certain he just bent his spine backwards at a 45 degree angle while screeching in rage.
9:07 am - speed-shopping at Target completed. May or may not have gotten everything on the list. More concerned if DSS was alerted to the sounds of an angry toddler upset over the fact I would not let him chew on an unopened box of cereal, pull clothes off the rack, or purchase a grill.
9:11 am - en route to the grocery store. Because I'm a sadist.
9:14 am - ...and the pacifier goes flying again.
9:14 am - ...and the pacifier goes flying again.
9:20 am - shopping at Publix. Eli will be distracted by the balloons tied everywhere. That, and the baggie of Cheerios I pull from my pocket.
9:55 am - shopping is done, time to pack groceries and baby into the car. House is only a few blocks away. Will sing and listen to CD on the way home to keep him awake.
10:03 am - pull into the driveway. ...crap. He's snoring.
10:05 am - put him in his crib, now to bring groceries in and put them away.
10:22 am - okay. Now I have a little free time. Need to edit that article, start laying out the other one due next week, do some journaling...
11:47 - ...wait, why is he crying...? OH CRAP, I JUST SPENT THAT WHOLE TIME ONLINE AND DIDN'T WRITE ANYTHING?
12:04 pm - fresh diaper, and now lunchtime.
12:09 pm - this loon is wearing as much food as he's eating. Kids and pasta, I swear.
12:20 pm - now to vacuum the floor where the casualties of lunch lie scattered on the ground. Might as well vacuum the living room and boys' rooms while I've got this out.
12:42 pm - time to start laundry. Then to unload the dishwasher and reload it with Mount Crustyplates from the sink.
1:00 pm - 2:15 pm - playtime in the living room. And his room. And outside. And Kai's room. And our bed. And in tents. And with bubbles. And with beach balls. And Duplos. And dinosaurs. And soccer balls. And coffee. And locate the MIA pacifier.
2:30 pm - pick up Kai from kindergarten. Go home and prepare snack time.
2:42 pm - snack time translates to Kai eating - under protest - the remaining 87% of the lunch I sent him to school with.
3:00 pm - 5:30 pm - playtime with both boys. Crafts, coloring, running, dance parties in the living room, prepping dinner for everyone (cutting raw chicken with a toddler running underfoot has become a specialty of mine), managing meltdowns, tears, lost pacifiers (...again...), watering plants, folding laundry, action figure battles, refills of coffee, and contemplating upping my count on Untappd during this timeframe.
5:40 pm - Ashley is home. According to the reaction of both of the small humans I have spent the better part of the day caring for, nurturing, feeding and playing with...now the day is good. Ingrates.
6:00 pm - dinnertime. Share stories at the dinner table. Kai takes the length of the director's cut of LORD OF THE RINGS: RETURN OF THE KING to finish a grilled cheese sandwich. Eli may or may not have eaten his dinner and part of Ashley's.
7:20 pm - bathtime begins. Eli first, then Kai.
7:50 pm - time to read Kai to sleep while Ashley rocks Eli.
8:10 pm - both boys are down. Now Ashley & I can say hello to each other.
11:00 pm - after mindless TV (and/or falling asleep on the couch), we amble off to wash faces, brush teeth, and go to bed...to start the cycle anew come the morning.
1:20 am - ...crap. Eli's crying.