A day in the life of a parent

6.10am            Alarm goes off, hit snooze.

6.20am            Alarm goes off, hit snooze.

6.25am            Jump out of bed as realise have inadvertently hit snooze and fallen back to sleep, am now running late. Already.

6.26am             Thank all that is divine for the cup of tea sitting on my bedside table (my husband is a legend).

6.27am            Try to get to bathroom before 4 year old spots me and runs in (“mummy, I almost missed your shower!” Erm, that was kind of the point).

6.35am            One shower, 3000 questions and 100 “I can see your bum” comments later – apply make-up. Lots of make-up. Basically any make-up that claims to brighten eyes, reduce dark circles, and disguise tired blotchy dry skin (I am a beaut in the morning).

6.45am             Put on smart work clothes, then rummage through pile of clothes on top of chest of drawers to find something baby friendly to put on top.

6.55am            Fetch bottle of milk for the baby and stuff top third of dirty clothes mountain into machine and turn on – dirty clothes mountain now reduced to large hill status.

7am                  Sun comes up on Groclocks – BRACE BRACE BRACE.

7.05am            Lay out clothes for 6 year old and ask her to make her bed and get dressed.

7.06am            Start negotiations with 4 year old about which t-shirt he will wear to nursery.

7.10am            Ask 6 year once again to make her bed and get dressed.

7.11am            Conclude negotiations with 4 year old and dress said 4 year old while he attempts to play with a giant aeroplane.

7.14am            6 year old appears with pants on her head and socks on her hands pretending to be a boxer (try not to laugh), 4 year old now wants to dress up as a fireman

7.15am            Ask 6 year old once again to make her bed and get dressed (slightly hysterically)

7.20am            4 year old and 6 year old are now dressed. Get the baby up.

7.21am            Wrestle 18 month old out of pyjama bottoms and into clean nappy.

7.25am            Give up trying to persuade 18 month old to take off pyjama top, put t-shirt in nursery bag.

7.26am            Brush three sets of teeth and get everyone downstairs.

7.27am            Realise I forgot to brush my own teeth, everyone goes back upstairs.

7.35 am            Make toast and try to ignore argument between 4 year old and 6 year old about who gets to hold the bag of toast in the car.

7.36am            Threaten to throw toast in the bin if 4 year old and 6 year old cannot agree on who holds toast.

7.37am            Four pairs of shoes on, coats on, bags and buggy by the door.

7.45am            Drag buggy and bags to car, trying not to get mud from buggy wheels on smart work clothes. Hit shins three times.

7.50am            Lock front door

7.51am             Realise I have forgotten 6 year old’s gym kit/nappies for nursery/my laptop – spend a few minutes deciding how crucial it is, decide it is very crucial, unlock door and get it

7.55am             Load and strap three children into car seats. Hit shins again.

8am                  Park outside nursery, unload buggy, nursery bag, spare nappies. Hit shins twice more.

8.03am            Unload the three children from the car.

8.05am            Hang coats and bags on pegs and make one last attempt at convincing 18 month old to let me take off pyjamas and put on t-shirt. Give up and hand t-shirt to nursery staff.

8.07am            Give huge kisses and cuddles to 4 year old and 18 month old as I pass them over to the nursery staff, all the time wishing I had not shouted so much and had just enjoyed the morning with them a bit more. Feel like terrible mother.

8.20am            Brush 6 year old’s hair as we walk into breakfast club and do a quick pony-tail, promise to be more organised tomorrow and have time to do a plait or the pretty thing her mum’s friend does (make mental note to ask friend’s mum how on earth she does it). Feel like a terrible mother.

8.21am            More huge kisses and cuddles and promises to try to get home in time for bed.

8.25am            Drop car at home and run to catch tube.

9.00am            Enjoy cup of tea at my desk and finally eating some breakfast while checking my emails. Breathe. Start work.

12.30pm          Pop out to grab some lunch.  Realise that I have forgotten tomorrow is dress up day at school and spend rest of lunch break dashing around trying to find last minute costume in one of the numerous non-child orientated shops near my office (shop assistant in Charles Tyrwhitt: “no,madam, we do not sell giraffe costumes”).

1pm                  Head down and work.

6pm                  Start watching clock. Must leave soon if any hope of making bedtime….

6.30pm            Run out of work in desperate bid to make it home for bedtime as promised.

6.35pm            Scramble to get on tube without getting trapped in tube doors. Launch myself onto carriage a la Jack Bauer (minus commando roll at the end).

7.05pm            Arrive home having run all way from tube in order to not miss bedtime. Hope lungs don’t collapse (mental note – must do more exercise).

7.06pm            Kisses and cuddles to 4 year old and 6 year old (baby already asleep – I assume, I daren’t go in in case he isn’t!)

7.10pm            Start getting cross that children using delay tactics (more water, need loo, another story) – know it is entirely my fault for coming up to see them when they are already in bed but still get cross. Feel like a terrible mother.

7.15pm            Hang out clean washing, realise top third of laundry did not include any knickers for me. Pants.

7.30pm            Tidy house (again) while wondering how on earth it got so messy without anyone here all day.  Seriously, how?!?

8.15pm            Look at to do list to see what can cross off.

8.16pm            Realise have not managed to get done anything on my list and actually need to add another three things.

8.30pm            Give up and watch rubbish TV and eat body weight in chocolate and crisps.

9.00pm            Vow to stop eating chocolate and crisps and exercise more, I will lose the baby weight (wonder if I can still really count it as baby weight anymore since said baby is now 18 months old).

10pm                Check on my sleeping babies before heading off to bed. Attempt to extract 4 year old’s foot from between bed guard bars without waking him up.

10.15pm           Crawl into bed and re read same two pages of book that I have read for the past two weeks. Wonder if am still reading same book – recollect nothing of what have read so far. I may have to go back to the beginning.

10.30pm             Pass out.

REPEAT.

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