I went back to work two weeks ago and man, it’s been an uphill task adapting to this “full-time working mum of two young children” gig.
Luckily for me, I am able to get home to my littles before 630pm. Unfortunately, everything is still in the work-in-progress stage right now. Every night, after the boys are finally asleep, I barely have enough energy in me to shower, have a pint of ice-cream and then crawl into bed. In fact, I dozed off after putting Aidan to bed at 9pm last night. And maybe the night before.
Let me also tell you a secret: sometimes, I am so tired that I don’t wash my hair. GASPS!
Yeah, no, life isn’t a bed of roses. It doesn’t help that the husband works late and I have to feed/bathe/sleep the kids on my own. This means that at any one moment, someone is crying. If it’s not Zac crying because he is tired and not being put to bed yet, it’s Aidan screaming because he does not want to have his hair washed.
So I, err, yell. Not very often, but often enough for me to feel like Nasty Mean Mum.
But as with everything, I know that it will get better. Aidan has been growing into his role as a big brother and he can try to help on some days. One night, he was rocking Zac gently in the bouncer and telling his little brother, “It’s okay Zac, mummy is eating dinner.” He even brought Zac a toy to play with! My mama’s heart went smooshy in that moment.
One of the best things about Aidan is that he is a very verbal child and I can (mostly) reason with him. Take this evening for instance. Zac was sitting in his bouncer, on the verge of fussing, as I was feeding Aidan his yogurt after dinner.
“Aidan, you need to bathe after this,” I said, spooning a mouthful of yogurt into his mouth. “There’s only mama today so can you please cooperate with mama? I don’t want to have to shout at you. Let’s go have a bath after this, okay?”
What do you know, he was amazing! He usually yells like we are skinning him alive when we shower him but this time, he didn’t. He did scream once or twice – can’t expect him to change COMPLETELY – but otherwise, it was a very peaceful time with him. He came out of the tub, emptied the water and was very nice about it. Of course, he did scream for bubbles but when I stayed calm and ignored him, he stopped and allowed me to dry him.
That’s when the pieces fall perfectly in place.
Here’s how our evening routine looks like typically:
630pm: Home! Aidan has his dinner while I nurse Zac
7pm: Dinner for me while Aidan is eating his fruits and Zac watches from the bouncer
715pm: Bath time – Zac goes into the sink while Aidan is in the tub
730pm: I fish Zac out first, dresses him in his jammies and then it’s Aidan’s turn. Zac is usually fussing by this time.
745pm: We are all in Aidan’s bedroom. I nurse Zac and Aidan plays with his toy cars. Sometimes, I read both of them a book.
8pm/815pm: Zac falls asleep and I place him in the cot in our bedroom
815pm: I read Aidan a book or two. If the husband is home by then, they spend some time playing with cars and trains and trucks.
830pm/845pm: Lights out for Aidan
9pm/915pm: He finally falls asleep
It doesn’t always look like this, of course, and sometimes I curse and cuss at having to do solo parenting during the witching hours. Thankfully, this routine works most of the time!