day in the life: fantasy edition

April 11, 2013

ideal vs. reality
lately i’ve been feeling really unsatisfied with my weekday routine.  i think the true problem is that i probably want to do more than is realistic, but i thought it would be an interesting thought exercise to write out an ideal version of how i wish things went, and then contrast with reality.

perhaps it will help me to find a happy medium, or just realize that i need to work on accepting what currently is.  [probably a little of both.]

anyway, here goes . . .

a fantasy work day morning
5:00a – wake up feeling refreshed and even energetic after 8 hours of sleep.
5:10a – morning run on the TM.  4 miles @ 7:45/mi [i said this was fantasy!]
5:45a – shower + get dressed.  in one of my many cute and flattering outfits
6:10a – make coffee, eat a quick but peaceful breakfast while reading

i just had to show a breakfast that wasn’t waffles for once!

6:30a – a is up!  no crying, just jubilant morning sounds.  i get her and change her [with zero protest from the muffin, of course].  she enjoys her sippie cup of milk and does not throw it repeatedly on the ground until i give her the milk in a bottle.*  playtime, reading books, practicing walking, and general fun time together.

7:30a – leave for work

reality:  most days i am completely exhausted when the alarm goes off, and i’m up between 5:15 and 6. some days i do manage to sneak in a run before a is up, but on other days, i skip it or run later — which i hate — or i take her with me in the stroller.  she usually gets up at 6, although she often makes threatening noises as early as 5:15 or so.

i don’t usually get such a long block of playtime with her in the AM, and i’m often showering in about 1 stressful minute, either because i can hear that she is already up or because i’ve left her in her [child-proofed] room to play — and she hates being left alone.

i don’t hate my mornings, but they feel rushed to me.

a fantasy day at work
starts at 8, and ends at 5 with 45 minutes totally free for lunch.
and no work to take home!

i won’t get into specifics of the work day, but the fantasy work day has very little clerical work, lots of interesting cases that i am able to figure out, and everyone is super nice and patient.  oh, and everyone gets better!

reality:  i think we’ll just leave this one to the imagination.

a fantasy evening routine
5:15p – arrive at day care to get miss a; drive home
5:35p – beautiful weather — and so we walk to the park [0.5 mi].  a enjoys the swings and the slide for a little while until it’s time to head home for her dinner.

this didn’t really happen on a weeknight, but it was still fun

6:15p – a’s dinner.  a gourmet selection of vegetables, protein, and grains left over from our dinner the night before.

6:45p – josh is home!  he gives a her bath while i start prepping dinner
7:00p – rest of a’s bedtime routine – books, lotion, etc.

7:15p – annabel asleep.  i finish cooking our easy dinner.
7:30p – home-cooked dinner.  with conversation!  and a glass of sauv blanc on the side.  or maybe a riesling . . .
7:50p – clean up.  the entirely apt is cleaned up in 15 minutes.

8:05p – write blog post [like this one!] or study.  perhaps one or the other on alternate days.
8:35p – get ready and settled into bed
8:45p – read for 15 minutes
9:00p – SLEEP so that i can wake up refreshed the next day!

reality:  most days there is no time for anything really after day care, which makes me a little sad.  it feels rushed to go straight from picking annabel up to giving her dinner.  i do enjoy feeding her, but i’ve been relying pretty heavily on frozen vegetables, plain yogurt, eggs, veggie burgers, etc.  cooking has been spotty.  josh is rarely home for any of this now that he’s back on service, so i do a’s bedtime routine myself.  to be honest, it’s kind of lonely.  

tonight — like many nights when i am alone — i just had cereal for dinner because i had no motivation to spend time concocting something ‘real’ for just me.  it did make cleanup very easy, i’ll admit.  i do sometimes blog after dinner or watch a fun tv show, but i tend to waste these precious minutes fairly regularly on facebook, blogs, etc — and somehow i find myself still up at 10.  which explains how the days are beginning lately . . .

* yep, currently happening.  any tips are welcome.

SO.  was this bleak for anyone else?  writing this out does sort of reinforce to me that it really is quite tight.

things i could do to improve things:
go to bed earlier
waste less time in the evening
have very easy things planned to cook

things i can’t control, but that will change:
josh’s hours
annabel’s wakeup/bedtimes
a’s ability to play by herself [although this will take a while and realistically i may have #2 and start the cycle all over again before it happens!]

it’s not that i’m miserable — i’m really not!  i just get this sense every day, like . . . i’m not doing it right.  or that i could be enjoying it MORE.  the days are long, but the years are short?  true, but to me it often feels like the days just aren’t long enough.

and with that, i’m headed to read in bed.  8:42pm!


  • Reply Marie March 10, 2019 at 7:16 pm

    You ARE doing it right because look at how she looks at you! You’re the center of her universe and she doesn’t know that you’re tired or rushed, she just knows that you take care of her and hug her and feed her delicious eggs and vegetables. I admire you so much for how hard you work and how you still manage to be such a good mom. I’m blubbering now. Carry on.

  • Reply Brittnie March 10, 2019 at 7:16 pm

    The only way I am able to power through my reality vs. fantasy days is seriously just taking it one day at a time. Sometimes thinking too far ahead only backfires and stresses me out unnecessarily (which is strange b/c I’m so type A and such a planner and a "make it better let’c come up with a plan to fix it" type). In my fantasy world Clara would be crawling, making more sounds and trying to babble, using her hands more, and be able to hold her stinking bottle and eat actual solids (she is slowly getting them to her mouth but takes a small bite and spits it all out). I know this is different than what you’re describing, but this is just the areas that cause me stress and "I need a plan of action" lately. But I just have to view each day as a new day and look for little positives (things that did go well or that went the way I envisioned) along the way (like yesterday when she actually brought a carrot to her mouth).

    Brandon and I have also started turning off the tv at night. We realized that after we put Clara down, our nights were spent in front of the tv w/out much engaging. Makes us feel like we get more quality time in the evening, and we actually end up going to bed at the same time.

    Not sure if this was helpful at all. 🙂 Have a great day!

  • Reply Jennifer March 10, 2019 at 7:16 pm

    I have no tips on the milk/sippy cup issue but I’m very curious to hear more and see if there are more comments – we’re not quite at that point yet as my daughter’s a little younger, but I’m nervous about that transition. I gather A likes the milk just fine, as long as it’s in a bottle? Is she okay with sippy cups other times, it’s just when she gets a cup but she wants a bottle that it’s an issue? Right now my daughter gets very excited about cups (straw or sippy) but really, really likes swigging a mouthful of water and spitting it all out. Only rarely does she actually drink anything, even though she’s been practicing with cups since around Christmas, so I’m very skeptical about the idea of a cup becoming a primary delivery method for hydration and nutrients in a couple of months.

  • Reply Rucky March 10, 2019 at 7:16 pm

    We occasionally go for a walk around the block after DC/pre dinner, but it is a struggle, There is really a lot to get done and if you try to do too much…crankiness ensues, right? We had issues with H and the sippy/bottle…she thought it was cool for a hot minute, then would throw it. We had DC work with her on it, sent a bottle as a back up and she had one there for maybe 2 weeks or so? For the first 2 weeks, we gave her the am/pm bottle and then phased out the am by immediately putting her in the high chair for breakfast after waking. At 14mo we STILL give her the pm bottle, which we know she doesnt need, but havent come up with a great game plan yet. Meanwhile, F, the breastfed babe, took to the sippy like a champ (though he still has a pm nurse, which is another issue…) Give her some transition time and she’ll be totally fine! I was totally paranoid I’d have a dehydrated tot or a 3yr old with a bottle, but that isnt going to be the case lol

  • Reply Amy March 10, 2019 at 7:16 pm

    These days are so fleeting. You don’t want to look back at your little lady’s infancy/toddlerhood as a time of worry. Don’t be so hard on yourself girl!

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