Things I have done today (and every other day for the past seven years)

Welcome to the March 2015 Carnival of Natural Parenting: Day in the Life

This post was written for inclusion in the monthly Carnival of Natural Parenting hosted by Hobo Mama and Code Name: Mama. This month our participants have given us a special glimpse into their everyday.


Things I have done today: 26th February 2015


  1. Wake and breastfeed my son.


  1. Persuade my sleepy daughter to get dressed and ready for school.


  1. Throw on some clothes over my own pyjamas.


  1. Take my daughter (whilst carrying sleepy son – still in his pyjamas) to school. Cuddles and kisses all round as we wave her off.


  1. Come home and eat some breakfast in the kitchen while helping my son, J to make a big tower from boxes of tea on one of the counters. I pass the boxes back to him when they topple over.


  1. Sit at our art table and begin to draw. J sits beside me and organizes his pencils. He tells me that I should put more colour into my drawing. He draws a picture too and we (mostly) swap compliments!
Our art area, photo by Marija Smits
Our art area, photo by Marija Smits
  1. J then wants his ‘plano’ (a tinny-sounding electronic keyboard). We hunt for the plano (even going into the attic to have a look) but there’s no plano. We phone daddy who is at work. He tells us it may be hidden in the kitchen. We find the plano!


  1. I start to clean the bathroom (it desperately needs doing!). J plays his plano. I hope that this will keep him busy for a bit but it doesn’t. He soon wants to do some baking, and so he goes downstairs. It is quiet as I scrub the inside of the shower and take out gunky bits of goo with a pair of tweezers. Note to self: clean the tweezers before I use them on my eyebrows.


  1. It is too quiet. I ask J what’s going on. ‘Sorry mummy, I made a mess.’ I go downstairs and discover a ‘semolina soup’ in a Tupperware container. There is semolina on the table and the floor. It’s not too bad. I’ve seen worse. We clear up the spilt semolina and my young scientist/chef says he wants to add baked beans to his soup. He gets out a tin and I help him add JUST THE ONE SPOON.


  1. I help J to cook his semolina soup in the microwave. He’s adamant that it’ll be delicious. He eats a spoonful and then says it’s too hot. He goes off to make a ‘shop’ in the lounge. I go back to cleaning the bathroom, and occasionally encourage him to come up and help me.


  1. I try to have a shower, but J says he now wants to play with me. I get all huffy and a bit shouty – I’m feeling grubby and I want that shower! Then I feel bad and help him to build a slide out of beds. I remember to cut myself some slack: Hey, I’m doing all right! Before I enter the shower I see J playing with some blocks. The slide’s already got boring.


  1. Have a shower, get dressed. J goes downstairs while I dress. It goes quiet again. I go downstairs and discover black paint all over the art area desk. A big bouncy ball is sitting in the black paint, dripping with paint. I do my best to clean the desk and J. We then go to the kitchen and cook scrambled eggs and beans. J helps me with cracking the eggs into the frying pan. He even stirs them about with a fork.


  1. We eat our lunch and then J goes off to play by himself. I tell him that I’m taking him to pre-school soon and so I try dressing him. I try but it’s not happening. He says he doesn’t want to go to pre-school and I end up chasing him around the dining table, looping around it about 20 times. I’m puffed out and I realize that we’re evenly matched in this race. I use my mama strength and start to block him in a corner by moving the dining table. He realizes that I’ve got him now, so we talk constructively about how I can help him settle in pre-school.


  1. I give him a quick feed and then we go to pre-school and J is happy. He’s really involved in the counting they’re all doing and although I tell him a few times that I’m going now he doesn’t take any notice of me.


  1. I go home, slightly worried that J may be unsettled when he realizes that I’m no longer there. I make a strong coffee, worry a little more, then focus on the work at hand: answering emails and editing a short story. I’m a little surprised and disappointed at how little I get done in 2 hours.


  1. I pick up J who is happy, but then I ask the careworker how he was, and apparently he was upset for a minute or two when he’d realized I’d gone and he’d forgotten to say goodbye. He was okay soon enough though, she says, but still, I feel bad. I try to mentally give myself a hug (while giving him lots of hugs course!).


  1. We go home (it’s not far) switch on the telly, watch it for 5 minutes and then go back out to school to pick up my daughter.


  1. And then it’s snacks and swimming… When they’re both in the water I get out my note book and write for a tiny bit. Then it’s back to running after my son, whose lesson has finished. He has taken off his swimming trunks and is running into the shower. I get wet as I walk into the public showers in order to persuade him to put his trunks back on. My daughter looks on and giggles. They stay in the shower for as long as they want (well, until all the other kids have gone) and then I manage to grab a big changing room for all three of us and J has a quick feed as I’m getting him dressed.
J and I, photo by Marija Smits
J and I, photo by Marija Smits
  1. Shopping with the kids – always a bit fraught, and then home again, to a bit of social media while they watch telly, and then cooking. My husband comes home, tired and weary, and we eat together, sharing the highlights of our day.


  1. I help J build a machine (gluing and sticking cardboard and then painting) while trying to get a tiny bit more of my drawing done. My daughter, R does her homework with her dad.


  1. Then it’s bedtime shenanigans, with books to be read, ‘sneaky’ snacks to be eaten… Sandwiches for tomorrow to be made. Teeth to be brushed over and over…


  1. By 10 p.m. J is finally asleep. I read for a bit, then make my husband and myself a cup of tea (he’s working on his computer) and I spend an hour working.


  1. Another cup of tea and then I write when everyone else is in bed and fast asleep. I lose myself to the world I’m building in my head, and finally go to bed at around 1 a.m. beside my four-year-old son. I feel incredibly grateful to still be able to snuggle up next to him. It won’t be long until he’ll want his own room like his sister (although she does still love to snuggle with her mummy). My mind returns to the book I’m writing and slowly… my thoughts become dreams.


  1. J wakes and stirs. I feed him back to sleep and then doze off myself.


Blue Moon, by Marija Smits
Blue Moon, by Marija Smits (the pretty-much finished version of the drawing I started on the day I wrote about). I think J still thinks there should be more colour in it!


Carnival of Natural Parenting -- Hobo Mama and Code Name: MamaVisit Hobo Mama and Code Name: Mama to find out how you can participate in the next Carnival of Natural Parenting!

Please take time to read the submissions by the other carnival participants:


Carnival of Natural Parenting -- Hobo Mama and Code Name: MamaVisit Hobo Mama and Code Name: Mama to find out how you can participate in the next Carnival of Natural Parenting!

Please take time to read the submissions by the other carnival participants:

28 thoughts on “Things I have done today (and every other day for the past seven years)”

  1. Pingback: How One Book Inspired Our Whole Day: A Day in the Life

  2. Wonderful! And it takes me back to my years of childcare. I remember that feeling of having done about fifty things in a single day – and the amazing physical trust and love that happy, well-loved children have (they taught me to cuddle properly)! Gosh, going swimming – I remember a particular little boy who would always yell, “Cathy has HAIR BETWEEN HER!” at the top of his voice at the changing rooms. I was never sure whether to correct his speech or his manners, but usually the sympathetic grins of the other parents/childminders made it OK!

  3. That’s a busy day! I admire the way you persistently return to your creative work despite all the distractions. I am not at all good at working from home, which is one reason I have an office job.

    1. Thanks Becca for stopping by and commenting with your kind words. I’m pretty sure that the trick is to finding the environment that works best for you. Sounds like the office job works great for you, and I *think* working from home is going okay for me! 🙂

  4. Hi Marija, thanks for sharing your day with us. Love the way you’ve ordered your day into numbered bullet points, it reads like a day as a mum usually is, breathless and busy, also really like your beautiful art work at the end of the post.

  5. Your day sounds lovely! On the rare days when my son takes a nap (he’s 3), I, too, am always surprised and disappointed at how little I get done… I suppose that’s just life with kids sometimes! Also, your artwork is beautiful. 🙂

  6. Your ability to balance both kids and your personal goals like reading and writing is admirable! I never really sit down during the day, except if I’m driving in a car somewhere, until about 7pm when dinner is all cleaned up and my husband plays with our son for a bit before bedtime. It’s amazing how we can do so much during a day, yet feel like we accomplish so little. Truth be told, we are actually accomplishing so much, we just don’t realize it yet.

    1. Thanks Katie – reading, writing and art are all very important to me. I really need them in my life! And I agree with you – we ARE all achieving a lot, but I guess we measure ourselves up against a very high bar. I’m really glad I wrote down what my day was like – even my husband called it a ‘full’ day! 😉

    1. Oh definitely! They do grow up so fast and I’m cherishing the days when they’re still little – even though it is often exhausting!
      Thanks for stopping by to comment 🙂

  7. Your day sounds so full (and so tiring) – I know that feeling of having a chunk of time, but not being satisfied with what I can wring out of it!

    1. Thank you Dionna and Lauren! Life really is hectic with young children, but I’m enjoying the ride 😉 Thanks for organizing this great carnival. I’ve really enjoyed all the posts.

  8. I love this! Life with littles really is all this bouncing around and dealing with minor catastrophes and getting and giving snuggles. I’m glad you find time for your writing and art in the middle of being such a mindful parent.

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  13. Life Breath Present

    Such a busy busy day. As mothers, we’re always so busy. Always moving and cleaning and cooking and organizing, but those little moments when we can snuggle are the best, no? 🙂

  14. Oh, your boy’s antics are so familiar. And I love your art table. I’m very attached to the idea that if you have a space kept available for something you want to do, it makes it a lot more likely you’ll actually get round to doing it.

    1. I thought you’d find many familiar things in this post! I have to say that I LOVE my art area – and it’s all thanks to my husband who invested time and money in making it happen. It’s one of my favourite things ever. 🙂 And yes, it really helps to make me focus on creating art.

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