Today’s topic is: “How do you balance blogging and family life?”
I wish I had it figured out!
Here’s my dream of how an ideally balanced day might go…
I would wake up at 8am, having slept for an uninterrupted ten hours. My husband would cook breakfast and the whole family would eat a delicious and drama-free meal together. By 9am, he would help the girls get dressed and take them outside to play for the morning. That would give me three solid work hours to write, read, or do research.
At noon, I would prepare lunch and call them inside to eat. At 1pm, the girls would head upstairs to take a nap and my husband would go work in the shop until dinner time. During naptime, I would have about two hours to clean the house and plan upcoming meals. When naptime is over, the girls would have their afternoon snack and we would play together for a couple of hours before I have to start fixing dinner. When it was ready, I would ring the dinner bell to bring my husband in from the shop. We would all sit down to eat together and after dinner, my husband would play with the girls in the living room while I spend an hour cleaning up the kitchen, getting it ready for the next day.
Finally, around 8pm, a pair of sleepy children would happily put on their pajamas, eat a bedtime snack, brush their teeth, and settle down with me for story time. They’d fall asleep without a fuss by 9pm, giving us an hour of adult time before a very sensible 10pm bedtime.
However, everyone with toddlers knows that there is no such thing as a typical day. Recently, the reality of how my days unfold looks more like this…
I wake up at 6:20am to the demands of my youngest daughter, who was also fussing at 3am for no good reason. My loving husband makes breakfast at 7am (tea and eggs for the adults and oatmeal for the girls). After breakfast, he goes to work in the shop and the girls play together until morning snack time. If it’s a Tuesday, the girls and I head into town to visit the public library and grocery store.
After lunch, I spend two hours trying to convince the girls to take a nap. More often than not, one will eventually go down and the other will turn into an enormous crank. Just about the time the first one wakes up, the second decides to sleep, completely throwing off their evening sleep schedule. So my entire afternoon is spent quietly arguing with toddlers about why they should be sleeping and why they need to be quiet because someone else is sleeping. Either way, I get grouchy because I didn’t get a nap either. By the time I should start making dinner, I’ve lost all patience and I throw in a Dora movie to have 24 minutes of peace while trying to create a hot meal for my family.
After dinner, there is another struggle to get them dressed for bed and settled down. The evening routine takes about two hours to get them both asleep, during which time I completely lose my cool and end up exhibiting behavior I instantly regret (and is later mirrored by my three-year-old when she’s playing with her stuffed animals). Frustrated and exhausted, I finally fall into bed between 11pm and midnight, only to be awoken a few hours later, again, for seemingly no good reason.
So, given our current reality, when do I have time to blog these days? Well, after 10pm is good (if the girls are actually asleep), on those increasingly rare days when both girls are napping at the same time, or when my husband takes the girls to ride their bicycles in the shop (during which time he gets no other work done).
In the few moments that my husband and I have to chat each day, we reassure each other that this phase won’t last forever and someday, there will once again be peace in the old farmhouse. I’m pretty sure we’re both ready for that day to come.
If you have tips for balancing work and family, please share them in the comments.
~ Phoebe DeCook
(P.S. If you missed previous Musings, you can binge-read from the beginning.)