Plan vs Reality- Parenting Time Warp

by Jessica Martin-Weber

Parenting time warp

The best laid plans of… parents. We try. We pick clothes out the night before, have breakfast made ahead, (or even a lactation one to help make more milk), have the alarm set early enough to leave time for whatever comes up, have the diaper bag packed, have a pinterest worthy station by the door, you name it. We’re doing it. And still, we have to apologize for being late or unable to get to all the errands on our list.

It’s like we’re sabotaged. Sabotaged by the cutest little warriors armed with poop bombs, spit up amo belts, and growth spurts. What do you mean those shoes don’t fit? Didn’t you wear them yesterday?

Plan for the morning:

Baby nurses during the night, latching while you both sleep.

6.40 AM Wake before kids, sneak out of bed to wake school-age child and take shower.

6.50 AM Get dressed in clean clothes picked out the night before, check on school age child getting ready in clothes picked out the night before, find them reading and gently remind them to get a moving, walk away smiling at how they love reading.

6.55 AM Start making a nutritious, easy, tasty, 15 minute breakfast idea you saw on pinterest for “busy moms” that promised “kids will love it!”

7.05 AM Kids begin to wake, happy about a new day. Baby wakes and happily settles into the ring sling to nurse while you finish breakfast and older children helps set the table.

7.15 Sit down together for breakfast, kids love it, chat about plans for the rest of the day.

7.35 Whoops! Got caught up telling silly jokes around breakfast, which the kids loved. Rush out the door to meet school bus for older child.

7.45 Come home, clear table, do dishes with preschooler helping.

8.15 Kids dressed and then play with blocks while you check the already packed diaper bag.

8.30 Try new 10 minute hairstyle you saw on pinterest, it looks adorable. Do makeup.

8.45 Head out the door for errands and play date with everyone clean and fed.

It is a well laid plan. Everything set in place for it to unfold perfectly and even a little room for the unexpected. There’s no reason for it not to happen that way.

There really is no reason not to have prancing unicorns and gardening fairies either. I mean really. Anything is attainable if you try hard enough. Organize well enough. WANT IT BADLY ENOUGH.

For those that have their day unfold like this, you’re incredible. I’m enough, you’re incredible. I’m not jealous or resentful or anything. Ok, maybe a little. I’ll just keep telling myself I’m enough and suspect you’re hiding the unicorns and fairies somewhere. I can even be happy for you.

And embrace my reality.

Parenting time late with kids

Reality for the morning:

Baby nurses off and on during the night but has a preference on position and it’s not comfortable for you, end up with knot in your back and waking every hour.

4.45 AM preschooler appears to snuggle.

4.48 AM preschooler kicks you in the head “snuggling”.

4.51 AM preschooler elbows baby in head.

4.52 AM baby alternates nursing and wailing about head being elbowed.

5.03 AM everyone settling back down, you start to doze contorted around two children in about 3 inches of space.

5.08 AM preschooler announces they are done sleeping and they’re hungry and bored.

5.09 AM you bargain with preschooler to stay in bed another hour and then you’ll let them watch a movie.

5.10 AM preschooler asks if it has been an hour, you tell them no.

5.11 AM preschooler asks if it has been an hour now, you tell them not yet and it will be a very long time still.

5.13 AM preschooler says it has been a very long time, has it been an hour, you tell them it will be a very, very, very long time. Like waiting for Christmas.

5.15 AM preschooler asks when you will put up the Christmas tree, you pretend not to hear.

5.16 AM preschooler asks when they can open their Christmas presents and because they are getting louder you tell them that Christmas isn’t for another 4 months and shhhh.

5.18 AM preschooler asks how long is 4 months and if it is time to watch the movie yet.

5.19 AM you manage to unlatch and sneak away from sleeping baby even with preschooler loudly talking about their movie selection and if Santa Clause likes chocolate chip cookies or thumb print cookies.

5.22 AM preschooler is demanding cookies and won’t pick a movie.

5.42 AM you crawl back into your 4” of bed next to your starfish baby, movie selection finally made, no cookies.

5.51 AM you jolt from your dozing woken by a distant cry for help. Heart pounding, you dash out of the room and discover the preschooler crying because they’re hungry.

5.53 AM give up on healthy option to start day, because SLEEP, and give preschooler a cold poptart.

6 AM listen to now sideways starfish baby snoring as your heart beat settles from the adrenaline rush and you wonder when was the last time you cleaned the baseboards.

6.12 AM start dozing while clinging to edge of bed so you don’t disturb starfish baby.

6.32 AM startle awake to find preschooler standing next to you staring at you. Stifle scream and urge to slug preschooler.

6.36 AM help preschooler go to the bathroom even though during the day they would get mad if you helped them.

6.45 AM consider taking a shower, decide to wait and hopefully get another 20 minutes of sleep. Because, SLEEP.

6.58 AM hear older child fighting with preschooler about wanting to watch a different movie. Ponder intervening.

6.59 AM baby is looking for boob, fighting stopped when the new movie selection started.

7 AM suddenly realize school age child needs to eat and get dressed before school.

7.01 AM baby upset the boob is on the move, you throw on yesterday’s yoga pants and decide to change your shirt later.

7.03-7.33 AM baby refuses to go in ring sling, wants to nurse in bed, preschooler and school age child upset about no more movie, not-so gently encourage school age child dressed and fed before school. Both kids leave with poptarts to meet the school bus.

7.40 AM load everyone into van to drive school age kid to school, missed the bus.

8.03 AM get preschooler and baby inside, start making a nutritious, easy, tasty, 15 minute breakfast idea you saw on pinterest for “busy moms” that promised “kids will love it!”

8.10 baby will only nurse if you lay down, try to make breakfast with baby wailing at your boob that’s out.

8. 21 preschooler insists you watch their twirling.

8.53 40 minute breakfast recipe on the table, baby wants to be worn but you must stand or baby screams.

8.55 preschooler declares breakfest “gusting” (disgusting) and cries for poptarts and raisins. Agree that breakfast is “gusting” so portarts for all.

9.08 get everyone out the door for errands and play date with everyone clean and fed. Pull out of the driveway and realize you’re still wearing the shirt you meant to change and the yoga pants. Shirt has milk stains, decide to hide milk stains with the muslin baby blanket you hope is still in the diaper bag from a few days ago.

If you made it through all that you deserve a medal. Or a piece of chocolate. Mostly a nap.

The struggle is real. The struggle is really real.

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Can you relate? Tell us how it is likely to unfold for you.

And if you can’t relate, skip on telling us how we just need to get it together and go pet your unicorns. 

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Jessica Martin-WeberDrawing from a diverse background in the performing arts and midwifery, Jessica Martin-Weber supports women and families, creating spaces for open dialogue. Writer and speaker, Jessica is the creator of TheLeakyBoob.com,co-creator of BeyondMoi.com, and co-creator of OurStableTable.com, supporter of A Girl With A View, and co-founder of Milk: An Infant Feeding Conference. She co-parents her 6 daughters with her husband of 19 years and is currently writing her first creative non-fiction book and a children’s book.
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