Real Talk for SAHMs, Honest DITL edition

A Day in the Life, or DITL, is a cutesy internet phenomenon where people post the events of their day in timestamped fashion, often illustrated with pictures.  It is very common in the parts of the internets where “mommies” blog.

This has been sitting in the hopper for about a year because I keep trying to do one and fail, as I’m still so sleep deprived I can’t keep track of my day well enough to list it out with timestamps.

I spent most of this year pregnant, and the rest breastfeeding a mighty warrior.  And that also wears me out.  Breastfeeding can really yank the old calories out of a mother, and I haven’t got them to spare these days.

Today is a good day, I am not going back to bed for a good hour after being up all night with a, well, mighty warrior.  Usually I am back to bed by now and make up for some of the sleep I don’t get at night by doing so during the day.

That’s my life when I’m less than six months postpartum–up every hour or two at night and sleeping a large fraction of the day.  If I have the strength and energy, I get a little cooking or housework done before the sitter leaves, or maybe something more complicated like bills/budget/admin.  Once the sitter goes home, a good evening is either me or T.W.O. cooking while the other wrangles the littles, or taking the whole brood out on the town by getting some groceries.  Yes, our wild nights on the town are buying milk and carrots at 7pm.

This isn’t a very good DITL, sorry.  But I don’t do much postpartum until at least six months after the birth.  When I only had one infant, I just lived like an infant, eating and sleeping mostly the same times the baby did.  T.W.O. and sous vide did all the food prep so I didn’t starve that first six months.  And with that infant it was closer to nine because I seem to grow them mighty and warrorish when I’m not also growing them in pairs.

I am going to do some agrarian lifestyle stuff, and/or get Christmas presents out, and then sleep until 4pm, when it gets dark.  And then the cooking/wrangling combo until bedtime for the oldest kids, and then my day in the life ends with me staying up with the newest addition to our family, as I can’t sleep when the waking is more frequent than every two hours, which is the current deal.

So there’s my day in the life right now.  I’ll try this again in a few months.

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7 thoughts on “Real Talk for SAHMs, Honest DITL edition

  1. Ha! Sounds like a perfectly reasonable DITL to me. When I had 3 kids under 2 my life looked exactly like yours. Except you left out the part about the tears.

    Yeah, tears, from a woman who is mostly a “stiff-upper-lip-I-ain’t-got-time-for-no-stinkin’-tears-that’s-for-weaklings!” type.

    I was probably crying because I didn’t have a sitter, LOL.

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  2. “as I can’t sleep when the waking is more frequent than every two hours, which is the current deal.”

    Oh my, that’s tough. I got quickly used to the interruptions and slept nevertheless. My problem is more that I can’t sleep during the day. I just can’t stop my brain from going in circles and fretting about “to-do-list- points”. Which sounds as if i were really productive, altough I am not.

    Anyway, when the night was really bad, I’m just screwed the following day.
    Kindergarden is my life-line here.

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  3. we didn’t have a sitter so my older kids spent a lot of time watching cartoons while I napped.

    But at least I wasn’t letting a stranger raise them! /sarc/

    Finally snapped and had to sleep train. Sleeping in random fits and spurts does not make for an acceptably fit caregiver. God, I’m exhausted and depressed just thinking of those days.

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    • Well, tv is the solution for a vast number of SAHMs, and it’s kept ultra quiet.

      And one of the reasons I beat the horse of SAHM health problems and sleep dep is that the current setup makes the sleep stuff worse and yet people (often older women who sure won’t night nurse for anyone, including their own kids) keep fronting like it’s only a problem for bad moms who fail planning and praying 4eva.

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      • In fairness, my mom and my MIL both would have, and in fact my MIL DID do a lot of night shifts when she came to visit, which I am very grateful for.

        But they lived 5,000 miles away, so it was mostly me. And MIL never breastfed: it just wasn’t the done thing in the small-town ’60s world. My mom did, briefly, in the 80s… but not for nearly as long or as exclusively as I did.

        In hindsight, I think I should have been a lot less absolute on the bottle issue… more research has come out since then that suggests the benefits of breastfeeding are negligible once you correct for other factors, and that probably would have changed my views on how necessary the attachment-parenting/breastfeeding thing really was to the children’s long-term success.

        But I was doing the best I could with what I knew at the time. I really thought I would be ok, but I was 20something, “invincible…” and incurably stupid. 😀

        Ah well, we did all live to tell!

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        • I don’t breastfeed for “benefits”, but because it’s biologically normal. That said, I’d rather more women combo-fed if that meant more breastfeeding overall than that women do it the specific ways lactivists want and very few do it as a result.

          But breastfeeding is the only “natural” thing I get to provide my kids. I can’t birth normally, so far as I am medically aware, and that means I can’t just have that part of it to fall back on. I would feel like an axlotl tank if I was having them yearly via repeat c/s and formula feeding. So for me, being able to feed the kids in the normal way women are designed for is a key part of not feeling like a walking womb.

          That said, breastfeeding gets as much pushback as SAHMing even though it is also only something a minority of women do. To hear some people tell it, there’s a group of scary women with their boobs hanging out dripping breastmilk stalking all new mothers everywhere, in every hospital screaming about how you need to latch just so and cradle hold because BREAST IS BEST FORMULA IS POISON GOBBLE GOBBLE GOBBLE ONE OF US ONE OF US.

          And I do find it super weird that it’s most likely to be right-wing friendly people men who go off about the Boob Mafia.

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  4. OK, the axolotl tank made me laugh. Axolotls are pretty cool though.

    I’m not that surprised that rightwing guys feel like the “boob mafia” is omnipresent. Lots of overlap between the “crunchy” crowd and the “traditionalist” crowd… and as you surely know, a lot of mutual distaste. Even so, people sometimes originate mostly in one camp and gradually start dabbling in the other, which I’m sure is discomfiting to the RW dudes when it comes to the lactivist crowd, which is like 99.5 percent female territory. (The other .05 is occupied by Dr. Sears) 😀

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