A day in the life of …
Angela Morgan, 30
Nick Morgan, 32
Lucy Morgan, toddler of the family, aged two years and three months
Sam Morgan, known as “Baby Sam”, aged six months
This is what famous people do, isn’t it? They write up a day in their life (or probably their PA will do it for them) so others might get an insight into what it is like to be them. It might look something like this:
8am: Eat smoked salmon on bagels with cream cheese for breakfast
9am: Pop to the gym for daily workout with personal trainer
11am: Look over scripts for next blockbuster film…etc
It all sounds so showbiz, dahhling! Many celebrities, due to their comprehensive magazine coverage, where we learn about every aspect of their lives, become the centre of the universe to celebrity watchers. Everyday people will spend hours trying to emulate the latest look or will consciously aim to integrate the latest buzz- word into their conversations. Well, I am not a celebrity, so this is a “day in the life” without the glitz and glamour. However, one thing is the same. Sam truly believes that he is the centre of the universe, and Lucy is only just beginning to realise that she might not be!
The paradox is this
We are striving to teach our children to be kind to others, to share and to accept that they cannot always get what they want. This understanding will lead to a realisation, on their part that they are not the center of the universe. However, at the same time, to us parents, our children are exactly that. Something as simple as a cold and sore throat will have us totally ignoring the evening news, which may be beaming pictures of the latest world disaster right into our homes. We are oblivious, because at the center of our life, a much more pressing issue is taking up our time and attention.
What am I really trying to say?
Well, despite the fact that my “day in the life” write up may seem a little simple and ordinary, to Lucy and Sam, there is nothing ordinary about it. This is the framework of their whole world! And I use the word “framework” literally, as although some things may change from day to day, the “framework” stands solid. Each and every day will see laughter, joy, tears, frustration, confusion and a whole rainbow of complex emotions (and that’s not just the children!) This is their world and they are at the very core.
We live on the northeast Welsh border, not far from Chester. We live in a 1930’s semi-detached house, within a small village with a great community and lovely schools. My husband, Nick, is an IT consultant and works full time. I am a full-time Mum to Lucy and Sam (I previously worked as PA to a Director of a large telecommunications company). As soon as Lucy was born, I began to follow Gina’s routines and advice.
A day in the life of Angela, Nick, Lucy & Sam
Alarm sounds and I get into the shower – I may already be awake if Lucy or Sam are stirring, as I always wake at slightest noise.
Get dressed and listen out for the children waking up. Usually Lucy is chatting to her toys in her cot and Sam will be making trumpy noises.
Rouse Sam (if he isn’t already awake), allow him a few minutes to wake up and then change his nappy. If Lucy is awake, will also lift her out of her cot and change her nappy. Both children will be taken downstairs to the playroom; it used to be the dining room but was changed into a playroom when Lucy started to crawl – the best thing I ever did! Nick gets up and gets into the shower.
Sam and Lucy will both have a warm milk drink. Lucy watches television or reads her books while drinking her milk and I feed Sam. After drinking his milk, Sam then sits in his baby chair while I give him his breakfast cereal and fruit.
I will sit Sam in the kitchen while I prepare breakfast for Lucy and I. Lucy will potter about helping. Nick will say goodbye to us all and set off for work.
Lucy and I have a leisurely breakfast; we will both have cereal with fruit and then occasionally a piece of toast if Lucy has gobbled down her cereal and is still hungry. Sam sits watching in his highchair. He is always really content at this time of day, which is great as it allows Lucy and I to enjoy our breakfast.
I will tidy and clear the kitchen after breakfast. Sam will remain with me in the kitchen, while Lucy will play with her toys in the playroom.
Sam and I will join Lucy in the playroom. I will wash Sam’s face and hands, change his nappy and dress him. I try to involve Lucy in helping. She particularly likes washing his face with water and cotton wool!
I sit quietly with Sam to wind him down before his morning nap. Lucy is happy to watch fifteen minutes of television while I do this.
I take Sam upstairs and put him into his cot. He will usually fall asleep within minutes.
I take Lucy upstairs, where we firstly go into the bathroom for both of us to clean our teeth and wash our faces. We then go into her room and choose something for her to wear that day. I usually give her a choice of two things so that she feels that she is making the decision. I change her nappy and encourage her to help with dressing. We then both brush our hair and put clips in! We then make our way back downstairs, ensuring we take any dirty clothes for the washing machine, and any nappy bags for the bin
Lucy helps load the washing machine, which goes on every day! She then plays with her toys and books while I pack the bag for the mornings activities. I always make sure I have plenty of nappies and wipes, a drink and snack for Lucy, spare clothes for both children, plus my own essentials…. money, keys, phone etc.
I go upstairs and rouse Sam gently. I then go back downstairs for 5/10 minutes while he wakes up naturally. This gives me a few more minutes to organize the house/bag before going out.
I load the children into the car, along with my massive rucksack of necessary items!
We set off for the local toddler group. I am very involved with the toddler group and am the treasurer on the committee.
Lucy, Sam and I spend at least an hour at the toddler group. Sometimes I wonder why I bother when all I seem to do is change nappies and wipe away tears, however, most of the time we all really enjoy the company of our friends.
We leave the toddler group early, in order to get home for Sam’s lunch. If lunch is left too late, he just gets tired and refuses to eat.
I feed Sam his lunch whilst Lucy plays with her toys. I encourage her to feed her dolls and teddies, which she often does if she is in the mood!
I settle Sam into his cot for his lunchtime nap. He is asleep within minutes.
This is time for Lucy and I! We will have lunch together. This could be either a meal that I have made in advance and defrosted, or it may be sandwiches or omelette.
After lunch, we will do puzzles or drawings together and then read books before I settle her in her cot at about 13.30.
Highlight of the day! Half an hour of free time if I am lucky … lately Sam has started waking up after the second 45-minute sleep cycle, so often the planned 30 minutes of glorious free time turns into 10/15 minutes! Must get that sorted!
Sam is usually up and about by now. I try to pay Sam a bit of one on one attention (he doesn’t seem to get it very often). Recently Lucy has not been settling to sleep very well at lunchtimes - she is growing out of this sleep I am sorry to say – so occasionally I am in and out of her room a couple of times, just reassuring her and asking her to rest with her books if she doesn’t want to sleep. She will remain in her cot, despite being awake, for more than an hour before complaining. Other times she will just go to sleep straight away with no problem.
Sam has his afternoon bottle. This is a nice quiet time for us both.
Sam and I go up to Lucy’s room to wake her up (if she isn’t already awake). I change both nappies.
A couple of friends may come over to play for the afternoon, or we may be invited to a friends’ house. If I have not arranged any play-dates, we may just go for a walk in the park or a short supermarket trip. Both Lucy and Sam love the supermarket as long as the trip is kept short. Sam will have a short sleep at about 4-4.30pm.
Teatime for Sam and Lucy. Nick is already home, and will often help with teatime.
I always batch cook for both children, so usually a defrosted meal is waiting! This means that I haven’t got to arrive home early from the afternoons’ activities in order to cook. They both sit in the kitchen for this meal.
Nick will play with the children in the playroom, while I clear up the kitchen and do a few tasks, such as sorting washing or peeling potatoes for our evening meal.
Bath time – I am lucky to have Nick helping with bath time! I bath Sam, after which Nick baths Lucy while I am drying Sam. We are all downstairs for 18.30. Sam will have his evening bottle while Nick plays and reads with Lucy.
Both children are taken upstairs to bed. Sam is asleep within minutes. Lucy will often chat for a while before falling asleep.
I try to get all the “must do’s” out of the way, e.g. choosing food out of the freezer for defrosting overnight in the fridge, sorting washing, preparing bottles and preparing our evening meal.
Nick and I eat our evening meal (dare I say it) in front of the TV!
I may do some cooking, if the freezer is running low (usually for the children), or I will often be on the computer while Nick will relax by playing his X-Box. I may even do a little bit of cleaning if needs must!
More computer stuff, a bit of television or phone calls to friends.
Bedtime! Like Sam, I usually fall asleep within minutes!
It sounds like a long day, but it is over in a flash!