The Mummy Diaries: Two babies – Week 16

The Mummy Diaries: Two babies – Week 16

by Emma Hargan
article from Tuesday 9, October, 2018

I READ AN ARTICLE on Facebook this week about stay-at-home mums. A very interesting article entitled If Stay At Home Mums Were Paid Their Salary Would Be $143K Per Year. 

Yes – you read it right and yes – I was sad enough to convert that into £’s.


This includes a 40-hour per week standard and then an extra 52 hours per week of overtime you spend working as a Mummy – approximately. This figure is worked out by adding up the hours spent doing childcare, housekeeping and being the family chef. Of course everything you read on Facebook is true. Isn’t it?

With Jamie now back at crèche a couple of mornings a week, I could now get myself into a routine with the housework and work and be able to enjoy spending some one-on-one time with Lily that didn’t involve bottle feeds and nappy changes. We’ve been practising a bit of tummy time, having cuddles, babbling away and watching reruns of Finding Nemo - again. 

This lasted for about a week. 

The problem being, as much as Lily loves watching her big brother tear about the house all day, she’s also benefiting from having a bit of peace and quiet. I hadn’t noticed it before, but when Jamie is at home running about and playing, Lily is so nosy and enjoys watching him that she doesn’t want to sleep. 

I first became aware of this last week after we did our usual Wednesday morning rush out the door to get James to work and then Jamie to crèche. Lily and I arrived home and I lifted her out of the car seat and into her crib while she was snoozing. An hour passed quickly after I had put a washing on, cleaned the baby bottles, loaded the dishwasher and tidied up the kitchen. I sometimes wonder if I’m raising a pack of wild animals rather than kids with all the mess! Lily was still out for the count so I carried on. 

Before I knew it, I had pretty much gutted the house and I still had an hour left before Jamie needed to be collected. At this point, Lily started to stir looking for her bottle. Just in nice time before we had to leave. Great, I was thinking to myself, it was lovely to get the house sorted and jobs done and Lily getting a chance to catch up on her naps. What a one-off.

The thing was though, it wasn’t a one off. This happens each time that Jamie is away. Lily sleeps for the whole morning and I get the jobs done around the house. It was nice for a week or so, but then I was starting to feel guilty that I wasn’t spending this time with Lily. Guilty that she was so tired, she couldn’t nap properly when Jamie is running about the house. 

So, what do I do? My first thought was, I need to move Lily’s crib into another room so she isn’t in the middle of the mad house with all the noise. This wasn’t practical as I couldn’t keep a proper eye on her if she wasn’t within eye or earshot. Ok, so I’ll close the glass interior doors between the kitchen and the sitting room that will keep Jamie separated from Lily and keep noise to a minimum. This worked fantastic. The kitchen was silent for Lily and Jamie was still free to run riot around the rest of the house. 

Great – in theory. Only problem was though, Lily didn’t sleep. In fact, she was more unsettled than ever. I tried everything, rocking her, a dummy, and another bottle. But no, nothing was working. Was she sick? I was becoming exasperated and this also resulted in getting nothing done around the house and spending no time with Jamie. 

Guilty again.

By the end of the week, the washing was piling up and I had no choice but to run upstairs and get some jobs done. After a few minutes, silence. Oh God! I bolted downstairs and there was Jamie. He had let himself into the kitchen, switched the telly on and pulled his wee chair through to the kitchen beside Lily’s crib and the two of them were sitting quietly watching Nemo. Ten minutes or so passed and Lily was snoozing away happily. I couldn’t believe what I was seeing. I think they actually missed each other’s company. It wasn’t long before Jamie got fed up watching the telly and began playing with his toys again making plenty noise. Lily soon woke and I moved her into the bouncer where she sat happily smiling away watching him run and tear about the house, stopping every once in a while to give me a cuddle and wipe his nose on my jeans.

It was then that I realised, Lily was napping soundly when Jamie was away because there was white noise going on in the background, not silence. She can’t sleep in silence during the day, because that’s not what she’s used too. She’s happy watching Jamie play and also happy to nap while there’s noise going on. 

What was I feeling guilty about? This is our daily routine. Our noisy lives! My kids know no different and they are comfortable because they are used to it.

The point is this is a job you can do with absolutely zero experience, no training – you learn on the job even the second time round! You have to be a mind reader and you are on call 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. It’s the hardest job most of us will ever do but after all, there is no amount of money in the world that can replace a cuddle or a sloppy kiss from your wee one. 

So the next time someone asks you what you did all day and you feel like you got nothing done – just remember, you’re worth £106,000 a year for doing the best job in the world. Nice!

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