What is your childfull lifestyle like?

In response to this thread what is your childfull lifestyle like?

I’ll admit to reading the other thread with a twinge of envy for those lazy afternoons, evenings out and spur-of-the-moment road trips. Still I’d never trade in my 9 month old for anything ever anywhere. I’m glad that childfree-by-choice folks made a decision that makes them happy, fulfilled and satisfied with their lives. That is the best I could wish for anyone I know. My choice to have a kid has made me happy, fulfilled and satisfied with my choices too. That said, life can feel a bit hectic and I’m really glad the kid goes to bed at night. :smiley:

For us, on a weekend with both of us home, our day starts at about 6:30 when Twiddlette wakes up. I grab her from her crib and bring her into bed for nursing and cuddles and hopefully more sleep. Once she is really awake one of us gets up and the other sleeps in. After breakfast and some cleaning and a load of laundry being tossed in, we’ll usually pack up the kid and go for a hike with her in the backpack, and find a spot to picnic and watch her crawl around thru the grass and try to eat bugs. This is probably the best part of the day - sun shining, baby being beyond cute and all’s right with the world. Later we’ll probably go grocery shopping on the way home and then have dinner. Twiddlette is in bed by 7:30 or 8 and we crap out on the couch to read or watch a movie and drink a glass of wine.

Writing it out it sounds deadly dull, but it makes me happy and sleep well at night.

I know it’ll get even more exciting as time goes on and as we potentially add another kid or to into the equation. I’m really interested in hearing from parents with kids of all ages - what is your day with your kids like?

Twiddle

Well I remember those kid free days but I find a sitter helps recapture that feeling for a couple of hours and then we just miss her too much :slight_smile:

We’ve got a daughter who will be 2 on thursday and number 2 will arrive in October.

My life is full of giggles and little tykes toys. We can’t leave the house without pink bear and squishy (her blanket.) All our cabinets are kid locked and you need to be a rocket scientist to operate the doorknobs in our house.

I’m a stay at home mom and my husband works from home so we have a lot of days where no one gets out of their jammies. The munchkin gets up about 9 and we have cereal and milk (just not mixed together) and watch elmo (melmo as she says it) then she runs around like a maniac until lunch. After lunch she naps for 2-3 hours and then more playing till dinner. Bedtime is about 9 and then we get up and do it all again. The warmer weather means we can get out of the house and go for walks at the park and play in the sand.

Just yesterday (mother’s day) we had a long lunch at an insanely busy restaurant (with much extended family - I’d rather we stayed in and ordered pizza) so she missed her nap. She totally collapsed about 8 and fell asleep in my arms (something she never does) Just holding her and watching her sleep was such a magical moment. Such a simple thing but it overwhelmed me completely.

Week days?

Primafloret the Younger gets up around 6.30 am. He either plays on the computer or watches TV. Breakfast for both of us. Mr P surfaces around 7am. P the Elder gets up around 7.30 am. Gets his own breakfast.

Then we head into arsenic hour where we do the kids’s meds. P the E’s are fairly time-dependent as he’s taking straight dex and sustained release dex and I’m trying to get that figured so we get the best outcome. P the Y is not fond of his meds so that’s a struggle at times. An intense discussion is held over his pottying needs and there’s bound to be at least 3 poo accidents as his bowels are not healthy. Mr P and I will have at least 2 exchanges of words over which parent is the Martyr of the Day and is doing the most.

Then I do about 30 minutes of reading, 'riting and’rithmetic with P the Y and it’s time for Mr P to take him to childcare. Check the childcare bag and whatever food I have to send.

Somewhere in there I got breakfast, a shower, a phonecall from my mother and did email.

Do laundry, clean kitchen. P the E is either playing Age of Empires or the Sims or whatever.

10 am we begin schoolwork. He’s reading _ A Wizard of Earthsea_ currently. Then maths, spelling, ancient history and geography. Finish about 11am.

Check diary for appts, or stuff which needs following up like prescriptions or whatever.

Ignore P the E until he finds something meaningful to do.

He gets his own lunch with much angst and drama and carry-on. Yeah, I’m tougher than him and he’s hungry and I’m not.

Afternoons are pretty freeform. I’m thinking that we definitely will go to the library, we might go to the art gallery but then again we might not.

Evenings – well they really suck. P the Y comes home about 5 pm. Due to the dietary issues in my family, I cook 4 different meals. P the Y will eat sandwiches or plain pasta and I’ll try and bully some protein into him. P the E currently eats a plain burger and nothing else. Mr P may or may not eat what I cook but even when he does, generally I have to tweak whatever it is so that I eat what I like and he eats what he likes.

Evening meds are the usual fun extravaganza. P the E disappears downstairs to watch the news and comes up regularly to give me bulletins. P the Y watches videos or plays on the computer. P the E watches the Simpsons. Mr P and I play World’s Greatest Martyr Parent again. Cooking the dinner is usually my trump card.

About 8, P the E goes to bed to read unless there’s a science program on. P the Y and I head to bed to read about 8.30 and he falls asleep about 10.30.

My kids are 5 and 9.

I have two boys, 6 and 4. They are the light of my life. So far things just keep getting better and better, though I am nervous about the teenage years (especially since they have my genes, and I was a pretty wicked teenager).

The elder is fascinated by anything scientific from rocks to dinosaurs to stars. People say he’s exactly like me, but I’m certain he is going to be way smarter. Kids are designed to obsolete their elders.

The younger is enormous, in the 99th percentile in height and weight. He has absolutely no fear and seems to enjoy pain. He jumps from his brothers bunkbed, about 4-5 feet off the ground for fun. He is incredibly affectionate, cares deeply for people and worships his older brother.

Every year we grow a big vegetable garden, and that’s one of the big things I collectively enjoy with them right now. Also we like to walk to a place with traintracks close to the house to throw rocks, eat snacks, run around, watch trains and do other fun boy things. They and I enjoy making pancakes or crepes every weekend. We love playing with legos and toy trains and burger time on the computer (from the 80s, remember that one?)

Of course there’s a ton of work involved; they’re hardly angels 24x7. They’re both highly competitive and that can be a challenge. They’re naturally attracted to dirt and messes and todler violence. And they don’t always want to eat their vegetables.

I can say without question they are the best thing in my life by far. The happiest days of my life were the days they were born, and the most joyous have been times I’ve spent with them. I’m extremely proud of their accomplishments to date. As I said earlier, I’m certain they’ll obsolete me in the not too distant future, and somehow I find that strangely comforting.

We’re in one of the many fun stages right now. Four oldest daughters, ages 21 - 24 are grown and out of the house, leaving 10 & 11 year old son and daughter at home.

We’re older now, much more relaxed that we were with the older ones. We’ve learned which mountains to stage a battle with the kidlets on, and which to enjoy the sled ride down. All of our kids are great - but the youngest two are awesome. I think it’s because we have more time to stop and enjoy them more, and with the oldest four we were worried about who had to be where when and how to cram meals in around the schedules.

The 10 year old wakes up smiling and giggling every day! She finds the simplest things in life to delight over and it’s such a joy to be around her. Our 11 year old is alot like me in the mornings, quiet until fully awake, so we just wake slowly to the oldest Mr. Adoptamom leaves blasting on the stereo each morning.

After homeschooling for three years, our kids go out to private school now, so we make the most of time together in the car - listening to one another’s music and singing at the top of our lungs. I didn’t do that as much with the older ones and it’s fun.

We don’t do daycare or summer care … our kids come to work with us. My son is learning to be a carpenter along side his dad (daughter tried it last summer - hated the heat - we’re not sexist!) and daughter comes to work with me, where she enjoys drawing, playing on the computer, picking berries, or watching movies occasionally.

We enjoy our kids, and they seem to enjoy our company, too. My daughters friends are starting to question her because she and I talk about everything and they are amazed at the conversations we have. My son has started leaning more toward confiding in his dad now that he’s maturing and I’m awestruck at the bond and trust they are building with one another.

Life is good. Very, very good.

Two daughters, ages 2.5 and 1 month. They’re a lot of fun.

Life has changed a lot lately, so I’ll just tell you about today. We slept a bit later than we should have, but got ourselves together relatively well. After Sundays, the house is always a wreck, so I did a lot of house stuff: laundry, dishes, beds, and our bathroom. I felt great about getting so much done; it’s been difficult with a new one. GenieGirl either helped me out, sang at the baby, played or colored. I took a picture of her tallest tower ever. We read stories while I nursed, and I also got a little of my own reading in.

During fussy moments, I putzed around on the computer and read the SDMB while cuddling the baby.

Fed lunch to GenieGirl, and we made chocolate chip cookies with Halloween sprinkles on top. Only there weren’t enough chocolate chips, so I took out some leftover chocolate and whacked it with a hammer to produce more. Remembered to eat my own lunch. Got GenieGirl into her room for her ‘nap,’ and fed the baby.

Just as all was quiet and I was going to sit down and do a little sewing on a hexagon quilt, GenieGirl came out of her room, ready to play. Oh well. We all went outside and did a little gardening. Baby got very very fussy, went back inside and lay down with her on my chest. Read more stories.

Fixed dinner (frozen ravioli and veggies–we’re out of a lot of things right now), Dad came home. Ate dinner, had Family Night–songs, church story, activity, cookies. We made Oobi eyes for our hands and had a great time. Got GenieGirl into bed, fed baby, and came over to computer to print out alphabet coloring pages for GenieGirl, who likes letters. Will go to bed soon.

Other times, we go to the park, library, to play with friends, or shopping. We’re planning a day trip to the big city next week to see my SIL. Life is very good, but today was overall a pretty great day, even though we didn’t actually leave home.

My life reflects some of the others here, even though I’m a working mom. I thought I’d take a different tack than the ‘what do we do all day’ description. We’ll see if it fills in any gaps. It is aimed at the subtle difference between ‘life’ and ‘lifestyle’ - My life is full of various joys and disasters, messes and repairs, crises and calm. My lifestyle, however, is more to do with the choices I’ve made, and the reasons for making them, and the skills that have developed as a result. The experiences that stem from that are the rewards, and the costs. I think that’s the concept, anyway.

So…

I get up earlier than I’d like, because I need to leave work at a certain hour to get home in time to pick up the boys. I wake up next to my husband daily, and my older son regularly (though not daily). I also (daily) wake up next to an angelic-looking 18-month old, who this morning woke to nurse then climbed across me to settle in his father’s arms for more sleep. I spend my mornings interrupted by the insistant needs of others too small to handle things themselves. I spend my days aware of the subtle change and shift as they learn one more skill, and one more skill, until I suddenly notice that our 5-year-old, Gabe, is not asking our help to unstick his legos anymore.

I don’t go to many after-work functions for much the same reasons - if I don’t do the pickup, someone else has to. I do go to some events, and epeepunk covers the pickup. My choices affect not just my husband, but also my kids (if one is particularly needy at that time, it changes my reasonable choices). My lifestyle doesn’t include a lot of after-work-get-togethers with coworkers, no matter how much I like them.

I go to more museums than when we were without kids. I travel regularly but not frequently, usually with kids, usually to family functions, and often those are to interesting places (San Simeon, for example). I go to the park, swing on swings, and run more often. Okay, so sometimes the running is because Brendan has taken off down the sidewalk, but I’m getting my exercise! I go places I would never have bothered with before kids, and find myself discovering things I like that I might not have found otherwise.

I dance less often, but more often have someone laughing out loud and dancing with me. When I make eye contact with epeepunk on the ‘dance floor’ (often the kitchen, but also fairly often a ‘real’ dance floor), the connection has multiple layers, not just ‘you and me’ but ‘you and me and them and us’.

I spend more time talking to strangers than before kids. Some of them are grownups, even! My kids open conversations all the time, by making a connection that I would not have felt a need to make. Strangers become someone with whom to share a the joy of baby laughter, or discovery of toes. Some strangers are not also parents, and yet there is a connection through my child, magic! Other strangers become people with whom I have a bond, pre-made by biological and/or social fact. You have kids, I have kids, we have a reason to say hello, and perhaps say more than that.

I offer more compassion to others because I have kids, and withhold judgement more - the depth of backstory can be substantial, and I know it. I know the mortification of having a normally well-behaved child throw a screaming fit in a store, and can offer eye contact and a half-shrug that says, I’ve been there, and you don’t need to over-react to the situation to keep me from thinking your child’s behavior is entirely your fault. I know the relief of having someone else give that ‘oh, yeah, been there done that!’ look when my own child is the one on the floor in a flood of tears.

I am far more organized than I have ever been in my life. It is still not ‘enough’, but boy, my old life would fit with acres to spare inside the skills I have now.

I am far more conscious of my money than I was before kids, too. I get much more for much less than I did just a few years ago, because I care to, and because I learned to pay attention as our budget had to react to the insertion of children into a limited financial space. We also spend enough on daycare and preschool to go to Hawaii every two or three months if we were child-free. I get, in return, a toddler who has discovered the joys of multicolored parachutes and other wonders we don’t have at home, and a child who has a best friend from England, a cluster of other friends from all over the world, and knows about things I would never have thought to teach, like physics (in preschool!).

I notice little things more often, in more detail, and with more joy. Before kids, I didn’t pay much attention to the bugs in the yard, other than to swat them or wave them away. Now, I notice a queen ant climbing a grass stem before her mating flight, and pause to watch. Now, I point out the brilliant green of a small bee-like bug whose name I don’t know, and allow the colors to seep into my mind to the degree that I can recall the tiny brilliant sparkle from a year ago. Before, I noticed rain, but didn’t pause to listen to the sound it makes on leaves, roof, and the whirring shuussshh as car tires roll through the puddles left behind. I notice more, capture details, and focus on usual things with newly sharp senses, because someone else might find it fascinating. I hold a warm little hand inside an oversized mitten and point out the way water moves under ice, making the color shift in ripples and waves. I’ve discovered so many things in my world that are fascinating, beautiful, and interesting.

I play games I used to love, and had left behind, like squirting people with hoses on hot days. Grownups without kids seem to enjoy grownup games, like playing in swimming pools… I enjoy those things, too. But I also get to chase my boys with the hose, all of us muddy to the eyebrows (especially the youngest, who hasn’t yet learned to wipe his muddy hands on his pants before wiping water from his eyes). Because of the social exemption given people with kids, pedestrians pass with broad grins, despite the utter lack of dignity and propriety on the part of a 30+ year old woman. Dignity be damned, I’m a mom.

Date night is more planned than spontaneous. Babysitting is needed. But that doesn’t mean what happens is boring same-old-same-old, or must be determined weeks in advance. We often don’t know what we’ll do for our date until we walk out my mom’s door (kids happily rampaging in her house), and decide what we want to do, right then.

I save my vacation and sick time because someone is always getting sick, and it isn’t always me. A broken bone, a case of croup, a fluke of biology, a random viral contact, or an error of judgement and we’re off to the doctor’s office or the ER, followed often by days of splitting care with epeepunk, burning all my paid time off. When I look ahead to how much leave time I might have for a vacation at the end of the summer, and say ‘if I don’t take any time off between now and then, we’ll have enough’, I get a laugh. Three months with no time off for something kid-related? BWA-ha-ha-ha! I kill me, I so funny.

I am truly glad my little brother is enjoying his childfree lifestyle to the utmost. He’s just come back from scuba diving around Hawaii, with his wife. They had a wonderful time, saw things I think would be inspiring, satisfying, and lovely to see. His world is grand, immense, expansive in the outward flow - he can move from place to place and take it all in, feeding his heart and soul with the beauty of the world.

I, on the other hand, am enjoying a smaller circle, more constrained for now (while they are little), but with more intimate detail, filled in layer over layer over layer with only subtle variations from one day to the next, until the current point is far enough away from the beginning to see the pattern, continuous but changing all the time. The richness is similar in degree to that found by my brother, but different in scale and scope.

My heart and soul absorb the beauty around me, too. My beauties include seeing the echo of a father’s eyebrow in the growing shape of a son’s, faces paired together in sleep… The warm strength of a child’s hand in mine, and the feel of him leaning a little into my grip, engaging the contact fully as we walk together to the car after preschool… Watching the passionate intensity of a child disassembling a cereal bar, bit by bit, examining and placing each morsel on a bench with the care of a clockmaker taking apart a clock… The visceral joy of the sound of a child’s down-to-the-toes laugh, knowing something you did caused it… The results of careful building with lego shown off with pride and a glowing sense of accomplishment that is nearly in the visible spectrum… Those are the things I absorb daily, that enrich my life, and make my lifestyle something I value.

A different world than my child-free friends and siblings. But I wouldn’t go back and do it differently, as nice as Hawaii sounds sometimes, as nice as spening my money just on me sounds, as nice as a full night’s sleep being the norm sounds. I like this lifestyle.

3 kids ages 5, 3, and 1 (and another on the way!)

This morning I was awakened at 5:20 by my 3 year old who demanded a band-aid for an owie on his toe. From then on I was up and on the go.

Getting all 3 kids dressed, fed, and reasonably clean by 7:45 so we can hop in the car and take my oldest to pre-school. We run by the grocery store and are home by 9.

Then the baby takes a nap while the 3 year old watches Clifford the Big Red Dog.

Then we’re off to Story Time at the library. We pick out a bunch of books, videos, and mett up with friends. The at Story Time we dance, sing and hear stories about Spiders.

It’s time to go home and have lunch (bean and cheese burritos). The oldest is dropped at home and the younger 2 have naps.

Then we visit the neighbor’s house and her kids and mine play in the little kiddie pool in the backyard.

It’s already 5 o’clock and time to start dinner. I’m making fried Tofu, green beans, and risotto. After dinner it’s time for everyone to take a bath and go to sleep.

Everyone is asleep by about 8 pm. My husband usually gets home after everyone is asleep.

Life is full and never boring.

I don’t envy the childfree at all.

This is life!!!

Life is a lot more hectic now and I yearn for the days when I could just screw around, waste time, and be selfish. But Cranky Jr (turned 4 last week!) is such a joy. Before we had him, we never went to parks and had picnics. Now those are a summer staple. I used to take sunsets for granted, but Cranky Jr makes a huge fuss over all the colors each night. He remarks on the weather, the flowers, the funny things he sees. The world is different when you see it with a child.

Last night I hardly had any room in bed, because besides me there was Cranky Jr, the cat, and the husband (thank god teh dog can’t make the jump up onto the bed). Mr. Cranky finally put Cranky Jr in his room around midnight, and I could stop hanging off the edge of the bed. But there is nothing sweeter than wrapping my arms around that little guy and hearing his little snores in my ear.