What do you do all day?

My last entry was on one of my non-busy days, but somedays I have all of my daycare kids and my day isn’t quite so slow….someone on a forum I frequent asked what we do all day. Here is how I responded:

Honestly it depends on the day. I run an in-home daycare in addition to raising my 4 small children and one nearly adult step-son. I can tell you that before the kids rise every morning I take a shower, iron DH’s clothes, clean up the kitchen (wipe counters, sweep, wipe down table, put any straggling dishes away), start a load of laundry and pack lunch for Dustin and Dorothy to take to school, John to take to work and a bag for Liam to eat when he wakes up (breakfast). I wake my school aged children at 6:30 and make sure they dress, brush teeth, eat breakfast and have their backpacks ready to go. At 7:05 my first daycare kid arrives and he eats with some of my own kids. I make myself and DH coffee, which we guzzle from 7:17 – 7:22am. At 7:25 I send DH out the door with the two school kids. Many days DH goes into work early, leaves at 6:30 or 7:00, so on those days I get up with him, then when it is time for the kids to go to school I wake my DSS to watch my two sleeping children and the daycare kid. Alrighty, so where are we at? Oh, 7:30. Liam usually comes sauntering down, so I prompt him to use the potty, get his bag and then turn him over to his babysitter – aka PlayHouse Disney for about an hour. Meanwhile, daycare kid #2 arrives, followed quickly by #3. I give both of those littles some food while #1 plays, usually with trucks because that is his favorite thing right now. When everyone is done eating we clean hands, clear the table and play. Sometimes I take this moment to log onto the internet, sometimes not. At 9:00 daycare kid #4 comes in. He is usually hungry, so he gets something to eat. This is also when Maggie wakes up. Okay, so supervise playing kids, breakfast, say good morning to my own baby, get crayons out for Liam, shuttle everyone into playroom. Change 5 diapers, dress 3 kids (my own 2 kids and one daycare kid), toss diapers into either dumpster or laundry (mags wears cloth), nurse my baby. Read book, sing songs, do some silly dancing. Dole out snacks and drinks to the masses. Set Liam and daycare kid #4 up with some Playdoh in the kitchen, be silly with the little kids and watch them play…if it is above 50 outside we forego the Playdoh and indoor play in lieu of outdoor play on the swingset, climby things and riding toys, sandbox and outdoor playthings. At 11:00 we come in/conclude play and everyone watches the Wiggles or some other harmless video while I cook lunch. We have a hot lunch almost every day, though once every 2 weeks I serve a *deli* lunch of cheese, crackers, meat, fruit and yogurt. 11:30 gets here quickly and daycare kid #1 gets picked up as I wrangle all of the little monkeys and put them into booster seats and highchairs for lunch. As they finish eating I wash them up and put their plates away. At noon everyone gets a clean diaper (please note that any soggy diaper noticed prior, or dirty diaper is changed regardless of the time). Daycare kid #5 arrives just in time for me to put up 3 playpens and one additional set of bedding. Binkies, blankies and loveys are distributed and the daycare naps. I take this time to nurse Maggie to sleep. During nap I mess around on the interwebz, do a preschool lesson with Liam, walk on my treadmill, work on the laundry, put dinner in the crockpot or do any prep work possible for non-crock dinners, bake bread or a snack depending on the day and clean up the kitchen…again. If it is nice, sometimes I skip the web and treadmill and take Liam outside to play. At 2:15 daycare kid #5 is picked up. At 2:30 daycare kid #2 gets picked up. Over the next 45 minutes the other children wake. They are given snacks, bottles and drinks and play quietly. Now it’s 3:00 and my big kids will be home in just a couple of minutes so I get their snack and drink ready (if it’s cold they get hot cocoa because they walk home). I listen to their busy chatter while the little kids play and I nurse Maggie who has awoken. At 3:45 daycare kid #4 gets picked up. My big kids do their homework and get ready for martial arts. Now, only daycare kid #3 is still here, so my bigger kids play with him and Maggie while I get things ready to go. Daycare baby is picked up at 4:45 and I get my kids into the car and take Dust & Dot to tae kwon do. Liam, Maggie & I either go to Target, sit and wait for the hour, or come home and let DH pick the kids up at 6:00 if it is a Wed or Friday. On Wednesdays I come home and make a big family meal, clean up the house and get ready for Family Night. On nights we don’t have martial arts we clean the playroom, put away laundry, clean toys, etc. and then play inside or outside depending on the weather. I have my big kids help with all of that. On non-martial arts nights the kids eat around 6:00. Every other night all the kids get washed after dinner, most nights my DH isn’t home until right at 7:30 (on Tu & Th he isn’t home till after bed for the kids, more like 8:30-9:00), which is bedtime across the board for the 4 small children, though my bigger 2 get to either read or watch tv in their rooms for 15-30 minutes. Ah…relax, nope. After I get Maggie to bed, I come cook dinner for myself, DH and DSS. WHile that is cooking I clean up anything that still needs cleaned, do laundry (everything except put away) and then, and only then, do I sit down to watch some mindless tv. If DH is home we watch Law and Order, if he isn’t, while dinner is cooking and I fold laundry, I watch AI or Secret Life. We go to bed around 11:15.

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