Ideal day vs the reality with kids

I remember when I  first starting reading blogs I would read those ‘typical day’ posts of carefully curated images and think that motherhood looked like a dream.  I’m pretty sure I was pregnant with my first at the time so was easily susceptible to over-romanticised versions of what life with young kids actually looks like.


I still find those typical day posts fascinating, though I definitely take them in the idealistic way they are created now.  I like seeing the types of routines families follow and how other mothers structure their days to make the most of their precious times.


So I thought I’d do my own version of our typical day; to show the contrast between our ideal day and the reality with kids.


Ideal: Wake up for 20 minutes of yoga followed by 40 minutes of blissfully undisturbed writing / reading with a cup of hot coffee.

Reality:  Hit snooze for the fifty-billionth day running.  Curse yesterday’s over-optimistic self for thinking I could get up at 5am after a night of tossing and turning with the baby.



Ideal: Eat breakfast whilst the boys play happily together.

Reality: Cram bites of toast in my mouth in between unloading the dishwasher and making the boys breakfast.  End up sharing half of my breakfast with them – why is my food always more appealing than theirs?


Ideal: Washing clean and on the line drying. House mostly tidy.  Beds made.  Out the door for today’s adventure.

Reality: Washing in the machine – may stay there for another few days before I remember to hang it out.  House littered with crumbs and toys.  1 bed made.  Out the door dressed and mostly clean = SUCCESS!



Ideal: Home again. Both boys asleep in the car. Transfer to beds without waking them and sit down for solo lunch and work for a couple of hours.

Reality: Home again.  Both boys asleep in the car.  Carefully transfer Rory to bed first.  Still asleep – winning!  Go back for Eamon – transfer him to bed – another win! Make cup of tea and lunch. Sit down. Open laptop. Baby wakes.  Share lunch.  End up playing on the floor for next hour whilst trying to answer a few emails when he is not watching.  Eamon wakes and asks to go for a ride to the park. Work over.


Ideal: Ride to the park with Rory in the seat on my bike and Eamon on his own.  Spend an hour running around the playground to wear boys out before riding home again with two tired kids.

Reality: Ride to park while Rory shrieks in the seat of the back of my bike and Eamon gives me a heart attack as he swerves every time a car comes near.  Arrive at park feeling mildly stressed.  Run around playground for a few minute before getting bored and decide children need to learn how to play on their own.  Start doing yoga instead.  {Hang on… perhaps this belongs in ideal?} Ride home with two kids still bouncing with energy.



Ideal: Hang out in the backyard. Eamon swims and Rory toddles around me while I practice yoga.


Hang out in backyard. Eamon swims and screams ‘look at this Mum’ every five seconds.  Rory toddles around, eats rocks and dirt and climbs on me if I dare attempt to do anything that looks like yoga.


Ideal: Start dinner.  Boys play happily while I cook something I have thoughtfully planned earlier. Reinforcements arrive home.

Reality: Scrounge around in the freezer looking for something to cook while Rory pulls out all the tupperware.  Make measly attempt at meal whilst spelling out words for Eamon’s latest obsession letter writing. Reinforcements are working late.




Ideal: Dinner done.  Quick ride to the beach to watch the sun set. Then home – boys in the bath.  Pjs.  Books. Milk. Bed.

Reality: Half-finished dinner – most of it on the floor or faces.  Bath negotiations in place – adult party losing.  Wrestling match to make pjs happen.  End up taking them off sweaty bods 5 minutes later in an effort to get them to sleep.



Ideal: Two children sleeping.  Dishwasher humming. Cup of tea. Chocolate. Laptop ready.

Reality: One child in bed singing to himself. Smallest still protesting that his evil parents are daring to ask him to lie still.  Dishes still all over the bench as any unnecessary noise is greeted with the look by whichever parent is attempting to get the baby to sleep.



Ideal: Two children blissfully sleeping.  Adult conversation. Laptop humming.

Reality: One child blissfully asleep.  Adults taking it in turns to resettle the baby. Kitchen still covered in dishes.


Ideal: Two children blissfully sleeping.  Laptop off.  In bed with a book.

Reality: Two children asleep.  One still restless. Parents taking turns scissors/ paper/ rock – ing it to see has to get up to him. Laptop humming.


Ideal: Lights out. Two children still blissfully sleeping.

Fall into bed with exhaustion.  Brain unable to switch off.  Lie awake for another hour.  Set alarm to get up at 5am to finish all the things I didn’t get to do today.

Between 10pm and 5am.

Ideal: Not a creature is stirring, not even a mouse.

Reality:  Smallest has stirred so I’ve ended up in the spare bed with him – too tired to try and resettle.  Biggest has also woken with dreams or requests for water.  Eventually ends up sleeping in my spot in my bed.


Well… what can I say? I wouldn’t actually change any of it for the world!

One Response to “Ideal day vs the reality with kids

  • You forgot to include the endless endless toilet trips and nappy changes. Meanwhile hanging onto your own until you are in agony. When you eventually get to go the two boys fight over who hangs you the loo paper while both trying to look between your legs.

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