Geninna Ariton gives us a little insight into her day as a stay-at-home mom come, freelance writer.
A kick on my arm, followed by faint cooing and then boisterous laughter. Hair pulling starts immediately. I know this won’t stop until I open my eyes. Everyone, meet my alarm clock, rather, my alarm clocks. If you’re having a hard time waking up, especially when you’re a stay at home mom, co-sleeping with twin toddlers is tried and tested.
It’s still a struggle, getting them to change their clothes, drink their milk. But I get lots of cuddles in between. And they are off to their playroom. This means I can officially start my day. A stay-at-home mom must drink coffee, and thank heavens Romania is not short of the good ones. I seriously don’t know how others do it without caffeine. And no, I don’t have time to sit down and sip slowly, savouring every flavour of that Italian espresso that I so enjoy. I take one sip and start laundry.
By this time I have folded clean clothes and have put on another cycle to wash. Then it’s breakfast time for the twins.
A couple of fights over who gets which shaped cereal and who doesn’t, breakfast is done and it’s time to start preparing their lunch. I also have my quick breakfast while chopping vegetables for their cream soup. Multitasking is probably the only reason why a stay-at-home-mom like myself is still alive these days. Oh, and the laundry should be done by now as well. Off to hang these clothes.
Finally, I get to sit down in front of my laptop and write for an hour. If you think that I get to write and sit for one hour straight, then you’re not reading this right. In 5 minutes, somebody will be screaming MOMMY. Or they could start fighting over one toy even though they have hundreds. Something is going to happen, and their first thought will be “MOMMY.” But it doesn’t matter, the goal is to finish one article before noon.
Sometimes, I get lucky and I do get to finish one article before noon. And I have to because it’s already the twins’ lunchtime. This meal usually lasts for an hour. They chew so slowly.
Lunch is finished. I change them, clean up the lunch mess, and prepare their beds for a nap. I put their classical music on, give them their milk, and they will be asleep in no time. NOT. Sometimes it’s a struggle as well to put them to nap. But I keep them there, by hook or by crook.
By this time, I’ve already typed in about 200 words. Yes, even a stay at home mom of twins can rake in some cash. Sometimes they nap for 2 hours, and when I’m not lucky, about an hour tops.
And they’re up and about again. I get them back in the playroom and commence snack time. I do play with them, but I am always wary of time. Sometimes I feel guilty because I don’t spend as much time with them as I used to.
Another hour dedicated to writing starts while the twins are usually outside spending time with their father. Suffice to say I’m lucky (or perhaps I got used to it) that when I push myself to write about a certain topic, I get right on it. No silly setups or music or anything. I just dive right in. Sadly, I never get to finish anything at this time because I’m already exhausted.
It’s dinner preparation time and it’s the busiest for me, as I cook separately for the twins and the adults (my husband and I). And just so you know, I hate cooking.
The twins eat. It’s such a giant mess afterwards, but there’s absolutely nothing I can do about it (for now). They gobble for about an hour, and then my husband and I take over.
Dinner is always the time that my husband and I catch up. But it’s not relaxed; I usually finish my meal in a hurry as the twins need my attention. After dinner, I prepare their bed, milk, and here comes the night routine.
Make that 21:00. They should be down in bed by this time. Or at least we try. It doesn’t take long before they sleep, but the tricky part is I have to hold them, or they won’t sleep. So even if they’re already snoozing, I still wait about 10 minutes before I can unclutch my hand from their grip and shower.
Finally, some ME time. Just kidding. A stay-at-home mom never has ME time. You’d be lying to yourself. I try to read a book or watch Netflix, but I always end up with my eyes shut in an hour. The key is to try though. At least you can tell a friend that you started reading Michelle Obama’s book or get your money’s worth out of that Netflix subscription. Even if you can’t finish one episode of anything.
People often have jaw-dropping reactions when I tell them I’m a stay-at-home mom of twin toddlers, I get no help from any cleaner or nanny, and I work online on top of that. Of course, this doesn’t happen on a weekend, as I take some time off too. It’s not easy. But I do it because writing is my creative outlet. Instead of knitting or gardening or baking, I write. I gave up a lot of things to start a family, but there are a few that I couldn’t give up. Writing is one of them, and it just so happens that I get paid to do it.
Continue Reading: Coronavirus: How to work from home, the right way
About the Author:
Daydreaming of pristine white sand beaches and attempting to beat her 40 books read in a year record, Geninna Ariton is a stay-at-home mom by day and a writer (every chance she gets). Nothing gets her happier than resting her feet up with Cabernet Sauvignon on her lips and her twins reading their books beside her. Her mailing address changes every year (for the past 5 years), and right now her postal code is in Romania where her husband is from.
She is currently writing for Inbox Translation, an awesome translation company with headquarters in the UK.