Dear diary. Today I’ll write you an example of my weeknight. I’ll borrow the term caretaker from hockey and other sports, since parenting is similar to that, sometimes even more demanding. This diary of a caretaker is part of a fictionally book “Realistic Guide to Future Parents”, which will never be published, so people won’t stop having children altogether.

This is how an evening goes for a caretaker:

4:50 PM The caretaker picks up a tired child from daycare. Some disagreements during the walk home.

5:00 PM The caretaker strolls the aisles of a grocery store with the tired child, and yet again can’t think of any other dinner choices except hot dogs. Buys hot dogs. Gives in to the demands of the child and buys a shiny Easter egg.

5:03 PM – 5:15 PM The caretaker clears the all the shoes in the hallway, turns on the washing machine, starts ironing, clears the table of breakfast leftovers, makes dinner (hot dogs), feeds the children and the cats. The caretaker tries to educate the children about the importance of drinking water. No one cares.

5:15 PM – 6:00 PM The caretaker cleans up after dinner, empties and refills the dishwasher, turns on Nickleodeon, gathers clothes left around the house, cleans the litter box, cleans the toilet, has a few tiny temper tantrums because the caretaker has to do all this.

6:03 PM The caretaker notices that they are still wearing their coat. Takes of the coat, sighs.

6:04 PM – 7:00 PM The caretaker encourages the children to do their homework, to go play outside, to put down the cellphones, to clean their rooms. The caretaker looks at the Christmas decorations and realizes they need to come down and make room for Easter decorations. Considers growing wheat grass for Easter.

7:01 PM – 8:00 PM The caretaker orders one child to go take a shower, and washes up the other child. Gets tangled up in the drama of washing hair. Prepares an evening snack, prepares another evening snack after the wrong kind of snack, urges the children to brush their teeth, then to put on pajamas, reads one bedtime story, reads another bedtime story, sits for a while in the childrens room, just because the caretaker has not had a chance to sit down in the last three hours.

8:00 PM – 9:00 PM The caretaker prepares clothes for the team for the next day. Puts on a kettle of tea. Lays down on the couch for a moment in wait for their favorite tv-show.

3:00 AM The caretaker wakes up in the same position, with makeup still on and a couch print on their face. The caretakers breath tastes like catpiss. The caretaker is too tired to wash up and goes to bed.

4:00 AM The caretaker is awaken by a child with demands.

5:00 AM The caretaker is awaken by another child with demands.

6:00 The caretaker is awaken by a cat sitting on their face.

7:00 The caretaker is not awaken by the alarm clock going off.

Time to greet a new day, cheerful and perky, happy to be alive.

Photo by Daria Shevtsova.

— Editors

The writer of this story is a member of the Mom of Finland community.


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