January 23, 2018

A Tale of Two Gypsies: Hausfrau Edition

While chatting with another travel blogger, comparing lives and wishing our cyber chat were actually occurring in person over a glass of vino, this question was raised: what does my "thrifty gypsy" life look like on the daily?

I err on the side of under-sharing my personal life here on the blog, but since our travels have morphed to being more local or regional, our way of life has become more relevant to the types of places about which I am writing. When I think about the blogs that I enjoy reading, I tend to follow those writers who share enough about themselves to be interesting while not giving enough away for a stalker's dossier. It's kind of like having a first date over and over again; you reveal enough to make them want more without ever airing your dirty laundry.

So as a result of that conversation and subsequent musings, I present this first part of a two part mash-up, regarding our daily lives in between our local or international trips. As I currently split my time almost evenly between the office and staying at home, it seems only fitting to present both sides of the story: the Hausfrau (Housewife) and the Corporate Climber.


A Tale of Two Gypsies: 
The Hausfrau (Housewife)

04:00 - Baby Gypsy wakes up and babbles in her bassinet beside my bed. I change and feed her before we both drift back off to sleep.

06:30 - Danny wakes up and gets ready for work, which usually stirs me into a drowsy wakefulness. Here I wrestle with the ultimate question: do I get out of bed and enjoy a shower, or do I roll over into sleep and forfeit a shower for the day? Honestly, nine times out of ten, I choose sleep. Because, SLEEP.

07:30 - Toddler Gypsy begins chanting my name with all the passion of a young child with an empty belly. That is to say, it's more like hangry screaming than actual chanting. I like to think it's a toddler's way of showing love, making it loud and clear that they need me to fulfill their needs.

07:45 - Toddler is changed, dressed, and scarfing down her eggs and bacon while I let out the dog, eat my own breakfast, and putz around the kitchen. I hear Baby Gypsy's coos over the monitor (yes, this kid actually does coo; in fact, she rarely cries, and I'm not sure how such an angelic creature could be my child, but that's another story), and have her up, changed, fed, and dressed by about 8am.

08:30 - Having packed the diaper bag, put the dog away, shuttled everyone out to the van (that is to say, the MOM CHARIOT OF GLORY!), and triple-checked that I didn't lock myself out of the house, we pull out of the driveway and commute twenty minutes into town. It's errand day.

09:00 - Our morning excursions vary, but the destination always accommodates a walk. The Richmond area of Virginia has a lot of great parks (such as Maymont), but there are also really cool neighborhoods to stretch your legs and give yourself and the kids some different views. Carytown, Monument Avenue, and even the new village-housing in Short Pump are some of our favorite places to walk. On other days, we drive out to Charlottesville and walk the trails or downtown mall. As Toddler Gypsy's attention and interests continue to expand, so does my range of where we go and what we do.

10:00 - Baby is ready to be fed again, so Toddler Gypsy chills in her car seat munching on goldfish, which is pretty much the jet fuel of toddlers, while I multitask by finishing the shopping list on my phone. This next hour and a half will be a gauntlet of running in and out of Kohl's, dodging all the cute clothing, sighing over the chic luggage, and mentally blowing my budget on all the house decor; stopping by Wegman's for German mustard and spaetzle; then buying a whole week's worth of groceries at Aldi and Lidl for less than $100. I'm in love with those stores. The less money I have to spend on necessities, the more money I get to save for travel!

11:30 - We are on our way back to Goochland (yes, that's really the name of my county), and right on cue, both girls fall asleep in the car. For those of you who aren't moms, car naps are THE WORST. Think about it this way - a nap is your one chance in the day to have kid-free time. They are behind bars, locked up, safe, secure, out of your hair, however you want to look at it. But when they fall asleep in the car, they never sleep as long or as well as when in bed plus you are then deprived of that blessed kid-free time when at home. Often I will resort to singing at the top of my lungs to the radio in an attempt to keep Toddler awake, but sometimes oftentimes that doesn't work.

12:00 - Home sweet home. Unpack the car. Lug in the Toddler and Baby. Put the groceries away. Feed the Toddler. Change diapers. Pop on Robin Hood for the Toddler while feeding Baby. Take the kids out to the playset and swing the energy out of them before attempting to put them down for a legit nap inside. Success! Both girls go down, hard, and I have some kid-free time by 1:30pm.

13:30 - It's the golden hour (or two) of my hausfrau days. Both girls are napping at the same time. I can shower, or clean in peace, or browse travel sites, or blog, or work out, or work from home, or check on the budget. I usually do put in some work from home and also check on the budget, mostly because both tasks benefit (you guessed it!) our travel budget.

15:30 - Two hours later, I'm back into full blown mom gear. Diapers, reading books, creating Duplo masterpieces (my retirement depends on Toddler becoming an engineer and supporting me in my old age!), feeding, playing ball, sneaking in a few minutes on social media while the girls are distracted... the rest of the afternoon flies by, and before I know it, it's time to start making dinner. Because responsible adults don't let their kids go hungry, and unfortunately, Oreos don't count as a nutritious dinner. Bummer.

17:00 - I stick Toddler into her high chair to make a Play-Doh mess while I start making dinner. Now that I'm six months postpartum, I've run out of excuses regarding making good choices for food and exercise. So rather than reaching for the frozen pizza or lasagna, I'm making more of an effort to cook fresh. Because responsibility. And smaller waistlines.

17:45 - Danny is home, and I can mentally relax after solo parenting all day. Dinner, bath, story time, teeth brushing, and cuddles before the girls are in bed by 7pm make the next hour fly by. We worked hard to put Toddler on a good sleep schedule; she regularly sleeps from 7pm to nearly 7am. But she wasn't always this way. Last year involved a lot of tears (from both her and I) to train her sleeping habits. Baby Gypsy, however, has been a naturally good sleeper and has been sleeping through the night since 6 weeks old. I am definitely spoiled.

19:00 - KID. FREE. TIME. AHHHHH!!!

The rest of the evening is generally spent catching up on chores for the first hour and then vegging in front of the television or computer until bed at ten. Lately, I've become appalled at how much unproductive time is spent wasted in front of the screen, so I'm monitoring my usage a little more closely. My self-imposed rules are that I must be accomplishing something productive online, not simply browsing, and that I'm not allowed to become hooked on another TV show without relinquishing a current fave. Two hours a day translates into 14 hours a week with nothing to show for it! I need to get back into reading or blogging more or figuring out more ways to pinch pennies for the travel/entertainment fund. Any recommendations?!

So that's the day in the life of hausfrau me. On paper, it doesn't seem like much. But the days fly by, and it is fulfilling and rewarding to spend so much time with my girls. Then again, perhaps I appreciate it so much due to being away from them four days of the week. Time will only tell!

Stay tuned for the next edition: the Corporate Climbing side of me.

What does your normal day look like?

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1 comment:

  1. I loved reading this glimpse into your day. Great post!


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