Mum’s ‘day on a plate’ sums up perfectly how crazy life with kids can be

Confession: those ‘My day on a plate’ columns that have been polluting the internet for close to a decade make me break out in hives. I’ve always been a healthy eater, so I’m not envious. But some of those lists are completely unrealistic for the average human – let alone busy mums!

A day on a plate

Let’s look at a typical example:

6:00am: Filtered Himalayan water with a squeeze of organic lemon juice.

7:00am: Two raw activated almonds.

12:00pm: Organic kale leaf with a teaspoon of smashed organic avo and a sprinkling of activated charcoal powder.

3:00pm: Air.

My actual day …

COME ON. I hit the ground running at 5:30am and I don’t stop until I’m drooling on my pillow at 9:30pm. If I tried to survive on that kind of diet, I’d melt into a puddle like the Wicked Witch of the West. I need real food and LOTS of it.

So, I thought you might like to see what MY day on a plate looks like. But to give it some context, I’ve included an exhaustive list of all my daily activities. Maybe that entire packet of Corn Thins won’t seem so crazy after all…

5:30am: Wake up in a panic to the sound of my alarm going off in my ear. Realise with a sigh that I was ejected from my comfy king-sized bed by a kung-fu toddler yet again. Roll out of her single and land on the floor with a thud.

5:45am: Guzzle a glass of tap water and choke down an overripe banana in the kitchen. Tiptoe to the front door and slip out for a run before the pint-sized beasts make their appearance.

6:15am: Get back from my run feeling momentarily refreshed and positive about the day ahead. Open the front door to find my five-year-old and three-year-old twins engaged in a screaming match over a tiny piece of broken sparkly plastic they found at the park last week. Husbo is skolling coffee in the pantry and plotting his escape.

6:20am: Make two pieces of wholemeal toast with natural peanut butter and banana slices. Swallow them in seven seconds to avoid having to give my entire breakfast away to the three baby birds who are squabbling for a place on my lap.

6:30am: Put my head down and launch into the mind-boggling process of getting three young children ready for daycare and school. Repeatedly point at their morning-task charts on the wall to no avail. Enlist Hubster to pin them down while I forcefully brush their hair and apply sunscreen. Everyone screams loudly.

7:45am: Careen out of the driveway while throwing snacks over my shoulder at the baby birds in the backseat who are already declaring a state of starvation. Wish I’d packed a snack for myself. How can I be so hungry already?!

9:45am: Pull back into the driveway after completing the long and tedious drop-off process (yep, two hours round-trip). Realise I’m starvational and decide to prepare a Big Ass Salad before sitting down to work. It’s not too early for lunch if you’ve been up for four hours, right?

10am: Sit down at my computer and gulp down my Big Ass Salad in 42 seconds while answering emails. What was in it even? Meh. 


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1pm: Realise I’ve needed to wee for an hour and run to the toilet. As I wash my hands, realise I’m hungry again. Grab a packet of Corn Thins from the pantry and eat the whole thing while finishing my article. It’s just corn, right?!

2:15pm: Race out the door to pick up the kids. Scarf an apple or a muesli bar on the way.

4:15pm: Wearily carry 17 bags into the house with three whingey kids trailing behind me and demanding all manner of snacks. Prepare biccies and cheese for them and guiltily gobble six of my own.

4:20pm: Look for lost Elsa doll shoe between sofa cushions for 11 minutes. Yell, “I don’t know where it is! You have to look after your own stuff! I’m sick of looking for doll shoes day in day out!” while the small beasts scream at me to give them more snacks, find their lost toys and help them put on superhero costumes.

4:25pm: Ignore all cries and launch into the whirlwind afternoon routine of washing lunch boxes, preparing lunches for the next day, cooking dinner and getting everything ready for bedtime. Absentmindedly eat random bites of food as I’m preparing it.

6:00pm: Sit down for an XL portion of dinner. It’s always healthy (cauliflower dahl, kangaroo chilli and salmon udon are favourites), but it’s big because I’m ravenous by this stage. Swallow it whole and immediately regret eating so fast.

6:30pm: Bath, stories and bedtime for the kids. Goodbye, sanity.

7:30pm: Exchange weary looks with Hubs in the kitchen as the kids scream at us from their beds. Return to their rooms six times to beg and threaten them to go to sleep.

8:00pm: Crash on the couch and scroll through Facebook and unanswered emails for five minutes before jumping up in a panic after remembering the to-do list I’d jotted down that morning.

Scan it quickly and laugh at my early-morning ambitiousness. Sign a few school forms and fold three shirts from the top of the laundry Everest that’s formed in the spare room before calling it quits.

8:45pm: Decide to head to bed. On the way, pick up dirty clothes in the bathroom and scattered toys in the living room, feed the cat, take out the rubbish, wash my face, tuck the kids in, remember that it’s swimming day for my eldest tomorrow and quickly pack her swimming bag, send a last-minute email for work, buy a pressie online for my best friend’s birthday after realising that it won’t make it in time if I don’t buy it tonight, and then finally crumple in a heap on my bed.

9:20pm: Force myself to complete my 10-minute meditation session that prevents me from yelling at my kids 47 times a day. Start to nod off halfway through.

9:30pm: Goodnight, cruel world.

See? With some context, my food choices are totally excellent. Eat your hearts out, Day on a Platers.

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