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I’ve received a request to post about a specific topic from a few people now, but I’ve been hesitating thinking it would just be boring to read. Since I once again received the same request from a new person this week, here it is: a day in the life of a working mom.
Things are different now that Adelyn is six months old. She’s on a pretty good schedule now with napping, eating and bedtimes. On the downside, that curious little girl is also so interested in everything her piercing blue eyes see that she’s now much less likely to nap in public. I learned this over coffee with that wonderful mentor I explained to you all last week in my Resolving Resolutions post.
So like I seem to say on repeat, I’m constantly learning what works. The schedule shown is what works today.
I also want to add a little disclosure with this because every working mom is going to find that different things work for her. I’m constantly altering the routine that works for our family…and it’s a slow process. But slow and steady wins the race, right?
Alarm goes off. I try to shower at night for the obvious reason that it saves me 20 minutes (between the shower and having to blow dry my hair), but also because then I can let my hair air-dry. Totally unrelated to this topic, I love letting my hair air-dry. It gives it a better texture for curling, and my ends—my poor ends—don’t have to succumb to the damage of that nasty blow-dryer.
Morning pump sesh/wash my face/put on makeup/do my hair. If you’re a working mom who’s also nursing (aka pumping), investing in a pumping bra is a must. (I recommend the Simple Wishes Hands-Free Breastpump Bra). I don’t reference this in my How to Nurse & Pump as a working mom (& not pull your hair out) post because I was so ignorant in the beginning thinking that the $40 wouldn’t be worth it. Let me shout it from the rooftops: I. WAS. WRONG.
Oh my gosh was I ever wrong. Ladies, this is a must. Now I can wash my face, put on make-up and start to do my hair all while I’m pumping. This gives me 15 extra minutes of sleeping time every morning. Five days a week, 52 weeks in a year (that I plan to—Lord willing—breastfeed), minus the 10 weeks I was on maternity leave, that’s 3,152 extra minutes of sleep or 52.5 HOURS. Have I convinced you yet? SPEND THE $40.
Note: I do make sure to wear a loose top to pull over the bottles when I’m doing this. We need to make sure that our babes’ milk is still protected from all those tiny dust particles we ladies let float around in the bathroom as we pretty up!
Pick out an acceptable outfit for the day, get dressed and brush my teeth.
Put the pumped milk in storage bags and the freezer, wash all the pumping pieces and pack my little black bag of pumping accessories for work. Adelyn usually wakes up during this step.
Revel in the warm greeting of my little lady as she smiles at me from her crib for a few seconds, then change her diaper, get her dressed for the day and pack her diaper bag with her help.
I know what you’re thinking, with her help? Since my work days give me so little time with her, I try to be as interactive as possible when I can. So once she’s awake I try to have her “help” me with whatever I can. Packing her diaper bag allows me to talk to her about what we’re putting into it (i.e., we talk about why her drool bib is the color it is according to her outfit, etc.) It seems so silly, but those are the moments I cherish with her.
<<Some mornings she wakes up earlier, which makes the prior 45 minutes a little more hectic because I’m entertaining her on the side of doing all the aforementioned activities. She’s starting to sit really well on her own, though, so if I prop her outside the bathroom door on the carpet with some toys, she’s getting pretty good at playing on her own for short increments.>>
Feed Adelyn. She’s so happy in the mornings that this is kind of a process because she likes to take frequent breaks to smile at me and “talk”. I can only assume she’s explaining her crazy dreams from that night to me!
Pass Adelyn off to Husby to get her in her car seat to say goodbye to her as I gather my stuff, now in a pile next to the stroller to prohibit forgetting things, and head out the door by 6:53.
Drop Adelyn off with my mom and head to the office.
7:30 a.m.-4 p.m.
Afternoon pumping sesh. I know I talk about this in my “How to” post, but only pumping once in my workday has been such a relief. I’m not one of those lucky women who gets to pump in a room where I can still work, so leaving my desk and/or meetings multiple times a day was both inconvenient and just plain difficult. Now my one pump in my workday gets me the same amount of milk that pumping multiple times did. Two words: Smart.Pumping.
4:00 p.m. (ish)
Leave work and head to the gym on the days my mom has Adelyn at her house.
Pick up Adelyn. When she’s at my mom’s house I pick her up after the gym, when she’s not at her house I pick her up right after work.
Arrive home. Adelyn usually falls asleep for about 20 minutes on the drive home, and stays asleep for the first 10sih minutes we’re home. During those 10 minutes I unpack bottles, put pumped milk away, wash pumping accessories and unload the diaper bag.
Adelyn wakes up so we walk around our place, say hi to the dog and cat (which consists of her giggling uncontrollably), and once she and Kiva have both calmed down a bit I have her help pick out which baby food she wants to eat that night. She really only gets to help pick once every three days until she’s tried everything sp we know there are no allergies, but you get the idea.
Feed Adelyn “solids”. A funny, messy process.
Put Adelyn in her jammies and carry her with me in the kitchen while I start browning the meat for dinner (or whatever the first step is in that night’s meal). I’ve been far less than chef-worthy lately, so typically dinner revolves around something that can include supreme lean (94% lean, 6% fat) ground beef. Why? Because browning ground beef with an infant in arms is pretty easy, and there are countless meals you can make with it!
Play time with my favorite mini person. We don’t get very long to play together during the week anymore, but the time we spend doing it is filled with so many laughs and smiles…from both of us. She’s so.much.fun to play with right now!
Feed/nurse Adelyn. She’s usually just exhausted by this point, so she eats for about 12-15 minutes and falls asleep while she eats. I could lie and tell you I follow all the “rules” and lay her down immediately when she falls asleep, but I won’t and I don’t. I usually soak up at least 10 minutes of cuddle time before I lay her down in her crib.
Finish up dinner for when Husby gets home if he’s working a later night, which is usually around 7:45. I’m usually still in the process when he walks through the door, so we eat somewhere around 8 these days.
I’m usually out like a light on the couch. Husby is right next to me, typically lightly rubbing my back as he scrolls through the iPad, so patient and selflessly allowing me to cash out early.
So that’s a typical day. It’s not glamorous. It’s definitely not slow-paced. But it’s my life, and I love it. Even when I think I’m too tired to love it, I still love it.
FILED UNDER: MOM Talk
A Day in the life of...A working mom.