It seems like my day is divided into two-hour chunks, each one full of demands and priorities to juggle.
5:00 – 7:00 a.m.
I begrudgingly wake up, pump, get ready for the gym, and head to Next Level. I struggle through the workout, but I am making progress and the people at the gym are great support. Getting a workout in the morning is a huge energy boost for me and helps shape the day in a productive way.
7:00 – 9:00 a.m.
I shower, nurse, coffee, eat something, feed the baby breakfast, play for a minute or two, get myself ready, pack lunch, pack my pump bag, pack my work bag, give baby a million kisses, try not to forget anything, set something out for supper, and commute to Cedar Rapids. I’m not a morning person; this is a very rushed and easily distracted time. I couldn’t do this 2+ hour window every morning without my husband and nanny–they run my house.
9:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.
Work, Meetings, Pump, Eat, Restroom, Water, Repeat. I’m very lucky to have an incredibly accommodating job and supportive colleagues that value balancing family demands and trust employees to do their work. I can’t imagine going back to a job that wasn’t as understanding. There are many moms that are in that situation, and I applaud them for juggling an even tougher situation than me. I pray for all moms to have understanding employers, flexibility, and autonomy in their roles.
5:00 – 7:00 p.m.
Leaving work is hard. I want to always get just one more task done, but know that every second I spend there is less time I get to spend with my daughter before I put her to bed. Trying to get out sometime between 4:30 and 5:30 is my goal. Then I hop on 380 (I swear that commute gets longer every single day, between accidents and construction). I get home before six to quickly nurse the baby, play and enjoy some time with her, give her a bath (if we’re lucky), read books, and bed by 7 to 8 o’clock.
Her early bedtime is such a limiting factor in terms of getting out of the house, especially when I’m already so crunched on that time-slot. It makes me miss my pre-baby social life. However, I’ll take the sleep over what we went through with the four-month regression. Definitely a trade off.
7:00 – 9:00 p.m.
I honestly have no idea what happens during this time . . . it literally flies by. Once she is down for the night I feel so bad and just want to grab her and snuggle. The above 2-hour window is full of rushing around and I hate that. I tend to rock and cuddle her longer than I probably should, which I know goes against everything you read about “putting the baby to bed drowsy,” but this is literally some of the only time I get to breathe. I love just adoring her sleeping peacefully on me and know this won’t last long.
9:00 – 11:00 p.m.
By this time, my gas tank is pretty empty. It’s typically a last ditch effort to try and get anything done. While I’d love to tackle a project of some sort that’s been lingering, it usually ends up being the usual suspects: laundry, dishes, and put things away, before we literally just pass out in our bed from pure exhaustion.
I wish there was a way to be more intentional with that time and just connect with my spouse.
So that’s pretty much a snapshot of a typical Monday – Friday day for me. What’s so hard is trying to get the day back on track when a wrench has been thrown in it. For instance, today I got in my car to head to work (I was already about 15 minutes behind) and my fuel light came on. I swung in to get gas, got to the interstate and realized all my pump parts were at home, so I had to turn around.
I’m doing the best I can to squeeze all I can out of every 2-hour window I have. Balancing shifting priorities, being flexible, and trying to organize what’s important have been crucial in this transition to back-to-work life. And most importantly, grace from others is much appreciated! (I’m hard enough on myself, just ask my husband).
What do you do that helps make your days smoother? Where do you find or should I say “make” time for things in your life?