The Rainbows & Unicorns team is exploring ideas for regular columns and thought it would be interesting to read about a day in the life of other parents. Some of us work outside the home, some of us are stay-at-home parents, and others fall somewhere in between.
6:20 am — My husband, N, gets home from the night shift, comes in and changes and wakes us up for the morning. He goes to the kitchen and starts prepping “dinner.”
6:30 am — I’m up for the day, bringing O into the kitchen with me for breakfast. Some days it’s pancakes, some days it’s fruit. He hates oatmeal and, frankly, isn’t really a breakfast kid.
6:45 am — I get into the shower while N entertains the baby and starts packing his bag for daycare.
7:10 am — I get half-dressed by the time O decides he needs more milk. We lie in bed and nurse until he’s full.
7:40 am – I frantically finish dressing and blow-dry my hair while keeping O out of the toilet; he’s learned to open the lid but not how to keep his fingers out of the way while he slams the lid.
8:00 am — I’m almost always running late these days…still need to pack my pump stuff and make O’s milk and lunch for the day. I portion out three 3-oz bottles and put together lunch. A pouch, maybe leftovers from dinner. He’s starting to refuse the pouches more often in favor of “real” food. We’re going to have to start planning a little better. I think I need a lunch box for him.
8:20 am — We hustle out the door. Mentally checking off the list: purse, diaper bag, milk bag, pump bag, lunch bag, laptop. I’m like a pack mule. N carries out O to get him in the car seat. Kisses goodbye and off we go for our 40 minute commute. On the good days, O falls asleep before we hit the interstate. On the not-so-good days, I sing “Twinkle, Twinkle,” “You are my Sunshine,” and the Alphabet Song until my throat is sore to keep him from crying.
9:00 am — I pull up at the sitter, unload the baby, the diaper bag, and the milk bag. I cry a little inside every morning. I hate that I have to leave him every day. He loves Grandma Carol, and she’s amazing with him. He gets excited when we get to the door. Most days he doesn’t even come back to me for a final hug goodbye. It stings a little, but I would rather him do that than cry for me all day.
9:20 am — Work time. I get settled in for the day. Emails are piled up already, there are people to call back, co-workers that have questions. I’m overworked most days; it seems there is more to do than there is time in the day, but because I’m always waiting on someone else to get back to me…it’s a struggle.
11:00 am — Time to pump. At the time of writing this, I have 28 pumping days left to make my goal of 1 year. I’m excited and nervous. It has become such a big part of my life. Every day, twice a day now, I spend 30 minutes in the spare executive office, listening to the hum of the pump and playing games or scrolling the internet.
11:30 am — Back to work. Inevitably, someone came looking for me while I was pumping and assumed that I wasn’t at work that day. I’ve been pumping for almost 9 months and people still freak out when I’m not at my desk in the middle of the day. It used to annoy me; now, I just sigh.
12:30 pm — Lunch time. I eat at my desk most days. I struggle with feeling guilty for the time I spend pumping and the hours I keep at work. It’s a fine line to walk.
3:30 pm — Pumping again. It’s a daily game to make sure I get more than he takes for the day. Now that he’s having solids, he’s taking 9 oz each day. I’m pumping between 9 and 13 oz per day. I counted my “stash” the other day and had 300 oz! I was so surprised!
4:45 pm — I pack up for the day. If I don’t leave a little before 5:00 pm, my 10–15 minute drive to the sitter turns into a 25+ minute drive with traffic.
5:00 pm — I pick up O. I’ve missed him so, and he’s missed me, too. He frantically pulls at my shirt, desperate to nurse. He melts into me, petting my chest and gulping greedily. Carol and I talk about his day, how he slept, what they did, how he ate, if he pooped. It’s weird, the things you talk about when you become a parent.
5:20 pm — I get him loaded into the car and get on the road. The traffic is now backed all the way up. Our commute home is an hour, easy. Sometimes he sleeps immediately, sometimes he screams. Several nights, I’ve stopped for long periods of time to nurse and cuddle him in the backseat to calm him down. I text N to let him know our progress and talk with the rest of the Rainbows & Unicorns team on Facebook chat to keep my anxiety in check.
6:20 pm — On a good night, we’re home. Nurse again, strip him down, and it’s time for dinner. N always makes “dinner” when he gets home in the morning so it’s ready for us when O and I finally get home. We started that recently and it made a huge difference in my nights alone with the baby. I scramble to eat quickly, then hopefully get bottles washed; if not, they’ll wait until the morning.
7:00 pm — We have an hour of playtime. We usually go into O’s room and play with blocks and read books. He crawls into my lap and lets me read 2 or 3 before he wiggles off to destroy something else.
8:00 pm — He’s starting to rub his eyes; it’s time for bed. We lie in bed and I turn on the TV. He nurses to sleep while I sing him lullabies. Sometimes he hums along. I rub his back and tummy and arms, stroking his skin as I sing to him. He’s so soft and sweet. I hope he stays like this forever. I know he won’t, though, so I try and soak up every moment. They won’t last forever; it won’t be like this for long.
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