I recently posted a day in the life while I was home on maternity leave. I read a post about how we should capture pictures of everyday life so that one day, when our kids grow up, we’ll remember things like what we looked like sitting around the dinner table. How my son’s bedroom is arranged, since it changes often. Things I think I’ll remember, but I probably won’t. So here’s a snapshot of how differently things look now that I’m back to a different kind of work – this was Wednesday, February 4, 2015. E is 2.5 years old, and Sage is 4 months. (My husband and I are both 30.)
Sage typically wakes up between 4:30 and 5 AM to nurse, weekday or not. Today, I nursed him at 5 and showered at 5:30. By 6, I woke up big brother E, packed pump parts and bottles (they dry overnight) for pumping milk at work, and grabbed several cloth diapers out of the dryer to pack in the baby’s diaper bag, since those were also not dry last night. E is required to wear Pull-Ups to school now that he’s in a potty-training class, so I only had to pack them for Sage. At 6:30, I changed Sage’s diaper, got him dressed, and finished bagging up the 40 Valentines we had to take to school for the kids’ Valentines parties Friday. (The glue on them had become ineffective, so I had to put them in Ziploc bags last-minute). 6:40 meant time to fire up the Keurig and nurse the baby while eating my cereal. I aim to leave the house by 6:45 to get to work by 7:40 before I’m late and the buses arrive, blocking the parking lot.
I like to pretend I have Starbucks every day. It’s the little things.
We are already running late b/c of the Valentines, so at 6:50 I quickly loaded up the car and the kids and drove to daycare. To get both boys and all their stuff inside, I wear Sage in my Boba 3G, carry his diaper bag on my shoulder, carry a separate bag that contains baby milk, E’s water bottle, a cloth diaper wet bag, and E’s lunchbox – all things that go to different places once at school. Elijah usually carries his homework, and today he carried his Valentines and the juice boxes for his class party. I have to leave daycare by 7:20 to get to work on time, so I hurriedly dropped off E with his stuff for the day, kissed him goodbye, and headed to the nursery with Sage. I hung up his diaper bag, put the wet bag in his cubby, put his 4 bottles of breastmilk in his tub in the fridge, and fill out a BabyGram about how his morning has gone so far, noting when he woke up, ate, and got his diaper changed, and any other instructions for the day. All of this happens in separate parts of a room with lots of baby gates, so I open and close at least 8 baby gates to get everything and everyone situated.
Back in the car, I took my first sip of coffee at 7:20 and listen to my favorite Christian radio station – the commute to and from work is my only quiet time during the day, weaving in and out of tractor-trailors on busy interstates.
7:40 – I arrived at work, bypassing the donuts a local church had set out for teachers. My hubby and I pinky-swore that we would go a whole year without eating a donut. LOL! Today, teachers got free FitBit Zips in our boxes. This never happens. So excited to use mine.
My office was a mess with school supplies someone dropped off for our students – I’m so grateful for the community support we have, and I love opening new school supplies and distributing them! I think it was from the donut people, but I sent a quick email to our secretary to be sure, so I can mail a thank-you note.
I had sidewalk duty at 7:45, spoke on the announcements because it was National School Counseling Week, and prepared for the day. The morning flew by with teaching all my classes, and by lunchtime I was more-than-ready to pump – 5 hours after I last fed the baby. I had to wait so long that I overfilled one bottle and spilled. After spending my own lunchtime pumping, I had cafeteria duty.
After 40 minutes of opening sticky food containers for kids and managing the overall volume of the cafeteria, the rest of my day is spent putting out small fires – meeting about students, meeting with parents, counseling students, making phone calls, and facilitating small groups. We have lots of other projects on our plate, like designing the school yearbook, coordinating Career Fair, organizing parent volunteers, etc., but I enjoy all of those tasks. Every day is truly different.
I carve a few minutes in my afternoon to pump once more. I don’t have any staff coverage, so my pumping schedule varies every day, and I get interrupted every now and then mid-session despite my efforts of locking the door and hanging a “Do not disturb” sign COVERING the door handle and lock. I normally have to ask my coworker to leave the room, but on Wednesdays he works at another school. After a frigid car duty outside, I pack up my things to leave – school bag (nautical), pump bag (stripes), lunch bag, and some lesson plan materials.
This was the first Wednesday I didn’t have an after-school meeting, so at 3:40, I left work and was finally able to eat a snack in the car. Nursing makes me so hungry! Chick-fil-a is doing a free coffee promotion all this month, so I swung by at 3:58 and picked up an iced vanilla coffee from the drive-thru before getting my kids. Four minutes out of the way for me-time before our marathon afternoon.
At 4:05, I arrived at daycare. I’m getting much more organized about pickup now that I have a system, and by 4:25, I am heading home. By 4:40, we arrive home with everyone and everything unloaded from the car. That has to be a record – usually it’s around 5 or later.
BREATHE. For a split second, we’re all safely inside.
And then the NEEDS begin.
Both kids are usually crying at this point from NEEDS. Daycare sent a full bottle home, so I gave that to Sage at 5:04 – he crushed it (E insisted on helping), then comfort-nursed at 5:11, which was good for both of us.
While we nursed, E hid in the bathroom upstairs while he was supposed to be picking out a diaper because he poops his pants as soon as we arrive home. Every day. Like clockwork. I changed both boys’ diapers and made it funny for E this time by cramming both of them together in the pack ‘n play.
I started the process of unloading all of our bags, just to wash everything and get them reloaded for tomorrow. I fill up four new bottles for tomorrow from bottles I pumped previously. I always aim to send 16 ounces to school. Luckily, Sage took to simple Avent bottles, which are easier to wash than the Playtex VentAire bottles E used.
I folded more diapers from this morning’s laundry, and my husband came home and started dinner at 5:45. Sage fell asleep at 6. I unpacked his dirty diapers from the wet bag and started a load of laundry – that whole process took less than 5 minutes. On Tuesdays and Thursdays at this time, I sneak in a run on the treadmill.
We ate dinner together – lots of getting up from the table – and Sage spit up at least five times from the milk overdose. E doesn’t eat much dinner and read books beside the table despite our best efforts to entice him back to his food.
I nursed Sage again at 7:00 and gave him a bath while my husband washed baby bottles and used pump parts downstairs. At 7:30, I set out the boys’ clothes for tomorrow and enlisted E’s help in cleaning the mess he made the night before.
I zipped Sage into his HannaJams and played with him while my husband gave E a bath.
At 7:50, I nursed Sage again and finished folding the morning’s laundry. Sage was asleep at 8:25 in his rock n’ play sleeper beside our bed. I finished snapping all the diapers and repacked the diaper bag for tomorrow. At 8:45, I went in E’s room to get him to sleep, and he fell asleep at 9:45, when I finally snuck out.
At 10 pm, I responded to some emails that were desperately overdue, ordered a birthday gift for our nephew (thank you, Amazon Prime, because the party is Sunday), setup my new FitBit to use the next day, and paid some bills – another task that I sometimes do during my lunchtime at work. I’m usually in bed between 11 and 12, and tonight it was 11. Small victory!
I am so blessed with my two sweet boys and my amazing husband. I hope that this post will help me to remember that the days are long, but the years are short.