Thursday, April 5, 2012

Working Mom: Making it work

I have been back at work for almost two months now and people often ask how it works for us. Honestly it's hard but it works. What's particularly challenging is that my job is not really a 9-5 job. I manage the public policy at our local Chamber. This means I often have to be at work for 7:30am meetings and/or be at evening events, public forums, and City Council Meetings. It's not uncommon for me to have a 7am-7:30pm day or leave work at 5pm only to be back at City Council at 7:30pm until 10pm. However, I have other weeks with no evening meetings and I try to maintain balance by leaving work early on a day when I have less going on to make up for the days I am working 10 hours. I amlost always go nurse Margot at least once a day. If I have a lunch meeting I try to go before or after if I can.

Here's what at typical day might look like for us:
5:30-7am: Chris wakes up and showers, then I shower, and get ready, wake up Miss Margot, change her diaper and get her dressed, Chris usually makes tea and breakfast while I get Margot ready, nurse Margot (I usually drink some tea and eat something while I'm nursing her), get out the door
7:15-7:30: drop of Margot at my Mom's, drop Chris at his office and head to work
7:30-noon: work, stopping to pump sometime between 9-10
noon-one: go to my Mom's to nurse Margot and eat lunch, this usually includes some good cuddle or play time with my baby
one-4:45: work, stopping to pump around 3
4:45-5:45: pick up Chris from his office, go to Mom's, nurse Margot, get her ready and go home
5:45-6:45: change, pick up, rotate laundry, pack bags for next day and make dinner while Chris plays with Margot
6:45 ish: eat dinner, usually Margot sits on my lap at the table or hangs out in her bouncy seat in the dining room with us
7:15-7:45: give Margot her bath, baby massage, play time, pj's, story and nurse to sleep
7:45-9:30-10: Chris and I do dishes and rotate laundry (on a good night) and hang out watching TV or reading
9:30-10: nurse Margot one more time before I go to bed. Usually then she will sleep until 2:30 or 3am then I'll nurse her again.

Things that make it work for us:

  • Always pack our bags (diaper bag, pump bag and work bag) the night before. This is also when I replenish my pump parts and wash and sterilize things

  • try to do one load of laundry every day or at least every other day otherwise I spend the whole weekend doing laundry

  • easy quick dinners and go to breakfasts

  • meal plan and grocery shop on the weekend so we don't have to stop at the store on our way home or figure out what to make for dinner at 5pm

  • change expectations of a clean house--I try to keep our house picked up during the week but I try not to stress if a few days go by without that happening. We try to do at least some cleaning on the weekends but again that doesn't always happen. It's more important to us that we spend our free time with Margot since we both have to be away from her so much. That's more important than a clean house right now.

  • respect Margot's schedule--Margot isn't on a really strict schedule but one thing we do try to maintain is her bed time routine. We've found to do this we need to limit taking her out at night. She does best when she's home by 6 and in bed by 8. Also we need those 2 hours of downtime and if she doesn't go down by 8 she gets a second wind and then we spend those two hours getting her to sleep. This means if I have an evening meeting Chris has to be home with her and if we both want to be out we have to have a sitter come to our house.

We are lucky that we have a lot of support and help. Margot goes to my Mom's house everyday when I'm at work. This is a huge time commitment for my Mom. Often she has Margot as early as 6:30am and sometimes as late as 6pm. But knowing she is with my Mom makes it much easier for me to be away as much as I am. We also have a lot of other family around to help babysit. Although we don't leave her very often outside of work when we do it's nice to know we have people that love her to take care of her. And as much as my job is demanding and challenging I am blessed to that I really love what I do.

Are you a working Mom? What makes it work for you? What are your tips?

No comments:

Post a Comment