The daily routine doesn’t feel a whole lot different than when I had a career in the military or when I had an early start for chiropractic college. The main difference between then and now is that not only do I need to get myself ready to face the world, but I also have a little dude to care for. Also, I’m a small business owner. So, there’s no demerits or docks in pay for being late to work, it just directly affects my business success. If that’s not motivation, I don’t know what is.
I don’t mind waking up early in the morning if I’ve had a decent night’s sleep. Getting a good night’s rest means being able to go to bed at a decent hour and not getting woken up several times at night. Since I’m a parent of a baby that tends to be high maintenance during periods of teething, colds, or stomach aches due to gassy foods, I can count on one hand how many nights of undisturbed sleep I’ve had in the past 15 months. I must be used to it by now, but it definitely affects my ability to feel rested and recouped.
Sleep disturbances aside, when my alarm goes off in the morning, I get out of bed and do as much of my morning prep as possible before the wake-up cry alarm goes off from my son’s room.
At that point, we hang out together for a few minutes for his morning nursing. Then, I put him on the potty in the bathroom where I can interact with him while I’m still fixing my hair and make-up. Thus, I accomplish two things at once, and my son’s happy to have someone who’ll listen to him “talk.”
After bathroom time, I dress my son in the clothes that I laid out for him the night prior. Then, I turn him loose in the living room to play with his cars while I prep his daily breakfast mix of whole milk yogurt, multi-vitamin powder, and cod liver oil mixed with bananas.
Meanwhile, my wonderful husband is doing his morning routine to get ready for work and cooking breakfast for the two of us. Most mornings, all three of us sit down together to enjoy breakfast as a family.
After breakfast, Calvin gets a few more minutes of playtime by himself or with his Daddy while I load up the car with multiple bags of gear: my backpack/laptop bag, diaper bag, lunch bag, random tote bags of other gear I need at the office.
Then, I finish up the last minute things like teeth brushing (although my son’s pretty good at handling that himself), making the bed, and doing a last diaper change before we head out the door.
I love that I don’t have to say goodbye to my son each day. I can keep an eye on him all day at work in his own room. I cuddle and nurse him when he wakes up from naps; we read books together at least once during the day; we eat lunch together.
The biggest challenge is when the day tends to run longer than anticipated. My son’s tolerance of the office gets stretched after 8 hours. Hey, what toddler isn’t fussy in the late afternoon and early evening? So, as long as I have afternoon snacks packed, and sometimes an extra lunch serving that can double as his dinner if we’re really running late, calmness can be achieved.
How does working affect chores at home? Well, that means I have to do a LOT more prep, too. We cook to have enough leftovers for at least one person’s lunch. On weekends, we prep enough food for Monday’s lunch and dinner. Laundry (including cloth diapers), dishes, vacuuming, and mopping gets done as often as it becomes a necessary emergency. And somehow, we manage.
Would it be easier if we had family nearby to lend a helping hand every once in awhile? Heck, yes. Especially on those weeks when Calvin’s under the weather thereby causing me to be extra sleep-deprived and/or under the weather. But, we march on. We’re privileged to have the opportunity to be together as a family while at work. I wouldn’t trade it for anything!
Filed under: working mama |