Friday, June 27, 2014

a day in the life of a not-so-stay-at-home mom

I've always wanted to document a day in the life of a work day for Addi and I, because it's not something that people typically do. And surprisingly enough, people don't usually ask me any questions when I tell them I get to bring her to work, they just respond with, "oh, you're SO lucky!" Which I totally am, don't get me wrong. I am super fortunate that I can bring her to work, for many reasons. Mainly because I don't have to worry about day care, but also because that means I don't have to miss any of her "growing up."
But that doesn't mean it isn't hard. Some days I get home from work so utterly exhausted that I walk around from room to room, forgetting why I walked into it in the first place. Yeah, I work a desk job, which is a generous term for sitting on my ass in front of a computer all day, but it pays the bills and I don't have to worry about finding some weirdo stranger to watch my kid. But add a child to the equation and all hell breaks loose. Having my little one in the office creates a whole new realm of challenges. I will say that it definitely makes time zoom by! 

So, here's a typical day in the life of a working mom who also brings her kid to work.

GETTING THERE
I've tweaked her schedule to pretty much time our mornings perfectly, but as nothing in life is perfect [particularly when it comes to getting anywhere on time when a child is involved], neither is our schedule. For example, this morning she slept until 7:30. Which was pure magic. Because that meant I, too, got to sleep until 7:30. Because of this, and because I set my alarm for 7:30 to remind myself to give her reflux medication, I slept soundly until she woke up. Which put us quite a bit behind.

Typically, she's my alarm at about 6:30. Matt has been getting her bottle and medicine ready for me before he leaves for work at 7, which is incredibly helpful because I'm the furthest thing from a morning person a human can be. Him preparing these things saves me time and effort, both of which I'm lacking substantially before 9 am. 
Once I've got her fed and medicated, I get ready while she plays on our bed. 
And then we're finally out the door. This process is usually the hardest part of my day. Though I do get frustrated throughout my work day balancing calls, cries, hunger, and everything in between, it's nothing compared to getting me and my child prepared for a work day. 
I also make a stop on the way to work at Kwik Shop to get my mountain dew fix. Because I like to add insult to injury.

PROPS
This bag has become the Mary Poppins of all bags. It seemingly has no bottom. 
This type of organization is called "throw shit in there randomly and hope milk doesn't get all over everything." It's quite a popular method among mothers everywhere. 
I carry it everywhere and if I forget it, I have to go back home and get it. I don't keep bottles at the office anymore because it just became a pain in the ass to wash them there, so I bring one and reuse it throughout the day, rinsing it out between feedings. [And in case you are new to the blog, no, I do not breastfeed. We've formula-fed from the beginning.]

When we finally get to the office, it takes me about 10 minutes to get all of my crap together. I'm usually sweating by the end of it. Adelaide stays in her car seat by my desk while I do this, until she starts screaming, signaling her irritation with me leaving her in there. After her wave of annoyance hits, I stop what I'm doing and tend to her. 
This is a crucial part of my day because it happens...oh, every 10 minutes. That's about how long her attention span is. Every time she starts crying, I have no choice but to tend to her. Because I'm her mother and it's kind of my job. And I'll tell you right now, no matter if I'm in the middle of a call with a pissed of customer or one of our stores is burning down and they for some reason called me to assist them, my kid always comes first. No exceptions. 
That said, she is really into fake crying right now and she knows how to manipulate me into picking her up. We're working on that one. I work in a very small office, my father in law as my boss. The other two people who work in here only use it as a hub for their stuff; they're typically out and about at the stores all day, so usually it's just me and Addi in here. Most of the time I will let her fuss a little bit if I know she's faking it or just trying to get her way. But if someone's in here, that isn't really a possibility. The last thing I want to do is annoy people with a crying child I'm trying to "teach a lesson." It's rude. 

DESK
My desk area is much like my life in general; a hot mess. 
A true example of starting your day in "fight or flight" mode. Yikes.
At any given time during the day, my desk becomes littered with bottles, sippy cups, sleepers and bibs. Plus all of the actual work stuff that accumulates. 

In the corner where my desk is sits Addi's play area, something that will soon need expanded when she becomes mobile [I'm thinking a gated area, but I'm not sure yet]. 
 This is where we spend most of our time. She eats, plays, and gets changed here. It's multi-purpose. 
The foam puzzle pieces get disgusting so they get an almost daily cleaning with anti-bacterial products. 

In addition to my desk being surrounded with baby crap, the drawers get a little piece of action as well. 
I keep the important stuff [boogie wipes, paci wipes, pacifiers, bibs, burp cloths, etc.] in these drawers for easy access. I have backups of everything in another room.

On the other side of my desk are more toys to keep her entertained throughout the day. We also have a bin filled with extra toys and books; we read several a day. 
I bought the stand-up play center for super cheap second hand. It's been a life-saver.
I can watch her while I'm sitting at my desk -

The bathroom isn't left alone, either. 
I fill up bottles and clean toys, spoons and medical equipment in here as well. Multi-purpose once again.

SLEEPING ARRANGEMENTS
Napping was probably my biggest concern when I was first trying to figure out this venture of ours. I originally had her pack 'n play set up as a changing area, but when she grew out of her rock 'n play, I was forced to move that to the play area and use the pack 'n play solely for sleeping. 
I also have fabric drawers filled with extra blankets, spare clothes, bibs, socks, diapers, medicine, and diaper wipes. Anytime I run out of something, I have to make a note in my Mary Poppins bag so I remember to replenish from extra stocks at the house. In the event that I forget to do this [which is pretty much every time], I run across the street to Dollar General and pay a lot more money than I should to stock the supply temporarily. It does help to have it right across the street, though. 

Nap times are tricky; sometimes she sleeps two hours, sometimes only 45 minutes. The other day she slept for 3 hours and I had to go check in on her to make sure she was okay. It really just depends on the noise level and how many times I have to go into her room to get uniforms for new employees. 
There are also times when the conference room is being used for actual meetings. In these situations we just improvise. Sometimes it ends with a really fussy baby, but you just have to adjust and anticipate change. 
I once got really creative and made a blanket fort under one of our tables during a meeting. Gotta work with what you've got. 

WHEN ALL ELSE FAILS
It's sometimes really difficult to keep her happy. Usually she's up a couple hours between naps [she typically naps from 9-11 and 2-4 if I'm lucky. I'll put her down for naps in between if she doesn't sleep long during either one of those] so keeping her busy can be tricky. When I get to the point where nothing is working, I put her in her carrier and hope she takes a cat nap. 

And when even that doesn't work, I break out the big guns; 
Baby Einstein videos on the iPad
This whole process has taught me a lot about stay-at-home moms and how much work it is. Being able to be around my child all day is a blessing, but it's exhausting. Add in my day job and by the end of the day I'm ready for a glass of wine and bed at an incredibly early hour. 

So that's it, ya'll. Hope you enjoyed a look into our typical day at the office! 

2 comments:

  1. That is just amazing!! Its awesome you have a job where you can take her with you.

    ReplyDelete
  2. I'm gonna go ahead and say, just like everyone else, how lucky you are that you get to bring your pumpkin to work with you!!!

    ReplyDelete

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