notes on being a working mom: first day back

By a stroke of luck and good timing I ended up with 14 weeks off of work for Charlie’s birth. It wasn’t enough…not by a long shot. But, I suppose that may have been true for us no matter how much time I had off.

My first day back was April 1st, or, April Fool’s Day. I manged to get up on time, get Charlie fed, get myself ready, and get Kaylee started on her morning routine before 7:15 rolled around. After some nudging from Scott, I was out the door and on the road by 7:30.

I pulled into the lot at work by 7:50, plenty of time to spare.

7:51 – don’t notice travel mug is missing crucial piece that keeps the lid closed. Spill coffee all over bag, passenger seat, and floor. Mop it up with a diaper I had stashed in my purse. Try not to cry.

It was as if I could hear the universe laughing; “April Fools!”. You got me, ha, ha.

8:00 – get to my desk and set to work unpacking all the crap I drug in with me.

10:15 – pump. Try not to think about the months of this I have ahead of me. Think about how odd it is to do this at my desk. Check email to pass the time. Body decides it’s not a fan of this new setup. Get dismal amount of milk.

10:30 – spend time getting reacclimated. Start picking away at to-do list I made before I left.

12:00 – eat lunch. Send text to hubby to check in. No response. Wonder if the kids are eating him alive.

12:15 – pump. Think about baby. Cry. Get more milk than ever.

12:30 – Check in with coworkers about various projects. Schedule meetings, get through more email, get some web stuff done for gallery.

3:30 – pump. Think about baby. Try to cry. Doesn’t work. Clean up pump parts and pack them away for the day. Make some calls.

4:30 – walk to car. Get overwhelmed by coffee smell upon opening the door. Drive home with windows cracked. Ponder how much worse the smell would be if I had gotten around to adding milk instead of forgetting it in my rush to get out the door.

Feel exhausted. Stop off and Panera to pick up dinner rather than cook.

5:15 – pull up to the house. Take garbage cans inside. See Kaylee peek through the garage door while chanting ‘mommy’, ‘mommy’, ‘mommy.’ Run up and give her a big hug. Try not to cry.

5:20 – listen to toddler recount her day. Her story is mostly fiction, full of plot holes, and broken English.

5:25 – Kiss husband. Husband looks like he’s been through a war. Baby cried all day. Apologize for the coffee incident. Kiss baby. Smell baby. Nurse baby while watching Dora with Toddler. Husband is crashed out next to us on couch.

5:45 – baby is asleep. Put baby to bed. Watch daddy and Toddler play chase.

6:00 – Toddler squeals. Baby is awake. Change baby’s diaper. Watch daddy and Toddler play chase. Nurse baby some more.

7:00 – Baby is asleep. Put baby to bed. Get toddler ready for bed.

7:30 – Finish watching Dora. Brush toddlers teeth. Pee-pee on the potty. Turn on toddler’s favorite music. Dance together in her room. Get her into bed. Pick out stories. Read stories. Sing ABC song. Draw letters on her back. Toddler has to go pee-pee. Get out of bed. Go to bathroom. Get back in bed. Tuck toddler in. Toddler wants drink. Get drink. Toddler wants a kiss. Give her a daddy kiss, kitty kiss, doggie kiss, fishy kiss, eskimo kiss, octopus kiss. Kiss all of her animals. And. One. last. BIG. kiss. Say goodnight light. Turn off light.

8:00 – leave toddler to fend for herself in the dark.

8:10 – toddler is asleep. Do dishes. Start load of laundry.

8:30 – crash out on couch.

9:00 – baby is awake. Change baby. Nurse baby. Put baby back to bed.

10:00- take a nap.

12:15 – wake up. Pump. Throw pump parts in sink and milk in fridge. Trip over cat. Stub toe on kitchen table. Yell at cat.

1:00 – Fall into bed. Realize forgot to feed cats. Fall asleep while pondering getting up.

2:55 – cats freak out and start running around the house moaning.

3:00 – baby is awake. Try not to cry. Yell at cats. Change baby. Nurse baby.

3:45 – baby is asleep.

3:50 – baby wakes up when put down to bed. Baby cries. Walk baby until he falls asleep again.

4:00 – put baby down to sleep. Baby wakes up. Baby cries. Try not to cry. Nurse baby.

4:15 – baby is asleep again. Burp baby. Fall alseep with baby on chest.

5:45 – wake up. Get stink-eye from cat who is two inches from face. Put baby in swing. Baby is asleep. Take shower before he wakes up again.

6:00 – get ready for work. Pack up baby’s daycare bag. Pack up toddler’s daycare bag. Trip over cat while packing lunch for hubby and me. Feed cats.

6:30 – baby is awake. Change baby. Nurse baby.

7:00 – baby is asleep. Put baby in swing. Start swing. Swing is lound. Baby wakes up. Leave baby to fend for himself. Baby falls back to sleep.

7:05 – Toddler is awake. Go to toddler’s bedroom. Greet toddler. Get toddler dressed. Toddler wants ‘new milk’ and to ‘watch a show.’ Find Dora on Netflix. Start Dora. Toddler cries. Toddler wants to watch Caillou.  Stop Dora. Start Caillou. Wake up daddy.

7:30 – kiss everyone goodbye. Toddler clings to my leg as I head out the door. Daddy grabs toddler. Toddler cries “nooooo! don’t go mommy”, “stay with Kaylee”, “Mommy no go to work”, “Take Kaylee with you”.  Baby wakes up.

7:35 – pull out of garage. Realize I left lunch sitting out on counter. Wonder if this is what life will be like for the next year. Try not to cry.  Listen to Colby Calliet CD. Stop for cinnamon swirl latte on the way in. Daddy sends picture text. Everyone is all smiles. Feel better.

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