Monday, October 18, 2010

A Day In The Life Of....A Working Mom! (LeeAnn)

I am mama to 10 month old Iris Bloom, wife to my wonderful husband Lincoln, dog mom to a 12 year-old golden retriever named Kodiak, and a Dept Director at ANTHC in Anchorage. After ten years of marriage, two graduate degrees, a few career changes, and lots travel, I was thrilled to give birth to Ms. Bloom last December but I was completely unprepared for how to balance work and home. I thought for sure that my gift for organization and multi-tasking would make going back to work full-time a breeze! Add last-minute diaper changes on the way out the door, mid-day Pediatrician appointments, discovering milk stains on my sleeve during a presentation, and sleepless nights to an already packed work schedule and you will find opportunities for chaos. While there are many challenging moments, I feel so grateful to be able to contribute to my community through my work and still have a full family life. Here's a snapshot of a recent Monday:  

12:00 am 
Wake to crying on the baby monitor. Pad down the hall to find Iris sitting up in her crib half asleep wailing away. I pick her up and carry to our bed for Bedtime Part 2: co-sleeping with mama and daddy. We have tried crying it out and found that we are just not those parents, although I would love to be them some nights. I have a well-worn copy of Mindell's Sleeping Through the Night on my nightstand but we are still midnight co-sleeping for now. 
4:15 am
Iris wakes up crying. I fix her a bottle in the dark, feed her, and we all go back to sleep for a precious hour or so.    
5:40 am 
Alarm goes off and I hit snooze.
5:47 am 
Hit snooze again
5:53 am 
Alarm goes off for the third time and I slide out of bed. We usually hike on Sundays and my calves are sore! Iris is a Daddy's girl and is carefully tucked in his arm fast asleep. It's Monday and Lincoln is heading to the gym to start his week so we slowly pick her up and place her in the pack & play in our room. He watches her while getting ready for the gym and I head downstairs to feed the dog, fix a cup of coffee, and pack my lunch. 
6:05 am 
Back upstairs to find a happy tousle-haired Iris standing in her pack & play babbling to Lincoln.
6:10 am 
Linc heads out and I pull the pack & play into the bathroom and start to get ready.
6:11 am 
Step into the shower and play several rounds of peekaboo with Iris while washing my hair and shaving my legs. I take a look at the clock and see that we are a tad bit behind already.
6:30 am 
Take Iris into her room to change her diaper and clothes for the day. We sit and play on her blanket for a minute or two and practice standing outside her crib.
7:10 am 
Back downstairs. Everyone is dressed, the dog's been out, and it's time to go. Linc thoughtfully put a meal in the crock pot so dinner is a no-brainer tonight. Grab the multitude of bags we need for the day: daycare bag, work bag, gym bag, and purse.
7:12 am 
Back in the house to grab long-forgotten to go cup of coffee.
7:40 am 
Daycare drop off. We say hi to everyone and everything on the way in. Lots and lots of good mornings before we get to her room. I had lots of anxiety about leaving her when I first went back to work but love the care and enrichment she is getting during the day.
7:50 am 
Speed to the office. Check work email in the parking to get my head around the day. Hmmm...some of my colleagues have been here since 6:00 am.
8:45 am 
Unexpected meetings and staff out sick. Need to move a couple of things around.
10:00 am to 11:30 am 
Meetings. Meetings. Meetings. Check iPhone screen in between to ensure no emergency calls from daycare.
11:40 am 
Check in with Linc on my drive to the gym for lunch. Watch Food Network at gym for 30 min workout and wish that I cooked more at home. (Lincoln cooks pretty much everything we eat. If I cooked, we'd be eating Charlie Brown Thanksgiving meals--popcorn and toast--most days of the week.) Thankful we kept our gym membership after Iris. I feared that balloons would fall from the ceiling after my long absence when I first came back after maternity leave.
12:45 pm 
Eat lunch in the hallway as I check in with people before my next meeting.
3:00 pm 
Finally out of last meeting and planning my catch up for the day and plan for the week. Lots of exciting things happening at the office these days. Just need to get myself organized enough to tackle them efficiently.
4:15 pm 
Attempt to fit in last-minute project in between catch up calls. I manage to get it done and out the door.
4:58 pm 
Look at the clock and realize that I need to make to do list for tomorrow. Linc takes Iris in on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays and without the daycare drop-off I am much more on the ball when I get to work. Tuesday is always better than Monday.
5:30 pm 
Linc has picked up Iris and we touch base by phone on our drives home. I can hear her happily babbling in the backseat. Yes, "dada" is the coolest word ever.
5:45 pm 
Everyone is home and we are playing "crawly-crawly" in the living room before dinner. I am exhausted from the busy day but that kid just makes it all go away. Iris has added a climbing segment to this play so Lincoln and I are working the zones to ensure that she does not fall off the furniture or try to climb the dog. I feed Iris and Lincoln serves up plates for the two of us.
7:10 pm 
Time for bed! Linc takes Iris on a tour of all of the photos in our house so she can say goodnight to her grandmas. One of us gets the bath ready while the other one wrangles her out of her clothes. This takes much longer some nights. Laundry is started and clothes are chosen for tomorrow in between bath and bed.
7:25 pm 
One bedtime story, a bottle, and enough rocking to put both of us to sleep.
7:50 pm 
Iris is out and I head downstairs to catch up with Lincoln. Work is crazy but exciting for both of us and we take turns talking about our days and plans for this next week. I make a mental list of the things that didn't get done and figure out when to do them later in the week. Although we don't let Iris watch it yet, we both LOVE TV and find something interesting to watch.
10:00 pm 
Bedtime for us and the dog. Clothes are folded and ironed, plans for the next day are arranged, and snuggle time is on!
Before I had a kid, I thought that you could have everything. The idea that you would have to segment your life between work, kids, husband, and personal time seemed ridiculous. And then they put Iris on my chest that Thursday afternoon in December and I soon realized that I can't have everything at the same time. I love work and family but that's where all of my energy goes right now. There are far less coffee hours with girlfriends, book club sessions, volunteer activities, and spontaneous opening-night movies on a Friday night. I have faith that it will all slide back into place as the years go on with the addition of sleep-overs, birthday parties, and parents night at school. It's a FULL life right now but I like it and feel like I am giving the best of myself to both home and work.   

1 comment:

  1. What a great post, thanks so much, u kinda give me a clue as to what I will be dealing with when I go back to work.