Shaun is on contract in an office now on a three-month contract writing traning manuals, in addition to freelancing. I’m at work, back in the marketing department with a flex-schedule. Here’s what a day-in-the-life of our two-income, one baby (she’ll be 7 months old on the 29th) household looks like at the moment:
4-ish-5am: Babykins calls out for her dad from the nursery: “waaa!” She wants him to pluck her from her crib and snuggle her next to me in the big bed. There, she falls back to sleep and has a “dream feed” while I half-sleep. She must drink a gallon, for when I wake up my boobs are so grotesquely lopsided that I’ve got to pump the other side to fit into my bra for the day.
5-5:30: Dad slips sleeping Lila back into her crib and goes back to bed. I pump and eat breakfast, usually oatmeal and tea.
5:30-6:35: Get myself ready for the work: shower, hair, makeup, outfit.
6:35: Slip into the nursery and put on Beethoven for Babies and turn on the light. I pick out an outfit for her and lay it out for Shaun. Lila likes to wake up this way, gradually. I leave her to wake and set about packing up her daycare bag and my work bag and pump supplies for the day.
6:40: Lila is playing happily in her crib. Shaun goes in to say, “Do I hear a wake-d up baby in here?” In response, Lila gives us a super nova smile.
6:40-6:50: Shaun gets Lila ready for the day—morning diaper, outfit, nose suctioning, washcloth to the crusty face—while I unload the dishwasher. Well, I’m supposed to be unloading the dishwasher, but sometimes I’m running late due to over-snoozing and am still brushing my teeth at this point.
6:50: Lila goes in the front carrier and I walk her and all our bags out to the car. We load up and we’re on our way with NPR to keep us informed.
Sometime between 7:20 and 7:30, depending on traffic: Arrive at daycare. If it’s nice and we arrive closer to 7:20, Lila and I have a quick walk around the park across the street from daycare. We look at the doggies and the birds and the high school baseball players having morning practice. The sun rises over the city, making everything shine.
7:30: Sign in to daycare and feed Lila her breakfast; we nurse in a big comfy chair in the corner.
7:50: “Mama’s going to work now so you can play with Lauren, Misty, and all of your friends! See you at dinner time. Then we’ll go home to snuggle with Daddy! Have a good day! Love you! Bye-bye!”
8 am: Clock in to work.
8-10: work, work, work.
10: Obscond to lacatation room to pump. Pump. Back upstairs to stash milk in fridge.
10:30 -12:30: work, work, work. Eat lunch at desk.
12:30-1am: pump again.
1-3: work, work, work.
3:30-4: finish up projects for the day, make “to-do” list for tomorrow.
4pm: Clock out.
4:20: “Lila, look whose here!” She sees me and smiles a huge smile before lunging at my chest with her mouth wide open, trying to latch on to me through my shirt. We nestle into our chair and nurse a before we leave for home.
4:30–5:10: Try to get home before traffic gets heinous. Lila likes to listen to the radio and “sings along” (aka: squeals and babbles) to Jay Sean, Black Eyed Peas, Miley Cyrus’ Party in the U.S.A. While I can’t say that I enjoy this music, I can see why babies like it: these songs are simple, repetitive, with a strong beat. Lila also likes Sigur Ros, Camera Obscura, and Kate Nash, so there are some music tastes we share. For the car, though, it’s XRT.
5:10-5:50: We chill in the nursery chair where Lila cluster-feeds (nursing) and naps in my snuggle.
5:50: Daddy’s home! Lila wakes at the sound of Shaun’s keys in the door and gets super awake and smiley all of a sudden.
5:50-6:15 Shaun and Lila play and do diapering while I whip up a super quick meal/re-heat leftovers/retrieve crock-pot something or other.
6:15-6:30: We scarf dinner while feeding Lila a bit of some baby-type mushy food.
6:30-7:30: Abandon diner dishes and play. If it’s nice out, we go for a walk to the lake and back; Shaun wears babykins in the front carrier. If it’s crappy out, we play inside on the baby blanket, read stories, sing songs.
7:30-8pm: I give baby her bath, night diaper, vitamins, nose suctioning while Shaun picks up the dinner dishes. Shaun sets up the nursery humidifier and puts Sigur Ros on (for some reason, she LOVES to sleep to this music, eventhough I’d think it’s a bit too rockin’ for night-night time).
8pm: Nurse babykins to sleep. Shaun starts his other shift as freelance writer at this time, sometimes he goes to the cafe next door, sometimes the couch is more appealing.
8:30: I’m usually so pooped and relaxed at this point that I’ve fallen asleep in the chair with the baby and wake up at this point with a stiff neck. I slip baby into her crib where she slumbers like a little angel.
8:30-9:30: I pick up the house, pay bills, prep dinner for the following night, make lunches for the next day, and try to keep general chaos at bay.
9:30: No more work. I stop everything, get my ass ready for bed and read a bit.
10pm: Lights out.
11-midnight-ish: Shaun usually is finishing up his freelance projects for the night and rolls into bed.
2am: Lila wants to eat. Nurse and back to sleepy time.
Do it all again.
EDIT: Oops. Didn’t mean to hit “publish” so soon. Here’s what I meant to add:
Our schedule–the night-time routine, especially—took a long time to get good at. We used to have to rock/soothe babykins to sleep FOREVER until we fell into a weird routing where she crashed for an hour at 7pm, only to wake and want to be “plugged in” (aka: attached to my boobs) from 8-11pm. We let it happen and gradully she got the idea that bedtime was a peaceful, nice thing (we didn’t have the spine to Ferberize; plus we live in an apartment with very thin walls and a wailing baby just isn’t neighborly). She’s been going down to bed easy as pie (knock on wood) for the past two months or so now.
Also, the driving-to-work, daycare, Shaun-in-an-office thing is very new. We’ve only been doing this for about six weeks or so. It took all of us a while to get used to the whole daycare thing (the first week was HORRIFIC emotionally, financially, and logistically—baby’s schedule was turned completely upside down which made her sad/crazy and subsequently made Shaun and I sad/crazy). Things are good now, though (or as good as they can be given that daycare is never exactly an ideal solution).
The daycare next door to us (an in-home place that our neighbor runs for up to six neighborhood babies at a time) has an opening in early April, so we’ll be switching there shortly. Although I dread going through another rough transition of Lila getting used to a new caregiver/schedule, we’re going to save a TON (nearly $250/month) just by me being able to walk Lila next door to daycare and simply take the subway to work again. Right now, where our current daycare is located, public transit isn’t really a feasibly option.
Am I happy? Yes. Am I tired? Sometimes. But it feels like we’re working hard and creating something better for ourselves day by day. I wish we had more time together, but the time we do have is fun. Lila’s got a great sense of humor—her default is cuddly and laughing. I love our family walks in the evening; it’s so nice to chat and laugh with Shaun and get some fresh air and just take a little break from the grind. Plus, there’s always the weekends. Weekends are where it’s at.
What’s your schedule like?