A (First Half of a) Day in the Life of a Working Mother: Molly

1:00 AM – Wake up to baby’s crying. She is back asleep by the time I get to the crib. Surely she’ll get back up. I lie down while I wait for her to get up for her typical night feeding but…

5:30 AM – Wake up to baby’s sounds. Can’t believe she slept through the night! Woohoo!!!!! This has happened a few times. Last night she went to sleep later than usual and it seems like if I really tire her out she will skip her night feed.

6:00 AM – Wife gets me out of bed to breastfeed the baby. Wife will get up before I do maybe 40% of the time. She spends some time with the baby before she goes to work outside the house. Today is her early schedule and she’ll be gone 6:30 AM – 3:30 PM. The other three weekdays she is gone 10:30 AM to 7:30 PM. It is just a typical 8-hour day, but moved up or down a couple hours.

6:05 AM – After making myself coffee, I sit down and breastfeed while I drink it. I drink iced coffee so no scalding risk to the baby (that’s not why I drink iced coffee, it is just a convenient bonus).

6:10 AM – Wife showers and gets ready for work. My day of childcare has begun.

6:45 AM – After breastfeeding and cuddling, I put the baby down in her bouncy chair. She likes to play with the dangling toys. I love it because she loves it. She needs no attention from me and is perfectly happy and safe.

6:50 AM – Have a bagel for breakfast while I watch some TV. I get to do this maybe 70% of mornings and it always feels like a luxury.

7:15 AM – Fill the dishwasher, pick up toys, that kind of thing while baby is still in her chair.

7:45 AM – Breastfeed again. Baby always nurses to sleep on me for her morning nap and I am trapped under her while she sleeps. She wakes if I move too much. I have figured out how to type on my laptop while she is sleeping on me (and how to reach the laptop from the armchair we nurse in) so this time is productive unlike the first few months when breastfeeding took more attention from me.

8:30 AM – I have to go to the bathroom. Baby is still sleeping on me. Start considering options. My parents are visiting and staying upstairs. (I live in the basement apartment of my aunt’s house. My parents are staying up with my aunt so I don’t know when/if they’ve left their bedroom in the morning.)

8:45 AM – Text my mom to ask if she’s up. Bathroom situation getting urgent.

9:00 AM – Mom replies that she is up but on the phone. She’ll be down when she’s done. (Talking on the phone would wake the baby.) I decide I will need to risk waking the baby by getting up and holding her while I go to the bathroom. I maneuver getting up out of the rocking armchair while holding her in the same position she fell asleep in. Miraculously, she stays asleep! I have to go so bad.

9:02 AM – Realize that if I go to the bathroom while holding her I will not be able to keep holding her while wiping so going in with her is pointless. I hear my mom coming down the stairs. I am barely holding it.

9:03 AM – Shove baby into Mom’s arms and see the baby’s eyes open as I waddle-run for the toilet.

9:06 AM – Come out to see the baby awake on my mom. Oh well. Stuff down guilt about waking her up from her nap. Feel justified I really waited as long as I possibly could have.

9:06 AM – Play with baby while my mom keeps dealing with the thing she had been on the phone about — troubleshooting texting issues we’re having with her phone. I resent that she switched from iPhone.

9:10 AM – Breastfeed. My days are a blur of boobs.

9:15 AM – Dad comes down and I hand baby to him. Grandparents fawn over her. I get warm fuzzies and smile seeing how happy all three of them are together.

9:20 AM – Mom and Dad take baby into her bedroom and close the door so I can work. I work from home on a couple different part-time things. My mom comes down to visit once a week so I can catch up on work for one day. It is so helpful. My parents are just back from two months out of the country and this is the second time she’s come over since they got back. I had forgotten how much it helps.

9:45 AM – I hear baby fussing in her room. I overhear my parents discussing what it could be. It sounds like diaper fussing to me. I keep working.

9:46 AM – My baby is fussing. I need to save her. How can I coldly sit out in the living room (that same armchair I nurse in, my whole day is in this chair) and not help my baby?! No. Be strong, this is your work time, you have to work. Mom and Dad can handle it. They’ll figure it out.

9:47 AM – I put down the laptop and go to the baby’s room. I tell my parents it is probably a diaper. My mom changes the diaper.

10:15 AM – Mom comes out of the baby’s room with baby. She is fussing again and won’t fall asleep on my mom. Mom is going for a bottle but I offer to nurse instead. I have a sore throat and baby has a runny nose so the milk I have in this moment will be specially tailored with the right antibodies for her. Plus I can keep working on my laptop while she nurses.

10:17 AM – Baby “dreamfeeds” (sleeps and eats at same time) as I keep working on my laptop. I feel particularly bad-ass and accomplished when I do these two things at once.

10:20 AM – Start worrying about how I told my mom to change her diaper. My parents are still sitting in the baby’s room with the door closed. There’s no sound except my mom blowing her nose. Oh God, she is crying over how I didn’t trust her to get my baby to stop fussing. I micro-managed and made her feel bad. I’m the worst.

paper bag breathing almost perfectloops

10:21 AM – Continue to worry I upset my mom. Continue to work on laptop.

11:15 AM – My phone rings. Baby has stopped eating at this point but is still sleeping hard. I decide to answer the phone since she’s been sleeping long enough.

11:16 AM – Answering the phone wakes the baby. Dammit.

11:20 AM – I pass the baby to my mom and check that everything’s OK. Yes, she had to blow her nose and she was just sitting in there having her breakfast and reading the Times on her iPad. No, she is not remotely upset that I suggested changing a diaper. Relieved, I go back to working and Mom takes the baby upstairs.

As of noon I am still working (counting blogging as working!) and the baby is upstairs with my parents and aunt. I am thrilled with how the first half of the day has gone. So much laptop time! My inbox is down from 35 to 25 unread emails.

Here’s the second half of today in Part Two!

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