Friday, August 20, 2010

The Life of a Working Mommy

Thank you for all of your kind words and comments from my last 'A Day
in the Life' Post over at The Domestic Wannabe. I really wanted to follow up with a post about how life is from me on a work day. I wanted to be honest and real in these posts so you can get a glimpse to what life is like for working moms and stay at home moms. At least from my perspective. You can really see from both days that there are positives and negatives to both situations. I know that for me, working a part time schedule is a decision that I can live with and know that I am doing everything that I can for my family.

5:15am My clock radio alarm goes off and I instantly hit snooze. I think I purposely set my alarm knowing full well that I will be hitting snooze at least once or twice every morning. Before I roll over for a quick 10 minute nap, I check the baby monitor to make sure Jillian looks OK. I realize at that moment that she slept through the night again and I didn't even get up in the middle of the night to check on her. I am finding that now that she has been sleeping through the night more and more lately, my body is starting to get up less and less on it's own. I feel that we are finally seeing the light at the end of the tunnel of our sleeping woes.

5:45am After pushing snooze a few more times, I make myself get out of bed. I then try to asses how much time I have to get myself and the baby ready in order to get to work on time.

5:50am I wander around the upstairs of our house for a few minutes just to try to wake myself up. The sun is starting to come up and it looks like it is going to be another beautiful day here in Cleveland. I check on Jillian who is sound asleep in her crib.

6am Since I should have gotten out of bed by at least 5:30, I determine that it's a pony tail day and that I didn't leave myself enough time to properly blow dry and style my hair. My hair is in desperate need of a cut again anyway, and with this humidity, it's probably best in a pony tail anyway. I hop in the shower realizing that I need to shave which gives me even less time to get myself ready. Yep, definitely a ponytail day.

6:20am I get out of the shower, towel off, and throw on my robe. I brush my teeth, wipe off any excess eye make up that is still lingering under my eyes, and slather on some moisturizer. Jeff walks into the bathroom to start his morning routine. We both congratulate each on another night that Jillian has not woken up to eat.

I head downstairs to pump and get Jillians bottles ready for day care. My pump is still sitting next to our large chair in our great room where I pumped last night before bed. After pumping for 15 minutes, I remove the bottles filled with breast milk and the pumps funnels from my pump. I place the funnels in the sink and place the bottles of fresh milk in the fridge. I pull out four bottles from our cupboard. Three bottles for formula and one bottle for breast milk. All of our bottles our labeled with our name and with indicators which tell the ladies at daycare if it's breast milk or formula. See the little F's on the labels in the picture below? That indicates formula. I prefer that they feed Jillian the breast milk bottles first. They also use the breast milk in one of the bottles to mix with rice cereal for Jillian's lunch.

7am Jeff walks downstairs and finds me in our pantry grabbing Jillian's lunch and bottle holder. He is carrying Jillian and she gives me a big smile. She looks adorable still wrapped up in her sleep sack. I give her a bunch of morning kisses and begin to get her breakfast ready. We normally feed Jillian a bottle in the morning but lately she doesn't seem all that interested in it. She has only been taking 2 ounces of milk which was starting to concern me. I made the decision the day before that we would try her on solids for breakfast now too to see what happened. For the past month, she has been eating solids for only lunch and dinner.
I open the fridge and pull out the breast milk I just pumped. I pour out an ounce and a half into a container and stick it in the bottle warmer. I also put dried oatmeal into a bowl and opened up a container of Gerber Stage I pears. Jeff feeds Jillian and I head back upstairs to finish getting ready.

7:15am I blow dry my hair and throw it into a short pony tail. I spray my hair, put on my make up and finish getting dressed. Jeff brings Jillian upstairs to say goodbye. It's his turn to take Jillian to daycare this morning, I will be picking her up tonight after work.

I follow Jeff and Jillian down the stairs to say good bye. Jeff puts on his shoes and I strap Jillian into her car seat. I give Jillian a ton of kisses and tell her to have fun at school. I give Jeff Jillian's bag of bottles, a bag of diapers, and some extra clothes for her. We keep extra clothes and diapers at daycare and they use them as needed. Since Jillian had a blow out last week, I had to send Jeff with some extra clothes for her in anticipation of future blow outs! I give Jeff a kiss goodbye and they walk out the door. I grab a few Nutrigrain bars from our pantry for breakfast and gather up my bags. I carry four, count them, four bags to work each day. My baby bag which is also my purse, my work laptop bag, my pump, and my gym bag. I swear I look like I am going on vacation instead of work each morning. I wish I would have taken a picture of that, all of my bags are a sight to see!

7:46am I put all of my "luggage" into my SUV and leave for work. I say a silent prayer that traffic cooperates that morning and I get there around 8am.

7:55am I drive down I -271 while praising God that traffic is manageable.

8:05am I pull into the parking lot at work and thankfully still find a parking spot.

8:15am I am logged on to my computer and ready to start my day. I talk with my co-worker, Rene', who sits in the cube next to me. She is also a part time employee and is a Mommy of three boys. I think my life is crazy! Bless her heart, she is a wonderful Mom and I have learned a lot just sitting next to her and talking about our kids. Rene' and I decided to walk downstairs to our cafeteria to crab some coffee.

8:30am I am back at my desk and ready to respond to my emails, return a voice mails, and review the work of the accountant who is currently reporting to me. One of my job responsibilities is to manage, mentor, and develop the younger accountants in our group. I am stocked up on caffeine and ready to start my day!

11am I realize that it's 11am and I have forgotten to pump! I wrap up the latest report I am working on, grab my pump, and head to the lactation room in our building. I am the only one currently using the lactation room. When I came back to work, their were four of us, now it's just me! I have to admit that I am proud of myself to continue to do it while my other co-workers have already stopped after only a few months. Honestly, pumping at work is very time consuming and it's so hard to fit into your day. You can't exactly excuse yourself from a two hour meeting with the excuse that your breasts are about to explode!!!!

12pm I am meeting Jeff and my sister for lunch today at the Panera across the street from our office. Today is my sister's birthday and we are getting together to celebrate! One perk in working for such a large company is that both my sister and husband work there too!!!! It is certainly a treat and honestly one of the reasons that I decided to go back to work was because I recognize what a great situation I have with both of them there too. It's certainly a bonus in my day to spend time with two people very important to me!

1pm Back to work, I have so much work to do since it's technically my "Friday". I have several monthly reports I need to get to our manager and answer a few questions for our Controller before I am able to leave for the day. I can no longer work late anymore. Before I had Jillian, working late hours was the norm for me. Now that her daycare closes by 6pm every night. I absolutely have to be out the door by 5:30pm each night to pick her up.

4pm Time to pump again!!!!! Back to the lactation room. This time is actually a welcomed break, my brain is about to fry from crunching monthly expense numbers. It also gives me a few minutes to check twitter and respond to a few personal emails from my phone.

5:30pm Time to head out the door to pick up Jillian! Jeff is golfing after work today so I am the only one able to pick her up. I grab three of my four bags. I leave my gym bag since I never made it to the gym today since I already had lunch plans. One less bag for me to bring to work next week! I run to the lactation room to grab my milk out of the small refrigerator and head out the door.

5:55pm With only five minutes to spare, I pick up Jillian from daycare. I love picking up Jillian from daycare. I usually get the best smiles and "smooches" from her. I love when she realizes that I am there. She gets so excited and starts bouncing up and down. Today I find her sitting the baby buggy. It's a very tall stroller that fits four babies. It's adorable, Jillian is sitting with her buddy Riley and the twins, Cara and Lyndsie. God I wish I had taken a picture of that! I really need to do that, y'all have to see how cute this is.

6:00pm I pull out of the parking lot of Jillian's daycare and she has already passed out in the backseat. Once downside to daycare with Jillian is that I am afraid we have a MAJOR social butterfly on our hands. She plays all day and refuses to nap. Her naps are very short at daycare, if they can get an hour out of her at a time, it's a good day. This is where my day gets pretty ugly.

6:15pm I arrive home and take a sleeping Jillian into the house. I go back out into the garage and retrieve my laptop, baby bag, Jillians bottle bag, my pump, and the bag of milk that I had pumped while at work. I put everything away and make myself something to eat. Since Jeff is golfing tonight, I am on my own for dinner. I warm up some leftover tacos from the night before.

7:00pm I debating on waking up Jillian, she is SO tired but if she naps anymore, she will never get to sleep at a reasonable hour. I decide to wake her up and feed her dinner. I place in her high chair and she immediately starts fussing and crying from both hunger and exhaustion. She eats her dinner but fusses and cries during most of it. I feel bad that she is so tired and hope that nothing else is bothering her.

7:30pm I place a cranky Jillian on her activity mat and go upstairs to change out of my work clothes and put on a t-shirt and shorts.

8:00pm Jillian is still unbelievable cranky so I decide to nurse her, hoping she will fall asleep for the night. She is so fussy, I feel terrible. It is so unlike her, this baby really needs to sleep! She normally gets a bottle of formula before bed but I really think she needs to relax and unwind from her day by sitting with me and nursing. At least this is what my instincts are telling me!

8:30pm Success! She has fallen asleep and I take her up to her crib. I realize that she isn't wearing her sleep sack and decide just to put her down in her onesie. I don't want to risk waking her up and decide that she can go to bed one night without her sleep sack. I place her in her crib and she rolls over, sound asleep.

9pm I am downstairs trying to relax for a few minutes and I hear Jillian crying on the monitor. Ugh! I can't believe she is up again. I go upstairs to check on her. I pick her up because she is crying so hard. I try to calm her down by singing to her and rocking her. Nothing seems to be working so I sit down on the glider in her room and try to put her head on my shoulder. That seems to work for a few minutes until she starts fussing and crying again. This poor child is beyond over tired and because of her short nap on the way home from daycare, she can't seem to fall asleep. I hate to do this, but I decide to nurse her again. If anything, it's definitely a sure way to try to get her to sleep.

Jillian is still nursing and I can hear Jeff come home. Jillian has just fallen asleep and I am waiting a few minutes for her to fall into a deep sleep before placing her back into her crib. Jeff comes up stairs to find me with her. He gives me a sympathetic smile because I am sure he can see from the look on my face that it has been a long, rough night!!!

9:40pm I place Jillian in her crib and she is finally asleep for the night. I walk into our bedroom where Jeff is brushing his teeth and getting ready for bed. I give him a kiss and tell him about my crazy night with Jillian. We love that Jillian has so much fun at daycare but she is just so exhausted and overtired by the time she gets home!!! We are thankful that she only goes twice a week! I can't imagine what our little social butterfly would be like going five days a week!

10:00pm I go downstairs to pump out whatever milk I have left and to wash Jillian's bottles from daycare.

10:30pm Jeff and I are finally in bed. Thank God I am off tomorrow!!!!

Note: Jillian slept 10 1/2 hours that night, her best night ever. Even though it was a huge struggle getting her to bed, she was so exhausted from daycare, she certainly made up her sleep that night!!!!!


  1. Wow!! I remember those days of working and pumping!! Rough stuff! You are blessed to have your husband help you out in the morning!

  2. Karen
    I loved reading this.

    I wanted to mention that I was told by the LCs at Children's not to use breastmilk to mix cereal, etc. I guess it breaks down. I thought I'd mention that. Everybody is different

    I think it's awesome that you're still pumping.

  3. Congratulations on continuing breastfeeding and working. I work full time for a major corporation and your day sounds a lot like mine (except 5 days a week for me). I was also was able to use the mother's lounge and exclusively breast feed the first year, but it was tough sometimes. Thanks for makes me want to do the same sometime :)

  4. Anonymous3:04 PM

    I really enjoyed your post, I have been wondering how the schedule worked for breastfeeding working moms. Congratulations to you for going thru all that trouble to keep it up!
    And in regards to the earlier comment about not mixing cereal with EBM, my ped told me that was the best thing to do. Not sure why a LC would tell anyone differently.

  5. Anonymous3:22 PM

    I am sure it is not easy! I am exhausted just reading it all! lol I agree at the end of the day we all should do what is best for our children and families whether it's working or staying at home. Glad I happened upon your blog!

  6. I can totally relate to the majorly cranky evenings - we've had a few rough nights with our 7 month old baby girl... it makes me really sad to basically only see her when she's cranky! I'm hoping she grows out of it... hopefully sooner rather than later!

  7. I giggled when I saw your Java City coffee. I work as an accountant and we have our own little Java City coffee shop.


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