Let me start by saying that I have truly no idea how Stay at Home Moms or Work at Home Moms do it. I’ve had my short stints of doing both of the former and I can safely say that is not the life for me, and I salute you. I think no matter which way you slice it; a mom can look at her current situation and pick it apart for what it is. I am a working mom.
I freaking love my job and I love being able to work. I’m fully aware that childcare is insanely expensive so my paycheck essentially goes straight to daycare, but I truly love what I do for a living. But being a working mom is HARD (let me reiterate again, I’m not stomping on SAHM or WAHM). I once read that being a working mom equates to 98 hours of work a week. Oh, that’s why I have these bags under my eyes. Every day is its own bag of crazy and I look back to my pre-kid life and wonder just what in the hell I did with all of my free time during the day. Let’s break this down.
5:00 a.m. The baby is crying and needs to nurse. I pull him into the bed and shut my eyes while he eats. I’m starting to make a to-do list in my head for the day, but instead I’m trying to soak in as much sleep (and cuddles) that I can.
6:00 a.m. My husband’s first alarm goes off. DO NOT WAKE THIS DAMN BABY.
6:10 a.m. My husband’s second alarm goes off. I SWEAR TO GOD.
6:15 a.m. My husband’s final alarm goes off. I have been awake since the first went off and have been since clutching my baby in the anticipation of hearing Africa by Toto bellow through my bedroom once more.
6:30 a.m. I was up several times last night with the baby and am definitely not ready to get up, my toddler is set up in the living room watching Dora or PJ Masks or Paw Patrol, or something. Who knows. It’s all the same (go ahead and judge me for the screen time, it’s survival mode and I do not care). I lay in bed with the baby next to me and catch up on local and national news on my phone.
6:40 a.m. My toddler comes into my room and wants to crawl into my bed with me and the baby. He has armfuls of stuffed animals. I allow it. We do shadow puppets on the ceiling using the flashlight on my iPhone.
6:45 a.m. Wow, I definitely should have gotten up an hour ago, but here we are. Get the toddler breakfast and grab myself a cold brew out of the fridge. Baby is in the bouncer. We are good to go get ready for the day.
7:15 a.m. I have enough dry shampoo in my hair that it feels like straw, but I managed to put my makeup on and I’m wearing a clean dress. Win. I think about how I need to start working out to lose the baby weight. I laugh because I realize I have no idea when I’ll have time to accomplish that.
7:45 a.m. For the past half hour, I have wiped my toddler down, chased him through the house, put him in time out (maybe twice), gotten him dressed, changed the baby’s diaper, and downed ANOTHER cup of coffee.
7:47 a.m. We need to leave by 8 a.m. and I also need to pump because I’m in pain. SHIT. I scramble to get my pump parts together (why are there so many, WHY?)
7:49 a.m. Pump while checking my email. Track coverage for my clients and make notes of who I need to email once the clock hits 9 a.m.
8:02 a.m. Clean all of the pump parts and dry them, pack them up in my bag for work and triple check that I have everything (because man does it suck when you forget one of the things). Put the milk in the fridge and get the toddler’s backpack together for daycare. Remember that I need to grab a form for something for the school off the fridge minutes before walking out the door.
8:04 a.m. Kiss the baby goodbye. He’s staying home with my mom. I have a feeling of self-doubt about leaving him behind so I can go to work. I freak out about him forgetting who I am. I reassure myself that growing up with a working mom will make him value and appreciate strong females. Remember I need to take my medicine for Postpartum Depression. Grab that before I walk out the door.
8:15 a.m. The toddler fought me on who got to walk down the stairs first on our way to the car and requested that I put the “Baby Shark” song on prior to us leaving the driveway. We then proceed to listen to that song on repeat six times.
8:40 a.m. My sweet kiddo was so excited to go to school and drop off was a breeze. I have a feeling of self-doubt about leaving him behind so I can go to work. I freak out about him growing up and not remembering me being around him when he was little. I reassure myself that growing up with a working mom will make him value and appreciate strong females.
9:00 a.m. Get to work and start cranking out emails and creating my to-do list. I proceed to kill it at work and listen to music that isn’t from Mother Goose. Life is good. I remember that I have a meeting at 11 a.m. This is also the time that I’m projected to pump. Do I do it before or after? I choose before.
10:30 a.m. I pump and prep for my 11 a.m. meeting. I hate washing pump parts more than anything. ANYTHING.
12:00 p.m. I eat two lunches. Breastfeeding and pumping make me eat like a 17-year-old boy. Nothing to see here, move along.
1:30 p.m. I just got done with lunch and now I have to go pump again. Good thing I have 20 more emails to address in my inbox! I have another meeting at 2:30 p.m. and I need to pump again around 4:30 p.m. I don’t want to cut into the end of my work day too much so I’m going to push it. I also need to make it to my son’s soccer practice (which his dad is picking him up for, thank goodness).
5:00 p.m. I’m past my pumping time and I’m hurting. I need to pump in my car and make it to my son’s soccer practice. I proceed to fumble with my pump parts (those damn pump parts) in my car and pump on the way. Yes, I get weird looks in traffic. Don’t care. I try to listen to NPR and re-establish what is left of my sanity.
5:15 p.m. Somehow, I made it in 15 minutes in rush hour. My toddler tells me not to look at him. Fantastic. Following soccer, he is back to loving me again. I can’t wait to see my other baby, too.
6:00 p.m. We somehow get dinner thrown together, pack lunches, and get our life together. The baby is super happy to see me and that makes me happy. I wonder about his day and feel that mom-guilt creeping in.
7:00 p.m. The hour between 7 and 8 p.m. in my household is batshit crazy. Baths and jammies and snacks and water and stories and needing to go to the potty’s and the list goes on. The baby is asleep and now it’s the toddler’s turn. We need to sing three sings, tell two stories, solve world hunger and get the hell out of there before the cycle starts all over again.
Following 8 p.m. it’s essentially a blur of me trying to catch up on work, spend time with my baby and get my life together for when it starts all over again the next morning. I am a mother and I am a working woman and I love both of those things. Some days I feel like I kill it and others I feel like I’m drowning. On days where I have work events or when my kid is sick, I can feel myself problem solving and figuring out a way to manage it all. I don’t think I ever do this 50/50, it’s usually 70/30 and sometimes I feel like I’m not doing a good job either way. There are some days I don’t know how I balance it. But to be honest, I wouldn’t want it any other way.