So, if LB has adjusted so well to daycare and me being back at work, how am I doing with the situation? Well, to be honest – it hasn’t been nearly as smooth a transition for me as it has been for her.
It’s not that I’m having a terribly hard time leaving her at daycare in the morning, because I’m not. They adore her and she seems to be pretty enamored with them as well. Heck, she sleeps better the nights she’s at daycare than she does the nights she’s home with us all day. (I think they must tire her out with all that learning and socializing and watching the older kids….)
It is also not that I am resenting my job and longing to be home with her. I am fully aware of my personality quirks (there are some who would refer to them as flaws, but whatever) and I know that I am not meant to be a 100%, stay-at-home mom. I don’t have the patience for it. I would be too worried that LB wasn’t spending enough time with kids her own age. I would constantly stress about whether she would be behind the curve (or ahead of it) when she finally goes to kindergarten. I would never get anything accomplished around the house (as I learned already on my 12 week maternity leave). I would be as big as house because I would graze on snacks all day rather than actually fixing myself a meal. There’s a good chance that I would end up being resentful that I “gave up” my career (that I love) to raise her. And that’s not a situation in which I want to find myself.
The problem is that I seem to be having a hard time finding opportunities or making time to get anything besides work and caring for LB and DB done.
Here’s a general snapshot of my day (maybe you can tell me where I’m supposed to find “free time”):
-In the morning (around 6), we get up and I head downstairs while DB takes his shower. I make coffee for me, tea for him, and breakfast for both of us. Then I take a shower and get dressed. Once I get DB off for the day (appropriately burdened with tea, breakfast, lunch, and a kiss), I get LB out of her crib and dressed for the day. She’s usually awake when I go in and I try to spend a little time playing with her every morning before I shuttle her off to daycare.
-The time my shift starts varies from 8:00 to 9:30 – on days that I start later, I have time to give her a morning bottle before I take her in. If I have to be at work earlier, I load her up and hit the road by 6:45. She gets dropped off by 8:15 at the latest and I head in to work.
-Depending on what time I came in, I get off work anywhere from 4:30 to 6:00. (This is why it’s such a blessing the DB gets off at 4 every day and can pick her up on his way home.) As soon as I can, I run to the car and drive like crazy to get home (although not that crazy, because traffic always stinks and it takes me at least 40 minutes to make the drive to our house).
-Once I get home, it’s a flurry of feeding LB (we switch off a lot on who does the 5pm bottle and DB does the bedtime bottle), washing her bottles from the day, getting her bottles ready for the next day (I label, DB fills and caps), folding and putting away any laundry that has accumulated (DB does all of the washing – I am incompetent when it comes to operating our washer!), making dinner, prepping lunches for tomorrow, washing dishes, giving LB a bath, fitting in a workout, watering and weeding the garden, keeping track of our finances (i.e. bill paying and bookkeeping), and trying to makes sure DB and I have a little time to ourselves to remember why we married each other in the first place – I’m exhausted. We usually fall into bed by 9:00, unable to keep our eyes open any longer. Only to get up at 4:00 with LB for a bottle, catch another little bit of sleep, and then get up at 6:00 to repeat the process all over again.
And somehow, I’m also supposed to be able to fit in cleaning the house and battling the clutter that continually threatens to engulf us… Luckily, DB either doesn’t see or doesn’t care about the dust bunnies that seem to have taken up permanent residence in the corners and under the futon.
Is it any wonder that this is the stack of magazines staring me in the face, taunting with me with my inability to find time to read them? (Not to mention the three half finished books I’m dealing with…)
Is it any wonder that it has been so long since I emailed some far away friends that, when I do have 30 minutes to write, I can barely fit in all the news I have to tell in that short a time?
Is it any wonder that I’ve gone from being able to update the blog with LB’s antics and info on our brewing operations every day to barely being able to post something once a week?
I’m sure that eventually I will get into more of a routine and again find time to do the fun things that I want to do, instead of only being able to do the not-as-fun things that I have to do.
There are a few things make this situation a lot less stressful than it could be:
1) DB helps out around the house a bunch (not as much as I nag him to do, but more than a lot of husbands I know).
2) LB really does seem to like daycare, so that alleviates some of the guilt about putting her there.
3) I really do love my job. I work with my best friend, I have patients that I enjoy spending time with, I feel like I’m doing something purposeful and worthwhile – it’s a good place to be
My plan is to give myself another month or so to get into more of a routine with working and home life and then work on incorporating more fun life. Maybe this means getting up 20 minutes earlier so I have time to read a bit before I start my day. Or maybe it means figuring out a chore rotation so I don’t try to do a little bit of everything daily but rather one task in its entirety each day. Or maybe this means accepting the fact that there’s nothing wrong with getting dressed out of the clean clothes basket and if it means I’m a little more relaxed, it’s even better. 🙂
Honestly, though, I don’t want people to think I’m complaining. I still have time to do the things that are truly important to me and my mental health – brewing, gardening, running, working, and spending time with my family. Anything else that I can manage to fit in is just gravy.