I am a mom to a little girl who is 3 years old and a little boy who is 4 months old. They are amazing, crazy little creatures. I work full time as a department head in a large health care facility. I have been married for almost 5 years.
What is your typical schedule like during the week?
A typical day for me starts around 6:45am, although by that time I have already nursed my son once or twice. In the morning-I get ready and encourage my daughter to move along and get herself dressed and ready for the day. In the morning-I have just enough time to get up, get ready and get to work on time. I am NOT a morning person-so I don’t have any extra time in the mornings. My husband brings the kids to the babysitter and/or preschool every morning. I have to be at work by 8:30 and get out at 4:00. I pick up the kids from the babysitter by 4:30 and maybe run a quick errand before. I spend most of the evening playing with the kids, any household cleanup I can manage and we start getting ready for bed around 7:30. Bedtime routine usually includes reading books and watching Sprout. I get in bed with my daughter before she falls asleep and she’s asleep by 9. I always fall asleep with her, wake up and get to my own bed eventually.
What do you find tricky about your current set-up/schedule? What would you change if you could?
I think my current schedule is difficult because my husband works double shifts 5 days a week. It is hard being the only parent for the majority of the week.
What do you like best about your current set-up/schedule?
Although I am the director of my department in a large health care facility-I do not work long hours and get to spend a lot of time with my children. I am grateful for that. I also have a great babysitter who is flexible and loves my kids.
Do you have time for yourself? What do you do during that time?
No. The only daily time that I could claim for myself is after my kids fall asleep. Usually, I am so tired-I fall asleep soon after they do! I can usually do grocery shopping or run errands by myself, but that really isn’t time for me…
If you had an extra hour in the day you would spend it…?
I would love to spend it reading, talking to my husband or organizing some problem areas in my house. I would actually spend it sleeping.
Do you ever wonder how other women manage the juggle? Do you think people are open about it?
I do wonder. I can’t be the only mom falling asleep in her daughter’s bed-while trying to get her to fall asleep. I don’t think people are honest about the struggle.
When I returned to work after having my son, I was constantly asked if I was sad to leave him. My response was, “no”. I love my children and if I were independently wealthy-I would not work. I love my job too and I loved coming back to it.
What are some of your top must have products for the parenting part of your life? What are some non-mom must haves?
My mommy must haves are my Medela Breast Pump, American Baby-Baby Nursing iPhone App, a few Wubbanubs and Lansinoh Lanolin.
My non-mommy must haves are Avon Silicone Glove Hand Lotion, Carmex Lip Balm, and my mix of Alex & Ani and Razimus bracelets.
What is one thing you’ve realized/learned about motherhood that no one ever told you before you had kids?
Motherhood can bring you the most love and gratitude that you have ever experienced or it can bring you desperation and loneliness. I will never forget how it feels when my child says something thoughtful or unique and shows what a special little person she is becoming. When motherhood has challenged you like nothing else before and all you want to do is cry-the only person that can get you through it is yourself.
Do you find it hard or difficult at all to stay connected to friends/people in your life now that you have kids? Do you find there is any gap or gulf in between you and the friends/people in your life that don’t have kids? Any tips on how to stay connected to those people?
I think after having my second child it has gotten more difficult to stay connected with friends that do not have kids, but on the flipside, I think it strengthens the bond with friends that have children.
A good friend was at my house recently and witnessed our bed time routine, including me falling asleep while nursing my son on the couch (not my best moment). The next day, I apologized for falling asleep and she responded, “I feel bad for you”. It made me cry. She didn’t mean it to make me feel the way it did, but I wonder if my life seemed that dire to her. I love my children and my crazy bedtime routine. There will be a time when my daughter will not want me to lie down with her while she falls asleep-so I am going to do it every time that she will let me.
Is there anything you find yourself doing as a parent that you swore you would never do before you had kids?
I cant really think of anything actually…
What advice would you give to other moms about how to balance work and life?
My advice would be…don’t take other peoples advice. Do what you think is best.
To read more from the My Mom Life Series, click here. Many thanks to Jessica for taking part.