Today's "A Day in the Life Of..." comes from Bonnie, a "new mom but an old wife. I like to knit, eat, and watch/discuss trashy tv. I'm a sex educator by day, a bottle washer by night. " You can find Bonnie on Twitter and follow along with her adventures!
12:48-1:00am: I can hear her little whimpers across the room and I know Audie is asking for her midnight snack. I put on my nursing pillow and get her out of bed. I listen to the rain falling as she nurses. She finishes, I wipe her little mouth and put her back to bed, smiling as she cuddles up with Louise, her sleepy-time elephant.
3:00-3:15am: The 3:00 am feeding is never as organized as the midnight feeding. I don’t think either of us actually opens our eyes all the way, and we both consistently nod off during nursing. But again, when she finishes, she’s back in her bed with Louise and I climb back under my own covers for a couple more hours. It’s still raining.
5:54: The alarm will go off at 6:00, but there’s some baby babbles coming from across the room that wake me. I can hear 90s jams from the garage where Matt is working out. I don my nursing pillow again and Audie nurses. When she’s done, I hope she will go back to bed, but no such luck. Instead she wants to play with our dog, Lucy. Audie loves it when Lucy licks her little hands. They are going to be quite a pair of troublemakers soon enough. Here’s their faces when I told Lucy to stop licking Audie’s face:
6:14am: I put Audie back in her bed to play. I head to the kitchen to begin prepping bottles and Audie’s food for the day. I blend up half a banana with some breast milk. Audie is just starting solids and as of yet will only consistently eat bananas. Lucy refuses to go outside because it is raining.
6:33am: I head to the garage to get laundry out of the dryer and grab Audie’s diapers for the day. When I come back in, Lucy agrees to go outside. I pack up lunch for both Matt and I, leftover chicken salad we made yesterday. Matt and Audie come to help.
6:44am: Matt is out the door, headed to work. He’s a chemistry teacher at a charter school and their classes start early. Since Audie is up and awake, I go ahead and get her ready for the day. I put long pants on her since the rain makes it cold outside. This is our first cold day this year, and I can’t find any socks to fit her. They are all newborn size or gigantic. I opt for gigantic. They have ducks on them, which doesn’t really match her ice cream outfit, but whatever. She will be warm.
6:57am: I take Audie to the living room to let her play for a while so I can have a cup of coffee. Normally, there is a short time after Matt leaves and Audie is still asleep and I can have coffee in solitude. But daylight savings time has disrupted that for now. Soon Audie will adjust to the new times and it will be back to quiet coffee. For now, I’m glad to spend some extra time with her and watch her make a mess.
7:20am: One last nursing session before we leave the house. This time, when I put her back in bed, she falls asleep, which will expedite my process of getting ready for work.
7:30am: I take this time to do a quick tidy of house and get dressed for work. I’m wearing an outfit that my best friend sent me for my birthday. She has two kids of her own, so she knew exactly what my postpartum body wanted: tights and a baggy sweater. I zip on my boots and I’m ready to go.
7:46am: Time to load bags into the car. I have my pump, purse, lunchbox, and Audie’s diaper bag. It’s still raining and my umbrella is in the car. I have the same feeling I have every morning: I must be forgetting something. I run through the list one more time and decide everything is fine. I buckle Audie into the car seat and cover her with a blanket.
7:54am: We pull out of the driveway and leave for daycare.
7:59am: We arrive at daycare. I talk with her teacher about the plan for the day. Every day it’s hard for me to leave Audie, but she loves her little school. Her face lights up when we walk in and she sees her teacher.
8:09am: I’m in the car by myself, leaving for work. I have my first breakfast, a Cliff Bar, in the car. Traffic is outrageous because of the rain. My commute takes a few minutes longer than usual because of traffic slowdowns. The traffic safety signs flash a message “Be alert! You drive lousy when you’re drowsy.” I somehow take this personally, like my sleep deprivation is so obvious even the sign is calling me out. I finish the recent Savage Lovecast episode and laugh hysterically at Dan’s advice.
8:34am: I pull into my parking spot. I walk into the building and try to appreciate the rain. My office has no windows, so I won’t know anything about the state of the weather again for a while.
8:44am: I am in my office.
8:45am: I unpack my lunch bag and pumping gear. I spend the next hour catching up with coworkers about ongoing projects, checking election news, reading and answering email, checking Facebook, putting on some make-up, and eating a second breakfast of oatmeal.
9:45am: Time to pump for the first time today.
10:39am: I am done pumping. I store my milk and clean the parts for the next session.
10:40am: I start working on my main goal for the day, which relates to our Youth Leadership Team. I work as a health educator with a program to reduce teen birth rates in our city. This involves training and support for teachers, some policy work, and lots of community mobilization. The Youth Leaders are an integral part of this project, and we are talking about ways to keep them around once our funding ends next year. However, I find that I have no recollection of what I agreed to work on. I have to IM my coworker for her notes. Once she refreshes my memory, I get started on my tasks.
11:24am: I take a midday trip to Target to refill my dwindling oatmeal and breast milk storage bag stockpiles. I wander the aisles with abandon. I can’t remember the last time I was at Target alone. Matt and I walked the aisles every night in the weeks before Audie’s arrival, trying to use walking to trigger labor. It didn’t work; I was induced a week after my due date. But I remember fondly those waddling trips through Target as we waited for her to arrive.
12:19pm: I’m done at Target, a mere $60 later. Somehow that aisle wandering made me end up with items other than oatmeal and breast milk storage bags.
12:29pm: I’m back in my parking spot.
12:39pm: It’s lunch time! Chicken salad sandwich, chips and water.
1:09pm: It’s time to pump again.
1:53pm: I am done pumping. I store my milk and clean the parts for the next session.
1:54pm: I spend the next hours working full tilt on YLT work: writing letters and emails and making phone calls. I also organize some information for a training we are conducting next week, and check in with some teachers who are starting a new curriculum next week.
4:06pm: It’s time to pump for the last time today. While I pump, I talk with my sweet office mate, Esmer. You can see her here, giving me privacy as I pump. She is an amazing coworker and friend. She has two kids of her own; an 18 year old that just started college and an 11 year old. Esmer gives great mom advice and we vent to each other a lot. She’s an immense support for me and she is a damn good mom.
4:43pm: I’m done pumping and I start packing up to head home. Matt called to say it was still raining, so I’m trying to leave a little early to miss some traffic.
4:55pm: I’m in the car and headed home. It definitely is still raining. I listen to my current favorite album, Conor Oberst’s “Upside Down Mountain.” He sings about “The Other Side” and says ‘Don’t look down/just cross the bridge/once you get there/you’ll know why you did’ and I think that’s how I feel about parenthood.
5:19pm: I’ve made it home safely. I’m surprised to see that Matt switched the Halloween wreath out for the fall wreath on the front door. If he hadn’t done it, the Halloween wreath likely would have stayed up until Christmas decorations went up.
5:25pm: I’m in the house. I put my milk in the freezer and unpack my lunch dishes. Matt picks up Audie at school every day, and the time between when he gets home and I get home is important for them. They do fun stuff together.
5:40pm: Audie gets hungry, so it’s time to nurse.
5:52pm: Audie is done nursing, and is acting really fussy. I try to put her in her bed for a nap. In the meantime, our friends are arriving for our weekly game night.
6:00pm: I give up on getting Audie to nap. I put her in the ring sling and head upstairs for game night.
Every week, we play the Pathfinder Adventure Card Game. There are 6 of us who adventure. The game is pirate themed; my character is Jirelle, the pirate queen. It’s a cooperative game, but we still talk a lot of trash to each other. In this adventure, we are attempting to defeat an evil pirate council.
6:45pm: The pirate council is successfully defeated. We split the loot. The baby falls asleep in the ring sling.
7:00pm: We decide to try another adventure. We order a pizza.
7:15pm: We start the next adventure, in which our pirate ship is lost in the fog and we keep running into bad guys. Once we defeat enough of them, we will win.
8:00pm: The villains are defeated and we eat some pizza.
8:45pm: Everyone has gone home and Audie is awake. I prep her for bedtime.
8:50pm: Nursing. Matt reads “A Wrinkle in Time” to us.
9:00pm: Matt and I spend some time talking about the day and catching up. Audie watches the cats. She smiles at them and watches as they chase each other across the bed.
9:15pm: We try to “play-it-out” for Audie to go to sleep. Basically this means we let her play in the floor in the living room until she falls asleep. Often this works, but today is not one of those times. We put her in the swing for a while.
10:18pm: Audie finally falls asleep in the swing, Matt and I spend time together and talk.
11:00pm: Audie wakes up and wants to nurse again. I nurse her to sleep and put her in her bed.
11:18pm:I take a shower. Matt is washing bottles and prepping lunches for tomorrow.
11:38pm: I am climbing into bed, exhausted. I have to move the cat, Loki. He gets my last bit of available attention for the day and curls up next to me purring. It is still raining.