I never imagined myself being a stay-at-home mom (SAHM). I really value my work life and felt that being a SAHM wouldn't be the life for me. I imagined that I'd work part-time so that I had some purpose besides being a mom. I had (and have) nothing against SAHMs - in fact I always was inspired by them. I've seen first hand what it's like being a SAHM (my mom was). But I've also seen the struggle some women have when they find themselves needing to go back to work after years of not working.
I have taken off from law school. I'm not sure when I'll be able to go back - I'm hoping I can go back starting next summer or fall - but it all depends on the little princess in our life. And all those times I wondered what being a SAHM would be like - well, I now am one and understand it. I understand just how hard it is. Exhausting. Overwhelming. Frustrating. Rewarding. At the end of the day, all I can think about is jumping into bed and closing my eyes. But as I lay there, I think thank you for giving me this time to be home with L. I am so amazingly lucky that I can take a leave of absence and care for her. So incredibly lucky to be watching her learn new things, teaching her new things, and learning from her.
When Ian comes home and asks "so what did you do today?", I am normally still braless, in my pajamas, hair sticking out in a messy ponytail, glasses on, drool on my shirt (from L, not me), and may or may not have my teeth brushed. Everything stays in pretty much the same place while he's gone. And I can't really blame him for wondering what I do all day because I used to wonder the same thing about SAHMs. So here goes - here's a day in my life as L's mama.
6:00am - alarm goes off - Ian gets up to give L her meds and add more food to her overnight feeding. I pump for the first time of the day.
6:30am - back to sleep for me
8 or 8:30am- wake up for good. Turn off L's overnight feed. Put milk from 6:00 pumping session in freezer and wash pumping supplies. Pump for the 2nd time. Get coffee and something to eat. Normally have to settle L down around this time (redoing her swaddle). Prep meds for 9am.
9:00am - give L her meds. Pour L's 9am feed into her pump and restart the pump for 1 hour.
Between 9:00 and 10:30 - L wakes up. Change diaper. Wash and dry g-tube site. Put new gauze around g-tube. New outfit (if needed).
10:00 - turn off L's 9am feed. (sometimes I pump here if she isn't awake). Change her diaper. Entertain L until she's ready for nap time. This includes tummy time, reading, singing.
11:00 - put L down for her first nap of the day. While she naps, I pump, eat a snack, and get her meds ready for 12:00 (her meds for 12 take longer to prep). I get lunch ready for later. Measure out her 12pm feed. Empty dishwasher. Do dishes from breakfast. Wash pumping supplies and freeze milk (mark each bag of milk) from previous 2 feeds. Wash any syringes or baby bottles used overnight and morning.
12:00 - L wakes back up. Change diaper. Give her meds. Try feeding her by mouth, then anything she doesn't eat needs to be measured, then put into the feeding tube.
12:30 - Eat lunch one handed while entertaining L.
1:15 - turn off feeding pump from 12pm feed. Pump. Mark and freeze milk. Prep meds for 6pm. Figure out what to make for dinner (and defrost it if needed). Entertain L until 3.
2:30pm - Change diaper. If it is not raining, I pack L's diaper bag with her meds. I measure out her 3pm feed and get her feeding pump set up. I get the stroller packed. I bundle L up and put her in the car seat.
3:00pm - bring everything outside that has been packed. Bring L out with stroller. And Tessa! Hook up L's feeding pump once she's in the stroller. Start her 3:00pm feed. Go for a walk for 1-1.5 hours.
4:00 or 4:30pm - turn off the feeding pump. Pump. Mark and freeze milk. Wash and dry pumping supplies.
5:00pm - Put L down for a nap. While she naps, I answer emails, check mailbox, talk to the hubs about when he'll be home. Start dinner.
6:00pm - L wakes up. Time for meds. Measure her food, try by mouth and anything she doesn't finish needs to be measured and put through her feeding pump. Pump. Mark and freeze milk. Wash and dry pumping supplies.
From 6:30ish on, this is what the hubs and I do:
Hubs comes home. Change diaper. Hand off baby. He feeds Tessa. I finish making dinner. I then watch L while Ian walks Tessa. When he gets back, I hand L back off to him and eat quickly. Then he eats. We do the dishes. Clean the kitchen. Measure meds for the next day (this is done on a precise scale and probably takes about 1/2 hour). Measure out meds for the night time. Wash all bottles and syringes from the day. Sterilize everything in the microwave. I pump. I mark and freeze the milk. I wash and dry the pumping supplies. Give L a bath. I eat another snack (seriously, pumping makes me HUNGRY). Sterilize all the pumping supplies.
9pm: Give L her meds. Feed her. Pump anything leftover. Get her ready for bed: clean g-tube site, new gauze on g-tube, new outfit, diaper change, lotion her up, diaper rash cream.
10:00pm - turn off her feeding pump. Take bag out of feeding pump. Get new bag and prime it (run formula through the tubing). We have to change out the feeding pump bag every 24 hours. Put L to bed - read to her, rock her, then stand next to crib for a few minutes while she struggles to go to sleep. Make new formula for the next 24 hours. Take out frozen milk from freezer for the next day. Pump.
11:00pm - start L's overnight feed (she is fed continuously from 11-8)
12:00am - Give L her meds. I pump. Then SLEEP!
There you go...a day in our life.