Having a baby has certainly changed the way my day looks, not to mention my priorities. Before, my biggest worry in the working week was whether there would be traffic on the roads on my way home. Now, it’s whether I’m going to have regular toilet breaks or a shower.
I watch more day time telly (it really is awful) and I can’t remember the last time I woke up after 6am.
As a shift worker no day was the same, but there was always a routine. Now, there isn’t. Here’s what my day now looks like (based on a typical 8am-5pm shift).
Before Baby – 6am – Wake up, shower. After Baby – 6am – Was already awake at 5am feeding T, the ride to 6am was a cat nap. No time for a shower. S is getting ready for work and I’m expressing some milk before T wakes up.
Before Baby – 6:30am – Prepare lunch. Have breakfast. Walk dog. After Baby – 6:30am – Coffee. Twitter. Get dressed. Housework (that doesn’t require noise).
Before Baby – 7.30am – Off to work. After Baby – 7.30am – T is awake and chatting away. After a chat, I get him dressed.
Before Baby – 8am – At work. After Baby – 8am – Place T on his playmat and depending on his mood I’m allowed a proper breakfast of toast or cereal, with a smoothie. On a bad day, I’m allowed breakfast biscuits and a coffee.
Before Baby – 8:30am – Coffee at work. After Baby – 8:30am – Third feed of the morning (second if you don’t count the 5am feed).
Before Baby – 9am-12am – Work. After Baby – 9am-12am – Play, Change, Eat, Sleep, Repeat. If I’m lucky, I may be able to do some washing and have a cuppa during naps. If T is having a clingy day I have to wear him but this makes certain household tasks, not to mention toilet breaks, harder. On Mondays I meet with the mums from my post-natal group, Wednesdays I have swimming, and Fridays I have playgroup – making the mornings a military operation.
Before Baby – 12pm – Lunch consisting of a salad or a sandwich; with a yogurt and some fruit. Lunch is usually an hour. After Baby – 12pm – Lunch consisting of quick and easy food I can eat with one hand. Healthy is not always an option. Ten minutes is all I need. Indigestion? I laugh at the pain of indigestion.
Before Baby – 1pm-3pm – Work. After Baby – 1pm-3pm – see 9am-12pm
Before Baby – 3pm-5pm – Work, including a coffee break. After Baby – 3pm-5pm – T’s longest nap period. Now is the time for longer pieces of housework like hoovering, as well as preparing bits for dinner. I may even fit in some blog stuff that I haven’t been able to do on the phone… shit, my phone’s battery is about to die.
Before Baby – 5pm – Finish work. After Baby – 5pm – To make up for sleeping so long, T now cluster feeds. I’ve tried dream feeding halfway during the nap to stop this but T still cluster feeds although with long gaps between feeds.
Before Baby – 6:30pm – Been home 90 minutes already. I’ve put a wash on and prepared some dinner (at a relaxed pace) which is now in the oven or simmering on the hob. After Baby – 6:30pm – S is going to be home at 7pm. Time to prepare dinner – quickly! (S has never ever stipulated for dinner to be “on the table” it’s just my personal preference to have it ready – I don’t want our evening to spent eating a late dinner). On a good day, I can prepare dinner quite calmly, on a bad day I have to wear T throughout cooking; limiting what I can actually cook.
Before Baby – 7pm – S is home. I serve dinner. We chat about our day. After Baby – 7pm – S is home. Takes on nappy duty. I finish and serve dinner. We chat about our day if T is happy with that. If not, it’s cold dinner for me and onto another feed.
Before Baby – 8pm – Wash up. Settle down to watch an episode (or two) of recorded telly. After Baby – 8pm – I wash up, S goes to get T ready for bed.
Before Baby – 8:30pm – Still watching TV. Off to bed between 9:30pm and 10pm. After Baby – 8:30pm – Give T his final feed and it’s bed for us. We may watch a bit of telly in bed but we’re generally ready for bed as well!
Don’t get me wrong, I wouldn’t change one bit of this, I love being a family, but it’s interesting to see how our lives have changed.