Now that Hubby is back at work, I’m starting to realize just how hard this whole work-life balance thing is going to be. My current daily schedule:
6 am – Wake up, get ready, breakfast, pump, laundry/dishes before Monkey wakes up
7 am – Monkey wakes – nurse and get him ready for daycare
8 am – Drop Monkey off at daycare
9 am – Arrive at work
11 am – 15 min pump while eating lunch
2 pm – 15 min pump while reading papers, analyzing data
5 pm – 10 min pump then finish up experiments
5 pm – Leave work; Hubby picks up Monkey from daycare
6 pm – Arrive home, prep Monkey’s bottles while he naps/fusses/plays with Hubby
7 pm – Start Monkey’s bedtime routine (bath, change, nursing) while Hubby preps dinner
8 pm – Hopefully eat dinner, maybe have a glass of wine
9 pm – Quick pump and go to bed
4 am – Monkey wakes, nurse for an hour
5 am – Make decision to stay up or sleep another hour
6 am – Start it all over again
This is an incredibly tight schedule without a lot room for error. If Monkey has a hard time going to bed or doesn’t sleep his current* 8 hours, if traffic is especially bad (it just started to snow – shit), if anything goes off cue, then eating and sleeping are the first things to go. There’s no great time for the gym, although Hubby and I have contemplated trading off the 5 am time slot. I really can’t imagine anything else being introduced into the mix – like an illness (as in the sore throat I’m feeling) or traveling (the wedding we’re flying home for in 3 months).
There’s very little time for enjoying life, other than my (sometimes) peaceful 4 am feeding with Monkey or getting him ready in the morning. Hubby is a HUGE help, but there’s only so much he can do when I’m responsible for nursing (if he bottle feeds, then I have to pump – so not really a time-saver). I’m putting in 8 hours of work, after pumping and eating (kind of an important prerequisite for nursing), which is barely enough to keep up my desired work-load. I’m multi-tasking like a crazy lady and can’t figure out how I can organize things any further. I refuse to spend too much time in the lab on the weekends – I haven’t seen Monkey smile since this past weekend, and I have a feeling I won’t see it until this coming weekend. I’ve even thought of giving up the blog for a while (this post has been squeezed in during 5- and 10-minute incubations throughout the day), but it feels like one of the few things I truly have left all for myself.
I know our routine is still getting established right now, but it just feels so much more overwhelming than I ever imagined – I never realized how much of a time-suck all the little extras could be. I love the time with my son, but that’s really a very small portion (about 10%) of my day. I love my job, and I don’t want to be a stay-at-home mom. But I just can’t but wonder – after 18 years, will it all be worth it?
*Fingers crossed that this 8-hour sleeping pattern continues.