Things have changed quite a bit since I posted the original “A Day in the Life” blog post seven months ago. Thank goodness I had people in my life reminding me that almost all things baby-related are fleeting! Just when you think you have figured something out, it changes, and you have to figure it out all over again. But by the same token, when you think something is hugely problematic with the way your baby is behaving, it is most likely a phase and will be short-lived. With my son about to turn 15 months old, my day now goes a little something like this…
Wake up at 5 am with 2 cats climbing all over the bed and dog crying to go out. Listen to baby monitor to make sure baby is still asleep while husband walks dog and feeds animals. (OK, so the same start to the day as 7 months ago.). Cringe as my Spidey sense of hearing kicks in when husband walks through the hallway, hoping the creaky floor doesn’t wake the baby up.
Climb out of bed at 5:30 and quietly bring baby monitor to husband. Rush through shower but not with the same urgency as 7 months ago.
(The baby is quietly sleeping at this hour much more consistently now. As my confidence in his sleeping grows, so too does the length of my showers. He usually wakes up about 5 minutes after I get out of the shower now, allowing me a few minutes to dry off and throw on half my clothes before going in to nurse him.)
Chat with baby for a few minutes until he decides he’s ready to get out of his crib. Nurse baby with interludes of talking and smiling throughout. Sometimes there is even singing. Change baby’s diaper and get him dressed for the day. Give baby to husband, but know full-well that he will follow me back to the bedroom chattering “Mama. Mama. Mama.” the whole way. Chat with baby while I finish getting dressed. Ask husband to intervene so baby (who is now running full speed) doesn’t get into trouble. Take wet hair out of towel with baby grabbing my legs and crying to be picked up. Makeup can wait until I’m on the train.
Coax baby to kitchen and give him something to eat, preferably something that can be put in a snack cup. Try to get baby to sit and watch Sesame Street while eating totally inappropriate breakfast food, like cheddar bunnies, pretzels, or graham crackers. Follow baby closely has he toddles through the house with food, so as to avoid a strategic attack by the dog. Yell at dog when she tries to snatch food from baby. Pass baby following duty to husband temporarily while I pack diaper bag, knowing I will be interrupted continuously by cries for mama, baba, paci, etc. Yell at husband for being mean to the dog that I, myself, just yelled at. Realize what a hypocrite I am. Make coffee.
Say bye-bye to dog and kitties with baby. Put baby in car. Wait for husband to dog-proof the house and come out. Drop baby off at sitter’s (which is now 5 minutes away from home), kiss husband goodbye and walk to train station. Get on train, apply makeup, and — sleep, read, email, whatever I want! — No more bouncing the baby on the train for 45 minutes! Sweet free time!
Go straight to office. (No more traveling all over NYC to drop baby off!) Heat up remaining coffee and make toast. Work! Actually work uninterrupted. No more pumping. No more 20,000 cups of lactation tea a day.
Catch 5:03 train home — Again, sleep, read, email on the train. Complain on Facebook about quiet car violators. Walk to sitter’s. Kiss baby hello. Kiss husband hello. Put baby in car seat and go home together.
Let dog out. Give baby to husband to bathe. Unpack diaper bag. Start a load of laundry. Change into PJs. Rush to get baby’s room ready for bedtime — fill humidifier, collect pacifiers, fill sippy cup with water, fold baby’s afghan, collect toys that sleep with baby and put in crib. Dry off baby. Put on baby’s PJs. Dance and sing with baby (instead of in front of baby to distract and entertain, like 7 months ago). Play on floor with baby. Read books. Learn new words. Laugh! Take things out of baby’s mouth. Convince baby it’s time to nurse. Fight with baby who does not want to give up the day to nighttime. Nurse baby. Say “NO!” to baby when he hits me while he nurses. Pick up blankie 100 times after he repeatedly throws it on the floor while nursing and then cries to have it back. Say “Dada went night-night” over and over when baby asks for Dada. Say “Boo went night-night” over and over when baby asks for the dog. Guess what…the Kitties went night-night too! Give baby blankie, paci, baby (doll), and Elmo pillow. Put baby in crib with his treasured items. Quiet kiss goodnight. Walk out of room to baby standing in crib screaming “MAMA! MAMA!” and try not to cry from the brick in the pit of my stomach as I walk away. Wait until baby either starts to cry or decides to play with his doll. If baby cries, send husband in to quiet baby. Listen at monitor while baby sings himself to sleep.
Pet cats. Pet dog. Put laundry in dryer. Eat dinner (which husband has so graciously cooked for all these months!). Wash baby food containers and bottles. Make baby’s food for next day. Fold laundry.
NO MORE PUMPING! Actually sit down and breath for a few minutes on the couch with husband! (What a huge change from 7 months ago!) Check email. Play Words with Friends. Say goodnight to husband — kiss goodnight, not so quick anymore. Get into bed and listen at monitor to make sure baby is still in dream land. Turn off light and sleep! Yes, I said SLEEP! Sleep straight through until 5 am most nights! Wake up at 5 am with 2 cats climbing all over the bed……
I realize this post may seem boring to some. The point is, my day is quit different now than it was this time 7 months ago. While I can’t say I miss the stress and exhaustion of those earlier days, I do miss parts of it. My commute is a million times easier now without the baby, but it means less time that I get to spend with him. During the week, I see him for about an hour in the morning and an hour in the evening, which is not nearly enough time. All things being equal though, I love this phase. He is fun! He laughs and plays and responds, and even asks for what he wants, which makes caring for him so much easier!
Every moment is precious, but to those mom’s struggling in the early days of parenthood, please believe me when I tell you, it gets easier! Mothers always tell me “enjoy every moment! These days go by so fast.” And while that’s true, there were certainly moments, especially early on, that I did not enjoy one bit. It’s different now. Sure, there are hard times. There are days when the boy is a cranky pants for no apparent reason. There are days when I’m so exhausted that bedtime routine feels like a chore. But when all is said and done, a day in the life of this mom is pretty darn good these days!