My Day(s)

A little while back, Cloud at the Wandering Scientist wrote a post about motherhood and ambition, which led to a post about how her daily life flows, which led to a whole blog carnival over at feMOMhist about How To Do It All.

Which got me to thinking about my daily life, as it is now.

Now, I do NOT currently “have it all.” There are certainly things that I would love to change. I have ambitions that are not yet realized. I have plenty of places to go, people to see, things to do – that I currently cannot manage within the framework that is my typical day.

But? I DO have a pretty damn good life. One I quite enjoy. One that allows me to almost have it all. And one that I can see evolving to a place where I WILL have it all. And until I do? The almost-all I have right now? Is pretty damn sweet.

Life is constantly evolving, and I know that the days that I have now will be changing over time. My husband is currently in the midst of studying for the biggest test of his life, one that is an absolute prerequisite to his getting a job in his field. Until it is over in May, well, I’m doing a semi-single-parent gig. Once that’s over, my daily schedule will change. For the next year, as he completes his fellowship and applies for jobs, it will be different. And then, once he gets that job and we leave the city, it will change yet again.

But for now – today, tomorrow, this month and the next – these are the days of my life:

WEEKDAYS-

5:30AM: I wake up at this time 2-3 days a week, in order to get in some time alone, which I usually spend showering, drinking coffee, etc etc.

sometime around 6:15AM: Meeka wakes up! We cuddle and nurse for about 30 minutes* while she semi-dozes before actually getting up for the day

by 7AM: We’re both UP! And ready to DO THINGS! Which usually means we play in her room for another 15-30 minutes as I finish my coffee and we read stories, she hands me toys over and over again while I tell her “THANK YOU!”, or we empty out her bottom drawer over and over again… or do something else, yes, usually over and over again

around 7:30AM: Breakfast! Typically a bowl of cereal with fruit and almond milk for me, cheerios and cut-up fruit for her

7:45ish: DONE! We clean up, then go get dressed for the day

8AM: Time to walk the dog! Where we go depends on the weather… now that it’s finally nice out again, I think we’ll start heading out earlier so we can enjoy the outdoors longer 🙂

8:30AM: Now, in an ideal world, this is when I’d be dropping Meeka off at daycare. In the real world? It’s usually when I’m putting the last touches of our day’s bags together (cloth diapers, any needed changes of clothes, and daily bottles and foods for Meeka; breast pump with bottles, etc, lunch, keys, phone, ID, wallet, kindle, and anything else I might need for me)

8:35-8:45AM: Daycare drop-off. Can I just take a moment to say how lucky we are? Our daycare – which we LOVE! – is IN OUR BUILDING. Dude. DUDE. We got so lucky! … Now, on a daily basis, the drop-off looks something like this: go downstairs, enter infant room, say hello to everyone, put food away, carry Meeka with me to back of room where cribs and cubbies are to put diapers, etc away, re-enter main part of room still carrying Meeka to fill in daily form (what time she woke, ate, was diapered, etc), chat for a minute with whoever is there, put Meeka down to have her WAIL about her EXTREME DISPLEASURE, wave goodbye, leave room. Because, yup, you got it – we’re going through separation anxiety. Whoo boy are we. Now, SOME days I can plop her down when we arrive in the room and she’ll go right to playing with her friends. But most? Nope. That’s not gonna happen. (However? I have it on very good authority she stops crying within a minute of me leaving. So. Yeah. My heart may break just a little each morning, but hers? I’m pretty sure is doing just fine). It’s 50-50 on whether I carry my own bags with me downstairs and depart from there, or whether I hike back up to our place to grab them and go (it all depends on what we’re schlepping that day)

8:45ish-9 to 9:15ish: commute to work. I either take the walk, take the subway, and walk some more; or take a bus, then a second bus; or take a bus, and then walk. It usually takes about 30 minutes. It’s not a 30minutes I can use to do anything else. It’s not my favorite time of day.

9ish-noonish: WORK. I work in a biological science lab. I do bench research. Each day is different, depending on my planned experiments. Most days, I am able to intersperse my work with checking email, checking blogs, and/or writing – mostly because many of the experiments I do have periods of down-time inherent to the experiment (i.e. incubations, etc) and while I try to plan my days as efficiently as possible and can swing doing multiple experiments at once, some experiments have such short periods of down-time (1-to-5 minutes) that I find the most productive thing for me to do during them is veg at my computer, rather than attempt to push something into that small amount of time and ruin either or both experiments. (For example, this post is being written in 1-minute and 5-minute increments, because my afternoon experiment has numerous microfuges, etc, that are just long enough to allow me to type, but not really long enough to do much else with… including read a paper, etc, which – for me, at least – requires more of my concentration and certainly can’t be done in 5 minutes!)

12-12:30: pump, eat lunch (yes, at the same time), and read a book

12:30-4pm: WORK

4-4:15: pump again, usually read a scientific article at the same time

4:15-5pm: wrap up experiments, get everything ready for the next day

5-5:30: commute home

5:30: pick up Meeka from daycare, head upstairs to apartment

5:30-6pm: Invariably, no matter how happy Meeka is when I pick her up (and she’s usually all sunshine and rainbows), the moment we get in our door she becomes Little Miss Needy. She whines when I take a moment to put down our bags and take off my shoes, screams when I put her down so that I can put the milk in the fridge, and will NOT put up with me attempting to do anything more than these basics. NOT until she’s had some quality time with my boobies. And so we comfort nurse*, until she’s Little Miss Happy again.

6pm-6:30 or 6:45: Dog-and-baby show redux. Though about half the time, the husband does the evening dog walk (when he’s available)

6:40ish: Dinner prep. If the husband is home, he’ll play with Meeka while I cook. If he’s not, she’ll sit and watch me from her highchair (usually while eating cheerios) while I cook. Needless to say, there is a vast difference in what “cooking” means between the two… One means actual cooking, the other is usually soup/salad/bread or pasta (often re-heated)/salad/bread

6:45-7:15: Dinner.

7:15-8pm: Varies; on days Meeka is exhausted, we go straight to her bedtime routine (which is: bath, PJs, lights out, lullabies, cuddles and nursing*, to bed in crib. I want to work stories in there at some point, but at the moment? She gets too excited about reading – as in, she bounces and slaps at the pages – and it revs her up rather than calming her down). Other days, we’ll play for 30ish minutes either in our apartment or downstairs in the building’s playroom before getting ready for bed.

8ish pm-9ish pm: Clean up and prep for the next day – put away leftovers, pack lunches, etc etc. Sometimes have the TV on in the background. Sometimes it’s more in the foreground 😉

9ish pm – 10ish pm: Usually I read and get ready for bed. If I have enough energy, I might try to do something crafty – photo editing, mostly, though I want to get my sewing machine back out sooner rather than later…

10pm: Most definitely bedtime. Sometimes it’s earlier.

Sometime between 12pm and 2am: Meeka wakes up and gets a nightly nurse*. (Roughly 3 nights/week, she’ll wake up only once around 2-3AM ; another 3 or so nights/week it will be once at 12pm and another time at 3AM ; and about once a week, it’ll be every 2 hours from 11pm on…)

*These are times when I often sneak in a little reading. In case you were wondering…

Now, weekends are slightly less scheduled. Wake times are mostly the same (though I sleep through til Meeka gets up). Groceries, laundry, and apartment clean-up all get done on the weekend. We go down to the building playroom most mornings around 8:30-9am, where we see the same families and kids most of the time and have fun playing together. We also tend to go to either the playroom or the local park most afternoons for a bit. Naps tend to be from 9:30-10:30am (or so) and from 1-2pm (or so). Occasionally less, occasionally more. We like to fit at least one long walk with the dog in, usually two (one each day) – often to and around Central Park. I try to have a play-date/meet-up at least once with another mommy friend because, dude. Social life. Each weekend is different, though these elements are usually incorporated into the typical fabric of it.

You might be wondering about where the husband is? Like I said, he’s semi-MIA due to intense studying. He wakes most mornings around 7:30 and is out the door by 8am ; he’s got some intense study-prep going with his co’s and it’s usually from 8am until 6-7pm. We’ll eat dinner and play a bit together, Meeks goes down, he and I chat while cleaning up, etc. Usually while I’m reading before bed, he’s right next to me reading (except his is study-reading). This will last the next few months, which is… OK. I get it, and am supportive. But, yes. I am looking forward to it being OVER. (So is he, obviously)

Now, what would I like to see more of in here? First, running. I wish I had more time to lace up my shoes and take a jog… this is such a great way to decompress, and I miss being able to do so when things feel pressured in my life. I am hoping that now that the days are warmer and the sun’s out longer, I’ll be able to start adding this back in after Meeka is in bed a few nights a week. Of course, that will require me to have enough energy to do so… which brings me to – my downtime/me-time is falling at the end of the day here, which. Fine. At least it’s in there, right? Right. BUT – I am a morning person, and usually by the end of the day I am absolutely dragging. If I could, I’d have my free time in the AM when I’m most awake/creative/etc. Not at the end of the day, when my brain has essentially turned off. So? I wish I could either have more time in the AM (I know I could try waking up earlier, but honestly? I’ve found before 5AM just doesn’t work for me. I’m an early bird, yes, but not THAT early, apparently) or find a way to have more energy at night. Because I have a huge list of things I want to do – but no energy to do them in the limited time I have in which to try…

However, I’m hopeful. It’s only recently (1 month! and counting!) that Meeka actually started sleeping through the night, thus letting ME sleep through the night (and thus getting me out – at least a little bit – of the perpetual sleep-deprived fog I was in). Perhaps once I’m a bit more caught up on sleep, I’ll have more energy. Or perhaps once I am able to start the running, that will GIVE me the energy. I think either is likely, so, yeah. Hope.

And then there’s the hope for May, and the return of my husband! That might help just a bit, too 😉

So, how about you? What are your days like? What do you like about them? What would you change?

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  1. 2012/03/15 at 2:39 pm

    Our days are freakishly similar (except for the actual job and pumping).

    And I’m happy to read that I don’t have the only child that turns into a needy baby despite being perfectly content and happy at daycare when we get home. I’m so happy she’s able to feed herself because I’ll usually make her dinner and while she munches in her high chair, I clean up everything like her food containers and bottles from daycare.

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