Time is a hot commodity and time management is not a choice; it’s a lifestyle.
I used to think of myself as laid back. I could roll with the punches and handle surprises with ease. Not so any more. Any deviation from my schedule is a
crisis CRISIS! Sound a little dramatic? welcome to the world of a full-time working mom (plus some). Let me give you a run down of my week (Monday through Friday, Saturday and Sunday all bets are off).
Wake up at 6:30am
my husband showers while I get Sorkin together (sometimes we just snuggle).
By seven, we are already behind as we look for shoes, shirts, and socks. Emerson is just waking up and, even though the nurse is there, he is usually asking for mom or dad. I love and hate this part. I love that Emerson wants me and hate that he is so sad when we leave.
Out the door by 7:10
I drop Matt off at work first since he starts at 7:30. We usually get there between 7:20 and 7:25 depending on how we hit lights. Matt is legally blind so he does not drive. Most of the time, he can bike to work, but it’s colder than a witch’s teat out there during the winter. After Matt jumps out of the van, I peel off to bring Sorkin to daycare. (for those of you who don’t know, Emerson stays at home with a nurse). Sorkin should be dropped off by 7:30, but we usually get there around 7:40.
Drive to work 7:44
I know it’s 7:44. I check the clock when I get back in the van. I drive to work (which means some back tracking). I arrive to work around 8.
Work 8 00-4:00pm
It’s a shit show. I cannot predict from day-to-day what will be waiting for me. These days, I can pretty safely guarantee it’s a headache. New statutes and standards means more work. I really need more than 8 hours in my work day, but I don’t have time for that. Because Matt is done with work at 4pm and I need to pick up him and Sorkin.
Pick up Matt 4:17
I am pretty reliable getting there just after 4:15. It means Matt has to wait 15 minutes but a 15 minute wait is better than an hour walk home. From there we go get Sorkin.
Whip into the daycare driveway 4:33
I am usually racing the clock about this time. Here is where time really is money. Every minute I am late, it costs us. Our daycare provider is actually amazing and she knows we are usually late. It helps that Sorkin is incredibly sweet and she doesn’t want to let him go, so she is pretty lenient about paying late fees! We get an update and try to be out the door by 4:40
Nurse shift ends 5:00pm
We drive home quickly, get report from our nurse and then she is gone. Emerson has his last feed of the day starting at 5pm. Matt and I set him up (g-tube) and then get going on our dinner. We usually eat by six and then it is Sorkin’s turn to eat at 6:30. We have about an hour between seven and eight where nothing happens. Some nights we do baths (my shower usually happens now. it lasts about three minutes and the door stays open in case of emergency) and some nights we just play.
Then it is off to bed. Emerson is great. He puts himself to sleep right at 8pm. We get him his medicines (sometimes, sometimes we leave it for the nice nurse) and hook him back up to his pulse ox. Sorkin is another story. Sorkin usually falls asleep around 7:30 but is in a bad habit of waking up between nine and ten to play. We’re working on this.
Matt and I assess the house and decide what we need to do–usually what we need to do is collapse on the couch. We pick up the worst of it (Sorkin likes pulling all the books off the book shelves these days) and wash only the necessary dishes. From 8-10, Matt and I (and sometimes Sorkin) have our adult time. It’s our two-hour window to focus on us and our relationship before the nurse gets to our house for night shift. Usually it means prime time TV and no talking.
I am usually in bed by 9:30 and Matt waits up for the nurse. My head barely hits the pillow and it all starts again. And this is just a normal day. Matt and I are involved with different activities. I teach confirmation every other Wednesday and have monthly meetings of the Children’s Hospital Family Advisory Council. Matt is on RCIA Thursday nights, and we have Emerson’s D/HH teacher over on Thursdays at 5:30 to teach us ASL.
It’s madness. And it’s routine. It works for us because we know it is what we have to do. These are the choices we made when we married and had children. I don’t even mind it most of the time. It is the times when something just “pops up” that I go crazy. The order flies into chaos on a whim. For an outside observer, I am sure I seem like I am overreacting. But when my heat goes out on my van and we only have one car and I drive to meetings for work, I just don’t know how or when I will have time to fix it. If we forget to pack formula, that’s an hour of my day gone just for a stupid mistake. Suddenly I need to find an hour of work to make up somehow. If a nurse can’t make it in for her overnight shift, Matt usually stays up the night and then goes to work the next morning (or he may have to miss work).
It is crazy to me how much time means to me now. I am not talking about time with my family, but rather the mechanics of maintaining a schedule. It blows my mind how scheduled my life is and needs to be for a day to run smoothly.
And Matt and I have it easy. Our kids are two and six months old. Their life is what we say it is. We don’t have to juggle activity schedules or school yet. And we only have two kids. My parents had 13 and I remember being involved with EVERYTHING (dance, church, cross country, track, speech, etc.). I just don’t know how they did it.
So there you have it. The mundane life of a working mom: all you need to do is rearrange my schedule and I am a hot mess. Welcome to parenthood.