Balancing act

Y’all, I was going to do a post on “work nesting” the week before I returned to work and yet here I am, 2.5 weeks into being back at the office. This is indicative of my life at the moment. 

Working mom. Damn. It’s hard. I love my job and I love my colleagues. I actually have a lot of fun when I’m at work, but it’s definitely different now. 

I leave for work at 7am so I’m there by 8am. S is at home to greet the nanny at 8am and then she heads to her job. I leave my office at 4pm so I can relieve the nanny by 5. S gets home around 6:30 or 7. 

First, the commute. My hour long commute never bothered me before, but now it does. I have to take a bus to the closest BART station (our commuter train into San Francisco). After one week of this, S and I decided we needed to become a 2-car family – even though we’re already stretched thin financially. Driving to the BART station will shave 20 min off my commute – one way. Hells yes. We’re planning to dip into savings to pay off our current car so we only have 1 car payment each month. I cannot wait for this. Always prided ourselves on living in an urban area and taking advantage of public transit. Nothing makes me feel more suburban than us having two cars. But damn I have no patience for long commutes anymore.

Pre-baby, I had good time management skills at work, but I wasn’t hustling all day. I would take a leisurely walk to a coffee shop and I often ate my lunch at a nearby park. No more. I have an inflexible time when I have to leave the office, not to mention the 3 pump breaks I have to take throughout the work day. When I’m at work now I’m all business, all the time. Which is…a little lonely. I tend to wolf down lunch at my desk. I can’t take part in any after-work happy hours. I know I should cut myself some slack and spend a little fun time with my colleagues every once in awhile, but I think I also feel a tad guilty that I’m only in the office for 8 hours a day. Like I need to make up for it by getting as much done as humanly possible in that time frame. Is that weird?

I also didn’t realize just how tired I would be every night. It feels like we never stop moving until we go to bed. After getting home, playing with Mabel, cooking dinner, washing bottles and dishes, doing a couple household chores and prepping for the next day, we practically fall into bed already asleep.

The good parts? I’m taking better care of myself physically after a summer spent mostly in pjs with messy hair and unbrushed teeth. I do enjoy having conversations with adults all day, though I feel a bit behind in current events. 

In the midst of all this, we moved Mabel to her crib. We realized she was as long as the bassinet mattress now and she learned how to roll over last week! This meant I kept waking up to find she had rolled in her sleep and was smashed against the side of the bassinet. Now she has lots of wiggle room in the crib. Though we aren’t quite ready to have her in a separate room from us (and her crib won’t fit in our bedroom) so we’re taking turns sleeping on the bed we have in the nursery. Not sleeping in the same bed as my wife most days – a post for another day. Not an ideal situation, but we know it’s only temporary. And we are actually getting a bit more sleep this way. 

Also, I read in TWO separate books recently that most babies are sleeping through the night at three months old and this just made me irrationally ANGRY. Mabel wakes up 3 times a night at pretty much the same times every night. And I don’t really see this changing anytime soon. 

Ok, I’m about to pass out, but I have so many blog posts outlined in my head right now. I’ll try to be more on top of it. 

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12 thoughts on “Balancing act

  1. Congrats on working to get a new car! I hope it really helps you out in the commute every day. Sorry you’re so tired every day though. I wouldn’t be too upset about the baby’s sleeping through the night at 3 months thing…I know plenty of parents who that doesn’t happen for! Hang in there, hopefully you’ll find a good groove and get a bit more rest soon!

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    • Thanks! Yeah I’m hoping a couple weeks we’ll have found our groove and have a nice routine going. I know the sleeping through the night statistic is crap, I just hate that they even write that. Like they’re trying to make parents feel like shit or something!

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  2. This is exactly our life right now too. I have no patience for things like a commute or happy hours that take me away from the baby. We are strongly resisting getting a second car, but a lot of days it feels inevitable!
    Ignore the sleeping through the night at 3 months bologna. All those kids STOPPED sleeping through the night at their 4 month regression, so it’s bogus anyway. We’re all just riding a roller coaster that often has no logic. We feed around 9:30, 1:00 and 3:30 every night, with no end in sight (11 weeks now).

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  3. Ugh I can’t imagine going back to work with a baby who still wakes 3 times a night… My wife is allowed to sleep through the night feedings now that she is back at work, and she is still exhausted. Glad you are finding some positives in going back, and good for you for making more time for yourself by cutting out some public transit! Sounds like you have really figured out how to manage work and family balance!

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  4. I have yet to meet a baby who has slept through the night at three months, so pffft to all of the “experts” who claim that’s a thing. It’s kind of bizarre adjusting to being a working mom. I totally feel you on the loneliness. I do try to eat lunch in our break room a few times a week now that I’m not pumping on my lunch break–it helps. But I miss the after-work happy hours and such. Now that Charlotte is older, I’m going to start forcing myself to go occasionally. I know it will be good for me and I can still be home for bedtime.

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  5. I don’t know if it’s changed but ‘sleeping through the night’ used to be defined as sleeping for five hours straight. Which is not even close to sleeping all night! Some of these terms seem to be developed just to make parents worry and feel bad. I know you’re doing a great job!

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