Monday, July 11, 2011

Working Moms

Today I am doing a guest post on Stafford Stories series for Working Moms.  I've thought a lot about what I wanted to say in my post and honestly I want to share a little bit about how I make it all work and then show you a day in our lives during the week.  It is my hope  that my post will show everyone that you can have both a career and a family, a clean house, and a close loving bond with your children.

I grew up in a home with two working parents.  I know what it took for my mom to make it all work, however I have had to find my own balance.  Here are some of the tips that I have that definitely help me.

  • We are both very hands on parents.  At my house my dad worked long hours as a teacher/coach, so my mom had to do it all, I am very fortunate that I have Michael at home most mornings to help out. We laugh that he is the "morning parent" and I am the "evening parent".  He gets Nicholas up, dressed, and ready to go to school while I get ready and get everything in the car.  In the evening when we get home I fed Nicholas his dinner, give him his bath, and put him to bed.
  • We have a laundry system that works pretty well for us.  I put the clothes in the washer and dryer and Michael folds them and puts them away.  He usually does this while I am taking care of Nicholas at night.
  • I meal plan.  I love to meal plan.  It definitely helps me to grocery shop (usually on Sunday) and to not stress about what is for dinner when I get home after a long day at work.  Before I had Nicholas I did a few posts on Monday nights that showed my meal plans for the week.  I may start that up again soon!
  • I have a friend that works as a housekeeper that comes every other Friday to clean my house.  That was Michael's gift to me when I got into my 3rd trimester and it got hard for me to move around, much less clean.  I feel like my house has to be pretty clutter free, so I try to pick up a little bit each day.  I clean up after every meal and pick up toys at the end of the day after Nicholas goes to sleep.
  • I've come to realize that if everything doesn't get done, it is ok.  Some days I just cannot get it all done, but I spent time with Nicholas and that is what really matters!
So, you may be wondering what a day in my life is like.  I kept up with my day last Wednesday, along with some pictures from the day...
  • 6:00 am - alarm goes off and we watch the news or sleep in a few minutes.
  • 6:30 am - I get up and start getting ready
  • 6:50 am - Michael gets Nicholas up and gives him a sippy of milk and some fruit while they watch Mickey Mouse Clubhouse from the day before on the DVR.
  •  7:15 am - Michael gets Nicholas dressed while I eat a quick breakfast, fix a cup of coffee to go, and load the car.
  • 7:25 am - Nicholas and I leave for day care "school" and work.  I am very, very fortunate that the hospital where I work has one of the top three day cares in our area and that Nicholas got a spot when he was 12 weeks old.  It makes drop off and pick up so much easier being so close.
  • 7:50 am - Get to Nicholas' school.  He has to be there before 8:00 to get breakfast.  I usually stay for a couple of minutes after I sign him in and talk with him while he eats.  I am very happy with the meal plan at his school.  He always has a healthy breakfast and milk.  It makes mornings much less stressful.
  • 8:10 am - I clock in at work and start my day.  I spend my mornings checking email, answering phone calls, chart prep, paperwork, and making sure my doctors have everything they need in the OR from patient charts.  Here is what my desk looked like Wednesday morning when I was getting started
  • 12:00 pm - I eat lunch while either sitting at my desk or the break room, depending on how busy my morning has been.
  • 1:00 pm - I see patients with one of two trauma surgeons that I work for.  On Monday and Wednesday it is Dr. Smith on Tuesday and Thursday it is Dr. Barker.  I received this picture via text from Nicholas' infant room teacher when she went to check on him Wednesday.  They sleep on mats in his new room and I thought it was so sweet!  He usually naps from 12:30-2:00 in his new class.
  • 4:00 pm - I usually get back to my office somewhere around 4-4:30 and get caught up on messages and finish up anything that needs to be done before the next day.  I also do some faxing during this time.  
  • 5:00 - 5:15 pm - Leave work and get to school to pick up Nicholas.  He is always excited to see me and is usually completely worn out.  He takes a nap in the car every day on the way home.  Some days if we get home before Michael, I sit in the garage with him for a few minutes and let him sleep a little longer.
  • 5:30 - 6:00 pm - Get home from work.  I change clothes as soon as we get home because I am not big on Nicholas being around germs from work and we play while I cook dinner.  Most days he is happy and content to play in the kitchen.
  • 6:30 - 7:00 pm - We all eat dinner around the table.  I try to do simple meals during the week.  We eat a lot of crock pot meals as well.  Nicholas usually eats what we eat or a portion of what we are eating with a substitution for something a little more baby friendly.
  • 7:15 pm - I give Nicholas a bath while Michael cleans up the kitchen.  
  • 7:30 pm - We play, go for a walk, or just read a few books with Nicholas as a family.
  • 8:00 pm - Nicholas goes to bed.  Nicholas has always been a good sleeper and I am very, very grateful for that!  We rock in the glider just long enough to read a book (sometimes a little longer) then I lay him down with a paci, blanket, and his projector going.  He is usually asleep within a minute or two without any fussing! PTL for a baby that goes to bed well! :-)  It makes my job as a mommy so much easier.
  • After baby's bedtime Michael and I work on our bills, budget, or watch TV, blog, get on Twitter, FB or sometimes sit on the patio and just spend time together.  I also use this time to pack our bags for the next day and sit everything out on the bar in the kitchen so I don't forget anything.  I usually get a bath and try to get in bed by 10:00 to watch some TV.  We usually turn our lights out by 11 and start the day all over again bright and early!
I hope that this glimpse into our day gives you an idea of what it is like to work, keep up everything at home, and spend time with my husband and baby.  I enjoy and love my job, but ideally I would like to be a SAHM, but that isn't possible for us.  I do what I have to do to make it work and I feel that it works great for us and I really do have it all...a career, a life outside the home I enjoy, and a happy, healthy family.