A Working Mom of Three Returns from Maternity Leave

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The Schedule of a Working Mom of Three

Follow along as I try to capture the actions, thoughts, and positives and negatives of being a working mom of three!

4:45 a.m. What’s that, the alarm already? 

Actual footage of my children in the morning

No, it’s too early for that. It’s the baby ready for a morning feeding and cuddle. Sigh, pull him close and say a silent prayer for just a tiny bit more sleep. 

5:00 a.m. Breath in the silence of a cuddly milk drunk baby. Start to doze off when…

5:15 a.m. URNT URNT URNT… This time it really is the alarm, urging you out of bed and into the shower. But the blankets are so warm and the pillow so soft… and the…

5:45 a.m. Wake up in a panic and look at the time. Thank God for dry shampoo. Rush to get dressed and ready. 

6:00 a.m. Try to intervene when the three-year-old refuses to change out of his reindeer (never mind that it’s May) pajamas after ten minutes of coaxing from his father. Then decide it’s not worth the fight and throw in the towel. It’s not like he’s going anywhere important. Pick your battles, right?

6:05 a.m. Remember it is one of 306 (okay, maybe a slight exaggeration) theme days at school and your six year old daughter’s outfit (agreed upon at bedtime for the following morning) does not fit the theme. Panic and race around pulling together a last minute miracle of theme appropriate clothing. 

6:10 a.m. Wake up daughter who promptly rejects said outfit. (Think Cinderella’s evil stepsisters when they see her dress made by mice and birds ahead of the ball.)

6:15 a.m. Send daughter downstairs in originally agreed upon outfit. Worry (despite her protests that she doesn’t really care) that she’ll feel left out and sad when she sees all her friends and classmates in themed attire.

6:17 a.m. Feel guilty waking up sweet angel baby with a diaper change, but said guilt melts away with his baby smiles. Remember when the other two used to wake up happy like this?

6:21 a.m. Make it downstairs in time to help husband with loading the youngest two into his car for drop off. Feel good about the timing. 

6:25 a.m. Somehow loading is still happening. Run back into house for snacks, toys, blankets, etc. Finally wave goodbye after no less than five rounds of hugs and kisses from the three-year-old. 

6:31 a.m. Realize husband made coffee. Bless him.

6:32 a.m. Patiently debate six-year-old daughter on hair brushing, socks and shoes. Remember, choose your battles.

6:41 a.m. Promptly lose all cool at something insignificant and engage in a shouting match with six-year-old on the way out the door. Somehow this is just THE BATTLE to choose.

6:45 a.m. Regain composure. Try to make the car ride fun and dance along to Taylor Swift. Ask (too many) questions. Try to bond and fill her with enough love and confidence to last the day. 

6:50 a.m. Drop off at the childcare center. Return to car and text husband about the morning altercations and express feelings, frustration and guilt of being a working mom. Thank husband for assurance that it was just a rough morning and this is a phase.

6:51 a.m. Remember that precious coffee is sitting at home on the counter right where husband left it for you. Groan. The devastation is real.

6:57 a.m. Arrive at Starbucks where your mobile order SHOULD be waiting, but somehow things are completely backed up. Obsessively check the time (and email and social media) on phone while waiting. 

7:05 a.m. Back on the road. Things are looking up for this working mom! There’s still a chance to make it on time! 

7:10 a.m. Hit bad highway traffic. Lose all hope.

7:11 a.m.  Realize it isn’t even 7:30 and you’ve already failed more times than you can count. Time for a good cry. What else is there to do in this awful traffic anyway?

7:18 a.m. Get it together. Turn power music on. Sing along with Pink, Kesha, Lizzo and all the other powerful women out there. You can do this! 

7:30 a.m. Park car and look in mirror. Wonder if looking this tired is normal for a working mom? Debate skipping makeup today to get inside quicker. Settle on a simple tinted moisturizer, lipstick and mascara. It’s worth the 10 minute to feel a little more together!

7:40 a.m. Enter building and engage in casual elevator chit chat. Gush about children when asked. The coffee is kicking in and the arsenal of power ballads worked!

7:45 a.m. Settle in at work space and pretend not to notice the side eye from Super Sally who has obviously been at it for awhile now. How does she do it???

7:46 a.m. Catch up on emails that have come through overnight. Vow today is the day that you’ll find time to really clean up that inbox.

8:15 a.m. Chat with team about projects, work, life.

8:45 a.m. Head back into office feeling ready to conquer that big assignment that has been looming overhead.

9:00 a.m. Start typing away. It is going to feel so good to get this done…I’ve got this working mom thing down! 

9:15 a.m. Buzz! Calendar alert: It’s time to pump… already. Find a stopping point and head to designated space.

9:40 a.m. Finish pumping. Clean supplies as well as possible and stash in fridge. Take a moment to be thankful for a clean(ish), quiet, private space to pump.

9:45 a.m. Back to the desk. Back to that big project.

10:00 a.m. Buzz! Calendar alert: Time for a meeting.

10:25 a.m. Buzz! It’s a text from the doctor’s office with a reminder that your child is due for a well visit. The only problem? There are three and they don’t specify which. Make mental note to figure this out and schedule in between the demands of being a working mom.

11:00 a.m. Rush to second meeting as first wraps up. Somehow lose every pen from work bag in the process.

11:45 a.m. Buzz! It’s a text from the dedicated childcare provider asking about baby’s bowel movements. Try to remember when the last one took place and engage in text exchange about baby’s (lack of) poop.

11:50 a.m. Silently Google “why isn’t my baby pooping?”, “symptoms of constipation in infants” and “how to treat constipation in infants” as meeting seems to linger on longer than necessary. Determine that this is either completely normal or a sign of cancer, but it is recommended you wait it out for now.

12:00 p.m. Grab a (sad) salad from the café downstairs and a side of tater tots. Life is about balance, after all. Cram into face while typing away at desk and trying not to worry about baby poop.

12:30 p.m. Decide to call doctor’s office anyway. It doesn’t hurt. Sit on hold for five minutes. Upon talking to the front desk, be redirected to speak to a nurse for advice and leave a voicemail for a call back.

1:15 p.m. Buzz! This time it’s the kindergartener’s school app. Her teacher has posted pictures of the class. Scope them out and notice her on the outskirts of a photo. Look for signs of her emotional state. Is she having fun? Is she sad about the lack of themed outfit? Settle upon deciding she looks included and content.

1:30 p.m. In between emails, text husband about what to make for dinner. Try not to be irritated with his lack of enthusiasm for the conversation. Start to type a snarky remark about how it must be nice not to have to think about these things and delete before sending. Instead, focus on work.

1:50 p.m. Suddenly you are hit with an extreme feeling of working mom exhaustion. It’s time for coffee!

2:15 p.m. Buzz! Calendar Alert: It’s time to pump again! Didn’t that just happen?

2:30 p.m. Not quite done pumping when, Buzz! Calendar reminder: It’s time for a meeting. Text a coworker to explain you’ll be a just few minutes late.

2:35 p.m. Finish up. Clean. Refrigerate. You know the drill.

2:40 p.m. Rush into meeting room just a little late. Try not to be disruptive and join in seamlessly.

3:00 p.m. Hit ignore on your phone so as not to interrupt the meeting (again), even though it’s probably the nurse you’ve been waiting to hear back from. 

3:15 p.m. Buzz! Text from the babysitter: It’s an adorable photo of the two little guys and great news! The baby has finally gone number 2. Smile and celebrate via text with babysitter!

3:30 p.m. The meeting is over, giving just enough time to finish something up before the day wraps up. Vow that you’ll leave your desk by 4 p.m. to avoid the worst of traffic.

4:10 p.m. Look at clock. Groan.  It’s only ten minutes, it can’t be that bad, right?

5:00 p.m. Arrive at daughter’s childcare center super excited to see her and encouraged that traffic wasn’t THAT bad. Try to shrug it off when she sees you and whines loudly that she wanted to play on the playground with her friends longer.

5:15 p.m. Meet the others at home. The baby is fussy and wants to nurse, but the three-year-old wants to cuddle. Find room for both in your lap and make it work.

5:35 p.m. Agree to put off dinner to take a family walk at daughter’s request. Change clothes, shoes, diapers. Fill cups and grab goldfish for snacks. Prepare stroller and agree upon bikes for the other kids.

5:45 p.m. Walk around block approximately 1.5 times. Watch as the mood quickly turns from excited to hot and tired.

6:00 p.m. Bath time! Bubbles, clean children, and giggles. What could be better?

6:15 p.m. Somehow bath time has escalated into WW3.

6:20 p.m. Lay out three clean towels, three pairs of pajamas, undies, diapers and pull ups.

6:30 p.m. Finish dinner while the husband helps the children get dressed.

6:50 p.m. Everyone finally makes it downstairs for dinner. And the baby is fussy.

7:00 p.m. Give up on the idea of eating dinner with the family and take the baby upstairs to nurse and rock.

7:20 p.m. Return downstairs to be met with a barrage of requests for napkins, seconds, and juice. Run around like crazy fulfilling these requests. Sit down to a cold plate of food.

7:45 p.m. The three-year-old finally finishes eating dinner…just in time for bed.

8:00 p.m. After teeth brushing, reading time, and miscellaneous attempts to stall, settle in to cuddle with the three-year-old for just a few minutes.

8:25 p.m. Wake up after dozing off. It would feel great to go lay down, but there’s still so much to do!

8:30 p.m. Meet husband in the kitchen to wash bottles, load the dishwasher and clean up kitchen.

8:45 p.m. Pack nutritious lunches that (hopefully) the kids won’t reject and prep bottles. Make sure school/work/diaper bags are packed and ready to go for the next morning.

9:15 p.m. Finally feel ready to relax. Settle on the couch with the husband when …. WAAAAA… the baby is up.

9:20 p.m. Enjoy giving the little guy some undivided attention while he tires himself out again.

9:45 pm. Baby is ready to go back to bed. Go through bedtime routine for the second time this night. Diaper, nurse, rock.

10:00 p.m. Bedtime… Congratulations! You made it through an entire day. Collapse into bed and pray for a solid 4-5 hours before being woken up, which inevitably will happen at some point. It could happen! 

returning to work

1 COMMENT

  1. Well I’m tried reading it now. You are a super mommy Faith. God will get you through it all, just focus on one day at a time. Try to enjoy all the moments as kids grow up fast and you only have the memories. You know all this though and you re kids couldn’t have a better Mom.

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