This week I went back to work after almost 4 months off for maternity leave. I started on Wednesday so that I'd have a short week. On Wednesday morning, I woke up at 2:30am and wasn't able to fall back asleep. At 4:30 when my alarm was supposed to go off, I finally dragged myself out of bed. My morning routine prior to Naomi used to be quick and easy, checking emails, shooting off quick responses while brushing my teeth (this method has caused me to require getting several new blackberries over the year due to water damage), shower, change and out the door all in under 30 minutes. The new routine includes an additional 15 minutes to pump and then another 10 minutes to get bottles ready for Austin to feed Naomi breakfast, and refrigerate any other milk for later on in the day. Now you may say what's an extra 15-30 minutes in the morning? But at 4:00am in the morning, every minute seriously counts. I used to also have my work driver pick me up at my door step, another luxury since I could pretty much crawl half asleep into the car, and take a blissful 30 minute nap on my ride in. Post Naomi, I drive to the train station so that I can have my car in the closest spot to where the train gets out. This saves me an extra 10-15 minutes on my commute home since I don't have to walk to wherever Austin parks his car. 10-15 minutes, again, precious time that will allow me to have more time with Naomi when I get home from work, precious because once I do get home, she's only awake for a few hours before we put her down to bed. Driving to the train station forces me to be really awake when I walk out the door. All in all my day post Naomi deifnitely has gotten more stretched out. And changes aren't only prevalent at the front and tail end of my day. Once I get to work, I still have to find time to pump every 3-4 hours, which makes it nearly impossible to get completely settled down into work mode during the day. (at least it has so far!!)
So how'd I do on my first 3 day week? If I had to grade myself, I'd give myself a D-. A D-because somehow I managed to survive without having a complete nervous breakdown. Why such a low grade you ask? Becuase of the 3 days I only worked 2. I called out sick on thursday, my SECOND day back to work! Pathetic, yes I know. But so so necessary since on Wednesday night I was plagued with another sleepless night. Also, if you had to ask me how much work I did in my first week (ok 2 days) , I could honestly count the number of work related tasks I did on one hand. I spent most of my time catching up with co-workers, clearing out 73k emails (literally), having an actual lunch break (a real treat since pre-Naomi I never did this) and running upstairs to the lactation room to pump. So yes, i give myself a D- and honestly have to ask myself if there's anyway that I can improve this grade, because lets face it, do I really WANT to improve this grade? I'd so much rather be at home spending my time with my kid. How on earth do women around the world manage to juggle being a mom, wife, employee? Trying to play a million different roles and juggling all the responsibilities is tough work.
Men don't even know HALF the amount of stress and work that it takes to be all to everyone.