I went back to work yesterday. I only work three days a week, so it’s not HORRIBLE, but I think it’s going to be tough.
We are VERY lucky to have help from our families. I don’t think I could work if we did not have that help, and honestly I don’t think we could afford for me not to work, so we would pretty much be screwed. I mean, I guess we would figure it out, but we are just VERY lucky that we are not in that situation.
So, here’s how the week goes:
Mondays – I work. Noah and Zoe don’t have school, so my mom takes care of Noah, Zoe, and Colin all day at her house.
Tuesdays – I work. Noah and Zoe have pre-school from 9am-2pm. Christian’s mom stays at our house with Colin, and then picks Noah and Zoe up from school. She has all three of them until Christian or I get home. Sometimes Christian’s dad is able to help on Tuesdays, too.
Wednesdays – I’m home with all three of them. Christian has band practice, so I’m on my own for dinner, baths, and bedtime.
Thursdays – I work. Noah and Zoe have pre-school from 9am-2pm. My mom keeps Colin at her house, and then picks Noah and Zoe up from school. She has all three of them until Christian or I pick them up. My step-dad is off on Thursdays, so he helps too.
Fridays – Noah and Zoe have school, so it’s just me and Colin the first part of the day. This gives me a chance to clean, go to the grocery, etc. Then we pick Noah and Zoe up at 2pm.
I like having a professional life. I mean, there are things about my job that I am not happy about (that I won’t go into here since I’m not sure who’s reading), but generally I like what I do. I like being challenged, I like being creative, and I like the feeling of organization I have when I actually look at a calendar each day. I also like having adult conversations. And I hope this doesn’t make me a horrible mother, but I like having a break from my kids (absence makes the heart grow fonder, right?).
I also like being with my kids though, and it’s hard to know that I am missing out on things that they are doing. Additionally, it’s hard to let go of the control. I have a schedule that I like for them to stick to (because they are less grumpy when they do). I make them drink milk or water instead of juice, and I try to feed them healthy foods. Grandparents, however, don’t always have to abide by these rules. I remember a Bill Cosby routine where he joked about how his parents changed when they became grandparents. They started to hand out money and candy freely. He told his children, “These are not the same people that I grew up with. These are old people trying to get into heaven!”
Mornings are crazy and I think that’s just going to be a fact of life. Neither Christian nor I are morning people, so it’s hard for us to function well enough to get ourselves showered and ready, and also get three kids out the door.
Nights are crazier. By the time I picked the kids up last night and got home, it was 6:45. Colin cried the whole way home because it was time for a bottle. I got everyone and everything (mail, diaper bag, bookbags, my purse, briefcase, etc) out of the car. I got Noah and Zoe’s shoes and coats off, got Colin out of his carseat, ran upstairs to throw a load of laundry in the washing machine, made a bottle, and finally sat down to feed Colin. Christian got home around 7pm and whipped up dinner (leftover meatloaf and frozen veggies). Colin was a little fussy, so Christian held him so I could eat, then vice versa. While Noah and Zoe were still eating, I packed their lunches and bookbags for the next day, and layed out their coats and shoes for the morning. I also re-stocked the diaper bag.
When Christian took them up to start baths, I cleaned the kitchen and wiped down the high chairs. While the kids were in the bath, I put the clothes from the washer in the dryer, folded the clothes that were in the dryer, put those clothes away, picked out their clothes for the morning, and got their pajamas and diapers ready for when they got out of the tub. Finally, Christian put Noah and Zoe to bed while I went downstairs to feed Colin his last bottle and get him ready for bed. EX.HAUS.TING. (By the way, I have to add here that I am VERY lucky, too, to have such a hands-on husband. I can’t imagine doing that alone.)
I just have to keep telling myself that it’s only three days a week. I mean, we do all of those things every night, but it’s just that it’s not all compressed between 7pm-9pm.
I can do this. Right?