Being a Mum can be hard work. Being a lawyer can be hard work. Doing both? It's going to take some getting used to. But I'm going to be doing both for a bloody long time yet, eventually with more than one munchkin (we hope!), so I guess getting the "getting used to it thing" underway now is a sound idea...
I summarised a day in my life last week, and found it pretty tricky as every single thing about a day with an infant is unpredictable (for us- we are reluctant to impose a schedule on Chip, and are just trying to help him settle into his own). It's a much easier task now, though I'm still very much affected by the baby's timing!
Here's a look at a typical day in my life now that I'm in the office 4 days/week:
Sometime in the wee small hours: Wake up, feed baby (last night it was midnight - much earlier than "usual". Gah.)
Sometime between 5:30 and 7:00am: Chip's up for the day, or for his morning feed at least (today was unusual, with the baby up at 4:55am thanks to the midnight wakening).
6:30am: the alarm goes off; if I'm not up already, I get up and start quietly getting ready while Chip sleeps. I wake Phil, who makes me breakfast.
7:45am: Off to work- about a half hour drive.
8:30am-9:30am: Drink coffee, clear inbox, start working (this morning I arrived at 8:15 and had to pump straight away, as Chip wasn't ready to feed before I left)
9:30-10am: First pumping session. I can't pump as much as Chip eats in one go, no matter what I do. I know he can get that much if I breastfeed him, but am one of those people who just doesn't pump well. This morning, I was pissed off as I only got about 100ml in my first session. Pumping itself takes about 10 minutes, but the whole shebang takes 20-30, as I have to clean and sterilise equipment, get set up, etc etc.
10:30am to 12:30pm: Work. (because of the early pump, I'll be doing a second session at about 10:30/11am today)
12:30-1pm: Second pumping session. I eat lunch while I pump. (today I'll do it on the later side)
1:00-1:30pm: If I need to run errands, I can sometimes pop out in this window. But because I'm spending a reasonable amount of time on the pump, I don't really have time for a "lunch break" (which are often kind of foreign in the law world anyway).
1:30 - 3:00pm: Work
3:00- 3:30pm: Third pumping session
3:30 - 5:00pm: Work
5:00pm: Grab milk, pumping bits, lunchbag and so on and dash out the door to the carpark.
5:45/6:00pm: Home! Sometimes the kid will be clean and ready to eat, sometimes it's bathtime, and sometimes he needs a pre-bath "half feed". (If I'm home, we usually do feed/bath/feed/bed, but it's a bit more complicated going from bottle to boob, and we haven't quite got the hang of this bit yet).
6:30pm: Last feed. Phil makes dinner.
7:00pm: Put the kiddo to bed, eat dinner.
7:30-9/9:30pm: Get lunch ready for the next day, tidy the living room which is strewn with baby things, clean kitchen, watch TV with Phil.
9/9:30pm: Pump again.
I've been back at work for two weeks now, and it's starting to feel like the status quo. I'm realising that this is what the rest of our lives will look like (yes, I realised that before, but it really is something that sinks in in increments), so I'm trying to figure out how to make this routine work in a more permanent way. We're managing to do most of the things I want to get done (eating, getting out in weekends, maintaining an acceptable-ish level of housework), but there's one big gap for me: exercise.
As I see it, there are two sort of windows in my current weekday:*
1- baby-permitting, in the morning either straight after his early feed (if it's out of the way by about 6:30) or while he's asleep (trickier)
2- after dinner, around 8:00pm
We've set up my bike on the wind trainer, so I'm going to try to start taking advantage of these windows occasionally. I haven't quite made it happen yet, but creating the opportunity is the first step!
*The difficulty with both of these windows is that there is some research to show that women should try to exercise straight after a pumping or feeding, and not to pump/feed again until 90 minutes afterwards. This has been criticised, but I'm still a bit nervous about it!