It’s now been over two months since I returned to work after my second maternity leave. I have to admit I was really dreading it after struggling when I returned from maternity leave with Alfie. However, it really hasn’t been all that bad. The guilt isn’t as prominent this time, the lack of sleep isn’t as bad due to bedsharing and we’ve very quickly got in to a good routine that works (most of the time…) There have been some ups and downs, as you would expect – some of the lowlights since my return include:
- One sickness bug for Alfie that wasn’t really a sickness bug but resulted in two days off nursery anyway;
- One emergency trip to A&E for Craig with a heart arrhythmia, which included him having to be sedated and his heart shocked;
- One suspected bout of mastitis for me, which fortunately turned out to be a partially blocked duct and was easily fixed by a loooooong feed from Henry;
- Several wake ups from Henry to feed every night;
- Me suffering from a bad head cold for over two weeks, that I can’t take medication for;
- Still playing musical beds most nights;
- The clock change meaning Henry will NOT go to sleep when it’s still light outside.
- Trying to fit in all the housework including alllllllll the washing in just half an hour every morning and an hour every evening;
- Being away from my children for 12 hours a day, 5 days a week (this will always be the hardest thing, despite them driving me mad most of the time!)
But honestly, it’s not all been bad. After seriously struggling returning to work 3 years ago after I’d had Alfie, I’ve found it a million times easier this time. I’m not sure why – perhaps because I knew what to expect, perhaps because I knew the boys would be settled at their nursery, having sent Alfie there for the past 3 years, perhaps it’s because I know I’m not having any more children, and so I can settle back in to work properly knowing I’m not going to be leaving again. I have tons more confidence this time round, less mum guilt and lots of support from work. Ultimately, I can only do all of this because of a husband who is the best team player, has 90% responsibility in dropping and picking the children up from nursery and also doing a fair share of jobs at home. Team work really does make the dream work!
I do have lots of people ask me though how I cope with being a full time working mum. I’m not saying it’s easy, but you find a routine that works and as long as everyone sticks to the system, on the whole everything runs smoothly! You need motivation and drive, you can’t sit down for too long in the evenings otherwise you get comfy and don’t want to move, and you have to be grateful for things like Netflix and Amazon Video allowing you to catch up on your tv without having to ever watch anything “live”.
I thought I would do a week in the life of a full time working mum, which breaks my day down to the minute of what I do in order to keep the house running. I included bits of what Craig does as well, but this is mostly what I do to get through my week and keep a house, two kids, a blog and a full time job going!
4.50am – My day starts early, being woken up by Henry for a feed. He’s generally fussing, won’t settle and has decided he wants to get up for the day!
5.45am – Alarm goes off, husband beats me to the shower while I’m (still) feeding Henry.
6am – Alfie wakes up and joins me and Henry in bed.
6.05am – Get in shower.
6.15am – Shower interrupted by Alfie needing the toilet! Get out of shower and then put clothes out for Alfie to get dressed by himself.
6.15 – 6.30am – Get myself dressed, do make up and put hair up.
6.30am – Take kids downstairs. Alfie’s dressed so watches tv whilst having a drink. Henry plays with his toys.
6.30 – 6.45 – Prepare slow cooker for dinner. Craig irons shirt and gets dressed.
6.45 – Make tea for train, pack lunch in bag, double check kids bags are packed.
6.55 – Get Henry dressed, brush everyone’s teeth, get shoes on.
7.10am – Get everyone in car
7.15am – Leave for nursery
7.30am – Arrive at nursery and drop both boys off
7.40am – Arrive at train station
8am – Train journey to work – catch up with a friend
9am – Arrive at work (10 minutes late due to train!)
9am – 1.30pm – WORK
1.30pm-2.30pm – Lunch break – finish writing one blog post, publish, write Instagram post to publicise and post to Facebook. Eat lunch!
2.30pm – 5pm – WORK
5pm – Leave office for train station.
5.20pm – 6.30pm – Commute home. Reply to social media comments. Do weekly food shop online. Read three chapters of book. Do some Pinterest pinning (pleasure not work). Catch up on general social media.
6.30-6.45 – Walk home from station
6.48 – Immediately get changed in to PJs. Both boys have had a snack and bath already. Feed Henry to sleep. Craig puts Alfie to bed.
7.30 – Eat dinner!
7.45 – Got up and settle Henry back to sleep.
8-8.10 – Finish dinner.
8.10 – 9pm – Fold washing from airer and sort in to piles, hang up wet washing in basket, put towels in tumble dryer. Craig wash and dry up from dinner. Pack bags for nursery.
9-9.20 – Enjoy a hot cup of tea!
9.20 – 10pm – Write blog post.
10pm – Go to bed.
11pm – Henry wakes up, comes in bed with me, Craig goes to Alfie’s bed.
2.07 – 2.40 – Henry wakes up fussing. Doesn’t want feeding, just wants a cuddle but doesn’t seem to be comfortable! Has a crawl round the bed for half an hour!
5am – Henry wakes up crying, feed him.
5.45 – Alarm goes off, Craig gets in shower, I feed Henry.
6.10 – I have a shower while Craig takes boys downstairs and gives them breakfast.
6.20 – 6.45 – Get dressed, do hair and make up.
6.45 – I get Henry dressed, Craig gets Alfie dressed
7- 7.15 – Eat breakfast and have tea. Put a load of washing on.
7.15 – Check nursery bags, brush teeth, shoes on, get in car.
7.30 – Leave house
7.35 – Arrive at station
7.37 – 8.46 – Commute to work. Catch up on social media, read some of book.
9 – 1.30pm – WORK
1.30 – 2.30 – LUNCH BREAK – social media catch up, walk in the fresh air!
2.30 – 5 – WORK
5.20-6.30 – Commute home. Catch up on social media/read book.
6.30-6.45 – Walk home
6.45 – Food shop delivery has arrived early, just as I walk in the door. Unpack food and put away.
7pm – See kids and talk to the about their day. Feed Henry. Say goodnight to Alfie.
7.30 – Start dinner, Henry still awake.
7.50 – Deal with Henry sicking up his milk.
8pm – Eat dinner with Henry still awake.
8-9.30pm – Watch TV, play with Henry, feed Henry till he falls asleep.
10pm – Bed
11pm – Henry wakes up and comes in bed
2am – 3.15 – Henry wakes up crying. Spend an hour and 15 minutes getting him to sleep. Doesn’t want feeding, not teething, change nappy, possible constipation.
4.30 – Wake to feed Henry.
5.45 – Alarm goes off. Craig gets in shower.
6.10 – I get in shower, Craig gives kids breakfast, irons shirt. Alfie gets himself dressed.
6.10 – Get dressed, do hair and make up.
6.30 – Prep dinner in slow cooker, put washing machine on.
6.50 – Eat breakfast
7.00 – Get Henry dressed, clean teeth.
7.15 – Check nursery bags, get in car.
7.30 – Leave house.
7.35 – Train commute. Catch up on social media, read book.
9am – 1.30 – WORK
1.30-2.30 – LUNCH – social media, work on Easter blog post.
2.30 – 5 – WORK
5-6.30 – Train commute, Social media, read book, write Easter post.
6.45pm – Walk home.
6.45pm – Give boys bath.
7.10pm – Eat dinner.
7.30pm – Put Henry to bed.
8pm – Wash up from dinner.
8.30pm – Hang washing up.
9pm – Cup of tea and social media.
10pm – Bed.
11pm – Henry wakes up, bring him in bed.
2am – Feed Henry.
4.40am – Feed Henry.
5.45 – Alarm goes off, Craig gets in shower.
6.10 – Get in shower, Craig gives kids breakfast.
6.30 – Dry, straighten hair, get dressed, make up, Craig iron’s shirt.
6.45am – Put washing on, sort out lunch.
7am – Get Henry and Alfie dressed.
7.10 – Brush teeth, pack nursery bags, get shoes on.
7.30 – Leave house.
7.35 – 8.50 – Commute. Blog post, Pinterest, social media, read book.
9-5 – WORK
5-6.30 – COMMUTE
6.30-.645 – Walk home.
6.45 – 7 – Get ready for bed.
7-8 – Feed henry and put to bed.
8-9.30 – Eat dinner, wash up, watch tv, cup of tea in bed.
9.30-10 – Catch up on social media.
10 -10.20 – Feed Henry.
12am – Feed Henry.
2.30am – Feed Henry.
5am – Bring Henry in our bed and feed to sleep.
5.45am – Alarm goes off, get in shower.
6am – Craig gets in shower, I get boys dressed.
6.15am – Boys play upstairs while I get ready.
6.45am – Brush teeth, pack nursery bags, get shoes on.
7am – Make lunch and tea in flask.
7.15am – Leave house.
7.35am – Arrive at nursery, drop boys off in time for breakfast, catch up with nursery staff.
7.50am – Arrive at station.
8am – COMMUTE – read book, catch up on social media.
8.55am – 5pm – WORK
5pm – Train cancelled!! Find another train to get on, call Craig to pick me up from a different station.
6pm – Craig collects me from station and drives us home.
6.30pm – Arrive home, get boys out of car, Craig goes straight back out for dinner with work friends.
6.45pm – Give boys snack, run bath and get pjs ready whilst they eat.
7pm – Bath time!
7.20pm – Get both boys in pjs, settle in Alfie’s bed for story. Feed Henry whilst reading story.
7.35pm – Alfie asleep, transfer a sleeping Henry to his cot, get in my pjs,
7.45pm – Put my dinner on and enjoy an evening to myself!!
10pm – Henry wakes up for a feed, go to bed myself.
So, there we have it! A week in the life of a full time working parent! As you can see, it’s pretty full on. We don’t get many chores done around the house during the week, which means we have to spend part of our weekends doing them, which sucks because we just want to spend time with our babies! But we also need clean clothes, tidy floors and a sparkling bathroom, so needs must. It’s crazy, hectic and completely full on, but we’ve managed to adapt fairly quickly actually. Some evenings are stressful because the boys don’t always stick to the routine and go to sleep when they should (especially Henry!) and because I’m still breastfeeding, I get little down time unfortunately. But on the whole, it’s working for us, and we’re managing to cope which is always good. I’m grateful we don’t have any after school activities to worry about at the moment, but that might change in September!
How does your week look as a working parent? Is it even crazier than ours?!