A Day in the Life

Posted on | May 20, 2010 | 18 Comments

Back in 1953 when I said “Ask me anything” someone asked me what a typical day was like for me. And I know that I sort of talk about typical day stuff, well, ALL the time, but I thought it might be nice for me to put it all down so I can see where I might have some time slots for “Momma time.”

So here goes… a day in the life of Law Momma:

I don’t know what time I should start. Does the day start at 12:01 am or when I wake up “for good?” Tough call. I’m gonna go with when I wake up through when I wake up the next day.

First off, I don’t set an alarm for work. I am not an over-sleeper. I just don’t do it. My internal clock is a beast and will NOT let me sleep in past work, no matter how hard I try. So depending on J, I either wake up at 7 or anytime between 5 and 7 if he wakes up early. Let’s go with a 6:30 wake up because that’s a normal day.

At 6:30 I wake up and sometimes have a few minutes to watch J sorta sleep. He is usually just about awake, which is why I’ve woken up, but his eyes are still closed. (we co-sleep still. Judge away.) He’ll toss and turn a little and finally end up burrowing his head into my chest until he wakes up and grins… or screams. If he grins? He’s okay. If he screams? He’s sick. I snuggle with him for a few minutes and then get up and grab a diaper and the wipes. I change his diaper and, depending on whether he peed through the diaper and onto the bed like LAST night, change him into a onesie for school. Then I usually nurse him unless he just ate at like 5.

Then we cross the hall to my “former” bedroom, where Husband sleeps. I flip off the ceiling fan, plop J into bed with Husband, and jump in the shower. Then I brush my teeth, throw on clothes and make up, all the while playing peek-a-boo with J from the bathroom because on most mornings, Husband is still mostly asleep and fairly useless at doing anything other than securing J’s position ON the bed rather than off it.

Then I grab J and we go into the living room where I put him in his exersaucer while I dry my hair. If he’s good, I can get my hair dried AND straightened before he starts screaming. By then he has pooped and it’s back to the nursery to get dressed for school. Once that’s complete, I put him in his high chair and feed him breakfast… usually half a container of baby food and something he can pick up like cheerios and yogurt melts… while I grab his bottles and solid food for daycare, make my lunch and my breakfast, and get empty bottles for me to pump. Then I run out to the car with everything except J, back it out of the car port for easy access, run back in and grab J and say bye to Husband who may or may not be up at this point.

We are usually at the daycare before 8:00 but it varies. I take J in and get him situated, chat with the teacher briefly, put his bottles away, and head to work.

That’s when a normal day gets harder to describe.

I’m not quite sure how to characterize a normal day at my office. Usually, I get to work and get my mail. Then I fix myself the poptarts I grabbed out of the cabinet at home and go to my office. I check my email, my phone messages, and read my mail and, I’ll admit it, surf the Internet visiting blogs and what not, for about 45 minutes while the caffeine kicks in. Then it’s time to get to billing. I try to make a “to do” list at the end of each day, so the first thing I look at is what is still on the list from the day before. That gets first priority.

I like to make phone calls first thing in the morning because you can catch people a little off guard and also usually in a better mood. So mornings are when I try to touch base with clients. Mornings are also when my boss likes to touch base with me, so I get a lot of emails that say “What is the status on…” and “have you done…..” They’re annoying and I try to answer them as briefly as possible. I can’t stand morning “status checks.” By the time I get the phone calls caught up and the “status checks” answered, it’s getting close to pump time. I pump three times a day at the office.

The rest of my day really varies according to what is on my schedule. Sometimes I have depositions, mediations, hearings, etc. Sometimes I have to prep for them because they are occurring the next day. Sometimes I don’t know what I do all day! I take my lunch so I can not feel guilty about leaving early some days and going to visit J some days. In fact, I try to go by the daycare at least twice a week to “have lunch” with J. That actually consists of shoveling food in my mouth at my desk and then driving to daycare and playing with J for thirty minutes before I return to work.

I leave the office by 5:30 at the latest because daycare closes at 6 and I don’t like to be the last parent to arrive. I pick up J and we head home. By the time we get home it’s usually close to 6. We come in, say “hi” to Husband and Husband takes J while I wash the bottles from the day, put away the freshly pumped bottles, throw in a load of laundry and make my dinner. Then we plop J into his highchair for dinner. I try to eat at the same time as feeding J but it doesn’t always work. Once J is through eating it’s bathtime. We alternate days on using soap because his skin is so dry, but he gets to play in the water every night.

After bathtime it’s time for PJs, night time nursing, and story time. We read a book while we rock and then I sing his lullaby. That’s when things get tricky. On a good night, I hold him close and bounce on the side of the bed 250 times until he’s asleep. Seriously. 250. I got in the habit of counting things on the nights when he was a newborn and I needed something to save my sanity. I haven’t really stopped counting since. On a bad night, I bounce him, he still screams and I get frustrated after 1000 bounces and put him in the crib and walk out. Inevitably, this leads to Husband picking him up and bouncing him to sleep. And on a REALLY good night, Husband bounces J to sleep before I even have to try!

By 8 or 8:30 he’s usually down and I clean the kitchen from dinner, sometimes vacuum if J is REALLY asleep, and then come into the den to tweet and blog and maybe catch some television. If I stay up too long, J will wake up and I have to go to bed anyway. So most nights I’m in bed by 9 or 9:30 so that I can get some sleep. By 10 or 10:30, J wakes up and won’t go back to sleep so I have to pick him up and put him in bed with me. Sometimes he nurses and sometimes just goes back to bed. Then he wakes up again around 1 or 2 and definitely nurses. Some nights? He only wakes up at 1 or two. But most nights? He wakes up at 3 and 5. And last night? He went to sleep at 8:30, woke up at 10, woke again at 12, again at 1:30, 3:00, 4:30, and then 6. It was… awful.

So yeah. That’s my day. Are you exhausted? It made me tired just writing all that. Husband has now offered to start picking J up from daycare and giving him dinner so I can go to the gym several days a week. That isn’t exactly a massage three times a week… but it’s a start! 🙂


18 Responses to “A Day in the Life”

  1. Diana
    May 20th, 2010 @ 12:31 pm

    Oh my. Yes, I am tired just reading that. You are busy. Honestly, you have NO me time. None. And also, its a good thing your husband is taking J because his child rearing part is sadly lacking in your story.
    I hear you about being up all night. I am currently on my phone, having just nursed Bella for the 5th time since she went to bed. It's like 7 something and now shes in bed with us because otherwise she screams. I can't go to sleep until she does because she grabs my face and hair.
    Sorry for the novel. I feel your pain should sum it up. I wish I could help you out somehow. Give you a night off. You're a great mom.

  2. Anonymous
    May 20th, 2010 @ 12:42 pm

    Sounds like you need to do some sleep training. It can work miracles!

  3. Alena
    May 20th, 2010 @ 12:44 pm

    Yes, its tiring reading that!! I think you should crawl under your desk and take a nap!

  4. HarmSkills
    May 20th, 2010 @ 12:59 pm

    wow yes, tiring! I dont know how people nurse all night long and then go to work. I mean I work my ARSE off as a SAHM, but I could always veg out at home or stare into space for a little bit. or relax while he nurses during the day.

    i hope your weekends are more relaxing

  5. Alysha
    May 20th, 2010 @ 1:18 pm

    working moms are my hero. I have no idea how you do all that. I am beat!

  6. Tiffany
    May 20th, 2010 @ 1:22 pm

    Our days sound strangely familiar…like you're living in my home, in a parallel universe or something. The only thing that is different is that hubbs takes the baby in the morning for a little while AND he gives her a bath. I'm double-exhausted.

  7. KLZ
    May 20th, 2010 @ 1:40 pm

    Law Momma we did the sleep training for WEEKS and were consistent. Our son still screamed for HOURS.

    So, now if he gets up after 3 he sleeps in bed with both of us. Do what works for you.


    Anyway, I feel you on all of this. Please explain to me how I can get some laundry done – and someone else to fold it. Is there a laundry fairy by you I could hire?

  8. MrsPatterson
    May 20th, 2010 @ 2:09 pm

    Oh man, I recognized a lot of my day in your day! If you go about it without thinkin about it, you don't really realize how much you do, but whenever you take the time to explain to people what you do all day, it's like "Woah…I accomplish a LOT every day." Rock on, working momma! I hope J starts sleeping soon, I can't imagine doing all that on so little sleep.

  9. Rebekah @ Mom-In-A-Million
    May 20th, 2010 @ 2:15 pm

    How about you SAY you're going to the gym but get massages instead? Or ice cream! I prefer ice cream to the gym anytime.

  10. ~*Jess*~
    May 20th, 2010 @ 2:47 pm

    No judging here. We co slept till Ava was nearly 1 and I loved it. Probably won't do that for kid 2 just because she never knew how to go to bed.

    Your day is crazy but I am super impressed with your firm! Do you have low billables or are you just that badass about getting them done? Do you work from home?

  11. Law Momma
    May 20th, 2010 @ 2:49 pm

    Jess: We're not really strict on billables but I'm also really efficient when I'm in the office. I try to bill at least 7 hours a day from the office and then work one weekend day a month to catch up. Comp is really easier billing, too. It's one of the reasons I love it.

  12. Eliza
    May 20th, 2010 @ 3:59 pm

    I loved this day in the life of Law Momma.

    Pssssst…we co-sleep too! (it was on the never will I ever list, and yep…here we are co-sleeping after Teva wakes up in the middle of the night or sometimes 10:30pm).

    My best friend found a note in her own baby book from her mom detailing a regular day, and my friend really cherishes it…it gives her some insight since she is now a mother, and can relate to what her mom's day was like.

    Save this!

  13. Janelle
    May 20th, 2010 @ 4:10 pm

    That wore me out…and brought back the memories of my first, who definitely did the "up at 12, 2, 4, 6…" dance for many months. The newborn has been much better so far, I have my fingers crossed that he is a "sleeper…"

    I hope your weekend include some relaxing time? Phew, you deserve it!

  14. disastersindomesticity
    May 20th, 2010 @ 4:41 pm

    My night sounds exactly like yours (our son is almost 8 months). We still co-sleep (well, I do, about a month ago the husband went into the guestroom because it was getting to be a tight fit in the bed).

    I refuse to do sleep training. But I have slowly gotten him to accept falling asleep without nursing, and then falling asleep without me holding him. Now I put him down on the bed and pat his back and he falls asleep. But he still wakes up 2x on a good night, 5x on a bad. It seems to be that way with most of the mothers that I spoke to that nurse. I'm willing to deal with it, because I remind myself it's not forever. Hopefully he wont still be waking up like this at 14 🙂 From what I've read he will learn to sleep on his own in his own time. So do what works for you and J.

    Sleep training isn't for every parent, and not all babies would respond well to it. I hate it when other people tell me to do it and it will solve all my problems. Every baby is different.

  15. Melodramommy
    May 20th, 2010 @ 8:31 pm

    Busy busy! A mother's work is never done. I'm still trying to just accept that so I can occasionally sit down and rest.

  16. Kim
    May 21st, 2010 @ 12:42 am

    I am exhausted!! How is it that you are up all night and then up all morning all by your lonesome? I vote for darling hubby to do breakfast w/ the babe! (I'm sure he loves and agrees w/ my input 100%!) Yeah for the gym time! Make sure you take a 2 hour class *wink wink* (that's one hour for exercise and one hour for whatever your little heart desires!)

  17. Organic Motherhood with Cool Whip
    May 21st, 2010 @ 4:36 pm

    Whew!! That is a long day. You are an amazing person. I love all the little things you do to be close to your baby, like go over to the daycare during lunch. You are such a good mom!

    And we co-sleep too, so I'm all in on that one. I love sleeping with my kids. And they love it too. Just not sure how LONG they are going to love it for? Nino is going on 6 and seems to have no intention on going anywhere soon. Which is fine by me, actually. I love snuggling with both of them (my other son is 2). But my husband is starting to get antsy to get our bed back. But I tell him, they are only young once, right?

  18. ARob
    May 21st, 2010 @ 10:00 pm

    I feel ya! The only thing that's different is that I have a good sleeper, & wake up about an hour earlier. It sounds like you keep up with your housework a lot better than I do (but I'm trying!!) I like your idea of visiting your child at lunchtime. I should try that. I always feel guilty about leaving by 5:30, because I am trying to "earn my keep." But my son goes to sleep at 6:30! We CANT keep him up later if we try. How long have you been practicing law and what field??

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    Spilled Milk (and Other Atrocities) by Law Momma is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.
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