New Mom Real Talk: A Day In The Life with a Four Month Old
I’ve always enjoyed reading day-in-the-life posts so I figured I’d put one together for you. It ended up being pretty long and probably will bore you, but if you are interested, read on (or just skip the text for cute pictures of L).
6:15am I hear L on the monitor… I look and see that he’s smiling off and on with putting his hands in his mouth (this was the first night we purposely had his arms free from the swaddle). After a few minutes of fussing I realize it’s time to get up and feed him! Did I mention the big puddle on my bed? Oh yeah, one of my breasts still leaks almost every night (sorry for the TMI).
L’s pretty hungry (as he usually is in the mornings) so it’s a good nursing session. Plus, he is a huge morning person so I always get lots of smiles at this time.
Once he’s done it’s back in the PJs (too early in the day for an outfit change unless necessary!).
6:45 I have to pump and L goes into the bouncy seat next to me. I used to pump another seven ounces after this feeding but these days it’s more like two to four (depends on how much he eats). Hopefully it’s mainly because he eats more, not because I have a lower supply. This morning I barely pump two and try not to worry about it (spoiler alert: I always worry about it).
As soon as I’m done, I put all of the bottles we used over the last 24 hours in a pot of water to boil. I’m way too lazy to clean them more often than that. Then I work quickly to start a pot of coffee (why don’t I do this the night before?) and make breakfast. I’m normally a stovetop oatmeal girl, but lately I’ve been making big batches of steel cut oats in the slow cooker. Today I mix some with PB2 and chopped apple. Not as good as my usual (mixed with egg whites and topped with peanut butter), but good enough for a change of pace. I pair it with a strong cup of coffee with skim milk and I’m happy.
Meanwhile, by 7:15 I notice L getting tired (this is always his shortest awake time). Before I finish in the kitchen I get him ready for a nap. We finally have him napping in his crib regularly and I go through the routine: Diaper change if necessary, turn down the lights, turn on the noise machine and swaddle him with his left arm out (his thumb sucking hand). Sometimes he starts to cry a bit (more like fuss) when he realizes what’s going on but nothing too bad. I leave the room at 7:27 and he is asleep with his thumb in his mouth by 7:30. Breakfast time.
This is my me time. I sit on the couch with the TODAY Show in the background (I barely like it anymore and don’t know why I still bother), eat breakfast, drink coffee, and do some blog, email and social media catch up. Mondays are always a bit overwhelming so I have to remind myself not to stress over getting through all of it. If I’m behind on blog reading (oh, the horror), I’ll live.
8:10 I’m finished with breakfast and coffee (always a sad moment) and it’s time to figure out what to do next. Sometimes I do yoga in the apartment at this time, but I think I’ll save that for later if I have extra time in the day (ha!). I finally deal with that pot of bottles, get dressed (skip the shower in case that yoga actually happens) and think about what to do next. I settle on making a batch of lactation cookies with the hopes that L is going to take a long nap (that darn 45 minute sleep cycle sometimes gets in the way). If L wakes up, I’ll just chill the dough to bake later.
By 8:40 I’ve started a load of laundry, gotten dressed, brushed my teeth (phew, remembered this morning!), and made my dough. By some miracle L’s made it over the 45 minute hump (must be the mediocre night sleep he had) and looks like he is still out cold. I’m so glad the mixer and my other commotions in the kitchen didn’t wake him and decide to push my luck and try to bake the dough now… I’m getting good at working fast when it comes to baking.
While the cookies are baking, I scramble to finish that load of laundry (woohoo, I didn’t forget about it) which obviously involves putting away last week’s dry laundry (aka moving it from the bathroom to on top of my bureau). I need to be as productive as possible in the mornings when he is napping because 1) you never know when I will crash/be too exhausted and lazy later and 2) naps are unpredictable, we may only get short ones later.
It’s 9:10, the next load of laundry is on it’s way, cookies are done and L is still sleeping (whoa!). I’m all of the sudden starving again so I grab a chunk of light cheddar and think about the warm lactation cookies on the kitchen table. Yes I do have one. Real life. I pick the ugliest one and am happy to see that the new recipe iteration I’ve tried is perfect. I’ll definitely be posting this one next week! Since L is still napping I decide to resume computer catch up. I even make the bed and then a second cookie may or may not happen (it happens).
It’s just about 10am and somehow L is still sleeping (guess I could have done yoga, too!). I decide to get him up because I don’t love him taking naps that are more than 2 1/2 hours (not that it comes close to happening often). Time to feed him!
By 10:25 we are done with the feeding (some days they really go well) and I put L on the mat for tummy time. He lasts twenty minutes moving around to get to toys (see the above photo- that’s definitely not where I put him down) and rolling over a couple of times. Afterwards I finally dress him for the day and we play together on the mat.
By 11 my mom (Mommom) is here. L loves playing with her and her being there gives me a chance to get some more things done. Sometimes we all go out together but on the freezing cold days (which are more often than not) I can also run a quick errand by myself. I take the opportunity to photograph the lactation cookies and think about cooking some veggies for dinner. I also empty the dishwasher so I can use the now clean slow cooker insert and make some chicken as well. Gotta use my bit of energy while I have it! I can also tell that I’m going to be hungry again soon so I better move fast. Around 11:40 L goes down for his second nap.
At 12 on the dot I’m starving so I inhale some lunch; “salad” (bagged lettuce with light blue cheese dressing) and a whole wheat pita with light cheese and tuna. I eat while standing and finishing up the veggies. Good thing I’m fast because at 12:30 L is up from his nap and hungry! I breastfeed him and then get his oatmeal together (I just love that he’s enjoying eating “real” food). My mom feeds him the cereal while I catch up on the computer for a bit. I also grab some dried baby pineapple (current addiction) because lunch wasn’t enough for me. I load and edit cookie photos while half watching my mom play with L.
2pm comes around and I’m hitting my crashing time. I go to join my mom and L for a bit and wonder if I’ll do yoga later or if I can come up with a good excuse not to. Meanwhile, L gets tired (aka cranky) and I put him down for his third nap around 2:10. I work on the Monday crossword puzzle with my mom.
A little before 3 my mom leaves and I pull out the yoga mat. We’ve gotten over the 45-minute hump again so I think I’ve got time. Seven minutes later I’m proven wrong, L is up! I give him a couple of minutes to see if he will go back to sleep but that’s definitely not happening, time to go get him!
Normally I like to follow the eat-play-sleep routine but he definitely doesn’t need to eat yet after such a big meal earlier so I entertain him for a bit. He’s still a bit tired and cranky, but some tickles get him giggling. An afternoon highlight for sure! By 3:30 he is definitely hungry so time to eat.
Once that feeding is done L has more tummy time. I’m hungry again (obviously) so I snack on banana with peanut butter while I watch him. I love, love being home with L but this is the time of day that I wonder when Matt will get home. I also eye the leftover piece of cookie my mom left behind.
It’s 4:30 and I put L down for his fourth (and generally last) nap of the day. I could resume yoga but I’ve lost my motivation and think about a shower again. I contemplate washing my hair (I owe the dry shampoo g-d’s hours of my life). I also think about the laundry that still needs to be folded. Man am I glad I did all of the work for dinner earlier!
A “long” hot shower (with the monitor volume on high) was exactly what I needed and now I kind of crash. It’s almost five and I sit down at the computer to do some blog browsing and pretend to be productive (recipe editing and blog post writing can wait until tomorrow). I consider folding the laundry because writing this post has motivated me to be efficient and productive… but apparently it hasn’t motivated me that much. I suddenly remember the chicken that finished cooking in the slow cooker and go check on that. It looks just okay but oh well, that’s life!
L wakes up by 5:15 and again I give him a few minutes to potentially settle himself. He tries but doesn’t get back to sleep so I go and get him. This was the shortest nap of the day but that’s okay, I’m pretty happy with the fact that he went down for his naps so well all day. I feed him (some days when his schedule runs later we skip this feeding) and then we hang out and sing songs while we wait for Matt to come home.
As soon as Matt walks in the door it’s a bit of a rush. I’m starving (are you surprised?) and hand over the baby so that I can inhale my dinner while Matt get some time with L and then gives him a bath. I then make Matt a plate and we trade. We’ve gotten to the time of day where L sometimes just wants to be held.
Around 7pm L starts to get hungry (and tired). Matt gives him a bottle (usually breast milk, sometimes formula) while I eat some chocolate (necessary) and keep them company. We are on poop watch (it’s been longer than normal for him) and in the middle of his feeding we hear it. Both of us head over to the changing table to assess. Nothing like a pooplosion after a bath… I take care of the new laundry while Matt puts L back in the sink. I may or may not pretend to forget that there is still a load of laundry in the dryer. Back to the feeding!
A little before 8 L is finished eating and Matt is on bedtime duty (final diaper change, burping, swaddling etc. with a little story time in the mix). I finally dry my hair (and yes, much of it does come out). Now Matt and I have a few minutes to spend together. We turn on the TV but then change our minds and decide to work on a crossword puzzle instead. Around 8:30 I do my last pumping of the day (and am relieved that this time I pump a little more than usual! Maybe it was the lactation cookies). We do a little more crosswording and I pass out by 9:30. Typical.
Things that I don’t mention because they don’t happen: leaving the apartment (it was bitter cold that day), taking my time to eat (okay, I guess I did that for breakfast), putting on makeup. Things that did happen but I didn’t mention: many diaper changes, the bazillion ounces of water that I drank (I constantly refill my water bottle!).
While every day is different the general routine is pretty consistent (at least during the week). I love spending time with L but definitely am starting to seek out a bit more time for myself (sometimes the workout actually does happen). Any other stay-at-home moms with days to compare?