Monday, December 2

A Fighting Chance.

Still here. In body, if not entirely in mind. I think I lost that a few months ago, actually, along with any remaining shreds of dignity or pride ;)

There's a good reason for my radio silence. It happens with babies, I suppose. But I didn't realize just how hugely it changes your day to day life.

Jack is on the move.


Around the "mom blog" world, there are a million acronyms. One set signifies your work/childcare arrangement -- you're a SAHM (stay at home mom), work out of home mom (WOHM), or WAHM (work at home mom).

From what I've seen, the first two are the most common. Either you leave your job and spend your day taking care of your child(ren), or you return to work and someone else watches your wee one(s) from 8-6, or part time, or whatever. Both are hard hard hard. Counting my three-month maternity leave as stay-at-home momdom and my two-month return to the office as working out of the home, I have brief but real experience with either arrangement.

Moving into my fifth month of working part time from home, though, I think this might be the toughest assignment yet. The best, certainly, at least from my perspective. But also the toughest. At least lately. I think WHAM makes more sense. Not as an acronym, but as a way to convey how I feel at the end of the day.

There is literally almost no down time. No blog browsing. No cubicle visits. No napping while the baby naps. No coffee breaks. No daytime TV. No happy hours.

Even commuting sounds appealing, if only for the chance to just sit down and not worry about anything for an entire 45 minutes.


Working part-time from home has wonderful perks, not the least of which is that I spend all day with Jack and in yoga pants. I do the things I dreamed of doing when I was at my desk: trips to the play area at the mall, walks throughout the neighborhood. But lately, I do those things so he is confined and I get a "rest."

(Yes, you read that right. A rest in the children's section at the mall, shrieking hotbed of chaos and pandemonium. Or while I huff and puff around the block. You know, exercising. I never would have called that rest in my former life!)

Here is a hugely detailed typical schedule these days:

  • Wake up when he wakes up, around 7:15 AM.  Give a bottle, change a diaper, pick an outfit. 
  • Take him downstairs, plop him in the playpen with a toy, and feed the dogs (yes, we still have two of those as well!) 
  • Let them outside to run around, start the coffee in the kitchen. Kyle is usually downstairs with Jack.
  • Bring down coffee and let the day really begin. Watch him while he crawls around, try to drink some coffee but mostly crawl after him to prevent head-into-brick-fireplace scenarios. Some time in the jumper too. That's usually when I check my morning work emails.
  • First nap is between 9-10. This is usually when I make myself halfway presentable, unless I've been extra ambitious with an early morning shower, or there's a big project at work and no time for cleanliness! I also make the bed, start a load of laundry, unload the dishwasher, and let the dogs back in. And if he's still asleep after all that (rare), I get a second cup of coffee and try to put on some makeup.
  • He is awake again by 10:15  for his next bottle. This where the day gets more chaotic.
  • Sometimes we follow his second bottle with what could generously be called "brunch." Some cereal with pears or apples and cinnamon, perhaps. He has no idea what to do with a sippy cup, and mostly just bangs it around. I don't encourage it yet. I'll get around to it. He usually likes his sweets for brunch. We don't always do brunch though. Real food is, ahem, messing with his digestion. So, yeah, we're moving slowly (pun intended).
  • Back to more crawling and jumping and pulling and "exploring." My knees are starting to crack, and it's not even noon yet!
  • Late morning trip -- a walk or venture to the mall. If I haven't been able to do any makeup yet, I do it in the garage once he's in the car seat or in the parking lot once we've arrived at our destination. I check emails on my phone then too.
  • Walk around the park or the mall. Let him crawl if we're in a child-friendly area. Talk to other moms who might be walking/crawling around.
  • Bottle at 1:15. Second nap is usually between 1 and 2. Lately it's even been about 12:30 to 2:30, which makes me worry that he's dead but really just means he's taking a better nap.
  • I work, work, work during this second nap. So much media coverage to review, so little time!
  • He's awake between 2-3. 
  • Crawling around his nursery or downstairs. Visiting with the dogs, who he adores. Practicing "standing" in the playpen. Reading a few books. Jumping in the jumper. I pretty much crawl around after him or heave him to and fro for a few hours.
  • Bottle at 4:15. 
  • "Dinner" around 5. If Kyle didn't work from home, we usually go outside around 5:30 to sit on the front steps and watch for his car. Jack loves to be outside, and I love to sit down and wait for someone, anyone else who might hold him for a few minutes.
  • We try to start his bedtime routine around 6. Bath, lotion, jammies, book, saying goodnight to all his stuffed animals, turning the lights off and the sound machine and space heater on, and giving his bottle in the rocking chair with a few songs (Scarborough Fair, The Parting Glass, Sweet Baby James, and Twinkle Twinkle Little Star). Lately he's also been falling asleep around, like, 5:45, which is insane and means we only have time for the basics of that routine, but he typically conks out by 6:30. Also, he didn't fall asleep until 9:30 last night, so there are definite deviations to this schedule.
  • At the end of the day, I get a glass of wine, maybe make dinner, and watch some TV. Then I start on more work. I gather and analyze media coverage for public relations reports, so it's a lot of searching and reading -- which I enjoy, actually.
  • I'm usually in bed between 11 and midnight, which is stupid. I should go to bed earlier, and I think about that every time my cracking limbs sink into the mattress. 
I am definitely more sore these days than I ever was while pregnant. Looking after an even slightly mobile baby all day is no joke. I'm seriously afraid for him to really get going, both for his own safety and the longevity of my joints.

He's 24 pounds now, so that certainly has something to do with it.

He also still has "fists of fury" -- he is almost always wiggling or jumping or swinging or kicking or bouncing. We call him Crazy Legs Stevenson. He's lot of fun, but for a person (like me) who's always been a little, um, dainty and not very physical, he is literally and figuratively a huge handful.

He's the best!!!


  1. crawl jack crawl! i can't believe he goes to bed so early. my 4 month old will neverrrr go down (and stay down) before 10pm!

    1. Jack didn't start going to sleep earlier than 9-10 PM until he was 4 months, but at 5 months he started sleeping 7 PM- 7 AM, 12 hours, almost every night. It was bliss!!

  2. I can't imagine how hard it is! I've had days like that..where I've graded papers at every nap and after bed, but it's super tough! At least at work I get to eat lunch with grown ups...but no yoga pants or mall time :/. And Jack nearly has 10 pounds on Dylan and I've feel like he's getting heavy!

    Hang in there. I get it! Livening your time with baby while simultaneously counting the down the minutes until help arrives...

    1. I went into the office for the first time in awhile today, and it was really nice to talk about work with other "grown ups!" But by the time I got home Jack was already asleep, which was pretty sad. The grass is always greener I guess :)

  3. I've been there, done that! It is such an awesome arrangement - best of both worlds - while simultaneously being so, so difficult. You have to be so super disciplined and I don't think anyone who hasn't been there 'gets' it. And as soon as you start rocking a routine, the little one changes it all up by dropping the morning nap or teething. Good times. You seem to totally have it down though!

    1. It's definitely a great compromise between working and staying home! Until recently, I said it was perfect -- but over the past few weeks I've decided that no arrangement is perfect, because this one is pretty tough too! Maybe if I won the lottery and stayed home and had unlimited energy to write that novel I just KNOW is in me... that would be close to perfect :) If I seem to have it down, it's a sham (but I'll take it - thanks!)