When I was trying to decide whether to return to work or not after Zoe, I read a lot of “day in the life” blog posts of stay-at-home moms, trying to get a feel for what my typical day might look like if I stayed at home. I thought it was VERY helpful to read about other mom’s days. I also felt like a lot of the posts were aimed at impressing the reader with the volume of tasks that the mom accomplished and the selflessness and hard work involved.
This post will not be about my martyrdom. To be honest, staying at home is a lot easier than my old job so far. The “ease factor” is not WHY I decided to stay home—everyone who knows me knows that I work hard and like a challenge—so I don’t feel like I have to preserve my reputation or something by acting like this is the hardest thing I’ve ever done. It’s not. Zoe is a really easygoing baby. When she’s happy, which is most of the time, it’s really fun and easy. When she’s unhappy…it’s not fun and easy, but it’s still not impossible.
But I also know that everything could change as Zoe grows. In a month, I may be saying “this is the hardest thing I’ve ever done” and long for the “easy” days of working.
So this is JUST a day in MY life—today, Wednesday, March 6, to be exact. A few disclaimers:
1) I am a stay-at-home MOM…not a stay-at-home housecleaner/entertainer/Pinterest craft maker/from scratch baker. I give mad props to women that enjoy all that other stuff, but it’s not my thing, so I save my energy for the mom part and side projects that ARE meaningful to me. I clean our house, do the laundry, and cook, but Martha Stewart would be a little horrified. Also, I work 5-8 hours/week, mostly from home.
2) My husband has fairly flexible work hours and works close to our home, so he pops in a lot. He always works later 2 nights/week, sometimes 3, but he is home for dinner all of the other nights.
3) I’m pretty sure I have the world’s easiest baby and I don’t breastfeed, so my life may look very different than the life of another moms with a 3 month old.
4) Diaper changes…can we just assume they’re happening every 30 minutes to 1.5 hour? I don’t really want to detail all of them. I WILL detail my snacks/meals because I always like to hear suggestions of quick, easy-to-throw together mom meal ideas.
3:30 Zoe wakes up for her night feeding. Yes, I said night feeding as in a singular feeding. Don’t kill me, but Zoe has been sleeping really well at night with only one wake up for a few weeks now. David and I take turns doing the night feeding and tonight it was David’s turn. I hear him leave and come back, but luckily go back to sleep pretty easily (sometimes I’m up for an hour or so after the feedings.)
7:00 David’s alarm goes off. Our dog jumps on me for her morning cuddle. Too cute.
7:03 I’m making the bed when I hear an excited screech from Zoe’s room. Someone is up and ready to start her day! David offers to do the feeding since he won’t be here for any other feedings today. While feeding Zoe, he watches an episode of Survivor and winds up getting into it…this means that I get to enjoy some quiet time while he plays with Zoe. I make the coffee, let the dog out, and read my Bible and journal for 40 minutes or so while sipping my coffee.
7:50 My quiet time is nearing its end. Savoring the last of my “relaxation” time, I make some oatmeal with peanut butter and blueberries, then write my friend Jessica an email sharing what I read today because I think it will encourage her.
8:20 David has to get ready for work. I take over Zoe duty. She’s happy, so I sneak this opportunity to wash some bottles and clean the kitchen while she sits in her chair (kind of like a Babysitter Balance.)
8:45 I give Zoe a bath and get her dressed for the day—one of my favorite jobs!
9:05 Zoe begins fussing—someone’s getting sleepy! I try to help her relax and drift off to sleep. It takes about 15 minutes to get her settled and then she naps for 25 minutes. During her nap, I get dressed (my mom rule of thumb: no yoga pants unless I’m actually working out!), brush my hair, put my contacts in, get the diaper bag packed for our morning outings, and write another email.
9:55 Zoe is up and at ’em! I change her, make her bottle and feed her while listening and singing along to Kari Jobe.
10:30 I throw a handful of almonds in my mouth and we get in the car to head to our adoption agency. We’re a few weeks away from finalization and there are tons of last minute details to iron out. Emails are flying. It’s my second of three outings this week related to the finalization—this time, to drop off some notarized forms that are due today. Luckily, my friend is a notary and came over to the house yesterday morning to eliminate one errand! While we drive, Zoe “sings” to the radio and screeches happily.
11:20 We’ve completed our agency errand and are now arriving at the library for baby music time. It’s our second week going to the class and we spot a friend from last week. Zoe seems a little overwhelmed, but smiles when we sing songs that we regularly sing at home. Can babies recognize familiar songs at 3 months? Zoe starts to look sleepy towards the end of class, so we leave early.
12:05 Home. Zoe fell asleep in the car so I quickly throw a salad together: spring mix, half an avocado, some hummus, balsalmic dressing, cherry tomatoes, a little goat cheese. I eat as fast as possible while checking work emails and personal emails.
12:20 Zoe wakes up while I’m on my last few bites. She is NOT happy. David walks in the door for lunch and we chit chat over the screams.
12:40 I’ve tried everything and she’s still really unhappy, so I decide to feed her early. During her feeding, I call a friend who David heard is injured to check on her. As I chat, Zoe falls asleep. David goes back to work. I realize that this blog post will be really boring without a few photos, so I ask him to take our picture before he leaves.
After he leaves, I put Zoe down in her napping spot and grab the rest of my lunch: vanilla Greek yogurt topped with a little bit of my homemade applesauce.
1:00–3:00 Zoe naps and I work on two consulting projects. Usually, David is here to watch Zoe during my work time but I didn’t know that I HAD work for today until lunch time due to some late emails. Luckily, Zoe cooperates and snoozes. Good girl! Zoe’s usual afternoon napping position:
3:00 Zoe wakes up right as David’s best friend calls me, needing a break from his work day (he works down the street and loves seeing Zoe.) He comes over to hang out for a few minutes. A few minutes turns into 45 minutes. His girlfriend and David (who randomly happened to be meeting) come over for a few minutes too and we all hang out. Zoe is really fussy, so I feed her, then make them hold her while I eat a banana with some peanut butter.
3:45 After Zoe projectile vomits, the party winds down. They head back to their respective jobs and I get ready to go to the gym. I’ve been going regularly again for two weeks in an attempt to get my appetite and a bit of myself back. So far, success on both accounts.
Before we head out, I try to take a self portrait. It’s a bit of a bust.
My “see how adorable my daughter is” photo turns out better. Should have known.
4:10 We arrive at the gym. Since David is at work, Zoe will go to our gym’s childcare. She’s been three times so far (I cried the first time I left her and felt like a total mom cliche!) She even has her own “gym card” complete with a blurry photo, which is adorable. I don’t think that they actually do anything stimulating with her when she’s there and I’m still kind of scared of the germs, so I try to keep my workout short and sweet: 30 minutes on the elliptical with the Rachel Zoe Project and a little stretching. When I pick Zoe up, they tell me she’s been napping for 20 minutes. She wakes up as soon as they hand her to me.
5:00 We leave the gym and head home. When we get home, we’re pleasantly surprised to see that David has stopped in for a few minutes before heading back for a few hours. I make a small smoothie (soy milk, strawberries, blackberries, and frozen blueberries—SUPER easy to sip while on mom duty!) and hand Zoe to David so I can wash some bottles before he heads back to work.
Bottle washing haunts me…but it doesn’t take THAT long once you start.
Before David leaves, he takes a cute picture of us. (I’m so blessed to have a husband who gets into my projects, even if they’re a little dumb.)
5:30 I feed the Zoester a few ounces of donated breastmilk. She is NOT happy with the taste of this particular bottle of breast milk so I end up mixing a formula bottle instead, which she eats while we watch a Ted talk on vulnerability. I find out that the original meaning of the word “courage” was “to tell the story of who you are with your whole heart.”
6:00 We go for our usual evening walk. Zoe’s starting to get tired and fussy, but I need her to wait to go to sleep until she eats one more bottle. She’s a little miffed:
Thankfully, the crisp air and the neighborhood scenery calms her down. We walk a mile and head home.
6:20 I change Zoe into her PJs and we play for a little bit. She’s enthralled by her reflection. Very understandable!
Look at her GRIP! I was so excited when she started doing this two weeks ago—I literally watched her learn how to grip in front of my eyes. It was so cool!!
Around 7:00, Zoe begins to show me that she is REALLY tired.
7:15 I swaddle her and make her a bottle (we cluster feed for her last feeding.) She falls asleep 4 oz in and I put her in bed with her sound machine going.
7:55 David is home. He’s already eaten, so I make some pizza toast (as lame as it sounds—sandwich bread with marinara sauce, a spoonful of pesto, goat cheese, and a sprinkle of red pepper baked at 375 for 4 minutes.) We chat for a while, and then decide to have “couch time” and do our own thing tonight. I begin writing this blog post while he plays a game on his iPad.
Anyway, there you have it! A day in the life of a precious 13 week baby and this stay at home mama. Zoe was a little fussier than usual, David stopped in more during the day than usual, and we played a little less at home than usual, but otherwise, this is a pretty typical day and activity level for us. I hope it was interesting to read about 🙂