Being a teacher, we timed our pregnancy so that our son was born in May and I could take off the rest of the school year. My maternity leave led into my summer, and when everything was said and done, I’d been at home for fourteen weeks with him – all while paid. I realize what a luxury this is.
Now that I’m back to work and into the swing of things, I’m cutting corners. I’m exhausted (I always tell everyone that work makes me exhausted, not the baby!) and the house is a mess. Frankly, there’s just a lot to do and not enough hours in the day to do it. A friend advised me that ten years from now I won’t be upset that my house was messy if it meant that I got to spend all the quality time I could with my son, and I’m really trying to take that to heart. It’s hard when you can’t find anything because it’s in a pile of junk who knows where.
I’ve found a few shortcuts, though, to make life a bit easier. I shower at night when the baby is asleep. I wash bottles as soon as I get home and once they’re dry, fill them for the next day and rinse my collection bottles so those too are ready for the next day. I leave a few extra cloth diapers at daycare each day so that it’s never too much of an emergency if we don’t get a full wash ready. We bought even more wetbags so that odds are always good one of them is in decent enough shape to be sent to daycare. I wash diapers as soon as I get home so the covers can dry overnight. My husband is on baby duty in the morning so I can get dressed as he’s getting baby ready for a big day. And even with all these shortcuts, there are still not enough hours in the day.
I work because mentally and emotionally I know I need to, not because of the money. I know we’ll get over this hurdle, but it seems like just another giant mama leap into the world of being a first time parent. I can’t wait until we’re past this hump and more transitioned.