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    The “back to work” routine… in theory

    One thing I’ve learned about parenting thus far is that there is the “ideal” or “theoretical” approach to how you’d like to get things done, and there’s the reality of how it actually happens.

    So with this in mind, I’m approaching the next parenting hurdle: the “back to work” routine. Four months went by much faster than I expected, and with holidays crammed into December, I kind of feel like this last month has kind of been stolen from me.

    Anyway… S and I are trying to figure out who will be doing drop offs and pickups from day care for G. The place opens at 7am and all kids need to be picked up by 6pm. Since S and I each have a 30-60 min commute to work (each way depending on traffic), neither one of us can routinely do both the drop off and the pickup. As such we have to split it up and now the question is “How?”

    Following our most recent lactation consultant appointment yesterday things got even more interesting with the new pumping schedule. Up until now I’d wake up in the middle of the night, sometime between 3 and 4 a.m. and pump. I just assumed this would continue once I return back to work, but the lady looked at me like I was crazy and suggested I shift my middle of the night pump to 20 minutes after G’s first morning feed. Uhmn… OK — but this complicates things. So we’re now looking at something like this:

    6:00am – Wakeup the parents

    6:00-6:10 – Basic hygene

    6:10-6:40 – Wake-up G, change diapers, clothes and feed

    6:40-7:00 – Take a shower, and get dressed

    7:00-7:20 – Pump

    7:20-7:40 – Get out of the house

    S could do the morning drop-off, provided that while I am changing and feeding G, he takes care of himself, and then gets G from me to take to daycare, while I shower and continue on with my morning activities. Trick there is that he has to be on a train to work shortly after 7:00am, so if we run late, he’s VERY late to get into the office.

    Conversely, if I do the morning drop-off, G needs to go back to sleep, or find some way to entertain himself while I spend the rest of my morning getting ready. I just can’t count on this. Although he’s not a morning person (yey, I know at least one thing about my kid’s personality), and so far likes his morning nap, I can’t consistently count on 40 minutes routinely being G-attention-free.

    Then if you add my early morning conferences with work, which occasionally start at 6:30am to catch our U.K. colleagues, the plan all goes to hell.

    So… if you have any suggestions as to how to execute the no-longer-simple getting out of the house, I’m all ears. And if you could arrange it such that I get to keep my hair while doing it, I’ll send you flowers!

    5 responses to “The “back to work” routine… in theory”

    1. Alison says:

      That’s the exact way my mornings with Katie go now, because I pump 10-20 minutes after her morning feed. It’s more of a 2 hour deal than 1:40, though, I’ve noticed… partially because you can’t count on the beeb waking up when you hope they do, or wanting to eat or napping when you need them to. Plus, I like having cuddle time with her when we wake up after she eats because she’s usually in a smiley mood and that makes things go straight to hell.

      That isn’t very helpful, is it?

    2. amelia says:

      I read to nurse right before you leave the house in the am and pump as soon as you get to the office (while you check email and voicemail). My mom (an LC) reminded me that babies mouths are more effective with milk expression than any breastpump. Did you get the hands free pump bra? That’s a necessity. Then pump every few hrs at work, then nurse baby as soon as you get home. That worked for me when I returned to work. 🙂

    3. Kelly Marie says:

      I suspect that you’ll have to have your fair share of involving him in your “getting ready” if someone else can’t devote attention to him.

      Maybe shave your head so you don’t have to worry about hair? 😉 joking joking.

      I’m confident that you’ll find a routine that fits for you. even if it take a few days. Annnnd, i’m sure once that routine is running smoothly, something will mess it up again!

      I don’t know much about your job, but I hope that they will be flexible with you as you work out the kinks. Maybe you guys can do few test days.


    4. Karen says:

      Wow – that’s a pretty tight schedule! Have you thought of taking a shower the night before? I used to take a shower at night so I could sleep in a little longer since I’m not a morning person at all. But that could save you 20 minutes maybe?

    5. Rebecca says:

      I think it sounds like a good plan. S should be able to take him to daycare as long as he’s prepared for some days having a screaming baby in the car… it just happens, especially when you’ve gotta be somewhere at a certain time… Also, pack the diaper bag and bottles and stuff the night before so he just has to grab them on the way out and not worry about checking what’s inside (I always lose time on that on my way out the door)

      If S does miss the train some days can he just drive?

      Of course it took me 3 years to start getting out the door on time with one child, and now I feel like the whole thing’s started over and it will be 3 more before I can do it with two, so maybe I shouldn’t be giving you advice 😉

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