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    The “back to work” routine… in theory

    December 18th, 2008

    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!