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Mar 23 / 2016

A Day In The Life (of balancing work and motherhood)

by Laura

Category : personal photography, x - living daily, x - my family

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I have always loved “Day In The Life” posts. They’re like little windows where you can see into a whole new world of someone living a completely different life. It’s kind of like reality t.v. for the photography world! In fact, I was so intrigued by the idea that I did one back in August 2015. The thing is, when you have no kids and work three jobs back-to-back, it doesn’t lend itself to very interesting subject matter to document. I mean, how many interesting ways are there to capture the computer screens that you stare at all day?

Well, now that I have a little one, I figured that I would attempt one of these posts again. What I didn’t realize is that it’s HARD to capture your day, AND work, AND take care of a newborn. The photos are a little less glamorous and a little less in focus than I would like. And at least one of them was taken at ISO 25,600 because real life sometimes begins at 4:00am in a dark nursery! But anyway, here it is! And lest you think I am always this productive, my disclaimer is I was out of bed for all of 6 hours the next day because I crashed so hard from lack of sleep. However, when I AM fully functional, my days go a little like this:

My husband and I take turns “getting no sleep”. We have a relatively “easy” baby, but he sure loves his food. Sometimes he loves it every few hours, and sometimes he loves it every 90 minutes. And SOMETIMES he stays awake for a good couple hours after he eats, and often that’s around 4am. Here is my really NOT sleepy baby whom I had to pick up and soothe every few minutes between the hours of 4 and 6 am. That’s how my day started .

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Once I got him back to sleep finally, I snagged a couple more hours before he was hungry again. By this point it was around 8:00am and my husband, Nick, woke up to give him a bottle while I pumped. We supplement with formula so I don’t have to pump through the night. (He was a premie and never really got the hang of breastfeeding). I keep the pump by our bed at night so that I can sit under the covers and catch up on emails and Facebook on my phone for those 25 minutes or so. I use the voice-to-text function to catch up on anything that can be answered in a few short sentences. DITL-2DITL-3 DITL-4

Normally, we would bring him back into bed with us for a couple more hours at this point since we don’t go to sleep until after midnight usually and are pretty tired first thing in the morning, but my husband had a busy day working out of the house and I had company coming over later, so I got up and decided to be productive. Micah is used to sleeping until about 10:30, so he crashed in his swing for those couple of hours which allowed me to get things done. First up was answering the rest of my emails that came in over night, but which required a longer, typed-out response. Second was getting dressed and ready for the day because once he woke up, trying to get myself ready would prove challenging.

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My husband left for the day while I threw a chicken in the crockpot for dinner and froze the extra milk I pumped to add to my store (hoping to only pump a couple of times a day by mid-Spring and switch to using up my freezer stash instead as it’s so time consuming to do all day every day). Next up, I washed the bottles, cued up a podcast and some editing on the computer for later, and quickly baked some cookies in a jar for my company that was arriving after lunch. Apparently you just dump the jar’s contents in a bowl with egg, milk, and vanilla! It’s a little hard to mix up, but worked great! Everything is pretty much “how fast can I do this before the baby wakes up” at this point.

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By this point it was almost 11am and Micah awakened. He goes from sleeping to screaming for food in about 10 seconds flat, so that was the END of all productivity for the next two hours. I fed him half of his bottle until he threw up all over me and himself. At which point, I wiped us both down and was in the process of changing him when the house started to fill with smoke. The cookies weren’t burning, but they were smoking?! I ran over to take them out of the oven, realized I was still holding a baby, ran back and dumped him unceremoniously on the rug in the living room (cue crying LOUDLY due to being dumped in the middle of a bottle), and ran back to rescue the cookies. At this point the fire alarm went off, and I was uncertain as to whether I should cover his ears or go wave a towel in front of it. I decided on the latter and let him continue to scream. Then I opened a couple of windows and scooped him up to find his diaper needed changing. We went through multiple diapers back to back with him making a huge mess every time I tried to put cream on him thinking he was finished. I eventually gave up on the cream and just quickly did up another diaper and called it “done”. At this point I was slightly damp from the original vomit, he was naked, the oven was still on, and the house was still smokey. So… we took a selfie cause this, folks, is real life, lol! Then I finally settled back down in front of the desk to finish feeding him the remainder of his bottle.

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The trickiest part of looking after Micah when Nick is not working from home is pumping. It means he needs to be okay with me not holding him or picking him up for 25 minutes in a row while he is awake. This is usually not a good scene. But with a soother in one hand, my phone in the other, and the pump being held in my elbows, I managed to make him a couple more bottles, keep him relatively quiet, and catch up on the emails that came in during the smoke/diaper episode. I was working on launching our new website with my developer last week so I was getting at least 10-15 emails a day from him to check on things, so being tied to my phone was a must. After this, I convinced Micah to do a few minutes of tummy time so I could finish the second batch of cookies since my oven, an hour later, was still on!

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Nick called to check in so I threw him on speaker phone and settled down with Micah. We took a few minutes together to pull up our calendars and plan our summer vacation. It’s always hard to find a couple weeks in a row where NEITHER of us are on a wedding, but we found two in June and booked them off – right before Nick got asked to do a wedding a few days later, but once family time is booked, it’s sacred and we don’t move it. (Well, unless there is a good place to move it to, but there weren’t any more two-week stretches like that until the Fall, so no dice). By this point Micah had just fallen asleep in his swing again, but my friend showed up with coffees and we decided to go for a walk. So I threw him in something warmer, tucked him in his carrier, and we headed out the door for a quick stroll before coming back for cookies and to feed the littles. I did bring my camera with me, but it was awkward to use with him strapped to me, so I just grabbed a quick snap of the blossoms outside our door!

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Once she left to pick up her other child from daycare, I took advantage of the fact that mine had passed out again to do some editing of a maternity shoot from the weekend as well as pumping while he was still asleep to avoid the challenge of entertaining him simultaneously later. I keep the pump parts in the fridge so I don’t have to wash the milk off them every single time – best blog tip for pumping I’ve ever read! Micah woke up shortly after for his bottle, which I fed to him and then popped him in the carrier to keep him quiet while I taught a make-up piano lesson. I don’t generally teach on Wednesdays unless someone has missed a lesson from my regular teaching day (Tuesdays).

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After the lesson, I quickly caught up on emails again – including booking a wedding which was a nice surprise to come through on my phone. By this point it was almost 6pm and Nick came home to help with dinner. We lead Bible study group on Wednesdays at our home as well as serving dinner beforehand, so we both make sure we’re around to help prep. I read him the study to have it fresh in our minds while he cut up the salad. However, it was at this point that we realized (20 minutes before dinner) that the crockpot had died and the chicken wasn’t cooked yet! Things got a little hairy as he left me to finish solo while he ran to the store for a pre-cooked chicken, as Micah decided at that very moment that he was hungry. Thankfully, one of the couples arrived early and helped me finish dinner while I fed Micah!

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All the kids turned our living room into an explosion of coos and colours while we had our meal and did our study. They were almost impossible to wrangle in for a group photo but we managed… sort of?!

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After group ended at 9:30, Nick fed Micah his bedtime bottle and put him down (since it was HIS turn to take care of him through the night), and I settled in to pump, then work on our new website and finish editing the maternity session.

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I still have one very last pump around 1am each day, so I rarely go to bed before then. When I finished that, we crawled into bed together to watch our current binge show, Modern Family, and my day ended approximately 22 hours after it started! Hence my highly unproductive, nap day that followed on Thursday!

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Our life is hectic and crazy, but it’s pretty awesome too .

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About
This little blog is an extension of who I am. I'm an introvert who loves to create and write. However, I'm also loud, tend to over share, and am a type-A personality in the extreme. I'm a little pensive and can be a lot sarcastic. This is both a space where I can share glimpses into my business and the photo shoots I do, and also my personal space to just write about whatever is on my heart and share photos from our daily lives. So grab a cup of tea, and come stay for a while :)