Mark is rustling. I can hear it. Maybe he's just moving around, or coughing. Yes, he's definitely coughing. OK, it stopped, I can get a bit more sleep. Darnit, he's making noise again. I will give it a couple minutes. If he is still making sounds in 3 minutes, I will get up.
I finally decide to look at my watch. You see, whenever I first hear Mark in the morning I sort of dread looking at my watch. What if it's only midnight and he's only slept for 4 hours? OK, just look at the watch.
5:00 AM - Sweet. I can deal with that. 3 minutes, that's what I will give him.
5:58 AM - I guess he stopped making noises because we both must've fallen back asleep. OK, there he is. This time is about right. 10 hours sleep. Guess I will get up now.
6:03 AM - Change and feed Mark (12 minutes)
6:18 AM - Lay Mark in bed next to daddy while I go pump.
6:55 AM - Make husband and I coffee
7:05 AM - Put Mark in his rocker (which is the best thing ever, he loves it!) While Mark is in the rocker, Dustin and I get to enjoy coffee together. I was able to post my New Mom Monday post. Husband and I also decided we need to take photos for Christmas cards. I immediately started to Pinterest ideas!
7:45 AM - Dustin leaves for work. I change Mark and re-swaddle him to see if he will go back down for a bit. I was able to do my makeup during this time. I like to have my makeup done, it makes me feel better; especially if I don't get out of the house all day.
8:15 AM - Realize Mark doesn't want to sleep anymore. Go in and change his diaper. While he is laying on the changing table, we spell his name over and over again. Above his changing table is his name, M-A-R-K. He loves when we spell his name and then say, "You're Mark!"
8:27 AM - Feed Mark (8 minutes) and play with Mark on lap after feeding.
9:00 AM - Put Mark in Glider in room. Make video of his sounds and laughing. No prompting by me for him to laugh. I put my phone on the tripod and walked away. He is just one happy baby. I absolutely love seeing his personality start to come through.
9:20 AM - He wore himself out from all the giggling and smiling and immediately passed out. So I started to tackle the mess of our room (TONS of laundry!).
9:47 AM - Mark wakes up hungry. Feed him for 11 minutes. Put him in his rocker so I can go take my vitamins and drink my meal replacement shake (my overnight oats didn't turn out too well).
10:00 AM - Change diaper then put Mark in his rocker. I then made more coffee and am sitting here blogging again.
This is about when I decided to stop with the exact timeframe of our daily routine. Why? Well, for a couple reasons. But, mainly this...
Whenever someone asks me about my day, I give them the honest answer.
"How'd Mark sleep last night?" "Great, actually, he slept from 8 p.m. to 5:30 a.m." "No way, you shouldn't be bragging about that. Other mother's won't appreciate that."
Yes, that is a REAL conversation a stranger had with me.
"Wow, you look really rested. I expected you to look frazzled and completely drained when I saw you." "Well, he slept really good last night so I did my hair today." "Well, that won't last, don't get used to it."
Too often, when I state a fact of how well Mark is doing, people (friends, coworkers, acquaintances and STRANGERS) will give me some rude and blunt comments back. Don't ask a question if you don't want the truthful answer.
So when I decided to do a blog post of what a day in the life of mom on maternity leave has been for me, I realized I will probably get backlash for this. As in, how do I have time to document my day?
It's easy. Dustin and I already keep track of his feeding schedule and diaper changes, so I can easily back into the rest of our day. Or I would text myself or make a note on my phone. But, since I decided I didn't want to document my full day, halfway through my day, it doesn't matter how often I fed, how many times I changed a diaper, how much he slept and what we did.
While our good days of sleeping a whole night through, self-soothing for hours on end and no crying far outweigh our restless nights, fussyness and wanting all the attention in the world, I have realized that you can't just win when it comes to talking about how you are doing as a new mother. Someone out there is going to make a judge-y or snide comment - most of the time to your face - whether you have good days or bad days.
This is my last week on maternity leave. I honestly cannot believe it. I have had some of the worst times (beginning breastfeeding where it was constantly painful, lots of biting and quite a bit of blood), and I have had some of the best times (watching my son giggle, hold his head up for a minute, enjoy his first bath, sleep through the night, and SO much more). It doesn't matter if I was able to document his day or not. Maternity leave has been a blast.
No matter how different your maternity leave has been compared to mine, just know that we have probably gone through a lot of the same issues! And, we all go through highs and lows. There's no way around that. Let's all just hope and pray the highs always outweigh the lows.
Hi there! I'm Kara, of taking KARA myself! I've dabbled in blogging off and on for a while now. Mostly off. But I'm trying to change that and make a dent in this side of the world wide web. Enjoy!