Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Reality

Currently my commute each day to and from work is about an hour long, on a good day I can make it in 45 minutes but that's rare. Last Thursday night there were two accidents and it took me 1 1/2 hours to get home. Needless to say I was not in a good mood.

While sitting my car, realizing I wouldn't get home until close to 6:30 (I get off work at 5pm) I started to think about how it will be after the baby comes. Because we can't afford for either of us to quit our jobs the baby will be in daycare once my maternity leave ends.  Since Kristian has to be at work by 7am the plan is for me to drop the baby off in the mornings around 7:30am and then Kristian will pick him up in the afternoons. His schedule is flexible and he's usually done by 4pm at the latest so this way the baby won't have to be in daycare from 6am-6pm and will get to have a few hours alone with daddy every day until I get home around 6.

What I realized while sitting in traffic is that with me not getting home until 6pm or later everyday I'm not going to have much time with my kid during the weeknights. Once I get home we'll be busy making/eating dinner and then it will be time to give him a bath and start getting him ready for bed etc.. From what I've read most babies go to bed around 7:30-8pm. So basically I'll have 1 1/2-2 hours each night with my kid and that's about it (I'm not going to count the middle of the night feedings/diaper changes since I'll only be half conscious).

I know this is pretty standard for most working mothers so I'm in no way a special case but the realization of it just kinda sucks. It makes me sad to think that I won't get much quality time with my little guy during the week but unfortunately there isn't a whole lot I can do about it. We can't afford for me to be a stay at home mom, my job won't let me telecommute everyday and seeing how great the job market is I don't think I'll have much luck finding another job that pays me the same (or more) that is closer to home. Sigh.

So do any of you working mothers out there have any advice or tips for how to have as much time as possible with my little one once I head back to work?

12 comments:

KLaw said...

Although my commute is short, we battle the same things. We usually end up making / having dinner after he goes to bed so that we can maximize our time with him. Once I walk in the door at night, its all about Smurf until bedtime. And of course we make up for it on the weekends too. But, the only way to make yourself feel slightly better is knowing that he will gain so much from daycare. So much social interaction and educational skills. Its true. He will be more well rounded for it. Just make good use of the time you have at home. Don't waste a second :)

Kelsey712 said...

Savor the moments that you have. I am in your situation except my commute is not as long as yours. I usually get home around 5:30. Callie goes to bed sometime between 7:30 and 8:30... I'm not sure how we've ended up with a range but it works for us. Usually it's closer to 8 & 8:30.

I don't cook a lot these days and when I do it's most simple stuff. Spaghetti, stuff on the grill, and crock pot stuff. That way I can have her in the kitchen in her bumbo and we can "talk" while dinner is cooking. I'm still spending time with her even though she doesn't have my undivided attention.

Mostly you just learn to multi-task and put stuff off until they go to bed. At least that's what we do.

Good luck!

beka said...

Wow I hadn't really thought that part through... I have a 30 minute commute but often work past 5, so I'll likely be in the same boat when we have kids. I bet that is kinda tough to swallow :( I know that you'll figure out a way to make it work for your family though!

Do you read Julia's blog, julia-transition.blogspot.com? She is a working mom who's talked a lot about daycare and seeing her baby.

april said...

You could have an early-riser and have breakfast together. We don't so it's a mad rush to get out the door every morning. We just make the evening count. You don't do bath every day, but you can make that an event or playtime. We play games and have an extended bedtime routine that involves cuddling, reading and watching tv together.

We don't make dinner or eat until after bedtime which is between 8:30 and 9PM. When she was a newborn/infant, she'd actually have a much later bedtime which was nice. Shen she was a newborn, she'd hang out on the couch with us (until she could roll over). So, you make the time you have count.

Plus, Saturday is a Mommy Day and Sunday is a Daddy Day (which isn't completely true, but that's who wakes up with her and gets some individual time).

Heather said...

This is such a hard issue that so many of my co-workers and friends have dealt with over the years. I unfortunately don't have any good suggestions on how to make it easier, but I think the ladies above have some great thoughts on how to make it work. I guess in the end, it's all about finding the right balance for you and your family.

Jessi said...

This reality hit me hard when I had my little guy. One huge time saver for me is to try to plan as much as possible over the weekend. Crock pot meals are THE BEST. You can throw everything together the night before, toss in in the cooker in the morning and dinner is ready when you walk through the door. We also made sure to have enough bottles to get thruogh 2 days so we weren't washing them every night. By day 2 we have enough dishes/bottles to run the dishwasher. Planning is key, but I know how hard that can be. I can say from experience though, that daycare had been amazing for Liam. The social aspects of daycare are awesome.

melifaif said...

Yep, this is the part that kicks you {and me, and other mommies and daddies?} in the stomache. Just remember that QUALITY time trumps QUANTITY of time. Make it good....and spend your weekends with him like it is going out of style. Much love...

Jen said...

That does suck, and it sucks even more that you're worrying about it now before the little one even arrives! I think you have a pretty good plan in place right now -- just make sure you stick to it!

I'm not sure if it's an option for you, but my best friend just went back to work after having her first child, and she was kinda in the same situation. She was able to talk to her boss and scale back her hours to the minimum required to keep her benefits, which is 32. She works two 10-hour days, and then two shorter days with the fifth day off. This gives her more time with her son.

Teenage Bride said...

you are in the same situation that I was. I quit my job and started a home daycare!

I am finishing my teaching degree so that once Juliette goes to school I will work the same hours she is at school. It does not work for everyone but that is how my mom managed to stay home with me and my siblings and so far it has worked out great for us!

I know it is really tough. I hope you can come up with a good plan.
<3

Mrs EyeCanSee said...

I won't sugar coat it. It's hard. Especially in the beginning. But eventually you get a routine down. And then it's not so bad. You learn to cherish the time you do have with them.

Like others said, from the minute I pick Jamie up from daycare to the time he goes to bed, it's all about him. I cook while he eats and then Adam and I eat once he's in bed. I do the laundry and the cleaning up and the rest at night. And sometimes, well, it just doesn't get done. But I'd rather go to sleep at night knowing I spent time with my son, then having a spotless house.

lindsayinnyc said...

This is my biggest fear/concern when it comes time for us to start a family. We both work long hours and currently have about an hour commute each. So we leave home around 8am and I usually don't get home until 8pm, at the earliest. Even if I left when the office closes at 6pm, I wouldn't get home til 7pm. We plan on moving to lessen the commute time but it's tough. And it's definitely going to be tough making this work with a baby.

Nicole-Lynn said...

Aw I can only imagine how hard it would be, but I know you'll make it work and the upside, you will get to spend quality time with her on the weekends!