Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Working mom

So my maternity leave ended this week and I'm technically "back at work", although that doesn't have quite the same meaning for a grad student as a full-time working mom. It basically means I'm back to working 20 hours a week as a research assistant and can no longer spend my days sitting in front of the TV with Sophie sleeping next to me on the couch, or spend my nights Internet-ing from our bed. The professor I'm working for is really understanding though and apart from the weekly meetings I'm obligated to attend, she's allowing me-- for the most part-- to work from home doing data analysis and writing so I don't have to worry about childcare for Sophie, at least till the end of this calendar year. It's going to be a challenge to juggle taking care of her, my research assistantship responsibilities as well as finishing writing my dissertation, but people have done it before and I'm confident Jude and I will manage.

Here's how today-- officially my first "back to work" day-- unfolded:

8:00- Woke up wondering why Sophie hadn't woken up for her morning feed yet and debated whether or not to go back to sleep. Decided to wake up and freshen up before she did rouse and demand breakfast.

8:30- Nursed Sophie for about 20 minutes while Jude made coffee and breakfast.

9:00- 10:30- Had some active awake time with Sophie, playing with Chickie, reading a couple more pages of Make Way For Ducklings [it was riveting stuff- where will the Mallards make their home?? Sophie can't wait to find out what happens next... ;)], and cooing and talking with her as she sat in her bouncer (for those of you who follow our photos, yes, she's finally taken to the bouncer- yay!).

10:30- Just as Jude went off to school, Sophie nursed and promptly fell asleep. I had planned to just put her to bed in her crib upstairs and turn the baby monitor on as I worked on my desk downstairs but decided to just let her sleep in her bouncer next to me just so I could keep an eye on her. She didn't seem to mind and fell into a deep slumber after fussing just for a little bit.

10:30- 5:00- This was basically my most productive stretch of the day. Sophie stirred to feed twice but went right back to sleep (we did have a brief 20-minute mother-daughter bonding moment but our little girl decided that sleep was more important than whatever crazy antics her mother wanted to engage her in...). I forced myself to be as efficient as possible in finishing whatever it was my professor wanted me to do (on the list today: work with some data in Excel, critique a couple of journal articles, and prepare a manuscript for publication) because I knew once Sophie woke up in the evening, I wasn't going to be able to get much done till she went to bed at night. I even had lunch in front of the computer.

5:00- Sophie woke up to feed and basically stayed up till bedtime. When she was done nursing, we-- well, she-- spent some time on her crib under the mobile watching it for a little. Now that her head's a little steadier, I think she's more able to engage with the mobile better. That didn't last long though and it was back downstairs for more Make Way For Ducklings (yes! The Mallards found a place to nest on the Charles River! And they get peanuts from Policeman Michael! Sophie was at the edge of her (bouncer) seat!!...) and incongruous babbling on my part to try to make her smile for the camera. Jude came home about an hour later and we went for a walk outside. The weather was really nice-- albeit a little humid-- and Sophie seemed to enjoy the fresh air after being cooped up inside the whole day. We came home for some tummy time- yay, Sophie!- and then she fed again.

7:00- Dinner involved basically reheating a fraction of the buffet my mom cooked up that is now stored in various containers in our fridge and freezer. We ate while Sophie watched on, sitting quietly in her bouncer. I wonder sometimes when she's in that quiet alert state if she's actually thinking, entertaining actual thoughts in that little growing brain of hers. What goes through her mind? How she can weasel more milk out of the lady in front of her? Or get the guy sitting next to the lady to change her diaper more often? Oh, and burping. Burping's good...

7:45- It's time to bathe her and put her to bed. It's become a nightly ritual ever since she was a couple of days old that bathtime signals bedtime, and surprisingly, Sophie loves it. In fact, it's the one time of the day that we're almost guaranteed a happy, chill baby. She really seems to enjoy being changed and wiped, having a warm towel wiped all over her face and lavender baby lotion slowly massaged into her little nooks and crannies. Like Cleopatra, Jude always says, with both Mama and Daddy synchronously bathing, drying, moisturizing, and dressing her :)

8:00- now- As Sophie sleeps, Jude works in the study while I continue with my work downstairs. The baby monitor's on which is a little disconcerting because it amplifies sound which makes her every whimper sound that much louder. I'm trying my darndest not to run upstairs at the slightest rustle.

I think I did good considering I'm still feeling a little wistful that my parents have left. I tell myself that we managed that first 4 weeks without them and that we'll see them again soon- we just have to ease back into our schedule and we'll be back into the swing of things.


1 comment:

Felicia said...

you are doing great serene! i wouldn't be so sane abt it in your position...