I wish more than anything for a pause button between the hours of 5:30 PM (when I pick up Maya) til 6:30-7, when she starts rubbing her eyes.
Every sleep book I read encourages listening for/looking for sleepy cues, and rubbing her eyes is one of them you kind of can’t miss. In fact, it could even mean she’s about to get OVER-tired … so we can’t keep her up just for selfish reasons.
As a mom who works outside of the home (I say that because ALL moms are working moms!) it’s particularly hard.
I know I have a lifetime with her, but I literally get two hours a day with my baby girl.
And it sucks.
She’s sleeping from (on average) 7:30/8 PM – 7 AM now … and she would sleep even longer probably if I didn’t have to wake her to get ready for baby school. While this is wonderful for her (and believe me, I’m NOT knocking her sleeping through the night (or STTN)!), this is (selfishly) bad for me. 😦
It means most mornings we don’t get that cuddle time we used to.
And it means I’m not nursing her most mornings now, either.
In fact, some mornings, if we’re rushed or let her sleep longer, she has her first bottle at baby school. GR.
Some mornings she wakes at 5/5:30 ready to party (or just talking to herself and blowing raspberries into the darkness), but even if she does wake up, she goes back to sleep after a little bit. So since I leave at 7:30 (hubby does the drop-off) I’m lucky to get 30 minutes with her.
I have toyed with the idea of waking her a little earlier each day so we’d get some time together, but I recognize that would be unfair to her (knowing babies at this age need at least 11-12 hours of night-time sleep, plus like 2-4 hours of daytime sleep) … and it’s not like we’re leaving at 6 or 7 whereby she HAS to wake, ya know? (Daddy brings her around 8).
So it’s been tough.
At the end of the day, I try to leave work by 5:15 the latest … and then basically we get home and play a little (or go for a walk, read, whatever), then it’s more or less a repeat cycle of bath/bottle/swaddle/bed. 😦
BOOM. Day over. Kaput.
I don’t mean to whine, as I’m sure a million women can relate. But it’s really grating on me … mostly because it’s not something I can easily “fix.”
Sleep is critical for her growth and development. Period.
I work from home Fridays so that is great … and I have Sat./Sun. with her (and I can pop on the webcam at baby school and hope to see her) … but I’ve been back at work now over a month, and it’s just not feeling like enough.
If I could just have a few more hours with her each day, I think I’d be happier … but though I love my job and it has the potential to be flexible, I don’t know how to broach that subject, or if I even really want to. Would I ask to work til like 3 and take a salary cut? I just don’t know … this might be one of those things where time will yield some clarity.
On the plus side, with her going to bed pretty consistently at night, I have time to spend with my husband or at the gym or blogging … but I’m not gonna lie — it’s HARD.
I remember when I was pregnant someone I value immensely shared some wise words on being a mom and working outside the home. She said, “Sometimes work will outweigh family, sometimes family will outweigh work. Sometimes the decision will be easy and obvious … and sometimes it won’t be so easy and obvious.”
I think I’m in that latter category right now.
It’s not a clear-cut, easy decision.
I mean, it wouldn’t be easy, but we could survive on one salary.
But at the same time, I enjoy the fulfillment work brings me, and the flexibility I have at my job; it’s a company I respect and admire and wish to stay at even if we were to move someday.
So that is what keeps me working — I enjoy what I do and wouldn’t want to not work. I just wish there were more hours in the day to spend with my daughter.
I guess until it becomes clearer, I’ll just have to keep making the most of that two hours we have a day with her … and soak it all in.
How about you? If you’re a mom, did you immediately go back to work? Did you arrange a flexible work schedule?