Our evenings are jam-packed now that I am back to work. Here's a sample schedule:
4pm: Alarm goes off. Get up. Pump. Make bottles for the next day. Shower. Throw a load of laundry in the washer.
4:45pm: Leave to pick up the kids.
5pm: Arrive at the babysitter's house and fetch the children.
5:15pm: Get home and start dinner. Feed Dexter.
6:00pm: Eat dinner.
6:20pm: Clean up dinner. Put away leftovers. Wash pots and pans. Load the dishwasher. Wash that day's bottles. Wash the pump parts.
7:00pm: Play with the kids.
7:30pm: Lay the kids' clothes out for the next day. Fix Theo's night night milk and get the babies in pajamas. Give Theo his milk and get him in bed.
8pm: Feed Dexter and get him in bed.
8:30pm: Pack my lunch. Pack the pump bag. Pick up the mess of toys and books scattered across the living room (but why?).
8:58pm: Remember that I started the washer earlier and toss the clothes in the dryer.
9:00pm: Kiss my husband and run out the door. Enjoy 20 minutes of complete calm as I drive to work.
8:30am: Get home from work. Throw the clothes from the dryer onto the couch and hope that someone folds them later today. Tomorrow would even be good. Hell, let's just shoot for getting it done before they're all dirty again. Empty my lunch box. Pump. Refrigerate milk and calculate whether I've made enough ounces for the day. Give myself a pat on the back if I have and start panicking if I haven't. Go to bed.
9:00am - 4pm: Sleep. Or try to, anyway.
Did you notice the one tiny time slot called "Play with the kids" from 7-7:30pm? This is why working sucks. And not just working, but the pumping. So much time is spent washing and preparing bottles. Pumping. Packing the pump bag. Unpacking the pump bag. Cleaning the pump parts. I know it's worth it and I'm glad that I can give my baby the gift of breast milk but seriously. It would be so much easier if I were a stay-at-home mom. Not life in general, necessarily... but the breastmilking part fo sho.
I shouldn't complain because some people aren't able to breastfeed for whatever reason. That would be devastating for me. But, the truth is this, people: it's a lot of work. I love nursing. There are quiet, peaceful, intimate bonding moments in nursing. Pumping, not as much.
The evenings are about all that day to day maintenance, or more appropriately - junk - when every fiber of me is looking for an excuse hold Dexter while he's not attached to me. To look into his blue eyes and mirror his smile subconsciously as he gazes up at me. Or to chase Theo down the hall as he looks back at me and realizes I'm closing in on him, causing him to erupt with laughter and run a little bit faster.
The evenings are supposed to be about chatting with Theo over a favorite book or leisurely strolls around the neighborhood as a family. Or laughing at a funny line and dancing to a catchy beat in the Cars movie that we have watched for what seems like the 100th time in half as many days.
Instead, they are full of junk. Maybe the weight of my first full week back is bearing down on me. Maybe it's just harder being away from Dexter because I know first hand how soon he will be as big and independent as Theo. I'm trying to savor every second with him and it's hard to do when they are so few and squeezed amidst all the junk.
Those boys are my heart and soul. Man, I miss them. Working sucks.