baby | working from home with a baby

This week I read a post on Elise's blog about how she spends her work days. Because she planned to write about a specific day, it gives a nice breakdown of how she works and creates. It got me thinking about how I spend my days. Elise once mentioned that getting childcare was the best thing she ever did for her sanity, her work, and her role as a mother (I'm paraphrasing). I've considered it (nanny, days with grandma, actual childcare), but we don't have the financial stability to take that idea seriously.

I thought it would be funny then (and realistic), if I write about my work days at home. I imagine my everyday is closer to Elise's Mama Days (i.e. working and parenting at the same time) Today was a good mix of all of my jobs so I'll take photos later in the week "in-situ" and add them to this post for image breaks.


8:04 am

Normally I wake every morning between 7:15 and 7:45. Today when I woke up my phone said 8:04 am. I turned up the volume on the monitor and didn't hear anything so I told myself to go back to sleep. I couldn't, and the opportunity to get ahead of the game was too tempting. I stumbled into the kitchen and started Jack's morning bottle. While it was heating I did the usual toilette - teeth, hair, housecoat. After sneaking into the nursery and watching Jack wake up, I changed him, then brought him and the bottle back to bed where Jon was just waking as well. I was invited to stay for a morning cuddle but I chose to prep for our tax appointment at 10 am.

After printing the requisite forms and checking for others (multiple jobs equals a lot of paperwork!), I dressed quickly and told Jon I was heading out. I had forgotten my wallet at a store just before closing the night before and I wanted to be the first one there when they opened at 9:30 am. Armed with a tupperware container full of dry mini wheats, I drove to the next town over and was back just in time to file our taxes.

The next two hours were somewhat stressful - I don't recommend doing taxes with a baby hanging around but it seemed a better option to us than using up yet another childcare favour!

11: 50 am

Jon left to do some work on our interim house (we're moving in three weeks) and I took Jack. He was dead tired after all that number crunching with the accountant so he promptly fell asleep in the back of my car. I drove to the storage unit where we keep the prints for the artist I work for. I wrestled with the stroller and quickly quietly transferred the sleeping baby. I rolled him inside and silently celebrated this victory. I had twelve prints to pull today and needed (wanted) him to be asleep while I did so. Of course, that's too much to ask and today was apparently the day for storage unit owners. People were rolling dollies and furniture everywhere and Jack obviously woke up crying. In order to keep him entertained, I showed him each and every print - stretching the process to (un)necessary lengths.

Remembering that we are out of milk and diapers, I stopped at the grocery store on the way home. I thought we could do the trip cart-less but Jack is prone to wander off into random aisles. Cart it is. I picked up two containers of fudge crackle ice cream because they were labelled a "great buy." I also grab two tetra-pack baby meals and let Jack suck on them while I shopped.

1:15 pm

At home - the classic battle ensued: How to bring all of the following items up to the apartment in one trip - diapers, milk bags, ice cream, prints, stroller, diaper bag, backpack, jacket and baby. I left the prints and wobbled upstairs with the baby and the meltables. I put all the items away, while simultaneously eating a block of fudge, drinking a can of coke and feeding Jack a banana. After his banana he eats some old cheerios off the floor. Thinking it might be something more dangerous, I do a quick finger sweep of his mouth - and get bitten (this is a daily constant). Then it's nap time. For him, not me (I wish!).

I spend the next hour doing work for Ted Harrison. This includes emails regarding a recent original art sale, and phone calls about print sales to new clients. I write up invoices, but can't ring them in because the POS is in Jack's room. I didn't go outside for the prints because the lobby is my limit when the baby is sleeping. Wrapping prints is too loud for nap time anyways.

2:30 pm

I'm thanking my lucky stars that Jack is still sleeping so I start pulling product and prepping packages for yesterday's isavirtue paper co. orders. I typewrite the addresses so I tap tap tap, with only one mistake (on my own address!). For lack of a studio, I wrap orders on the coffee table. I find it so satisfying when all of the envelopes are closed up and sealed with washi tape.
I add an extra envelope to the pile of mail - a thank-you note to someone who helped out at Ted Harrison's memorial the week before.

 3:08 pm

I'm shocked that Jack is still asleep and excited about what else I can get done (I see now that I've done quite a bit, but in the moment it just didn't feel like enough. It never does - when he is asleep I feel guilty for wasting even a minute of time). As I pull out my phone to check my to-do list (nothing fancy these days, just the iphone notepad, broken into category by job), the building fire alarm goes off. Not officially, just one loud piercing buzz. Enough to wake up a sleeping baby though!

I quickly prep us both for our daily outing to the post office. Now is as a good a time as any because that fire alarm is prone to go off again based on its track record. I put Jack in the bjorn carrier (it's super windy outside) and my mother calls so I chat with her while I rush around packing my bag. We just found out that Jack has a peanut allergy so I have to remember to put his epipen into my backpack. My mother makes mention about how often we go to the post office and I say that we are thinking about just living there for ease of use.

4:54 pm

I'm feeling really productive after the post office run but Jack is very whiney and that means: Dinner Time. It's a mish mash of baby leftovers including apple sauce, chopped orange slices, cheerios and rice crackers. Not really dinner and I'm feeling guilty except the fruit is going to expire soon and needs to be eaten today. I eat leftover pizza and feel guilty about that choice as well.

6:05 pm

Jon calls and tells me he hasn't left yet, which is a bit of a bummer because I'm on baby duty for another hour. He's with his dad so I ask him to confirm that his father is watching Jack while I am working at the gallery the next day (My fourth job is part-time at a gallery. My fifth job is apparently Cruise Director of this family's schedule). I hop on the desktop computer and send some Ted Harrison files to our web company because we are redesigning the online shop.

I'm slowing down now and am feeling less motivated. It's pouring rain and we both need a change of scenery so we head downstairs to the common room. It's basically the same as our apartment with a kitchen, washroom and television but the main room is bigger so Jack can run around. I put Judge Judy on in the background and review sponsorship plans for my Craft Ontario job. Jack pulls out three decks of cards and dumps them all over the floor.

7:13 pm 

Jon is stuck in traffic so I get Jack ready for bed by myself. I heat the bottle, clean his room and put his pj's on. Before I forget, I quickly ring in the sales from earlier in the day. Jack is obsessed with the POS machine (which we block off using a storage bin) so he jumps all over me while I enter numbers. I appease him by giving him the portable phone to play with - he almost calls one of my clients by hitting redial.

8:00 pm

I put some asparagus in the oven and heat up a bowl of stew (Jack's stew actually, it really should have been his dinner).

I really can't do anymore today so I get the prints from the car, take a shower and write this blog post.

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for sharing this. I love reading how other mothers manage their day. Don't feel bad about Jack's dinner...I often end up doing the same with my 17mo...and I'm not even a 'working' mom! My last minute dinner for him always ends up being scrambled eggs mixed with salsa and cheese (maybe a little kale too). P.S. Also a big fan of Elise Joy!


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