Wednesday, March 31, 2010

This Is How I Do It

So many people have asked me about my schedule and what I do for child care. This post is for them.

First off, the running theme here is "family." Without them, I just couldn't handle it. I couldn't do what I do. I rely on my family for so much.

I am very amazingly fortunate. Both my mom and my mother-in-law are available to watch my son during the week and they live near(ish) to us. I KNOW. I'm very lucky. Most people I know would give their foot to have one parent living nearby for childcare. I have two sets of parents willing to help me out! Honestly, my law degree is part theirs. I could never have completed law school as a long distance commuter and as a new mom without them. I also feel like my paycheck is part theirs because they save me about $1000 to 1500 a month in child care!

I live across the water from Seattle. My commute to work is about 1 hour and 40 minutes. My husband's commute can be from 10 minutes to 40 minutes long, depending upon which city he has to work in for the day. My in-laws live about 25 minutes away and my parents live about 35 minutes away. Our home, my parent's home, my in-law's home, my work and my husband's work is each in a different city. See how complicated this is getting?

But we worked out a pretty good system.

5:50am: I wake up and get ready for work. Sometime shortly after my shower, my husband and Jacob wake up. One of us will give him a morning bottle and we laugh as he runs around the house opening and closing doors saying "bye bye" either to us or to other random things in the house.

7:00am: I head out the door and walk a mile to catch my ferry. On Mondays and Wednesdays and on every other Friday, my sister-in-law picks up Jacob and drives him 35 minutes to my mom's house. In the car, Jacob gets to play with his two young cousins, one is just a couple months older than him. My sister-in-law manages to get three car seats into the back of my Subaru wagon and they are off- sharing graham crackers and pointing out all the buses and trucks they see along the way.

On Tuesday and Thursdays and every other Friday, my husband drives Jacob to his mom's house. Jacob will point out every truck, tractor, car, bus, and "big" truck along the way. When he sees a semi or a bulldozer, my husband has to brace himself for shrieking! Jacob LOVES machines. He's 100% boy (when I'm not dressing him in a bra).

7:20: My ferry leaves. During the ferry ride, I either sleep (if no one is talking too loudly on their cell phone or clipping their nails- EW!) or I do some work on my laptop.

8:30: My ferry arrives in Seattle. From the ferry terminal, I walk about a mile to my office, picking up a skinny vanilla latte along the way.

8:40: I walk into the firm office, say "hi" to my favorite co-workers and duck into my own office to crank out some billable hours.

5:00pm:I leave the office at 5:00pm every night (at least I have so far) and walk another mile to the ferry.

5:30: My ferry leaves Seattle. I will either sleep some more or do more work.

6:30: My ferry arrives in my city. From the ferry terminal, I walk another mile to my home (unless my husband picks me up).

7:00pm: I arrive home. On Mondays and Wednesdays when Jacob is at my mom's, my sister-in-law will pick him up and bring him home. The other days, my husband will do it. But always by the time I get home, Jacob is there waiting for my with big smiles and hugs. For 2.5 seconds his eyes light up and he screams "mama, mama." Then the novelty of me being home wears off and he is back to pushing his toy fire truck around the house.

We eat dinner as soon as I get home. Usually dinner is a frozen meal I prepared ahead of time the Sunday before, or it is leftovers. I've found some awesome casseroles that I can make on Sunday and freeze or refrigerate. My husband pops them into the oven when he gets home and then it's almost ready by the time I get home. I also make a lot of make-ahead meals that taste just as great when they are leftovers: meatballs and sauce from scratch with garlic bread, chicken parmesan, chicken cordon bleu casserole (amazing!) or dumplings with sauerkraut and ham have been what I've mostly made so far. I only have to make one or two meals ahead of time and we eat the leftovers for the rest of the week.

8:30pm is Jacob's bed time. We read him stories and tuck him in with his two stuffed dogs (named "Oof" and "More oof").

9:00pm: I will usually try to trek to the gym to work out. I've been training for a half marathon but lately my knee has been hurting. So we'll see how that goes.

10:00pm: When I get home from the gym, I usually will watch some TV with my husband or play on my computer or catch up on work. We hit they hay sometime between 11:00pm to 12:00am. Somehow, I function on 6 hours of sleep at night.

My secret for getting through crazy weekdays: lots of coffee, chocolate, amazing family, the best co-workers ever and a great job!


Anonymous said...

6 hours of sleep? Phew! You are a stronger woman than I am!

LL said...

I second Anonymous! I require a minimum of 7, with an occasional dash of 8-9 every few days. Maybe it's the pregnancy but I just cannot do 6.

And that's so great you have so much family nearby that is so willing to help! We spend $12,000 a year on daycare, and it will be $25,000 once baby #2 is born so you are saving a ton of money! And Jacob is building a wonderful relationship with his grandparents, aunts, uncles, and cousins and that is so great.

LEO said...

I am SOOOO impressed that you do all that on only 6 hours of sleep and, more importantly, that you plan meals that far ahead in advance. Seriously, I stay home full time right now, and I would guess that I put an actual, bona fide meal on the table about two nights a week. Actually, I make stuff for Timmy all day long, but that's it. This is so inspiring. Thank you for posting!

Downsized Attorney said...

Geez, I'm tired just reading about your day. I really wish that I didn't require as much sleep as I do, I average about 8 hours a night. Getting out of bed in the morning is such a struggle, especially with my husand back in school, he never has to get up early and always wants to snuggle when my alarm clock goes off.