The Everymom Before 9am: Part-Time Working Mom in Portland, OR With No Childcare

Welcome to The Everymom Before 9am, where we’re exploring the challenges of weekdays and shedding light on all that goes into mornings with kids. We’re asking mothers how they manage their mornings, from the time they wake up until the time they leave the house (if applicable).

We know some moms tackle mornings solo and some have a partner who shoulders the prep. We know some moms commute long distances, work from home, or stay at home. But we know ALL moms work.

A lot can happen before 9am, whether it be cleaning up spilled cereal, packing the pump parts, or discovering spit-up on our pants. We hope by sharing a variety of stories, maybe we can help each other find hacks, shortcuts, and, at the very least, support in knowing we’re not alone. 

 

 

Today: A part-time, work-from-home mom with one baby and no childcare.  

City: Portland
State: OR
Relationship status: Married
Age: 34
Gender Identity: Female

Work hours: Part-Time, 25 hours a week
Work location: Mainly at home (+5 hours at a gym)
Awake time: 6-6:30am
Out the door time: N/A
Commute: No work commute
Number of cups of coffee drank before leaving the house: 1-2

Partner’s age: 34
Partner’s gender identity: Male
Partner’s work hours: Full-Time
Work location: Outside of the home, works from home 1 day a week

Child’s age: 8 months
Childcare: None
Pets: 1 dog

 

4am: Hear baby crying through the monitor. My daughter usually wakes up one time before her official wake-up time. It’s typically between 3-5am, and I go in to feed her. At our last doctor’s appointment, I had hoped that the pediatrician would tell us to wean her off this feed, but she said to keep doing it. I’m really hoping her advice will change at our 9-month appointment and we can focus on sleep training and getting her to sleep through the night. She falls back asleep while nursing and then wakes up when I stand up. I put her back in her crib, she moves around for a minute, then is asleep.

4:15am: Get back in my own bed and check the monitor to make sure baby is in fact asleep. Zoom in to also make sure she is breathing (will I ever stop doing this?). Cross my fingers that baby will sleep until 8am (best case scenario), which rarely happens. While it recently has been taking me a long time to fall asleep at night, I very quickly fall back asleep after this early morning feed.

5:45am: Hear baby crying again. Allow her to fuss a bit; sometimes she’ll fall back asleep. Not this time. Husband is sound asleep next to me and does not hear the baby crying. Typical.

6am: Go into baby’s room to get her up for the day. Change her diaper but keep her in her pajamas.

6:15am: Head downstairs to the living room. Sit on the couch and nurse baby for 15 minutes with my eyes closed, pretending I’m still enjoying my sleep, which obviously I am not.

6:30am: Sit in our living room play area while baby crawls all over me and plays with her toys. I half-play with baby while mentally telling myself I am not tired and need to be more awake. I’m also drinking water and scrolling through my work and personal emails and take a quick look at Instagram. Log onto Slack for work. I’m a writer and the company and most of the team is on central time, so my day starts early. I look over my assignments and start brainstorming a few story ideas. My husband wakes up and comes downstairs. Occasionally he will work from home and today is one of those days.

 

I half-play with baby while mentally telling myself I am not tired and need to be more awake … My husband wakes up and comes downstairs. Occasionally he will work from home and today is one of those days.

 

6:45am: Take a shower. Baby sits in her silly frog seat positioned right outside of the shower. Talk and wave to baby as I shower. I will sometimes wait until after I workout to shower but it helps to wake me up. Also, I have a pelvic floor physical therapy appointment in a few hours so showering before that is necessary.

6:50am: Get out of the shower and put on deodorant and facial moisturizer. My current beauty routine in a nutshell. If I’m planning to leave the house (for the baby bootcamp that I run or a mom meet-up), I’ll get really fancy and also put on mascara. Quickly check Slack again and respond to a few conversations.

7am: Get dressed. Since baby is now pulling up on everything, I bring her and my clothes into her nursery so I can get dressed while she’s playing with some toys on the floor. Today’s outfit is workout leggings, a nursing sports bra, and sweatshirt. The hope is to fit a workout in at some point during the day (though likely not for many hours). 

7:05am: Go downstairs to freshly brewed coffee (thank you husband!). We usually use our Nespresso machine, but if we are both home for the day, we make a pot of coffee since otherwise we end up drinking at least four Nespresso pods between the two of us. Making a pot of coffee is more cost effective. I put coffee in my Yeti mug to keep it warm because chances are it will take me a few hours to get through it. I don’t eat breakfast until around 10 or 11am, so I always put a scoop of Vital Proteins Collagen Peptides in my coffee, which adds 10 grams of protein to my morning.

7:10am: Put baby in the high chair and feed her a couple of peanut butter puffs and a fruit and oat puree from a pouch. At most, I think she actually consumed half a puff but is now covered in mush. I’m currently taking an online class in Baby Led Weaning and need to watch more of it so I can get better at this feeding situation. Once the puffs are all on the floor, I let her play with the puree left on the tray while I sit next to her and do a bit of writing. I have to submit seasonal pitches for work, and I use this time to jot down some ideas.

7:30am: Wipe down high chair and wipe down baby. Bring her upstairs for an outfit change (pajamas are fully covered in puree). Get her dressed in a cute hooded jumpsuit. Also, put on a fresh diaper. 

 

Since baby is now pulling up on everything, I bring her and my clothes into her nursery so I can get dressed while she’s playing with some toys on the floor. Today’s outfit is workout leggings, a nursing sports bra, and sweatshirt. The hope is to fit a workout in at some point during the day (though likely not for many hours).

 

7:45am: Head back into the living room for more play time. I play with baby while dictating a story intro to Siri. My baby’s current version of playing is putting every toy in her mouth, crawling and climbing all over me, pulling my hair, hitting me in the face, and pulling up on anything she can get her hands on.   

8:15am: Call my mom. We both have the Facebook Portal which allows her to easily chat with baby (she lives across the country). Let her talk to the baby for a few minutes as I hold baby in one hand and hold my coffee in the other. Baby giggles, claps, and waves in response to whatever my mom says. 

8:30am: Nurse baby again while I sit on the couch, she falls asleep while eating. Allow her to half-eat/half-sleep on my chest for a few minutes while I check in on Slack messages, scroll Instagram to source photos for a story I’m working on, and type a workout class program into my phone (I teach three group fitness classes and two baby bootcamp classes a week and have to create a new workout for each class every week). I know that I should keep her fully awake and alert during her feedings, but I also use those rare moments of quiet to get a few minutes of work done. 

8:40am: Dog starts barking and scratching at the wall. We are definitely not getting our rental security deposit back. Barking wakes up baby. Husband takes the dog on a walk. I used to do the morning walks but recently have delegated those to my husband as it’s a lot of work for me to bundle up baby and get us all out the door for a quick walk. This may change when the weather gets warmer, but for right now I’m happy to skip this walk. My husband does the first and last walk of the day, and I do the 1-2 walks in the middle of the day.

8:45am: Attempt to put baby down for a nap. Usually, we aim for naps closer to 10am, but she woke up early today and seems tired as she fell asleep while nursing. I bring her upstairs and change her into another set of pajamas (I would leave her in her day-time outfit, but it has a hood and doesn’t seem safe for sleep). I put her in the crib, head downstairs, and furiously do some work as I watch her on the monitor. She is crawling around her crib, pulling herself up, and playing with the many pacifiers in there with her. At first she is happy and then she starts crying. I wait a few minutes to see if she’ll fall asleep. I do another check-in on Slack and respond to some threads. I have a lot of work I need to get done, and I’m hoping for a good nap day. It’s official: this nap isn’t happening. Note to self that even if baby wakes up early, she probably will not nap until 10am.

 

I wait a few minutes to see if she’ll fall asleep. I do another check-in on Slack and respond to some threads. I have a lot of work I need to get done, and I’m hoping for a good nap day. It’s official: this nap isn’t happening.

 

9am: Give up on the nap. Bring baby back downstairs. Keep an eye on baby while typing a few more paragraphs of the story I started. Just a few months ago, I could plop baby down next to me and she’d hang out or play with a toy while I did my work. Now that she can crawl, it’s nearly impossible to get focused work done while she is awake. As we play, I think about what I need to do for work, what emails I need to respond to, and jot down my to-do list. Around 10am, I will try for another nap and those items on my to-do list will be addressed and my work thoughts and brainstorming will be put into action. 

Because it’s recently gotten harder to get focused work done, I end up doing some of my work after baby is asleep for the night and on the weekends to get ahead of assignments. I’m also considering part-time childcare as I know this will only become more challenging as she gets older.

 

 

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