Day in the Life: Office Mom Edition

Aloha! So, the last time I wrote up a Day in the Life post, Penny was only 2 months old and I was still on maternity leave. It kind of feels like I just wrote that post up, but clearly it’s been a while! And since I’ve returned to work and Penny is now almost 6 months old, I’d say that more than a few things have changed, haha. Because I work from home 4/5 days a week, things still look pretty different from one to the next. There are just so many factors that inform my daily schedule: who I have helping out with Penny (our part-time nanny, my mother-in-law, or my parents), if I have in-person meetings or calls scheduled, if I have an Elite Event that evening, etc.

So I’m thinking I’ll be doing another day in the life post sooner rather than later to try and give a picture of what things are like for me when I’m at home vs. going into DC, but since yesterday was an office day, you get the latter first!

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4 AM: Our day starts bright & early (or, more accurately, dark & drearily), as Penny wakes up happily in her crib at 4 AM after having gone to bed at 7 PM the previous night. She’s just chat, chat, chatting away, petting her unicorn, and being adorably AWAKE. After a little while, I go down to her room and replace her pacifier with foolish optimism, but she has absolutely nooooo interest in going back to sleep. Oh well! I go back upstairs and watch the monitor hoping in vain that she’ll fall asleep again eventually… spoiler alert: she doesn’t.

4:45 AM: She finally starts to fuss, so Sean goes down and brings her upstairs to me so I can nurse her. She nurses for like 20 minutes per side and we both fall back asleep when she’s on the second side — whoops! We snooze until almost 7:30.

 
7:30 AM: Time to get up! I nurse Penny again (just for 5 minutes), change her wet diaper, and then go downstairs to let the dogs out. I also pick out her outfit for the day and get her dressed, since her room is on our downstairs level.

I also toss a load of laundry in the machine while we’re downstairs, as I’m trying to make a habit of doing small loads of laundry more often. Y’know, instead of my previous way of doing it, which was to wait until I’m literally wearing my last pair of clean underwear and then spend two days doing like 6 separate loads, lol.

When I come back upstairs, I feed the dogs their breakfast and supplements, Penny and I play a little bit, and I take her daily #OOTD photos, hehe. She’s sitting up SO well these days — self-correcting when she starts to teeter to one side, and even pulled herself into an upright sitting position when I placed her leaning back on the pillow! So proud of my strong little girl. <3

8 AM: I place Penny in her new Bumper Jumper for some self-play and sit down at my desk to go through my emails.

JUST KIDDING! My computer has decided to update itself all on its own because Skynet is nigh.

So I fill out my Panda Planner for the day, check my email on my phone, and get myself ready… giving a little extra attention to my hair & makeup since I have the time, lol. I am going into the office today anyway, I guess I should make myself presentable?

 
Penny lasts a good half hour in her jumper (!!), but when she gets tired of it, I give her favorite teether to her and hold her in my lap while I put my newly-perfected one-handed typing skills to use and respond to a few emails.

9 AM: Penny is showing signs of tiredness, so I go try to put her down for her first nap of the day.

She is pretty fussy once I lay her down (she has been fighting this morning nap pretty hard for the past couple of days), so it takes some extra time and some extra nursing (3 minutes) to get her calmed down. I lay her back in her crib and she finally falls asleep at 9:30.

9:50 AM: My mother-in-law arrives, so it’s time for me to head out! Typically, I’d have taken Penny over to my parents’ house before going into the office, and Sean’s mom comes and helps out on a different day. My parents are out of town visiting my sister and their other grandchildren this week, however, so Kim to the rescue! She texts me while I’m en route to work to let me know that Penny woke up at 10:15 — her classic short 45-minute nap.

10:45 AM: There was an accident or something causing a ton of traffic, so it takes almost an hour to get to the office even though rush hour was supposed to have been over by the time I left. Womp womp. Oh well, eventually I do make it to Yelp’s brand spankin’ new Chinatown office! H/T to my coworker Kimberly for the rad pic of our reception area below:

10:50 AM: I dump my stuff at my desk and head right to the Mother’s Room and pump first thing.

 
Somehow, I managed to remember to shove my pumping bra into my bag but forgot pretty much everything else, including extra containers to hold my milk. Thankfully Yelp is awesome and the Mother’s Room is not only stocked with the pump itself (every pumping mama gets their own set of flanges, tubing, and milk storage bottles), but also has spare parts for exactly this type of situation. I make a note in my planner to bring some storage bags to keep here at the office next week, though.

11 AM: I make a quick trip to the kitchen to grab some coffee and hodgepodge together a super late breakfast, since I haven’t eaten anything yet today. Definitely not a good habit… something I’m definitely trying to work on! I make myself a piece of toast with nutella and banana, and grab a strawberry Chobani, a hard-boiled egg, and some coffee. Yeah, our office kitchen is pretty boss.

I finally have a few minutes to bang out some actual work — responding to messages, queueing up emails, setting appointments, doing backend work, etc.

 
11:30 AM: Time for my weekly 1:1 with my boss. This used to be done on the phone, but now we can meet in person whenever possible and it’s so nice to get time to catch up and discuss what I have going on work-wise. Our meeting lasts half an hour, and afterwards I head back to my desk and keep plugging away at my to-do list!

Having Penny around has definitely taught me to be much more efficient with my time when I have work to do. A few hours of uninterrupted time at my computer probably doesn’t seem like much to most people, but I’m able to fly through my task list because I’m so focused on making the most of my time in the office.

I do have two more calls on my agenda today — our weekly team call at 1 PM, and a call related to a special project I’m working on at 2:30.

2:45 PM: After my last call of the day, I enjoy a late lunch with my coworkers in the office. This is my favorite part of having an office to go into — getting to see my colleagues on a regular basis! I’m already one of the lucky ones in the Community Manager program at Yelp, since my coworkers in DC and the MD Burbs are so close by (plus our boss, who also lives in DC), and we’ve been able to get together relatively regularly over the years. But having the office now means we see each other on an even more frequent basis! Forget the Coke Freestyle machine — getting to spend time with my work fam is 100% my favorite office perk.

Anyway, after we finish eating, I go back to my desk to wrap up a few more things with the intention of going to pump again, but my laptop’s mystical powers suck me in and I totally lose track of time. Womp. My mother-in-law lives in Stafford (an hour away without traffic), I want her to be able to head home before she gets stuck in the worst part of rush hour, so I decide to skip pumping and head out.

4 PM: I leave the office to go relieve my MIL from Penny duty! Alas, traffic is already pretty heavy, but that’s DC for ya…

4:50 PM: Reunited and it feels so good! My mother-in-law tells me all about Penny’s day: she napped twice, pooped twice, drank her bottles (hooray!!), and had baby oatmeal and carrots. She unfortunately threw up some of the carrots, but I think otherwise she was pretty good for Grandma! It’s a big relief to know she wasn’t too fussy, and also that she drank her milk since she’s occasionally weird about drinking frozen milk / from bottles (not sure which part is the issue). And of course, it’s also just a huge relief for me to get to snuggle mah baybeh again!

As if watching our little Lucky Penny wasn’t already enough, my wonderful mother-in-law also finished up the laundry that I started this AM. We say bye-bye to Grandma Foxy and I nurse Penny pretty much immediately — it’s been 6 hours since I pumped! She nurses for 11 minutes.

 
5:30 PM: We play together for a bit, before I try to put Penny down in our room for her last catnap of the day. She’s a little distracted though. Hmm, wonder why? 😉

I shoo her brothers away but the DockATot still isn’t cutting it. I can tell she’s really tired though, and if she doesn’t nap soon it’s going to mess with bedtime. So I snuggle up with her and she falls asleep pretty much instantly curled up against me. ::heart eyes emoji:: I certainly ain’t mad about it. Penny cuddles are pretty much the best thing in the entire world, after all.

 
Sean comes home while she’s napping, and because miracles do exist, I’m able to extricate myself from the bed without waking her to say hi to my husband.

6:20 PM: Penny naps for about 40 minutes (the last nap of the day is always a short one), and when she wakes up she is so excited to see her Daddy! It’s the most heartwarming thing ever.

6:45 PM: Sean plays with her a little bit while and then goes to prepare her bath. Penny is a total water baby and looooves the bath! She’s starting to get pretty big for our Schnuggle tub, though — when she splish-splashes, it goes everywhere now! Might have to move on up to the real bathtub soon ::sniff::

We wrap her up in a little bunny robe that her nanny gifted us — is she not the cutest little somebunny you ever did see? <3

 
7 PM: We normally try to get our little bunny in bed between 7 and 7:30, so we’re still doing pretty well on time. I nurse her one last time (just 5 minutes), and we get her into her jammies. I’m crazy for this unicorn footie sleeper that we recently picked up at Target (it’s Carter’s Just One You brand). My squeaky clean li’l unicorn!

 
7:15 PM: It’s bedtime! Sean and I have been trying to alternate nights putting her to bed, and tonight it’s my turn. Our bedtime routine is simply to put her in her magic sleepsuit, give her paci & her Zoe to her, and walk out of the room. Half the time she’ll fall asleep within a minute or two, and the other half of the time she needs a little bit of extra TLC. Tonight it’s the latter, but she’s not too bad. She fusses on and off a little bit and loses her paci twice, but I plug it back in and she’s down for the count by 7:30!

7:30 PM: I let the dogs back outside and it’s dinnertime for Sean and me. We eat and watch an episode of Altered Carbon on Netflix — we’ve been really digging it! I definitely recommend if you like sci-fi, murder mysteries, or futuristic thrillers.

8:45 PM: We clean up a bit after dinner and it’s time for some meeeee time! Sean plays a video game, and I throw a face mask on, toss some Friends up on the TV, cuddle up with Daxter by my side and Harry at my feet, and start writing this post!

 
12:00 AM: Sean went to bed at 10:45, but I really wanted to finish this post so it’s looking like a late night for me. Which, honestly, is basically business as usual for me. When you’re trying to balance work & blog & household & self-care, something’s gotta give, and for me, that thing is usually sleep, haha. So anyway, if you see me posting about decluttering my house and momming it up and working and still finding time to do my makeup, just know that being productive, for me, does not come without at least this sacrifice, haha. But whatever man, I’m sure I’ll more than catch up on my sleep when Penny’s a teenager and sleeping until 2 PM every weekend like I did. 😛

One last thing to do before I get ready for bed: pump, as I’ve been trying to build my freezer stash back up (and since I only pumped the one time at work today.) I pump for 9 minutes and get 6 ounces, so I’m really glad that I did!

12:45 AM: Daxter wants to go out one last time, so I wake Old Man Harry up and let both dogs outside while I quickly go through my own bedtime routine: wash my face, put on moisturizer, brush my teeth (accidentally putting facewash on my toothbrush… so maybe this whole sleep thing is taking more of a toll than I thought, eh?) and put my PJs on. Then I bring the dogs back in and crawl into bed a little after 1 AM.

Now we get to wait and see if Penny makes it straight through ’til morning (it’s happened before!) or if we’re in for another 4 AM wakeup call.

Cheers, everyone!

(Morning update: She did not, in fact, wake me up at 4 AM! She woke me up at 3 instead, hahahahacry. Thank goodness for coffee! 😅)

13 Comments

  1. I’m getting married this year and I’m really excited to have a baby soon, but I wouldn’t say I get baby pangs…until I see your daughter. She is the CUTEST baby I have ever seen. <3

  2. Keep on hustling, Gretchen!

  3. 3 hours sleep? You are amazing. As somebody who get cranky on less than 8 hours and is planning a baby next year, this post is a bit terrifying, but it’s also kind of comforting to know that you can still make it all work!

    • It was 3 hours and then like almost 3 more after Penny woke up — but don’t be scurred! Obviously I did this to myself last night, lol. If I go to bed at a normal time tonight (so, like, now-ish, hahaha), even if Penny wakes up around 3 or 4 tonight it’ll likely be a full night’s sleep in total. And I think most sane people prioritize sleep more than I do. Regardless of the sleepless nights or tired mornings, it’s more than worth it!

  4. Ohhh, we are enjoying Altered Carbon too! I hope you at least realized the face wash mishap before putting your toothbrush on your mouth!

    You’re amazing! You can do it all, can’t you? I’m envious that your daughter is on such a great schedule!

    • NOOOOOOPE I definitely only realized it after I had already started to brush… X_X

      And her schedule still changes all the time but it is nice to at least have a bedtime pretty much down, and knowing her max. wake times between naps (even if I still never have any idea how long those naps will be, lol!)

  5. shawnessysays:

    Hey girl. Just wanted to say I really enjoy your blog with the “regular, living life” stuff you write about. I KNOW that blogs are not always mirrors of real life, but you just seem so fun and full of life and I’ve enjoyed watching you meet Sean, get married, have baby… Thank you! How do I find more blogs to read? I read the same handful and love them but most of them are full of sponsored posts (same sponsors, too) and are more focused on recipes-eating well, exercise… with a little of the day-in-the-life stuff thrown in. Any recs? Anyone? LOL Thanks again and enjoy that little one!

    • Aww girrrrl, you’re getting me all choked up! Thank YOU for saying that! I just like sharing my little slice of life on here, it’s really nice to hear that you guys actually like reading about it, hehe.

      In answer to your question, I’m honestly not reading as many blogs these days as I used to, both because I have less time to do so obviously, haha, but for much of the same reason! Since I’m no longer looking for daily fitness and healthy living inspiration, I mainly just follow the blogs and social media of bloggers whose lives I’m interested and invested in. So I’m afraid I don’t have a good answer for you other than to probably check the comments on some of your other favorite bloggers’ posts? Maybe someone there will strike your fancy? Good luck!

  6. Valentina Dengsays:

    I love reading these day in the life posts so I can compare notes! Like knowing that I don’t need to feed the baby 30 minutes anymore – oops. We’ve also had trouble with short naps but sometimes we get in a 1.5-2 hour nap, so I know she’s capable of it. Have you read Weissbluth’s sleep book? He has some advice on extending nap times that we’re trying to implement.

    Ana goes to bed at 7:45-8PM and wakes up at 6:30AM, with a 4AM feeding 99% of nights. Starting to wonder if she still needs the 4AM feeding though.

    And after seeing Penny with the unicorn, I’m thinking about adding a stuffed animal to Ana’s crib to entertain her when she wakes up.

    Also, jealous of your pump room at work!

  7. Megansays:

    She is sooooooooooooooooooooo cute!! You guys are doing REALLY well. She obviously knows she is incredibly loved, such a happy baby!

  8. Katesays:

    Hi Gretchen,
    What are your thoughts on the differences in pumps between your work one Medela hospital grade and the spectra you have at home?

    I’m renting the hospital grade Medela right now and wondering if the spectra is comparable?

    Thanks

    • Hi Katie!

      So I really love my Spectra, I find it’s just as efficient to get my milk out as the hospital grade Medela tbh. It might not go quite as high on the power spectrum, but I don’t use the highest power levels on either machine, so that’s not a big issue for me. They really are comparable IMO.

      The Medela is really awesome and suuuper powerful but honestly there are features it doesn’t have that the Spectra does which makes still me like it better (like a timer, and the fact that it’s a totally closed system so no condensation of anything ever gets in the tubing). The Spectra also is compatible with the bottles we use (Phillips Avent) so I can pump directly into those if I need/want to.

      My insurance covered my Spectra as well, so I would definitely look into seeing if yours would do the same, and even if not, it’s gotta be cheaper in the long run to buy vs. rent right?

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