Friday, September 13, 2013

a day in the life Working Mommy Post - Jayme

Happy Friday All! 

Meet Jayme - she has one boy and is due with her second baby boy next month... two boys fun...
thanks Jayme for sharing your day with us! 

Hi!  I'm Jayme and I blog at No Regrets Living .  I'm the wife to Jeff, mom to Phinehas (17 months) and Stephen (due next month)!
When my first son was born, my husband and I had the whole "Should I stay at home or continue working outside the home?" conversation.  A big part of me wanted to stay home. (Still is, truth be told.)  I thought I'd always stay home when we had children.  But now that the moment was here, neither of us were so sure that it was right for our family at that time.  Instead of deciding to stop working completely, I pitched an idea to my company that I would reduce my hours to part-time.  They were agreeable, so that's what we did.  (For other moms that want to try this, I highly recommend it!  Your financial situation might not allow you to quit completely or your husband might be uncomfortable with the idea or you might think that your company would say no, but it's always worth a try!)  As long as I have a choice, I don't ever want to work full-time again!  Not even in 30 years when all my kids are grown and gone.
So far, it's working out very well.  My schedule is such that I work in the mornings, except for Tuesdays when I work a full day.  I know that I am beyond blessed to be able to do this.
Because of my schedule, I recognize that I don't have the same restrictions and pain points that full-time working moms do, but these are the things that have worked for us.

Our basic day:
6:00 AM - My son wakes up.  Yes, this is pretty early compared to other families, but I love it.  It gives me time with him in the morning for both of us to get ready and not feel rushed.  We have time to cuddle (if he's agreeable!), we have time to read books, we have time to eat breakfast together. 
7:30 AM - We leave the house for the babysitters (who happens to be my sister, who is a stay-at-home mom to her 3 little ones - 1 of which is in school full-time).
8:00 AM - I'm usually at work by then, or shortly after.  My motto: get in, get my stuff done and get home!
12:30 PM – I pick him up from my sister's. 
1:00 PM - We're back home and he's usually ready for his afternoon nap, which lasts about 90 minutes these days.  Sometimes, he isn't quite ready for a nap (depending on if he napped in the morning), so we might play, read books, explore the backyard (he loves being outside!) or do chores.  This is the time where I do laundry or unload the dishwasher or get something going for dinner.
3:00 PM - My husband gets home from work.  My husband has shifted his "typically a 9-to-5" job to be a "7-to-2" job, so that he can be home earlier (and spend less time in traffic, which is also great for his frustration level). 

5:00 PM - We eat dinner. My husband usually takes point in watching our son while I finish dinner.  They usually hover around in the kitchen though, so we use this time to talk about our days and just be together.
6:30 PM - Wheel of Fortune!  It's become part of our family schedule to watch Wheel of Fortune together.  My son doesn't really watch with us, but he's down in our basement family room with us.  Usually he's playing with something else, but sometimes, he cuddles up and watches with us.  We usually change him into his pajamas during this time and give him a sippy cup of milk.
7:00 PM - Bedtime for my son.  (Seems early, but remember what time he gets up!)
Evening - My husband and I spend time together or are available to do things independently.  Sometimes, we'll watch a TV show together via Netflix or play a board game.  Sometimes, we do our own thing.  It just depends on what is going on or what we’re in the mood for.  Usually, we're in bed by 9:30 p.m. - 10:00 at the latest.
How I spend quality time with my son:
I'm a proponent of the fact that "quality time" happens most easily when there's also "quantity time" together.  Sure, there are great quality moments that you plan for intentionally - vacations or a trip to the zoo or a baseball game.  But I think that quality moments happen much more easily and frequently when there is lots of time together. 
·         Quality time happens when I eat breakfast with him, teaching him not to throw his food or tip his plate or how to use a cup.  It happens when I cheer him on for mastering the use of a spoon.  It happens when I give permission to climb up on a chair, but not onto the table.
·         Quality time happens when he sits on the bathroom floor while I curl my hair in the morning.  He's at the age where the hair dryer is exciting to him!  Or when I brush his teeth after he sees me brush mine.  He's free to be in another room, but, at least for now, he seems to stick by me.
·         Quality time happens when I show him how to pick up the walnuts in the backyard and put them into the trashcan. 
·         Quality time happens when I give him a duster and he 'helps' me dust the furniture. 
·         Quality time happens when he 'helps' me make my bed in the morning.  He doesn't do anything more than mimic my pillow fluffing, but we have a good time rolling across the bed when we're done.  And I hope that I'm modeling a routine responsibility.
With that belief, I've done as much as I can to give us plenty of time together.
·         That's the main reason that I wanted to work only part-time instead of full-time. To maximize our time together while still holding down an income.
·         I haven't tried to "shift" my son's night sleep to a later bed time and thus, wake time (despite my desires to sleep in a little longer on the weekends)!  I love the fact that I don't have to wake him up; he can wake up on his own.  If his little body needs to sleep more (rare, it seems!), he can and we still aren't rushed to get out the door.
·         I shower at night after my son is in bed.  I don't mind going to bed with wet hair sometimes!
How I get household tasks done:
To be honest, this isn't a big burden on me.  It's probably a combination of having a smaller house (though we're about to move to a bigger one), only one child (though we're about to have two), and only working part-time.  But it's also because of other reasons:
·         I do chores with him.  I don't mind my son being around while I unload the dishwasher or fold a load of laundry or clean a bathroom.  It's part of his learning process and he hasn't yet figured out that it isn't fun.  Some of it I get done during nap time, some of it gets done with him "underfoot".  Painting is about the only thing that I intentionally do when he’s asleep!  I haven’t yet figured out how to let him ‘help’ with creating a mess!
·         I automate every bill that I can. By setting up level payment plans for things like utilities and cell phones and using automatic payments from our checking account, going through the mail is a 2-minute/day process.  Tops.  We probably have 1-2 bills/month that I actually have to write a check for and even then, I sit down and push a payment from our bank account.
·         I have 2 laundry baskets in our bedroom: one for darks and one for whites.  We sort our clothes when we take them off.  When it comes time to do laundry, just toss the entire basket into the laundry.
·         Since there are just 2 big mouths and 1 little mouths in our house, meal prep is easy.  1 casserole (even a 9x9 pan) can get us 2-3 meals.  Same with a pot of taco soup or chili.  We have no objections to leftovers and as such, I only need to cook 2-3 times/week.  Many times, I'll make 2 casseroles at once and freeze one.  I usually have browned hamburger meat in the freezer ready to be made into tacos or spaghetti or pizza or veggie soup.  After I grocery shop, I usually prep all the fruits for the week, so that they're always ready to eat.  I am not a gourmet cook - simplicity is all we need.  If I can't put it together in about 15 minutes, it's probably not the meal for me - at least not one that I'll use on a regular basis. 
How I spend time with friends:
This one is hard.  This is not a strength of mine.  We are in a community group through our church twice a month.  But the group is new and we’re just now starting to become friends.  I've also just started attending a Women's Bible Study last month and hope that becomes a good spiritual outlet for me.  After church on Sunday, we go out to lunch with a friend of ours that attends church with us.  He also comes over for dinner on Mondays for a couple of hours.  Beyond that, though, I don't spend much time with friends.  And I rarely spend time (except for that newly added Women’s Bible Study) with just women.  Sometimes, I wish it was different, but I'm in the phase of my life where I don't have tons of flexibility.  But I don't think that's because I work vs. stay-at-home, but mostly just the "mom of little ones" phase that I'm in.
How I spend time with my husband:
This one isn’t a big struggle.  He's fun!  Because our son goes to bed so early, we have at least a couple of hours together a night, if we want it.  There are a couple of TV shows that we watch together every week that just gets us laughing (Wipeout) or cheering (The Voice and Shark Tank).  We also go to bed at the same time (except for when we have a little itty bitty newborn).  That gives us that dedicated time to talk together and pray for each other.

That's my life and I love it!

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