Picture perfect? Confessions from a working mom (with a stay-at-home baby)..


Combining mommy time and working time is easy if you´re good at planning. The key is to define regular hours for work and arrange with some baby sitter (check!). And to get eventual additional work hours done in the morning or evening, when the dad is home from work (check!). = Great concept – in theory..!!

Some days seem to be a chain-reaction of chaos just waiting to happen. Like this October Monday.. Original plan; Work before Espen leaves; 7-9am. Lecture for students; 1-2pm. Board meeting; 5-7pm. Plenty of space in between for home/baby stuff.

That was the theory. Now, translated below to practice;

04:30 – Baby awakes. Tooo early. Get baby back to sleep. Eventually. Me = fully awake.

05:15 – Considering getting up. Drowse off.

08:50 – Light outside. Alarm clock dead. My 8 kilo natural alarm fast asleep next to me. = no morning work time.. Lucky that I kept lots of free time slots for play/baby time. Quickly wake up the dad, who´s out of the door in 10 minutes, after first reminding me about the 9-months vaccinations at the child health clinic. Vaccinations??? My calendar is blank until 12noon. Well, ok. Still decent time to get ready in time.

09:00 – Coffee required. Double strength to improve bad start. Opt for a quick shower while baby finds the toilet brush and tries to tear down the towel rack. Change/dress baby & myself while waiting for coffee to get ready. Cut bread. Phone rings. Work. Urgent. Baby cries. Baby hungry. Place plate with baby breakfast on the sofa table while carrying baby on one arm and re-filling bottle of water with the other. Dog hasn´t had breakfast yet. Dog steals baby´s breakfast. Fix new breakfast. Phone rings again (and again). Baby cries louder, while pinching me with nails I forgot to cut. Pulls my hair while trying to chew my chin with his 2 small but very sharp teeth. I put baby on the floor for 2 seconds and switch off coffee machine so I don´t forget for later. Find baby in the dog´s bed, happily chewing the half eaten bread from where dog left it (on the floor…). Dog sits by door, looking very sad. Feeling like a great mom and dog owner.

09:10 – Feeding baby part 2. Baby spits out the food. Repeat. Repeat. Dog´s bread much better(?) Baby spews water from the bottle on me and laugh.

09:20 – PING! E-mail says 2 in the board can´t find meeting & agenda in their e-mail/calendars. Try to re-send meeting request while feeding baby. Baby tries to grab mobile. Dog throws up. Decide to wait re-sending till after vaccination to avoid stress. I finish baby´s bread as I forgot to make some for myself.

09:30 – Quickly packing nursing bag. Pour the (now luke-warm) coffee in a mug. Wash floor from dog puke. Remember that I have to walk the dog. Quickly take the dog outside, with baby on one arm. Great that I still have at least one well-defined muscle left (right biceps).

09:40 – Drinking my cold coffee in one big sip. Still on time for appointment, ready to go. Get shoes & jacket on with one hand. Baby on the other. Turn the car key. Baby doesn´t agree. Baby does dirty work. Back inside.

09:50 – Turning car key again. Still just on time.

10:00 – 10:10 Arriving at the clinic. On time!! Just undone baby´s clothes for weighing. Fire alarm goes off. Clothes back on. Everybody downstairs. Evacuation. Lesson learned; do not mess with fire drill at the NAV building (public services).

10:10 – 11:00 Been patiently waiting in line for an hour, after getting back upstairs. My turn. Finally. Woman says; “oh, your appointment isn´t until tomorrow..!” Cursing. Note to self; double check vaccination card before leaving home…

11:15 – 11:45 Back home. Tired baby won´t sleep. Again trying to re-send meeting agenda. Baby refuses to play on the floor. Baby chews Mac charger. Phone rings repeatedly. Writing e-mail with baby in lap. Baby deletes my e-mail text and spells egd8f9hi3åoj rghdl kadfgu09¨pb. Very impressed. Read & cuddle baby to cause sleepiness. Spill remaining cold coffee across table and toys.

11:45 – 12:30 Baby sleeps. I pack next meal++ & change for lecture (as  mashed bread/porridge, puke and various probably don´t equal decent outfit). Consider making more coffee. Remember what happened to previous cup. Remember that I couldn´t find the adapter for the Mac earlier. Haven’t unpacked the travel bags from Riga or Gothenburg. Search through them. Search through several handbags. No adapter. Frantically goes through all drawers in the office. No adapter.

13:00 – 18:30 Presentation for HiVe students at the Norwegian Shipowners´ Association goes well (I think), and I even arrive before the previous guy is done. Baby taken care of by the university teacher, and behaves perfectly nice. Board meeting afterwards required 4 cups of coffee to make up for the missing user quantas during the day 😉

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Everyday philosophy Leadership & values Unserious stuff

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