by Wendy Copley on August 18, 2008


My maternity leave began today.

I suppose if you want to get technical, it officially began on Saturday, the first day after my last day of work. But Saturday felt like a regular Saturday and it took a weekday to make me realize I’m really and truly off work for awhile. When you add in that Wyatt is on his preschool vacation and that Zach is working his booty off trying to rack up contract hours, I got a real taste of what life would be like if I was a full-time stay-at-home mom.

So here’s how it went:

8:00 am: We all got up at the same time which was odd, because usually one of us gets up with Wyatt and the other sleeps a little longer.

8:15 am: Zach fixes Wyatt a bun and some fruit for breakfast, then makes eggs and toast for us while I drink tea, read the comics and do a sudoku.

8:55 am: I read my email and realize that on a normal day, I would be rushing out the door right now to get to work only a little bit late.

9:00 – 10:20 am: Various play and getting ready for the day activities.

10:20 – 10:30 am: Drive to the park for playgroup. Wyatt shouts at me the whole time, telling me that I’m going the wrong way and that he won’t get to play with Little Rachel because I’m going to get us lost and everyone will go home before we even get there. I’ve got the GPS and I’m pretty confident that I’m going to the right place, but the three-year-old in the back seat actually manages to shake my confidence in my typically great sense of direction. I also try to ignore him repeatedly telling me, “I am right and you are wrong.” but I fail and start to argue with him. Sigh.

10:30 am: When we arrive at the playground, we are the first ones there. Wyatt says “I told you we are at the wrong park!” several times but is soon distracted by the slide.  Soon afterward, the other parents start arriving and I am vindicated.  I chat with the other parents about sleep, leaving the house with a newborn, sleep, weight loss and more sleep while the kids play. I feel my focus shifting from my stressful web development job to parenting and greatly enjoy it.

12:30 pm: Leave the park and head to Costco. On Zach’s advice, I buy Wyatt a slice of pizza and a lemonade when we first arrive and he happily sits in the cart eating his lunch and trying various samples as we do our shopping. I buy an insane amount of stuff in preparation for the impending arrival of a newborn, including diapers and wipes for the new baby. One more thing to cross off my pre-baby to-do list.

2:00 pm: Back at home, Zach laughs out loud at the amount of stuff I bought, but I assure him that you really need a 60-pack of taquitos when you have a tiny baby in the house (easy to eat one-handed and we can send them in Wyatt’s lunch).

2:30 pm: Zach and Wyatt build a blanket fort while I sit on the couch with my feet up and give advice on how best to ensure the structural integrity of their house.

3:00 – 4:00 pm: Wyatt and I participate in various relaxational activities while Zach does more programming.

4:00 pm: Wyatt and I decide we want to have a nap and lay down on the bed with a pile of books to read. Despite several attempts by Wyatt to steal my pillow (“Mama! You have to share!”), I manage to hang on to it, but neither of us fall asleep. Still, we enjoy reading about Frances and her adventures.

5:00 pm: Wyatt and I make banana bread, then do puzzles and have a blueberry snack at the kitchen table.

6:00 pm: I clean off the top of my dresser, my nesting activity of the day. Because you really need to have a clean dresser when you have a new baby in the house.

6:30 – 8:00 pm: Zach and Wyatt go to the gym. I finish cleaning off my dresser, start this blog post and make dinner.

8:00 pm: We all eat dinner. Wyatt is super good at the table, but we’re running late for bed time.

8:30 – 9:30 pm: Clean the kitchen and start the dishwasher. Bath, jammies, tooth brushing, “hot tea” and stories.

10:00 pm: Wyatt is finally asleep. Time for Generation Kill and a foot rub from my dearest.

All in all a good day. I think I could use a few more of these before the baby comes, though.

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