a DITL: on maternity leave

April 26, 2014
I took these images and took notes on my day on 4.23.14, a wednesday.
I am excited to share my DITL post in a link-up for the first time on adventures in tullyland.

For reference (for any curious outside visitor): 
I am 33 years old (for another 3 weeks or so!) and work full time as a pediatric endocrinologist.  However, I am currently on maternity leave.
Josh is 39 years old and works (more than) full time as a vascular and general surgeon.
Annabel (A) turned 2 3 weeks ago.
Cameron (C) is 9 weeks old.
1:45am C wakes up to eat.  He’s thankfully no-nonsense about it and is back asleep by 2.
5:00am C wakes up to eat again.  Again passes out easily — whew!
6:20am Both A&C are making noise.  Attempt to give C the paci and give A a little time . . .
7:00am  YEAH, 7:00!  I’ll take that any day.  They are both clearly up for real now.  I nurse C again and then come down and see that Josh has gone into A’s room to change her.  I change C.  
7:20am I make breakfast for A, but she decides she would rather have Josh’s cereal.  Of course.  I order Mickey and Ariel stickers on Amazon (on my phone), thinking that I want to make a sort of sticker chart for A’s bedtime routine.
7:30am Our nanny G arrives, right on time.  I eat one of my usual breakfasts: an ezekiel cinnamon-raisin english muffin, peanut butter, and at least 2 pods of Nespresso (basically a full cup of espresso, which sounds strong, but the caffeine content really is similar to a regular cup of coffee).
7:55am I escape to C’s room to pump with my planner, a magazine, and my phone.  Oh, and the rest of my Nespresso.  
I emerge victoriously with 4 oz and log my bounty on babyconnect (pumping and growth charts are the only things I use this app for now, but they are both useful features to have).

8:20am G gets A ready for school (she goes from ~8:45 – 12 daily).

8:30am A is watching Mickey Mouse on the couch when I come out.  (Usually this happens in the PM, but whatever).  I join in and tell her to say “selfie” as I document.  I put C down for nap, and G takes A to school.

8:45am I sort through some baby clothes while C naps.

9:15am C is up!  I prep his Synthroid and give it in a syringe of breastmilk.  I take my vitamin and give C his vitamin D at the same time.  I nurse C while reading a few blogs on feedly.

9:45am G watches C and I go for a run to take advantage of this:

Success!  I listen to the Another Mother Runner podcast while I run (cheesy I know, but I like it).  Running is getting gradually easier.  I want to get faster mostly so I can crank through a 3-miler more efficiently.

10:30am I drink a lot of water, eat a snack (some cottage cheese and melon) and shower.  C is napping on G.

11:10am C is up!  He goes down very easily but is not into long naps.  I feed him, schedule a car appointment for the next week, and half-watch Cupcake Wars with G while C plays on my lap.

12:00pm G goes to get A and takes her to the playground for a bit.

12:15pm C falls asleep.  I write some emails and a blog post.  I also have lunch (salad with turkey and avocado plus some Annie’s bunnies that I buy for A that are delicious) while C looks on with interest.

12:50pm C up.  I feed him again and we play, including some mandatory tummy time.

1:35pm C is clearly sleepy, so I put him in the swing where he passes out.  A comes home and it’s time for her nap, too.  I read her stories and get her ready to nap.

2:05pm A is down.  Finish writing blog post.

2:30pm C is hungry — I feed him while catching up on blogs again.  G then offers to take C while I nap.

2:45pm I decide that this is a great idea.  I rifle through the latest J.Crew catalog (want to shop, but need to waiiiiiiit), put away laundry, and fall asleep by 3.

4:30pm I hear C.  I come down and feed C again while eating a bunch of roasted almonds.

4:45pm A is up, and SULKY.  2 year old teenager:

I suggest we paint.  This works.  G holds C while I paint with her.  (Note:  painting with watercolors is far more fun and less messy than I would have thought!  Highly recommend.)

5:15pm I give A a bath.  This is actually not the norm — usually it’s G or Josh, but she is in a clingy mood on this day and I’m okay with it.

5:45pm G goes home, so I’m on my own.  I feed C while A reads (ie, looks at pictures and attempts to tell her own stories).

6:00pm Heat up dinner, which G made earlier in the day while A was at school.  A likes to climb up and watch.  C looks on from the Bumbo.

TACO NIGHT.  I plan our menus, but G shops weekly and cooks for us about 3x/week.  On the other 2 weeknights we eat leftovers.  She is an amazing (and efficient) cook and I am beyond thrilled with this arrangement.

I eat with A&C, and get A some watermelon at her request after dinner.  We sing songs.  C is loving it. Only 3-4 more months until you get some food too, Mr. C!

6:45pm I clean up after dinner while attempting to keep everyone happy.  I feed C.  And then I get this miraculous text:

JOSH SAYS HE IS COMING HOME AT 7!  This really means 7:30+, but is still a rarity to be celebrated.  
7:25pm I’m feeling skeptical . . .

7:30pm He’s HOME!!!  YESSS.  I hate doing A’s bedtime by myself, as it tends to be the only time of the day that C gets fussy.  (Probably need to work on getting C down first, but right now the timing never seems to work out).  
A is very happy, even when it’s time to brush her teeth:

7:45pm Daddy/daughter reading time (usually it’s me and it’s not the same as it used to be, because I’m playing replace-the-paci with C the whole time)

 8:10pm Josh puts A to sleep while I hold and feed C.  C is very easy to please as long as you do those two things . . .

I put C to sleep at about 8:20.

8:30pm I hang out with Josh and eat a coconut milk ice cream bar (I love these).  We look at some home furnishing catalogs because we need to replace our IKEA bed that keeps falling apart.  We make no decisions, in part because I hate spending on home stuff.

9:15pm I go upstairs and read some of Wild on my phone.

10:00pm Asleep.

This turned out to be kind of an ideal day, especially the part where Josh got home at a reasonable hour.   Sadly, many nights I end up doing bedtime myself and sometimes miss Josh altogether (ie, if he gets home after I go to bed).  But there’s never any ‘typical’ day, is there?


  • Reply oldmdgirl March 10, 2019 at 7:14 pm

    So glad A likes watercolor!

    • Reply theSHUbox March 10, 2019 at 7:15 pm

      YES! it was your suggestion – thank you!!

  • Reply Nancy March 10, 2019 at 7:14 pm

    Curious if Josh’s long hours are typical for most vascular surgeons…what keeps him there so long at night (if not on call)?

    • Reply theSHUbox March 10, 2019 at 7:15 pm

      i think that yes, many vascular surgeons have hours like this. at least at duke it seemed that way. he is usually either finishing a case (maybe something started at 4 pm and took 3-4 hours, plus then he has to finish rounding/documenting), doing a consult, or seeing follow ups after a clinic day – things like that. also documenting, although he often does not finish this before coming home and has to catch up on weekends.

  • Reply andrea March 10, 2019 at 7:14 pm

    Omg. I’m dying at the cuteness of C in the bumbo chair!! You should never feel guilty about having the nanny to help you out. You and Josh worked so hard for your amazing (and well paying) careers which make you able to afford things like G’s help. 🙂

  • Reply Brittnie March 10, 2019 at 7:14 pm

    A’s face in the mirror with Josh is awesome!! This makes me want to do a DITL post. 🙂 Loved reading about your day. And like others have said. . . do NOT feel guilty for having G’s help. We would totally hire some consistent daytime help if we could afford it!

  • Reply SusannahEarlyBd March 10, 2019 at 7:14 pm

    Loved this. !!! Also, now I want tacos. And…if it’s appropriate/not too personal, I’d love to read more about what the transition to having a nanny has been like…i.e. how you deal with having another major caregiver for A and C when it comes to parenting challenges like discipline, etc, what it’s like having someone who is a "stranger" at first get to know you and your family on a personal level…if you see benefits to a nanny vs daycare, etc..just curious! 🙂

  • Reply Natasha March 10, 2019 at 7:14 pm

    Is that Blueberries For Sal? It’s a favorite at our house! Painting works with my toddler when she is cranky too. Also Glitter glue, play doh, and basically anything that involves a mess. Also an indoor sand tray!

  • Reply Natasha March 10, 2019 at 7:14 pm

    And holy cow I just noticed how LONG A’s nap was! My toddler has abandoned them completely and I’m missing the nap days.

    • Reply theSHUbox March 10, 2019 at 7:14 pm

      YES. i cannot complain at all about her naps – they are usually 2 hours plus. (although she really fights actually STARTING them). she sleeps about 10.5 hrs at night and then 2 during the day most of the time – i know some kids do the 7p-7a thing and she never has so maybe that’s why she still needs a solid nap!

  • Reply gn0mel0ver March 10, 2019 at 7:14 pm

    You are so busy! But in a good way. In the best way. I loved all of the family pictures. You look great! And you are so inspiring. I am trying to get back into exercising. I appreciate you being so motivated.

    Your family is beautiful!


  • Reply Nicole March 10, 2019 at 7:14 pm

    Your babies are so beautiful! I would TOTALLY have a nanny at home with me if it worked with our lifestyle…managing babies is a challenge and moms often feel like we are juggling so much, so anything you can do to reduce stress is well worth it. Happy moms = happy babies!
    Thanks for sharing your day!

  • Reply jules527 March 10, 2019 at 7:14 pm

    Hi!! Great DiTL post, I saw you linked to me earlier in another post, too. Another running, healthcare mama? Will be following along!

    Also, if you have any interest in writing for my Moms Make it Work series, just email me! I’d love to hear from you considering you and your husband both work full time in demanding jobs.

    mylifeintransitionblog at gmail dot com

    Nice to ‘meet’ you!!

  • Reply Sierra March 10, 2019 at 7:14 pm

    Such cute babies! The picture of A and daddy in the mirror is adorable.

  • Reply Heather March 10, 2019 at 7:14 pm

    Clicking over from the DITL link-up …

    I can really relate to this post as I also have a 2 1/2 year old and a 5 month old baby (close-ish ages to your two) and my husband works and travels some long hours/days, too. It can be so hard managing it all. Glad you have some help to keep your sanity and great to see you enjoying the non-so-normal / easier days when they come! Bedtime with two little ones is definitely the worst – I can totally relate. Thanks for sharing your day!

  • Reply Suzi March 10, 2019 at 7:14 pm

    Thanks for this post. After reading this post, I gain some knowledge and gathered some information’s about maternity leave. Keep posting. Thank you again.

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