Ideal Day

5 Dec

When I came back from maternity leave, I thought about my ideal day a lot. Returning after this break was a great opportunity for me to examine my days, which often had felt jumbled in the past. Working at home and finding balance is something I’ve struggled with for a long time. I tended to either overwork myself into the late hours or get lost in a to-do list where I was technically getting things done but didn’t feel productive. (I’m lucky I don’t suffer from the opposite work-at-home problem most of the time: getting distracted by television or laundry. That’s thanks to my policy of always having an office with a door that shuts.)

I would lie in bed and think about all the new things that had to be done in my new position: getting up and dressed before the baby when I used to roll out of bed with just enough time to take care of my own needs, getting her to daycare, pumping breastmilk three times a day, feeding myself, picking her up from daycare, not to mention working. I imagined I’d drop the baby off and work out at the gym near the daycare before heading home to work. Oh, and did you know I also had to do this solo often since my husband travels for work? I enjoyed my maternity leave, but when it was time to go back to work, I was ready to be part of my old world again, especially as I daydreamed about just how I could make this work. (My leave was wonderful and cozy, but it’s a different kind of grueling work. I can’t be the only mom who feels this way.)

A few months in, I’d kind of settled on my ideal day that was also realistic. Had I tried to do all of the above, I wouldn’t have been able to breastfeed exclusively as long as I did. But having those daydreams really did help in the long run. I try to occasionally remind myself of them when I feel particularly unproductive.

So here’s to an ideal Monday tomorrow: Having Rob bring me Romy brought to me in bed so I can feed her there and he can grab a few extra minutes of sleep. Breakfast for us all (hopefully with less banana in our hair than last time). A pre-packed diaper bag and already-washed bottles & pump parts waiting. A shower and pants with zippers (for me) before the daycare dropoff. A little bit of play time before bundling up. A cup of coffee before heading down to the basement office. Turning on my computer and having all systems go. My to-do list already compiled from Friday, with space at the end for surprises. Lunch with my husband at the table. Even better, lunch at my desk because instead I get to take a walk in the new snow (see! I’m realistic). Phone calls with real people on the receiving end instead of voice mails. A daycare pickup with stories about how my baby spent her day. A quiet evening with a little playtime and an unhurried dinner for her, a hot cider for us. Diaper bag packed for the next day before bedtime. Bath-jammies-story-song routine. Dinner for the grownups, made on a stove with simple, but real ingredients. Rest.

What’s your ideal day?

One Response to “Ideal Day”


  1. Conversations about working moms « She Has Moxie - July 1, 2011

    […] been meaning to revisit that ideal day post since January. There’s been an internet meme that pops up in a lot of other blogs, where […]

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