6:00 am – 6:45 am: pump for milk (I usually pump for 30-40 minutes for maximum deflation. The extra 5 minutes include the preparation and cleaning up of the breast pump thingies)
6:45 am – 8:00 am: The Little Creature #1 wakes up; breakfast; spend some time with the creatures
8:00 am – 9:00 am: me time or chores time
9:00 am – 9:45 am: pump for milk
9:45 am – 11:30 am: sleep
11:30 am – 12:00nn: shower
12:00 nn – 12:45 pm: pump for milk; there’s no such thing as lunch anymore
12:45 pm – 1:45 pm: read and sing to the Little Creature #1 for his afternoon nap
1:45 pm – 3:00 pm: chores (there always seems to be something to do)
3:00 pm – 3:45 pm: pump for milk; the Little Creature #1 wakes up; spend time with him while pumping
3:45 pm – 6:00 pm: spend time with the little creatures
6:00 pm – 6:45 pm: pump for milk
6:45 pm – 8:00 pm: dinner; nannies prepare the kids for bedtime
8:00 pm – 9:00 pm: read bedtime stories and sing to the Little Creature #1 while keeping fingers crossed that the Little Creature #2 will not wake up
9:00 pm – 9:45 pm: pump for milk; Little Creature #2 wakes up sometimes to be breastfed
9:45 pm – 10:00 pm: breastfeed if the Little Creature #2 wakes up or me time if he doesn’t
10:00 pm- 11:00 pm: shower; nightly vanity rituals
11:00 pm – 12:00mn: me time; nap if possible
12:00 mn – 12:45 am: pump for milk
12:45 am – 3:00 am: sleep if possible
3:00 am – 3:45 am: pump for milk
3:45 am – 6:00 am: sleep if possible (It is a struggle to get up in the wee hours of the morning to pump so there are times when I would just stay up and do some chores or stare into space while I wait for my next pumping schedule)
And that is how my routine is these days – a cycle that revolves around the pumping schedules. Sometimes, especially on weekends, I would gain mommy-time-lordette superpowers and be able to magically squeeze in 2- 3 hours a day for “me” time and go malling. But “me” time logistics away from home could be such a hassle. It involves lugging my cooler bag, ice packs, baby bottles, and pump and ensuring that the breastfeeding stations are accessible.
For someone who values time more than anything else , not having the luxury of it is frustrating. But I seem to have adjusted to such a routine. It just takes careful timing of the tasks. Sometimes, though, I get so obsessive about the timing that whenever I deviate from it, say I slept through a pumping schedule, I’d feel frustrated with myself, like I did some bad thing or something.
The lack of understanding and support from the people I hoped to count on is what makes it heartbreaking. I whine a little, I get mad a little, and already, I’m the Drama Queen. I ask for a little privacy during my pumping sessions and I’m being the demanding Diva. I look forward to that time in the middle of the night when everyone is asleep and I can be alone in my little corner, without Husband hogging my space and the Little Creature #1 staring at me, pointing and saying, “mommy, pump!”
People think that I have it so easy because I am on maternity leave and hence on “vacation”. I know I should cut them some slack. If I had never been in this situation, I wouldn’t get it either. It just gets frustrating sometimes.
The Little Creature #2 is the purpose for my leave of course, but I had been obsessively pumping and storing milk and focusing my attention on his demanding older brother that I realize that I actually had barely time for him! Husband and the nanny take care of him most of the time.
My maternity leave ends today, by the way. Tomorrow, I get back to work. It would be nice to see friends again. But now I have to adjust my work schedule to fit the pumping sessions once more. Just when I had gotten used to my routine. Aaargh.