Every morning at about 5:30am, I hear Carter's tiny snuffles and sniffs, signaling that he is awake. Sure enough, I groggily lift my head and peer over the side of his bassinet next to our bed, and there he is, a bright-eyed little bundle, his wispy blonde tufts and chubby cheeks poking out of his swaddle. When he sees me, he begins to wiggle (as much as one can when encased in cotton and velcro), and gives me a look that can only translate to "!!!!!MOMMY!!!!! Let's! Start! Our! DAY!!!!!"
This is possibly the most adorable thing that has ever existed in the history of mankind. It is also torturous, because whenever I see this sweet early-morning face, I am inevitably suffering from a mind-numbing, bone-crushing exhaustion. Although Carter's speed-nursing ensures that his night wakings never keep me up for more than a few minutes at a time, they nonetheless disrupt my slumber just enough to make me a zombie the next morning, to make rising before dawn a painful, deathly experience. So when I hear his little morning noises, I reach down, lift him into my bed, and snuggle up to nurse him, hoping desperately that he will suck himself back to sleep and allow mommy to rest for another precious hour before her alarm clock goes off and she is forced out of her pillow/blanket coma and into her day.
Let me tell you - just as staying at home with Carter gave me a newfound respect for stay-at-home-moms, going back to work has given me a profound respect for working mothers. Every day is a frenetic blur of nonstop activity, from the moment the alarm goes off until I pass out in a state of sheer delirium at night.
It goes something like this: get up, nurse, make breakfast, eat breakfast, dress, apply makeup, dress baby, make my lunch, pack milk, pack bottles, pack pump parts, pack daycare bag, drive to daycare, drop baby off, work, pump, work, visit baby at lunch, nurse nurse nurse, work, pump, work, pick up baby, drive home, unload car/baby, change baby, play with baby, bathe baby, nurse baby, put baby to sleep, make dinner, eat dinner, wash bottles, wash pump parts, wash diapers if needed, spend more than two minutes of quality time with dear husband, and sleep nurse sleep nurse sleep nurse all night long.
And repeat. And repeat. And repeat.
My mother called the other day, and said she hadn't spoken to me in a week. Sadly, I hadn't even realized it. But when is there time for phone calls?
Working mothers of the world, I salute you. Now somebody please tell me it gets easier.