FMLA. Aw, sweeter letters have never tickled the ears of a post partum, bleary-eyed mother; each letter dripping with feelings of maternal bliss. 12 weeks went by though, 84 days as required by law to be exact, and my new found motherly world and the professional world that I'd lived in for 6 years collided in what at first presented to be a talespin of hormones, legalese, lactation rooms and undercaffeinated coffee.
There's a verse in II Corinthians that talks about taking every thought we have captive to Christ- not allowing even one to get by without accountability. I dare say that the life of a working mother is challenged with taking every moment captive. Not one can be wasted. Some people ask me "Jordan, why don't you clean your baseboards?" "Jordan, why don't you train for the Boston marathon?" "Jordan, why don't you make pillows out of table mats and batting?" Because, my gosh, there isn't time!
Let me give you, as an example, a day in the life of me. For dramatic emphasis, I'll revisit a day when I was nursing my son to give you a full view of why every moment must be taken captive.
5:45- wake up
6:15- shower, dress, make-up
7:15- wake up my son
7:20- breastfeed my son
7:35- dress son, spend 10 minutes of bonding before the mad dash out the door
7:45- leave for the baby sitter
8:00- drop son off at baby sitter, drop off bag, exchange of food, last minute instructions
8:10- leave for work
8:30- arrive at work
10:30- pump in the super awesome lactation room that my company provides
10:45- back to work
12:00- work through lunch if I'm busy or do something productive like go the grocery store over my lunch hour
1:30- pump again; call or text my baby sitter to see how son is doing
1:45- back to work
3:30- pump yet again
3:45- back to work for the home stretch of my work day
5:30- leave work
6:30- arrive at baby sitter to pick up son
6:50- get home
7:00- feed son
7:15- make dinner if husband home, if not eat a bowl of cereal and salvage the remaining hour and half that I have of the day with my son
8:30- feed son
8:45- pajamas, bed time story and bed time for son
9:00- dishes, wash bottles and prepare diaper bag for the next day
9:45- quality time with the husband
10:30- pump one last time for the day
11:00- lights out
Whew- I'm tired just recalling all of that. But that was my life- and the life of many other working mama's. And much to my benefit and unlike a great deal of mothers, I have a very supportive and helpful husband.
If I had to think of one word to sum it all I would say "spread". I know, I know, that doesn't conjure up great images, especially for the place in life where a working mama probably was just a few short months priot. BUT that is indeed how I felt. Spread so thin that there were days that I felt I wasn't a good mama or a good employee. There were days that felt like one ill placed red light or one extra press of the snooze button could throw my whole life out of whack. And it made me realize just how sweet those beautiful four letters were; oh to be back on FMLA.