A Day in the Life of a Working Mom: The Stomach Bug Edition

Mar 5, 2012 by

Well. I suppose we’ve all been here by now, right? Expecting the work day to go “as planned” and the kids? Well, they’ve got something else in mind…

2:51am: I hear Audrey, our nine-month-old, over the monitor. This is a regular occurrence. I check the video monitor to gauge the likelihood of her putting herself back to sleep. Survey says: not a chance. Sometimes all she needs is her binky, but most of the time, she takes a bottle. I know. We’re working on it. Tonight, she takes four ounces of formula and zonks back out.

3:30am: I tiptoe into my two-year-old’s room to cover her back up and then back to bed for me, too.

6:30am: I hear the familiar song coming from Olivia’s room: “Maaaaaaahmeeeeee, Maaaaaaahhhhmeeeee!” About five minutes later, Audrey starts giggling in her room and the day officially begins!

 After diaper changes, Peppa Pig keeps the girls occupied while I get waffles, milk and a bottle ready for breakfast.

7:00am: After Audrey has her bottle, the girls are all buckled into their seats for the rest of breakfast. Olivia has her waffles (WITH SYRUP – as specified by the dictator herself!) and Audrey munches on some Cheerios while I assemble daycare lunches.

I should have known when this happened, that the day was not going to go as well as I had planned…

…and it doesn’t.

7:30am: I’m getting the girls dressed and as I lay Audrey down in her fresh, clean shirt, I notice. The diaper. Too late. It’s on her pajama pants, on her clean shirt, in her hair… ON MY RUG. I gag my way through clean up, wash her up and plop her in the crib while I get Olivia dressed, teeth brushed and ready for daycare. Audrey will be staying home with me.

8:30am: Audrey and I drop Olivia off in her class in our jammies. Stylin.

9:15am: I get Audrey settled for a nap, grab my laptop and the nectar of the gods and get down to work. Today I’m writing  descriptions for a video channel on a new product line for work. It’s honestly awesome to write about products that I believe in, that my own girls will love. And it’s easy because I’m writing for my own demographic: moms of little girls. Bonus!

11:00am: I’m glad I’ve gotten a lot written in the last two hours because Audrey is very clingy once she wakes from her nap. She’s not eating very much and wants to be held whenever we’re not changing an outfit due to a blowout. There are several. I didn’t take any pictures. You’re welcome.

I send a quick note to cancel a lunch with a colleague… thirty minutes before we’re supposed to meet. Whoops.

I check every change to make sure she’s having wet diapers, too. The stomach bug always has me worried about dehydration. She’s taking less formula than usual, but still enough that I feel like we’ll be good. No fever, just crabby.

2:30pm: Audrey falls back to sleep and I throw a load of laundry in, have another cup of coffee and some scrambled eggs (oh yeah, I haven’t eaten yet today!) and get a little more writing done before we pick Olivia up from school.

4:00pm: We arrive at daycare to find Olivia “cooking” in the play kitchen with a friend and not ready to leave, as usual. We do this dance most evenings. After a few minutes, she’s ready to go home with her baby.

4:30pm: We walk in the door, I get everyone’s coats off and settled in the playroom and run upstairs to grab Olivia a snack, since I haven’t even thought about what we’ll eat for dinner yet and as I’m handing her the bowl of pretzels she throws up all over them, me, herself and — you guessed it — the rug.

I go into Disaster Recover Mode: baby scooped up and put into exersaucer (always a bad idea when said baby is having diaper issues, but hey, desperate times, people) to avoid scooting into vomit. Toddler stripped to diaper, clothing used to mop up what I can from the rug then tossed into the washing machine. Begin washing toddler off before putting on fresh jammies and BAM. More puke. The baby is giggling. I’m wondering how much wine we have.

5:30pm: Everyone is cleaned up (I’m thinking the rug is a lost cause at this point) and Olivia is resting with a bowl, watching Bubble Guppies. Audrey starts fussing and I realize that she’s probably hungry. So I bring her upstairs to her high chair for dinner. She drinks a six-ounce bottle and eats some shredded chicken, applesauce and a few Cheerios. As I’m taking her bib off… she throws all of it up.

5:35pm: I call my husband to pick up Pedialyte, Saltines and wine on his way home.

6:15pm: Daddy is home with reinforcements and it’s a good thing because Olivia is whining that she is starving. Her belly “is so happy” and needs a peanut butter and jelly sandwich. Yeah. Not happening. We give her some water and a few Saltines. They come right back up.

7:30pm: All of us are washed up and I give Audrey a couple of ounces of Pedialyte while rocking her before bed. She passes out and I put her in her crib and place towels, clean sheets and jammies on her changing table JUST IN CASE.

8:00pm: Olivia drinks some water and keeps it down (this kid will not drink Pedialyte no matter how I try to hide it) while we read Olivia Helps with Christmas. For the millionth time. I put her to bed and set towels, fresh sheets and jammies on her ottoman. Again…

8:30pm: I head downstairs to clean up and regroup. Glass of wine in hand. I fold two loads of laundry, mop the dining room floor, bleach about every toy I can get my hands on and put some lotion on my cracked hands. I’ve used more hand sanitizer today than is likely good for a person.

Luckily, nobody needed the extra sheets or jammies. Audrey wakes at 10:00pm and drinks eight ounces of formula. I spend the rest of the night scared that my decision to let her have it was the wrong one. She sleeps it off and they both wake up a LOT happier.

Monday’s a new week, right?

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Stephanie Wright

Stephanie lives in Hartford County with her husband, Tom and their two little girls, Olivia and Audrey. No stranger to the web, she’s been in website production for over fourteen years and recently transitioned to a full time writing and editing position – which makes her journalism-loving self so happy. She hopes to share some stories and (gain?) some tips about the never-ending balancing act of motherhood, work, friendship and marriage.

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8 Comments

  1. OMG, what a GREAT post! lol! Oh yes, how we’ve been there! Bringing humor into it is the best thing ~ that and wine of course. ;) Love this post, love your tone, AND love your user name! Welcome, Sister!

  2. Dena

    Welcome aboard Stephanie! Great first post! Vomiting babies is awful and definitely calls for wine! Hope none of the adults have gotten it!

  3. thewrightsteph

    So far, we have somehow avoided it! Fingers crossed it stays that way. I have a lot of work to make up for! :)

  4. Melissa

    This is my first visit here and I will be back. What a relatable post! Ii need a day to yourself!

  5. Barbara

    Great article! Love that you handle the chaos of parenting with a sense of humor. So nice to see something written about what being a parent is really like.

  6. Alyssa

    Multiply that times 2 (for my 4 girls), and we have gone through several rounds. We actually ran out of sheets and blankets one night it was so bad.

  7. this is hilarious!! Sorry to be laughing at your day, but I love this post – thank you for sharing!! I’m glad to hear everyone is feeling better.

  8. Jennifer Jordan

    Thank you for the post! I am in the middle of stomach bug madness… Round 2. And it helps knowing I’m not alone!!!

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