Before we had this kiddo, my husband and I made a deal to do things as a “team.” When people asked what I was going to do when I returned to work, we would both literally say, “We work from home, we’ll just tag-team it.” Hmm. Tag, I’m out.

The reality is, I do 80% of taking care of the baby during the day time hours. This might seem like a lot and a really unfair way to view “tag teaming it” but in reality, this is how it has to be. Why? Well, breastfeeding, for one. An infant eats about 7-9 (going on 9 million) times a day (this is for infants that are 1-2 months old. My baby is only 7 weeks, and it feels like she eats more then this. Not counting when she is going through a growth spurt, cranky or needs soothing. And no, there is not a “feeding schedule”, we breast feed on demand. These are our values — to be responsive to my babies needs and be here for her when it comes to feeding. Feedings take around 10-15 minutes each time too, which can add up. I started reading books while breastfeeding, once we were both feeling good about the mechanics of it, and that feels really good!

Okay, so let’s think about this in terms of time. Let’s say it’s the “breast case senerio” (ha!) and we are feeding 7 times a day at 10 minutes each. That 70 minutes of my day. Now what if things are not going so well/she’s having a growth spurt/or is being a cranky baby? 9 x 15 = 135 minutes!

So just because I’m her source of food, I’m giving up some large chunks of time. I’m happy about this, I love the bonding and the closeness and her sweet faces and hands… all of it. I really love breastfeeding. But I’m just speaking the reality of the day time situation is that I’m away from my work more simply because we’ve made the choice to breastfeed. And if I had a traditional job? I’d probably be pumping and possibly be battling other time sucks- like taking breaks in the bathroom to change my soaking breast pads (or crying because I miss my baby.)

Then there’s the fact that my work is so much more flexible then my husbands. He has actual co-workers he has to answer to during the day, and a boss. I don’t have either of those. I can do work at all hours of the day, take an afternoon off, go to the store in the middle of day without being on “lunch”.  By default, this has caused more than 50% of the shooshing, burping, cuddling, and diaper changing to be on my end.

I think this is just the reality – and it’s something that I can partially accept, but also something that is worth having a conversation with my husband about. I think when we started this kid/work journey, I imagined in my head that the split of baby care during the day would be much closer to 50/50. That just isn’t possible, and it’s not my husbands fault. At night, and on weekends he helps a lot, I’m not bashing him here at all (in fact, the only reason I can get a shower in most days is because of him).  I’m just saying that before you decide to go back to work with your kiddo, and if you work from home and decide to breastfeed, you might be surprised at how much of the baby caring still falls on you. Even if there is another caregiver around to help.

I’m working on adjusting my expectations — and my schedule to find the hours that I can get work done. Early morning seems to be the best, and while evening after the baby is down at around 8pm would work, I’m just so tired by then that I have nothing left to give – to the world or to my work. Besides, I’d rather spend that time pinned under a sweet sleepy newborn on the couch with my husband, laughing and talking after a long day of baby wearing and diaper changing.

So YES, you can do this! You absolutely can work from home, have your own business and have a baby at home with you. It just might not look like what you thought. You might be working more at different times of the day. Or not working certain times of the day. And both of these situations can be frustrating to your creative and entrepreneurial pre-baby self. I know I’ve been frustrated by this shift, more then I thought I would be. But that’s okay, I can adjust and find our new normal, even if that normal is not “equal” or “fair”, it won’t be like this forever. And it’s an inequality I can live with.

If you win the morning, you win the day!