The Bags We Pack

 What's that? Luggage for an entire family to go on vacation for a week? Nope. Just what I lug out the door every morning. No big deal.
What’s that? Luggage for an entire family to go on vacation for a week? Nope. Just what I lug out the door every morning. No big deal.

 

The type A, list making planner in my brain had already concluded that there was no way I could unpack and repack a bag for the baby every single night. I’d need to pack for as much of the week as possible on Sunday or this would never work. So while Sundays started out pretty scary… we’ve become more efficient and less scared, and even have time to do things other than obsess about the week.

At first, I was spending the entire day Sunday packing, second guessing and rechecking the bags… while juggling diaper laundry, baby food making, the ever-present Sunday night teacher guilt, and oh yeah- quality time with my family. (You can imagine how much fun I was to be around on Sundays!) Once I realized the world wouldn’t end if the bags weren’t perfect though, the weekends started to develop a rhythm- and here we are 2 months in- having Sunday brunch without a side dish of panic. What are we doing? First, making baby food for the week on Saturdays (sometimes even Friday night) has been a game changer. I enjoy it more and don’t feel stressed about it. I’ve also gotten much faster! Next, my husband is the King of Cloth diapers. We’d use all AIOs and fitteds if it were up to me, but he’s happy to stuff our stash of pockets- so that’s how we fill the diaper bags. And that’s what seems to work best for our babysitters. Last, everything has to be ready by the door before I go to bed or I won’t sleep. In the morning, I just need to add the lunches to our bags, the freezer block to my pump bag and grab my breakfast. The King of Cloth gets up with the baby, gets him dressed and packs the car. I try to get in the car by 6:35.

In each diaper bag: 6 diapers, 2 nap diapers, 8-10 wipes, spray bottle, 2 wet bags, Tylenol, a back up outfit (including socks, because I have a fear of one particularly squirmy baby’s feet landing in poop during a diaper change), sleep sack, lunch bag.

Back to Work Nightmares

For me, the scariest part of heading back to work was the fear of being unprepared. After our baby was born, my husband and I made it out of the house (with the baby) by 9AM exactly TWICE in about 6 months. Both times took every ounce of prior planning and organization we could muster, and both times we were late, forgot things and felt less than successful. With these experiences flooding my brain… I knew it would be impossible to drop off my little guy and make it to work by 7AM. The idea of pulling this off and being dressed and ready to work made me think I should just quit my job now. I spent the last month I was home having a new kind of back to school nightmare. Instead of the nightmares I was used to every August- forgetting to prep student name tags or showing up to school 2 hours late… my school nightmares were full of phone calls and texts telling me I’d forgotten to put milk in the baby’s bag or asking where the diaper bag was- only to realize I had brought it all the way to school. It was just a matter of time- and I knew it. How could one person remember so much? One of my worst nightmares was about the breast pump bag I’d be lugging with me. In my dream, I’d left all of the pump parts at home and filled the bag with school supplies. I didn’t realize my mistake until I was just about to pump.  This is now a bag I double check every morning- just to be safe. No pencil sharpeners yet, but you can never be too safe.

 

Update- I did not quit my job. In fact, I actually feel more organized now that when I was home, maybe this has been good for me… (?1?!?)