After various misconceptions that all I do at work is drink coffee and go to cafes, I thought I’d share a typical day. Each family I work with is different and each of their needs are different, but I shall give you a run down of a basic, basic day.
Now, where to start… Most people have a start work time, but if you are a MN then your days are 24 hours, or maybe 20/21 hours, depending if you work with multiples or not. So, I guess I’ll start at 7:00am, when hopefully my small charge is waking
7:00am baby wakes, time for his food.
9:00am baby asleep.
10:00am baby awake, feed, top and tail, mat time.
12.00 baby asleep, I have lunch.
13:00 baby awake, next feed, wrap up, pop in pram and go for a wander.
16:00 baby awake, feed, has a small sleep.
17:30 baby awake, half a feed, upstairs for bathtime with siblings. Down in bed by 19.00.
Dinner. My dinner.
22:00pm next feed before bed.
01:00am feed, nappy change, back to sleep.
04:00am feed, nappy change, back to sleep.
07:00am and so the day starts again…
Obviously, things aren’t that regimented, but this is going on a three hourly feed. Now, inserted in between feeds and sleeps for the baby, is me assisting mum with the feed, helping wind the baby, talking with mum about any worries she may have, cleaning bottles (if there are any), sorting out baby’s clothes, helping with the siblings.
I teach things that I have learnt over the years, talk about the different developmental stages. I listen to the mum and check she doesn’t have PND; we talk about her healing; we talk about any healing the baby has to do. I help include any brothers and sisters so they don’t feel left out. I’m there as a friendly ear; a shoulder to cry on if hormones rise to the surface. As the baby grows, the needs change. As I said earlier, this is a basic outline of my day.
And then you get the high profile, or more affluent families, where a lot of travel may be involved. This can include packing for the baby, working out what’s needed, be it the need for a steriliser in hotels or working out how much formula to bring, etc. I’m there to make everything run as smoothly as possible and to be prepared before it happens. I actually enjoy the ones where there is lots going on.
And I haven’t even got to the babies that are born too early. The poorly ones that are kept in hospital for a while. The ones where the mother is in hopsital for a length of time. I once worked with a family where the baby developed epilepsy and we spent a week in hospital. Unfortunately, both parents had phobias of needles and the father passed out when the baby was having a scan. So it was me that held the baby as blood was drawn from his tiny foot and was with him when he had an MRI scan. I was there as a shoulder to cry on and to aid the parents in any way.
I have a break of three hours in the day, which the mother and I agree on the best time. I prefer the afternoons. Now, this break is for me to do with what I want. A chance for me to recharge my batteries. And for mum to manage by herself and prove to herself that she can do it (if she’s a first time mum). I generally use my time to do exercise, sleep and then go for a coffee, by myself, with a book, so that I don’t have to talk to anyone. I spend 21 hours a day as a guest in someone else’s house, always smiling, never being grumpy however tired I feel, always being happy to talk and calm any fears or give advice, so I love and treasure that time alone. And coffee is a major part of that. But it’s not all about the latte….