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A Day in the Life of Dr. Shannon Baker

Dr. Shannon Baker lives in Fort Worth and is the mother of 4-year-old Sam and 9-month-old Ben. She’s married to Brad, an F-16 pilot with the Air Force Reserve, and works part-time as a family physician with the Medical Clinic of North Texas.

5:30AM Brad’s alarm goes off and he gets in the shower. Sam wakes up and crawls into bed with me, claiming he’s scared of the dark. I don’t protest.

5:45AM Brad kisses us good-bye as he goes out the door to work. He tells Sam, “Let mommy sleep.” Yeah right!

6AM We hear Ben stir and I flip on the video monitor and watch him roll over, find his pacifier and settle back down. Maybe I can get back to sleep ….

6:15AM I lie in bed wide awake with Sam’s knees in my back thinking, “Why can’t I ever sleep in on my days off from work?” I check my phone laying on the nightstand, as I am on call for the clinic this week. No missed calls, lucky me!

6:30AM Sam and I get out of bed. I ask him what he wants for breakfast and he replies, “Waffles.” I make pumpkin waffles (trying to add some healthy antioxidants to our carb-loaded breakfast) and attempt to pass them off to him as “orange waffles.” He is not fooled and says he does not like them, so I pour him a bowl of cereal instead.

7AM Ben finally wakes up. I nurse him and try to enjoy this special time we have together.

8AM Defrost pear puree for Ben.

8:45AM Brush teeth and put on yoga pants and top. Change Ben’s diaper and put him down for his morning nap.

9:10AM My friend pulls up in her minivan. I load Sam in the back with her son and she takes them to Museum School. Whew—sigh of relief—the house is quiet.

9:15AM Put in Core Fusion DVD and do 40 minutes of Pilates and yoga to work off that baby fat that won’t let go of my midline.

9:45AM Press pause to answer my phone. It’s a friend who wants a second opinion about her son’s rash.

10AM Workout done. Hop in the shower while Ben is still asleep.

10:30AM Log on to my work’s electronic medical records from home. Refill some medicines, refer a patient for a colonoscopy and e-mail a patient. Even though I work part-time, there are no true days off.

11AM Ben wakes up. Speed breastfeeding and then out the door to pick up boys from Museum School.

11:30AM I experience my weekly “I need a minivan” moment as I cram two booster seats in the back of my Volvo station wagon next to Ben’s car seat. I take Sam and his friend to his house for a playdate.

12PM I take advantage of having only one kid who I can strap in a stroller and run a couple errands.

1:30PM We pick up Sam.

2:30PM Home again and I put both kids in their rooms for a nap. Sam comes out of his room twice and says that he is not tired. I know he is growing out of naps, but I can’t help trying. “Just give mommy 45 minutes of peace,” I ask.

3PM Do a quick home pedicure and think Brad will be happy I am saving money by not going to the spa for this.

3:45PM Sam is out of his room for good now. He tries to help me paint my nails. I tell him nail polish is only for girls and he storms off mad. I look over and see him with scissors trying to cut his pants. “No!” I scream.

4:05PM Our dog barks at the general contractor who arrives to do some measurements on our back door that needs to be replaced. I cringe knowing that the dog has just wakened Ben.

4:07PM Breastfeed Ben.

5:15PM We play out in the backyard while we wait for Brad to come home.

5:35PM I quickly throw on some make-up and change clothes.

5:40PM “Tag, you’re it,” I think as I pass off the kids to Brad as he walks in the door. Kiss him and the boys good-bye and head out for a girls’ night with my friends.

6:30PM Meet friends at the V lounge at Eddie V’s and celebrate one of their birthdays with good food and fun.

10:30PM Home and exhausted. I just want to curl up with Brad in bed, but I break out my breast pump and have to remind myself that this is important to keep my milk supply going for Ben.

11:07PM In bed at last. Sigh as I think about having to get up and go to work tomorrow.