Fellow midatlantic/New England 'ers..... Stay safe & warm!
Sunday, January 25, 2015
Week two of working Mama is over. Two was better than one so I have high hopes for three. Since the weather man in New England is using words like 'major', 'historic', 'threaten' and 'epic proportions' to describe an upcoming storm , I think I'm going to get a few extra snuggle days this week. I'll take 'em!
I have found the key to a sucessful week is organization and efficiency. Since time is limited with my little guy I want every waking second with him I can get. I try to pack everything I need to do into the moments when he's napping. He usually takes a late afternoon/early evening nap which allows me to "do bottles" for the next day and wash pump stuff. I can usually stuff in making my lunch & set the coffee before I hear him jabbering away. Occasionally I can squeeze throwing in or folding a load of laundry as well. There isn't time set aside for house work anymore. It gets done during those in-between times. I've found that by getting up at 5:30 I have time for extra snuggles and a little housework before I leave in the mornings. My busy day doesn't stop when I get to work either. Teaching doesn't allow for many breaks that aren't scheduled. I "go on" at 8:30 and the show ends around 3:30 every day. My schedule during the work day is down to the minute. I can not take an extra 5 minutes to pump or shift my pumping times at all because the kids always need me at those exact times. My pumping has become an Olympic event. While I have blocked out 30 minutes for each session I NEVER make it out of the classroom on time. I'm always 10 mins or so late then I rush up 3 flights of stairs and down two halls to where I pump. I've become good at setting that thing up and breaking it down. Surely qualifying me for the Guiness book of records. I should contact them!
I have found that, reminiscent of my college days, I get much more accomplished being busy like this than I did pre-baby. He's a sampling;
5:30 - alarm goes off and scares the shit out of the baby. I try to turn it off before it sounds so that poor Kyle doesn't cry.
5:39 (after one snooze or a potty break)- nurse
5:55 - pass baby to hubby so they can do their morning cuddles & kyle poops his pants, every morning like clockwork. I get coffee, pee & feed the dog then I get my pump parts left to dry overnight.
6:00 - 6:15 - pump & drink coffee while listening to daddy and kyle laughing - melting my heart everytime.
6:15 - 6:20 - wash pump parts
6:20 - 6:25 - sneak in a few kisses and coos
6:25 - 6:45 - get myself dressed for the day while Steve dresses Kyle for the day.
6:45 - 'nurse' baby again. I don't know how much he really gets because I just pumped an hour before but he craves the closeness and so do I. He usually falls asleep while I nurse him.
7:00 - 7:15 - stare at sleeping baby and prepare my heart to leave him. If he doesn't fall asleep we play or read.
7:15 - put baby in swing if Daddy is taking him to where he goes for the day (full time daycare starting in Feb. right now it's family) or in his car seat if I'm dropping him off. Unless he's awake then he 'helps' me gather our belongings.
7:25 - usually load & turn on or empty dishwasher then change laundry to dryer while putting in another load. (I can do this while holding the baby.)
7:30 - leave for work or said childcare location
8:00 - get to work & eat breakfast
8:15 - 9:00 - teach
9:00 - 9:30 - pump
9:30 - 11:30 - teach
11:30 -12:00 - lunch
12:00 - 12:30 - pump
12:30 - 3:10 - teach
3:10 - 3:30pump
3:30 - 3:45 - stack chairs & set out materials for the next day (I get it all ready for the week on the weekends & Monday morning so all I have to do is grab it most days)
3:45 - race out of school to gather my heart where I left it at the childcare location. Somehow I get my prep work done inbetween things or on the weekends so I don't have to stay after much. I'm sure this will change eventually.
4:30 - play & nurse. Again this is more for closeness.
5:00 - put sleeping baby in swing while I do bottles, lunch, pack bags for next day & sometimes a household chore.
5:30-5:45 - nurse & cuddle fest while Steve makes dinner.
6:30 - 7:00 - dinner & sometimes holding a sleeping baby while watching the evening news & jeopardy. If Kyle is awake we do tummy time or talk while I eat. When he is big enough to sit in a highchair we will all have dinner together. Every night. Few exceptions. Whatever time is left before bath time we usually talk and laugh. Kyle loves to talk and finds Mommy and Daddy hilarious!
7:30 - bath time. FAVORITE part of my day. This is a family event. The mirror family is there as well. His bathtub is on the counter in our bathroom in front of a big mirror and he loves to smile at our reflections.
7:45 - 8:00 - story time. Another favorite.
8:00 - baby bedtime. Steve gives him a bottle and rocks him to sleep. This is their solo bonding time but sometimes Kyle cries for boobies. I only intervene when he gets worked up. This is when I usually get a household chore done. Vacuum or mop or bathroom scrub. I always end with an arm full of things to get out away.
8:45 - 9:00 - right after switching laundry or turning on the dishwasher I crawl into bed and sometimes read but mostly pass out. I squeeze brushing my teeth into this somewhere. Haha.
3:30 - sometimes Kyle wakes up so I nurse. Steve and I take turns getting up with him so every other night I get to sleep right through this. Most nights he sleeps right through.
I am fairly certain that I get as much done as I do because I get such great sleep at night. I feel super blessed to have a great sleeper on my hands. I recently posted in a Facebook mommy group I belong to about how he wakes up in the night but doesn't alert us that he needs anything. Usually he just plays with his hands and falls right back to sleep. We only get him if he cries or yells. He doesn't always cry when he needs something. Sometimes it's a loud "ahhhhh" and he'll do it a few times before it turns to tears. I'm fairly certain I embarrassed myself by being concerned asking if this was a problem and worrying about being a neglectful Mother. He's just so easy going I don't want to miss something he needs. I do enjoy the extra closeness when he does need an extra nursing at 3:30am. Even though I rarely fall back asleep for more than 45 minutes, I love having that extra time with him. He's such a happy guy I always get big smiles, even when he's hungry. Our weekends are much more relaxed. The housework only happens when I can pry him out of my arms. We all have major cuddle sessions on Saturday mornings and Sunday nights. There's usually a trip to Stop and Shop or Target mixed in. Sometimes both. Steve and I take turns staring at the sleeping baby, rarely putting him down for a snoozer. I get school work/prep done during those inbeteeen times and I feel much more focused when I do. I feel good. Happy. This little guy has made me a better person. For which I am absolutely grateful.
His newest discovery. He can grab things and eat them. He just can't seem to figure out how to let go when he's done. Watching him learn is the greatest thing ever.
Saturday, January 17, 2015
Now that it's over, this week wasn't that bad. I cried everyday but the length of time became less and less everyday. Of course everything that could go wrong did and everything that went right was hard fought. But I think we're getting the hang of this working mom thing.
First of all, having my husband stay with him the first day back was key. Any ladies that are staring in the face of going back to work please do your heart a favor and plan this! I could call and get pictures all day long and it eased my mind knowing he was getting as much love as I would give him. Here's a few sample pics I received.....
As you can see they both had a PJ day. I think this day was also key for Steve. It was the first real day that I was away from baby and Steve was on his own. I have seen their bond strengthen so much this week with all the time they've spent together. That, my friends, makes my heart grow bigger.
Secondly, Kyle is only going to daycare one day a week for the month of January. He'll be three months at the end of the month and for some reason, in my crazy irrational mind, I feel better about him going to daycare full time at three months. Plus we are broke as a joke right now with me having been off for the past 11 weeks on maternity leave. Come on Obama pass a paid maternity leave bill, we are the only country..... Ok, don't get me started. I will stop before I rant. Back to the childcare, I had two of the three people I had set up for the week cancel on me!!! Talk about stress! It was my first week back to work people! How dare you get sick!! I kid, I kid, but seriously, come on? It all worked out, we broke the bank and sprung for an extra day of daycare then I called in a few favors from AMAZING family & all was good. Phew... It was stressful. But I was able to get more photos when he was with family that were usually accompanied with captions like....
He's a real handful
Boy doesn't this kid ever sleep!!!!
The first day of daycare was tough on him in the sense that he was too nosey and having too much fun to sleep. So when he came home he slept the entire afternoon & night. I think he's been catching up on sleep all week. In fact he's been passed out on my chest for the last 2 1/2 hours.
I think we BOTH needed it!! Daycare did win my heart over when they sent this home with him on his first day.
Third, pumping is exhausting!! I pump three times a day and have to set my pump up each time. You have to gather all your supplies, plug in the pump, warm up the boob warmers in the microwave, put on the hands free bra and warmers and funnels, and I don't know about other people but pumping is a mental game. I can't just attach and forget about it because it doesn't 'flow'. I have to watch my let down and then focus to keep it flowing. All the while people are eating lunch right outside the door because I pump in the bathroom in the staff lounge. I know legally I have to be provided a room that is not a bathroom but I suggested it and I really don't mind. They supply me with three 30 minute breaks during the day to take care of my responsibilities so I'm ok with it. There's a refrigerator and a microwave in the room too so it's just easier. The hardest pump is at the end of the day because I know I can leave as soon as I'm done. I'm barely pumping enough for him each day and sometimes I worry I won't give him enough as his needs change bum I'm trying to keep going one step at a time and not think too far ahead. That brings me to my next point.
You can't think too far ahead but you need to stay on top of everything. Every moment that I'm home and this kid isn't in my arms, I am doing something. Laundry, sweeping the floor, vacuuming the rug, dishes, bottles, lunches, it's never ending! You have to make sure that sometimes you consciously take time for yourself. Even if that means the laundry sits in the basket an extra day.
And because I'm known for my eloquent well thought out endings, I leave you with the picture of my pickle today. Yes I said pickle.
Monday, January 12, 2015
Today's the day.
Right now is the moment.
I have to put him down and go.
I don't want to go.
I hit the publish button this morning but there was an error so it didn't publish and I didn't realize.
My day is over. I am home snuggling again.
It wasn't horrible. I cried my eyes out the whole way to work and for the first 45 minutes of my day before the kids came but it got easier as the day wore on. It helped that all the kids were excited to see me. I actually think they were just as disappointed that I didn't bring him as I was! Haha. They all asked where he was. Gotta love them!! One little girl asked me why my stomach was so flat. She's my new BFF. :)
ok, I need to spend the rest of my night snuggling. Thank you all for your thoughts. They definitely got me through the day.
Oh - please notice that he's wearing his PJ's in the before & after picture. Daddy had him all day & said it was a PJ day. Daddy was still wearing his too so I bought it. ;)
Friday, January 2, 2015
I just can't do it. As soon as I ended my blog, which I still feel was the right move, I was saddened. I kept thinking of things that I wanted to write about or share. It was the best key for writers block.
You see, I started my infertility blog because shit got hard. It got me through those tough times and there is NO WAY I could have gotten through that journey, with my sanity intact (assuming that I was sane to begin) without all of you guys. Here I am now, staring down one of the toughest times in my life, going back to work (nothing will ever touch the guy wrenching difficultness that is infertility). How can I do this alone? So, ...........
I know, I wasnt even gone long enough for any of you to truly miss me. Usually you have to be gone more than 2 days to make your comeback mean something. But hey, why suffer? :)
I'm not sure exactly what direction this blog will take from here. Watching Kyle grow? Surviving being a working Mom? Dealing with guilt? :). I guess only time will tell. Let's start with Kyle....
Is there anything cuter than a baby in overalls? Even if they are too big. Oh but don't worry, when your age is measured in weeks they will fit you 2 days later because you grow like a weed!