So, I’ve been back at work full-time for 2.5 days. Thursday, Friday, and now Monday. How has it been going? It’s interesting you should ask. Because I’ve just been trying to figure that out myself.
On the one hand, it’s going pretty well. Pretty well for me, that is. Well, pretty well for me in the professional sense. Emotionally, I’m a wreck. And hubby? Well, poor hubby has his hands full. Oh, and, of course, the baby! She’s been struggling, to say the least.
So, as I sit here, pumping in my designated “lactation space,” I can’t help but reflect on my new life as a working mom. Here’s how I feel it’s going so far.
All you working mamas out there, let me know if this sounds familiar, please! Am I (we–my family) alone in our struggles? AND, as always, any advice you can share is so appreciated.
Let’s start with me…
Being back at work has been hard for me emotionally. I cried this weekend. I miss my baby girl so much! And I feel so overwhelmed trying to juggle everything I want and need to do. Yes, I know, my house can wait. It doesn’t need to be spotless.
And yes, I have been a little more relaxed than I normally am in that regard. BUT! We live in an area that is horrible for… wait for it…
Ugh. I HATE COCKROACHES. Not only do we live in an area that seems to be their favorite location in the continental US, but we live in an apartment complex that is old and, I honestly believe, a magnet for them. Even before when I was a complete neat freak we got them.
And I saw one running across my family room this weekend. Cue freak out!
So, while I’m trying to tell myself to sit back and enjoy any and every moment I can with my baby girl on the weekends, I’m also thinking about those nasty little things crawling all over everything and I just can’t help myself.
So, trying to juggle my life has been hard.
But, while I’m at work, I’m good. Yes, I miss Norah SO much. And I worry about her and her daddy (more on that soon), but I really have enjoyed being out of the house, talking to adults, and using my mental capacity for more than just keeping track of dirty diapers and feeding times.
So, overall, I’ll rate my experience so far as a 6/10.
Now, let’s talk about Hubby…
He’s such a trooper, let me tell you! I could not put up with what he puts up with and still be a chipper, positive person.
Let me explain. If you haven’t read my previous posts about me going back to work, you wouldn’t know that Norah has been quite the little stinker. She refuses to take a bottle.
Well, when she skips three feedings during my eight hour workday, that makes for one fussy little girl. Fortunately, she doesn’t miss all three. I live close enough to work that hubby can pick me up on my lunch break and I’m able to feed her.
But still, two feedings is a lot to miss. This means that probably 6 out of the 9 hours I’m out of the house, Norah is crabby. And hubby has to do whatever he can to soothe her.
Honestly, if I can’t get her to calm down after five minutes my patience begins to fray. I can’t imagine dealing with it for hours and hours. He really is a champ.
I feel bad for him. I know he adores our little girl. And he really is doing such a great job with her. I don’t want him to get discouraged. So, as of right now, getting her to take a bottle is priority numero uno.
So, if I were to rate hubby as a daddy overall, I’d give him a 10/10. His experience since I’ve been back at work, though, is probably more like a 3/10.
How is the baby doing?
She’s struggling. The poor thing… she really is struggling. Hubby and I know it’s not her fault. She just hates the bottle. She’s confused. Who wouldn’t be? You’ve spent your whole life with one thing. You like that one thing. It’s probably your favorite thing ever. And now, it’s been taken away and replaced with a horrible, plastic imitation.
We’ve tried all different bottles, and just when we think we’ve found one she likes, she decides she hates it, too.
This whole not eating thing has had a pretty big impact on all aspects of our little girl’s life. I mean, her life really only consists of two main things: eating and sleeping.
Yes, she has her awake times. And she’s getting so much more alert! She loves to smile and wiggle. She adores being outside, and you should see how much she lights up when we lay down next to her with a book.
But, the basic structure of her life revolves around two things: when she eats and when she sleeps. She had a pretty good schedule going before I came back to work. She would wake up from her naps right on time to eat, get tired at the same time every day, and fall right to sleep when we put her to bed at night.
Now, though, she’s all thrown off. Even over the weekend while I was home and able to feed her at all of her feedings, she wasn’t really wanting to get back to her old routine.
We’re going to keep working with her, of course. I just hope we can figure it out soon. Our next option is for hubby to bring her to my work twice a day (in addition to picking me up for lunch).
So, for her, I’d say the experience has probably been a 3/10.
Oh, there’s one more member of our family…
Joey–our dog. Our poor dog! He’s all thrown off, too. He hates when Norah cries. And, hubby has discovered that there is one thing he can do to get her to stop crying without fail: turn on the vacuum. Great for Norah. Not so great for Joey.
I’m thinking he’s at about a 4/10.
I feel bad…
Because this whole thing has probably been the easiest on me. It’s surprising, since I seriously expected it to be horrible. It’s not a cakewalk, don’t get me wrong. But, it’s not torture.
When I’m at work, I’m at work. I’m not thinking about “why is Norah crying?” “I should put on a load of laundry” “I need to run to the grocery store” and it’s kind of nice.
I don’t know… I feel bad… I miss being with her so much. And, if I could, I’d stay home with her in a heartbeat. But, in the mean time, I’ll survive.
Hopefully the rest of my family will, too!