Baby Morgan joined us on March 15th at 6:34AM, weighing 7 lbs 11oz. I was 38w3d.
My contractions were occurring consistently every 20-30 min the evening of March 14th. By 3AM, they were about 3-4min apart, which is when we headed to the hospital. I was admitted at 4AM (6 cm dilated) and 2.5 hours later, baby girl was here! It happened very quickly but I was exhausted — mostly due to the lack of sleep. However, the moment I held her, nothing else mattered. The pain and exhaustion was so worth it. She’s absolutely precious.
Did you cry on your first day back? Do you hate being back? Don’t you wish you were at home still?
After 12 months of maternity leave, I’m back at work full-time, and those were some of the questions I got when I started.
My answers: No, no and no. This seemed to catch some people by surprise.
I’m sorry, but the truth is I didn’t cry, I’m happy to be working and I like having responsibilities outside of the home. Does this make me a horrible mom? I sure hope not! I miss the little guy terribly during the day, but every moment I get to spend with him now feels extra special.
Here are a few tips to help you make the most of your time as a working mom:
- Tidy up as soon as baby goes to bed. If you spend just 30 minutes every evening tidying up, you can avoid hours of cleaning on the weekends. Plus, it’s nice to walk into a tidy kitchen every morning.
- Twice a week, make batches of meals that will last 3-4 days. Instead of rushing to get dinner made every night, spend a few hours twice a week (e.g., Sundays and Wednesdays) to meal prep. Imagine coming home and knowing exactly what’s for dinner?! It’s a great feeling.
- Stuff the diapers in peace. The babe is using cloth diapers and fortunately, his daycare supports this. However, this means we have to send a bag of clean diapers with him every day. I wash the diapers every other evening and I stuff them the following morning. For me, the best way to do this is in front of my favourite morning television program. Before I start my work day, I get to spend 15 minutes catching up on news and gossip while stuffing inserts into the diapers.
- Keep the same bedtime routine. Bottle, bath, bedtime story and bed. My husband and I share the bedtime duties and the babe loves it. He knows what to expect and actually looks forward to it. He enjoys the routine and we get to enjoy him being happy.
- Go home and play. Before I had my son, I loved coming home from work and just relaxing in front of the TV. Now, I come home and play with the boy. Playing with a toddler is in no way relaxing but it’s definitely fulfilling; there’ll be relaxation time later. In the meantime, teach the baby something or make him laugh; oddly enough, it’s so much better than putting up your feet.
After almost 8 months of pumping, I’m hanging up my [pump] tubing.
Because of my breastfeeding challenges, I decided to become an exclusive pumper. My baby would nurse for 5 minutes here and there, but I’ve been bottle-feeding him for the most part. While trying to keep sane, I pumped as much as I could (starting off with 8 pump sessions/day and a measley 9ml/session…yes, 9!!) and tried different “remedies” but I was never able to meet his demand.
He is now fully established on solids and growing quite well. However, the EBM to formula ratio was diminishing so after a long internal struggle, I decided to wean myself off the pump. After 1075 pumping sessions and almost 400 hours, I pumped my final 40 ml last week. It was bittersweet.
Goodbye, pump! Here’s to the end of our love-hate relationship.
I played with my old volleyball team yesterday–a group of young, employed, single and childless guys and gals. I felt slightly out of place and realized it’s because I’m usually around other mom friends on mat leave or family members, all of who love to talk about the baby and baby topics.
So, there I was, being asked how things are going by one of the young’uns. I wanted to have an interesting answer, so I quickly recapped my day in my head, then yesterday (which turns out to be pretty much the same), and realized I couldn’t offer anything that wasn’t baby-related! Instead of telling him about this cool baby app I found or Jarvis’s crawling adventures, I quickly turned the question around on him. Phew.
Here’s my plan to make sure I don’t come across as being that mom who only talks about her baby:
- Stay up-to-date with news and entertainment gossip (Note to self: review who I follow on Twitter)
- Only have lengthy conversations about babies with other moms or with (some) family members
- Do at least one thing every day that isn’t baby-related
- Use this blog as a mommy outlet
- Ask others questions
I managed to get through pregnancy the same way–only talking about my pregnancy if asked and keeping my answers fairly short.
I love being a mom and all things Jarvis, but I am also my own person; I’m trying not to forget that.
Contrary to what some may believe, maternity leave is not a vacation. I can’t sleep in or do absolutely nothing all day. My income has been significantly reduced. I can’t travel the world or shop and eat to my heart’s content. Nor can I get to my many planned projects.
Maternity leave is not exactly relaxing. I’m tired most of the time; but, I am loving every minute of it.
It didn’t start off that way. I was stressed out and overwhelmed for many reasons: sleep deprivation, breastfeeding, general new-mother worries, etc. I felt pressure to keep up with housework and stay healthy.
After learning to adjust, I can now say that I’m loving this time. I’ve got the hang of things and even manage to get some “me time” once in awhile. And my baby is developing his own little personality so it’s fun and fascinating (even during the cranky teething hours).
In addition to doing the routine household chores, pumping and feeding, my days are usually filled with meetups with other moms and babies in the area. We, moms, have developed friendships and it’s exciting to think our babies will eventually become classmates, friends and peers.
I’m enjoying getting to know my neighbourhood and meeting other parents, but most of all, I’m enjoying watching my baby grow and discover the world.