bittersweet milestone on the horizon

Unless we’re blessed with a surprise baby someday, sometime this week, I’ll nurse my last baby for the last time.

It’s a bittersweet milestone, one heavily laden in emotions.

Memories of the sheer frustration of early nursing sessions where I cried my eyes out because he wouldn’t latch and stay awake, his little body fragile and unfamiliar to me … to a morning like this morning, where I can tell when my milk has let down by how his suckling changes — from frantic suckles to even, nutritive draws while he tucks his legs up to his belly and buries his face deep into the curve of my chest.

We’ve fallen into a nice rhythm … and it pains me to know it’s me whose making the decision to stop.

Continue reading “bittersweet milestone on the horizon”

Tuesday Musings

A friend of mine from college posted this New York Times article on Facebook today (Being a Working Mother Means Always Having to Say You’re Sorry) and as I read it, all I could do was nod.

The fact that I was nodding the whole time both saddened and infuriated me.

It saddened me because of how true it is … and infuriated me because it shouldn’t be this way. We shouldn’t have to feel the need to apologize for making choices that put our children first!  Continue reading “Tuesday Musings”

The Maternity Leave “Vacation”

Allow me to break some news: maternity leave is by no means a vacation.

Of course, anyone who has been on maternity leave knows this … but as a newbie with Maya, I didn’t know.

The notion of (up to) twelve weeks off work sounds really appealing when you’re massively pregnant and sick of life as you know it. It sounds like a vacation: everyone knows babies sleep a ton, so clearly there will be all this “free time,” you think. Time to focus on all the things you can’t get done during the normal work-week or weekends. Continue reading “The Maternity Leave “Vacation””

Time, Time, Time

Today over lunch a couple mommy friends and I were answering questions from a pregnant friend about the whole elusive work/life balance. We told her it’s so cliched but so true … pretty much everything changes when you have kids … even for people who genuinely didn’t expect it to. Which means something has to give if you want to maintain happiness in spite of said changes. Continue reading “Time, Time, Time”

The ‘Busy’ Trap

I read this N.Y. Times article today that really hit home called “The ‘Busy’ Trap.”

While I don’t feel like I’m someone who always immediately responds that I’m ‘so busy,’ when asked how I’m doing, it’s certainly something I hear a lot — even people I just met at the conference I attended talked about this.

Like the article said, it’s like a badge of honor in some circles to be ‘so busy’ — and I sometimes feel guilty for not being as busy as others; as though by not being ‘so busy’ my work isn’t valued. But that isn’t true, either. Continue reading “The ‘Busy’ Trap”

There is No “Right” or “Wrong” — Only What Works for *YOU* (for now, that is …)

Cozy up … this is a long one. 🙂

In spite of her warning, with an open mind, I read my friend Jodie’s recent blog post about being a stay at home mom, in which she writes,

“I have no idea what the @#@! we have done to ourselves in this country, but we’ve gotten to a point where we have kids, simply to say, “Great! Now who can I pay to take care of them so I can go back to work?” As if kids fit perfectly into our life pockets without making any sacrifices to the size and shape of the pocket.”

At first glance I was, as she cautioned some of her readers would be, a little pissed off. I’m a working mom who does, as she says, “pays someone else to take care of” my kid.

But then as I read it again, I felt sad — and then guilty … which made me feel even worse.

You see, for as much as I miss Maya during the day — and believe me, it’s more than I could ever express here — I work out of choice … not necessity. Continue reading “There is No “Right” or “Wrong” — Only What Works for *YOU* (for now, that is …)”

LIVE YOUR DREAMS

Today’s post by Kate about going “unplugged” and not feeling like blogging much lately really hit home, as I, too, have been struggling with an overall feeling of just wanting to live vs. document what I’m living, so to speak.

Her post also reminded me of the message from this image (above). You’ve probably seen it floating around the interwebs, so forgive me for inundating you with it yet again — but I just love it and think it’s worth repeating.

Continue reading “LIVE YOUR DREAMS”

Falling Into Place … Sort of

Do you ever have one of those days where everything seems to fall into place? You wake happy and well-rested, have a decent hair day, like your outfit, the weather is good, you eat well, check multiple things off your professional and personal to-do lists, squeeze in some exercise, get along well with everyone in your life at work and at home … ?

Yea, me neither! 😉

Continue reading “Falling Into Place … Sort of”

Why I’ll Work

First of all, thank you SO much for the tons of support you’ve given me in my last post, in particular. It means so much to me and all your suggestions were great ones.

I know tomorrow (my dry-run half-day) will be just a little test, but it will be a good prep for how a day will actually go next week when she goes to daycare and this coming week when I go back to work.

Reader LG asked me to write a post about what led to my decision to go back to work and I had thought about writing something like this a while ago and this seems like as good timing as any … plus, if I ever have doubts, I can go back to this post for affirmation I’m doing the right thing.

Truthfully, I had always assumed I’d return to work after having a baby. Though my mom was a SAHM til I was in sixth grade, we live in a very different world and staying home just isn’t an option for me at the moment — which tears me up.

Career. I have an amazing  job at a top digital advertising agency. I work mostly independently and have a lot of creative freedom — I basically have molded my position and am very fortunate to love my job. And I’m going to be working Fridays from home, which is great. The other reason I want to continue working from a career-standpoint is that my husband will graduate with his MBA this December and we could be moving in the next year or two, so I would like to work as long as possible–especially if, after we have a second baby someday, I end up  working part-time and/or remotely (ideally in my current role!). So we’ll see … but it just didn’t make sense to stop working now when I honestly love what I do and where I work. What sucks is that it means for 9 hours a day, I’ll be apart from Maya.

Social Stimulation. I’m a social animal. Anyone who knows me in real life knows this to be true. I love people, am a people-person, and I thrive in the company of others. (Probably explains why I’m in public relations and am a blogger!) The friends I’ve made at work are some of the best I’ve ever had, and I love being challenged. At work, I’ve had to get over my fear of public speaking and feel very much a part of the fabric of our culture there … I’d miss not being a part of the excitement that comes with working at such an awesome place … (OK, it’s not rosy all the time but bear with me!). And the adult interaction will no doubt be good for me — though my whole leave I toted Maya all over the place and she got lots of socialization, too 🙂

Finances. In 2010 I got out of all the personal debt I’d racked up before my husband and I got married, so I finally felt a little financial security that was different than the financial security I feel for us as a couple. It took four years to do it — and it wasn’t easy — but I did it. (I’d like to thank my husband’s kick-ass Excel and budgeting skills for that!). So I finally had personal savings, in addition to our shared savings. For someone as admittedly financially irresponsible as myself, it really made a difference in how I saw the contents of my bank account. I enjoyed having that extra wiggle room, and would like to continue to have that wiggle room, independent of what my husband and I share. While we could probably swing it with just one salary, it’d be hard — and so I feel like I should work as long as I can.

All in all, I know working is the right decision for me right now, but I’m not gonna lie — it hurts.

OK … I started this post last night, and am finishing it now (Friday). I dropped Maya off this morning for a four-hour trial. My husband was with me, but he wasn’t nearly as choked up as me — he loves her to pieces, but he’s been away from her at work all the time and keeps telling me she’ll be fine … he doesn’t understand what only a mom can … it’s inexplicable.

It killed me walking out. I mean, the daycare we chose is fabulous and comes highly recommended and they have a webcam I can watch at any time … but still, the house feels painfully empty. I’m hearing phantom cries and everything … I miss her already. It’s like a piece of me is not here … a very weird sensation. I know it’ll get easier … it will.

And fortunately I’ll mostly be on pick-up duty vs drop-off but still!!

OK well, I better get going because I need to shower and pick Maya up soon but wanted to put these thoughts down so thank you, LG, for spurring that!! For all the working moms out there, I know you can all relate to how I’m feeling … thank you for the support!

 

Love Like None Other

<– After a prenatal “Baby Basics” class late this fall, I received this fortune.

At the time, it moved me to tears … and I had never even held her yet!  Yet nothing prepared me for something I experienced today with Maya.

First, she was on the swing and started to cry and all she wanted was to snuggle/nuzzle with me — it was the first time I felt truly needed and not in the sense of meeting her basic needs, but rather wanted. Like, she wanted me and my smell and body warmth — not because she needed to be changed or fed.

With her head buried in my chest and her knees curled up under her, I called my mom straight away … feeling all schmoopy. Continue reading “Love Like None Other”