Total Basset Case: Working Mama : 1 Year After Maternity Leave

Feb 2, 2018

Working Mama : 1 Year After Maternity Leave

Today marks 1 year of being back at work after LM was born.  
To say that was a terrible, no good, sad day would be an understatement.  I was on the verge of tears the entire morning trying to get ready and I think I cried almost all the way to work.
My sweet neighbor met me in the driveway with a card and a Starbucks gift card, both were very needed and appreciated.
 (1 year last day of maternity leave)

That being said, getting back into a groove was good.  I missed LM like crazy and really just wanted to be at home with him, but it was nice to talk with other adults and put on real clothes.  It had been quite a while since I had done that consistently.  I left work on September 16th (not knowing I would not return for a while) and did not go back until February 2nd.  (Well I went back 1/2 days for 6 days right before he came home...that barely counted since I was only there for 4 hours and had to pump twice during that time.)

The advice I heard over and over again was to take it one day at a time.  And that is all I could really do and over time, it worked.  To all you mamas that eventually have to go back to work, I promise it works.  It sucks hard core but it does get better.  It makes coming home all that much better. 
My other big advice is to not start back on a Monday if you can help it.  I started back on a Thursday and only having to go in 2 days and not dread the weekend (if I had started on a Monday) made it a lot easier.

Even before we had LM I had the upmost respect for working mothers.  Now that I am one, I have enough more respect for fellow mamas (and papas).  It is hard work.  Plain and simple.  It is 100% worth it, but that doesn't mean it isn't hard.

It has definitely taking some adjusting and schedule wrangling but we make it work.
Our days are pretty much nonstop from the moment we get up until the moment LM goes to bed.
I get up at 5:45 (on days I workout) and about 6:25 on the days I don't.  
I start the coffee and get LM's milk ready.  I then speed get ready and by this time LM is usually awake and jabbering away in his bed.  Thankfully he is pretty good about chatting with himself and playing in his bed until it is time to get dressed.
By 6:45 I get him up, dressed and teeth brushed.  After that Mister takes over for milk time and off to the sitters.
It is our goal to pick LM by 5 (or before) from the sitter and rush home for dinner and play time.  It depends on the day of the week but usually he starts crashing by 6:30-6:45.  After pjs its milk and into bed.  

 As you can see, sadly my time with him in the morning is limited.  I have a bit of a commute so I leave as early as I can so I can in turn, leave as early as possible in the evening to return home.
It is my goal to be in the office between 7:30-7:45...barf I know.
But then I can leave around 4:15 and then we are able to maximize our time in the evening with him.
By 7:15-7:30 we all crash in some form.  LM in his bed and Mister and I on the sofa with dinner (terrible habit I know).  

Mister and I both have been pretty busy with work the past few months and often have to work in the evenings.  I do not mind this too much (I mean, yes I would rather be doing nothing ;) ).  However I do think it is important to set the expectations of those you work with and for if you are in a similar situation.  I've made it clear that I am okay with working in the evenings if necessary but refuse to do so while LM is awake.  Since he is only awake a few hours after we get home, I am not going to spend that time sitting on my computer. I did recently have to jump on a call when I got home and LM insisted on sitting in my lap (and I did not mind one bit) but let's just say thank goodness for the mute button.
Having 2 full time working parents is definitely new territory for us and is constantly changing but the groove we are in right now seems to be working as best as it can be.  Whether you work in or out of the house full or part time or your job is to be an amazing stay at home parent, you get all of my props.  Parenting is like 148 jobs rolled into one that you can't train for.  Throw that on top of normal life and craziness and jobs to can be a doozy!  I am guessing this is an area that we can all give ourselves a little bit of grace.  This is something that I am certainly working on.  

Thankfully Mister and I both work for companies that value family time and a work/life balance.  If LM has a doctors appointment or I need to leave early to get him, my office is great about letting that happen.  That flexibility means the world to us.  It makes a lot of difference to the balance we strive to keep.

I remember counting down the days until I had to go back to work and absolutely dreading it.  We are very fortunate that LM and we love our sitter he goes to.  While I'd love to hang out with him all day, I enjoy my job and he enjoys his friends and our setup is working at the moment.

I have a couple other thoughts on this subject and am thinking about starting a series around working mamas and how we make it work.  Let me know if you have anything you want me to touch on.


Katie @ Team Skelley said...

You are doing great, Sarah! That cute little munchkin is lucky to have you. And Floyd too, of course. Cannot ever forget His Majesty Sir Basset Hound of Floyd. ;)

Lisa @ Naptime Chai said...

Great job, lady!! Balancing motherhood with anything is hard, and I can't imagine how many different directions my brain would be in if I also worked full time! I'm so glad it sounds like you've gotten into such a good routine.

Nicole B. said...

Thanks for sharing this! I would love to hear more - I am starting a full-time grad program in 3 months and dreading the day of leaving my little one :( It is nice to hear from other mommas!

Anne said...

Yes, thank goodness for jobs with flexibility - I honestly don't know how people are able to do parenthood without that! And extra nice that your Mister has a little flexibility too. My job allows me plenty of space there, but Peter's really doesn't at all - so we have enough flexibility to make this thing work, but sometimes the logistics of it all (snow days, sick days, etc.) get a little tiring when they all fall on me! And then a little grace for myself is indeed essential when I have my moments of getting overwhelmed or cranky about it :)

Anyway. There are always lots of logistics, but having these little misters in our lives is totally worth it - and so is getting to have the fulfillment of our careers too, I think.

You are rocking it!

Tanya said...

It sounds like you are doing an amazing job balancing your job and being a mom. Hang in there!