Back to Work After Baby

Going back to work after having a baby has been one of the hardest things I have ever done. I thought that I would be fine – I work from home so how bad could it really be – right?

Here is what I learned.

  • It’s not easy.
  • Allow extra time and practice your morning routine a few times before you have to actually go into work. You don’t want to be late the first day back to work.
  • You don’t get a break. Work. Home. Sleep. Repeat.
  • You have to make sure to take time to step away an give your mind and body a chance to relax.
  • The anxiety is REAL. I am only a floor away so I can’t imagine all the mommas that have to leave their kid for the day but I can hear him when he cries and it kills me. I know he is learning new things and I’m not there to see it. I worry about him constantly.
  • Keep a planner handy. There are so many things that go through your mind and you have to stay focused. This has helped me write down all the things I need to do or handle or think about when I’m done focusing on work.
  • Make sure you have someone to talk to about it. Other mommas get it. Don’t try to act tough – you are human and you have feelings.
  • Coffee is your new best friend.
  • You don’t get to devote your whole life to work anymore. I was the type of person who would do anything to get something done – regardless of the personal sacrifice (time, event, etc.) but having a little one that I have to get home to makes it much harder to keep working late into the night. I have to take a break and I have to be okay with that.
  • Don’t be afraid to speak up if you can’t work all day and all night – if you don’t you will end up missing out.
  • Your priorities will change and every minute will count. I know I used to spend time during the day organizing files and cleaning things up just to make them look nicer but now I have to let some of that go and force myself to focus on what really matters and making sure I’m on top of the important stuff – if I have spare time then I can revisit dressing stuff up later.
  • If you choose to breastfeed you are allowed to pump and you should be able to find a comfortable location in your office to do so. There are laws – learn them.
  • They are only little once. Use ALL your vacation time.

I’m sure I will have a lot more to add to this as times goes on.

I would love to hear from you – what tips and pointers do you have for moms going back to work after baby?

 

 

Peaceful Life Reminders

As if life isn’t busy/stressful/crazy enough add in all the reminders that cross your mind everyday, hour, minute and second.

The list that follows are they key items I focus on when I need a “reality check” to keep my life running smoothly and make sure I maintain my sanity.

Mom Life:

  • It’s okay to step away and breath
  • They will only be little once – soak up every second and don’t feel guilty about letting things that will be there later wait
  • Yelling doesn’t get your point across any better than explaining why you are upset

In General:

  • Have self-confidence
  • Love yourself
  • Run slowly, and you will get there faster (not literally of course – but basically a reminder to just make sure I do things right the first time and not rush them)
  • Occasionally, take some time to be an observer in your own life
  • Speak only to improve upon the silence
  • Tell someone you love them everyday (or make someone feel loved if you don’t have anyone)
  • Take control of your money, even if you have more of it you will spend more of it if you can’t control it
  • Spend at least 15 minutes showing your family you love them (cuddle during a movie, play outside…etc)

Getting Tasks Done:

  • Just start
  • Do the worst task first
  • Have a plan
  • Develop a routine, and stick to it
  • Proactively plan ahead (a calendar with all of your to-do items, meetings, chores, needs and wants is really helpful)

Life Management:

  • Think minimal
  • Don’t file or sort anything you won’t use in the next year
  • Make a family yearbook and ditch the rest (mine are not super cute…yet – a three-ring binder and folders is enough)
  • Remember the BUN (to enter into your home it should be beautiful, useful, or nutritious/necessary)
  • Keep a folder with all your important info with you at all times (coupons for the week, phone numbers, envelopes with an address label and stamp)
  • Learn how to master “the art of waiting” – when you are just sitting there waiting for an appointment, think of all the things you can get done if you just had “an envelope and stamp” or some papers to sort – plan ahead for the downtime when you are just “waiting” and use it to your advantage
  • Have a “family/spouse” conference every day (30 minutes where you can discuss important or upcoming things)

Health:

  • 2/3 and 5/7 – meal cooked at home (or at least healthy meals)
  • Take Vitamins
  • Fuel your body with nutritious food
  • Break your own bad habits (find ways that work for you to break them, for me a bet with someone I know will hold me to it if I lose works great)
  • Get outside EVERYDAY

My Favorite Mommy Hacks

As I embark on this journey called motherhood, there are a ton of tips and tricks that I wish I knew as soon as I became a mom.

I can’t wait to share them with you! Enjoy!

  • Onsies are designed so you can you can just pull them off babies shoulders! No need to do acrobatics to get that poo covered diaper off baby!!
  • Invest in a good thermos, like a really good one. Sitting down for a full cup of hot coffee is a thing of the past. A good thermos that keeps your coffee hot for hours is a game changer!!
  • Invest in a water bottle you love and stay hydrated.  This will helps you keep your energy up. It’s even more important if you are breastfeeding.
  • Find healthy snacks and meals you you can prepare and eat with one hand.
  • Diaper blow outs typically happen when you need to go up a size in diapers.
  • You don’t need need a lot of cute outfits early on. Invest in one cute outfit for each age (newborn, 3 month, 6 month…) and then a lot of easy onsies/sleepers.
  • Zippers make life 100 times easier. Skip the snaps!
  • Leave a packed diaper bag in the car and a bag of essentials at places you go often (like grandmas) just incase you forget something or need to drop baby off quickly.
  • Put a pair of small scissors in your diaper bag. Makes cutting up food much easier, not to mention those extra long straws they put in kids cups!!
  • Keep a few empty ziplock bags in your diaper bag. You can use them to store pacifiers, half eaten snacks, dirty diapers if you need to change one in the car and so much more.
  • You won’t be able to entertain them all the time. Find this they enjoy that you don’t have to do for them. A 15 minute educational TV show is the difference between wearing the same clothes for 3 days or having clean laundry.
  • Plan to live your life in 2-3 hour increments based on their sleep schedule.
  • You can schedule all your babies doctors appointments for their first year at the first visit.
  • Don’t pre-open diapers and don’t pre-wash all clothes. Leave the tags/receipts on them. Babies grow fast and you might need to return or exchange some of them.
  • Ask lots of questions at the hospital. Don’t be shy. You only get one chance.
  • If something makes you uncomfortable, raise your voice – you have a choice!
  • As long as you listen to everyone’s advice, you don’t actually have to take it. Listen to your gut!!
  • You will get overwhelmed, tired, scared, mad, frustrated, sad. Take time for yourself. If you need a minute, put baby in a safe place and walk away. Sometimes you just need to reset to stay sane.
  • People will offer to help help with the tasks they want to do. If something makes you uncomfortable you can tell them you need help but with a different task. “I appreciate that you want to help but it makes me uncomfortable having someone else wash my dirty undies/laundry. Would you mind helping with X, Y or Z”
  • No is a complete sentence.

Babies don’t move fast, slow down with your little one and enjoy watching them grow. It goes by way to fast!!  

Why I MIGHT make a good BOY Mom

I needed to know that I MIGHT be okay. I could do this.

I’m a list person. When I panic I make lists.

So here is my list of why I MIGHT make a good boy mom. I’m sure that looking back in 5 years none of these things will be what really mattered but right now it’s helping me realize I can do this.

  • I know more about WWE than my husband
  • I love UFC
  • Superhero capes are easy to sew. Just a square with a logo and an elastic band.
  • My husband likes me and he’s a boy.
  • My dad likes me and he’s a boy.
  • I have seen all the Marvel and DC
  • I can play FIFA and occasionally beat my husband (and he’s pretty good).
  • I know how to use power tools better than my husband.

So… looking at this list I MIGHT actually be a pretty cool boy mom. Only time will tell!!

Newly Appointed BOY Mom

I want to share this crazy ride I am on with you. Many people have traveled this road in the past. I know I’m not the first.

There were so many things that ran through my head when I found out I was going to be a boy mom and so many things I felt guilty about feeling or thinking.

When I get nervous I Google things (I know…bad idea) but reading other people’s stories helps me deal with stuff.

It was hard for me to find solid advice on becoming a first time boy mom.

Nothing I say is meant in a mean way or sexist way. It’s just things that crossed my mind and I’m sure cross other first time boy mom’s minds.

Now… it’s my obsession to make sure I am the best boy mom out there, and to help all the other boy moms find the resources they need to raise kind, honest, hardworking boys into manly little men.

Here’s how it went down…

This will be our first I said. I looked at my husband and smiled.

The ultrasound technician wiggled the remote control thing over my belly and paused on the “potty shot”.

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That’s a penis. She typed on the computer screen in all caps with two exclamation points “IT’S A BOY!!”.

I knew it. I knew it. I knew it. I knew it.

Everyone told me it was a girl and I had prayed it would be.

I LITERALLY know NOTHING about raising boys. NOTHING. NOTHING AT ALL.

HOW DID I GET HERE???????

We both made our predictions before going to the doctor. I said “boy” but mostly because I wanted to be able to tell my little girl “I thought you were a boy but I was wrong…it’s just because you were so strong”.

I looked at my husband and held back terrified tears and asked if he was excited.

Dummy. Look at him. He’s elated. Why are you asking if he’s excited? He just found out he has a full time buddy – and you are…alone.

Growing up, I always told everyone I wanted “6 boys. I want to coach my own little league team.”

Mostly, because I always wanted to be different and I hated being like everyone else.

Then I met my husband and something changed. I just wanted a baby girl. He would be the perfect little girl dad. It honestly never crossed my mind that we would ever have a little boy. NEVER.

I even told my little sister that if I had a boy I would “toss him back into the ocean” – I was totally joking, don’t call CPS.

All the little kids I had been around were girls. I liked girl things.

I sewed. TuTu’s, Fairytale princess bibs, Tiny Dressed. Basically, anything with glitter.

I didn’t know how to entertain little kids except for girls.

My go to babysitting routine – blanket pile, lots of pillows, excessive amounts of sugar, a few quarters to bribe them with, My Little Pony Movie, nail polish and a craft that involved lots of glitter (you bet their parents always LOVED coming home).

We drove home from the ultrasound and for the rest of the day I could barely talk. I was mad. I was sad. I was shocked.

I knew letting words out of my mouth would lead to tears.

My world was spiraling.

It’s just a baby. A little person. It doesn’t matter the gender. You know you are going to love it either way. And I would. I just didn’t know HOW.

How can I possibly be a good boy mom?

Update: I’m a REALLY FREAKING GOOD BOY MOM!