Happy Thursday! We are officially 27 weeks pregnant and in the LAST week of the second trimester. I can hardly believe it, the time is certainly zipping by this time around. Mainly because we have the most adorable and at the same time craziest little guy to care for. 🙂 I also feel really amazing still, which probably helps it go fast too! More to come because I’ll be sharing a third trimester update and a collaboration I did with one of my best friends/fellow bloggers Lisa.
One of the things I absolutely love about blogging is that I have a journal of my thoughts, feelings, and life happenings. Facebook always reminds me when it is the anniversary of something via memories, which I love. Dear Momma Returning from Maternity Leave showed up yesterday. I love that post because a few of my dear friends and mamas that I looked up to during my time of transition agreed to come on the blog and write an encouraging letter to themselves. I read through it again this morning and surprise, surprise: I was in tears.
But, today I wanted to do another encouraging blog for working mamas. Because, I’m going strong ya’ll and I think that’s a good perspective to share 🙂
Work: ONE Year In
Whenever I see a mama posting on social media that she is headed back to work, I want to give her an enormous in person hug. I want to just sit down with her and let her sort through and talk about her feelings. Bring her a warm cup of coffee and tell her that her baby will eventually be sleeping better and this whole working mama thing will get easier. 🙂
BUT, because I cannot do that with everyone…today I wanted to write a post to encourage you! It does get much easier! As always, this is MY perspective. I see people posting all the time, “It never gets easier!” Which may be their opinion and I have complete respect for that, but I’m not sure they should share it under the thread of a mama that is just going back 😉
My transition back to work:
I cried a lot. The tears weren’t because I didn’t want to go back. I really loved my inpatient nursing job and love my new clinic nursing job. The tears were because I had grown SO attached to Maxwell in our 12 weeks together. They were because I had never been away from him for more than 3 hours, let alone fathoming 9.5 hours. They were because we had many struggles and had finally found our rhythm together, only for me to leave the more stable version of him at daycare. There was also the worry: no matter how much we had practiced with the bottle, he never really gave us a reassuring “I got this bottle thing down” stretch. I had also heard a lot of negative things about pumping at work. Everything from people’s milk supply rapidly dropping to coworkers being discouraging.
When I went back to work, I would power walk out of my shifts. I would begin to feel anxious if I had to stay late (as nurses undoubtedly have to do from time to time). Essentially, I couldn’t get back to him fast enough. I thought about him constantly. There were days that seemed impossible and work stretches that seemed unmanageable.
Every BIG life transition is hard. I have no doubt that I’ll be in the same puddle of tears when baby #2 comes and it is time to return from maternity leave, even though I have the personal experience to KNOW it is going to get better. My first time back from maternity leave a year ago, I had to learn how to be a pumping, working mama. I was still making lots of milk at the time and pumping was far more demanding. Pumping also had me thinking about my sweet baby that was at daycare. If you are new, I have done a few pumping blogs to help other mamas: Milk Supply, Pump, Pump, Pump, and Pumping at Work: Advocating for Yourself and Knowing Your Rights.
As time went on:
Max and I both got better and better. I don’t want to leave Drew out of this post either because he has been an enormous encourager and takes 95% of daycare drop off duty. And let me tell you, daycare drop off duty used to be really tough on all of us. This transition is hard for daddies too, I just don’t think people talk about it as much. So thank you babe for always being so steadfast and dependable 🙂
Along the way there were stumbles. Max would purple cry when we dropped him off for months. The daycare ladies always reassured us that he calmed down fast, but it was hard to see him so upset that we were leaving. There were times when I would get in the car and cry too.
He turned a corner about 1 month ago. Every kiddo is different (I hope yours does much better sooner and maybe Max would’ve too if he went more than 3 days per week) and he might revert to getting upset again…but right now is GOLDEN. When we drop him off, he just starts playing. He knows and loves his little friends and the daycare ladies. He feels comfortable and happy there. He waves bye bye to us and if we’re lucky he will blow us a kiss. There aren’t any tears.
When we pick him up sometimes he won’t even want to stop playing. So there we sit, playing with his little friends for a few minutes to help him transition.
And me? Of course I still miss and think about Max during my workday, but it isn’t unmanageable by any stretch of the imagination. I don’t have to run out the door or feel anxious when I have to stay late. I’m able to be even more present at work. I’m able to really enjoy the time with my patients and coworkers.
For all three of us, mama working three days a week feels good. It gives us a great balance. We have this DOWN.
Ya’ll, there are always going to be people saying, “He goes to DAYCARE?!” like it is this terrible place to send your precious little baby. I’m over here telling you that before you know it, they start to love it. You can actually SEE them forming connections with other little people and the daycare ladies. It is a GOOD thing that they can be happy without you by their side. Yes, they might experience a few more colds than the average child…but, they are stronger for it…right?! 😉
You got this mamas and daddies!
And in three short months, we’ll be transitioning to life with two and be going through all of this again. So stay tuned and as always, thank you for reading.