Hi friends! Happy Wednesday.
I wanted to do an update on how life as a working momma is going!
I’ve been back at my nursing job since August 22nd. Currently, I’ve been working 28 hours a week + in 2 weeks I’m going down to 24 hours a week 🙂
Working momma life has been going really well. Lots of mommas have reached out about transitioning back to work + I wanted to do this post to encourage them! If you missed the Dear Momma Returning From Maternity Leave post I would start there + then I also did a Pump, Pump, Pump post for those that are breastfeeding + wanting to continue as the head back to work. The only update I have for the pumping post is that I have started throwing everything in the dishwasher to clean/sanitize it! Even more efficient than the bags, although I still use them if we don’t have a full load of dishes.
On Monday one of my coworkers had her first day back at work after her second little man + another one was there visiting (with her peanut!) before she comes back in about a month. I’m in a routine now, but the conversations with them instantly brought me back to the week before my maternity leave ended + the first week back at work.
It was tough. I snuggled Maxwell double time that week + had days that I would cry + cry. My husband would try his best to comfort me, but it was an emotional patch for both of us. As much as I tried to stay positive + upbeat, it is challenging transition. For the first 12 weeks of his life we were attached + I couldn’t fathom being away from him for an entire work day.
But now? It’s our normal. We’re in a routine over here. It is going really well for all 3 of us.
Now that I’m working part-time I can confirm this: there are challenging work days + challenging stay-at-home days. There are days at work that are incredibly fulfilling + days that I want to run out the door. Days at home that make me not want to miss a minute of Maxwell’s life + days that he is a crabby little guy + I’m left wondering how people care for multiple little people.
A couple questions I’ve received:
Would you stay at home full time if you could? I don’t think so. I love Maxwell to the moon + would do anything for him, but I truly believe that it is good for both of us for me to work part-time. For me, interacting with my co-w0rkers + patients is a huge perk of being at work. Challenging myself + getting the opportunity to take a step back to look at the bigger picture beyond our little family (happens often when you work with cancer patients) is also very positive. Of course there is also the perk of having a dual income, great benefits, + contributing to our retirement funds. For Max, being around other babies + caretakers aids his development + doesn’t make him dependent on just his momma.
Who cares for Max? Max goes to daycare. He does SO well there, 99% of the time he receives a really good report. I can attest to this because when I walk in he is smiling + playing, or watching another baby. I told one of my patients that he goes to daycare when she asked + she acted like it was the most appalling fact. For Drew + I, the experienced caretakers, consistency, + the fact that Maxwell could keep going there until he starts kindergarten were huge perks. We feel comfortable with Max at daycare. I work every other weekend at my job, so he also gets a lot of daddy time in. Drew + I both love that they get special bonding time on those weekends + we’re able to deeper relate to each other as parents + also bounce ideas off of each other.
How is pumping going? Has your supply been impacted? Very well. My coworkers are super sweet about making sure I can leave the floor twice during the shift to get it in. I make sure I take the time to do it even during the busiest of shifts because it is Max’s food, a necessity. Our parenting philosophy (apparently) is to let Max lead the way + this is what I envision happening with breastfeeding. So I will keep on a pumpin’ until he gets closer to his self weening (which is months and months away, so pump pump pump). I can still pump a little more during the work day than Max drinks at daycare, so my supply is still doing well. I do get less in the morning (after feeding him, I pump about 5 ounces) + less at night (4-5 ounces). It seems my body is starting to figure out how much he needs + the over supply is slowing.
How do you do it all? Seriously though, I’m not even a mom and I totally struggle making time for myself, my relationships, things I need to get done around the house. In short, I don’t. I have a true partner in parenting + life with Drew. He does a ton including all the lawn care, grocery shopping, + most of the meal preparation to name a few. Our house isn’t spotless by any stretch of the imagination. Now more than ever I have to prioritize my time + my two guys come first. Drew + I spend time together after Max goes to sleep (around 7-7:30pm). We’ll wait until this time to eat dinner, so we can catch up with each other. I do the best I can + I’m not hard on myself for what I can’t get to.
How do you have time to blog? This blog is a product of nap time 🙂 Max still takes some pretty nice naps + during those I’m very productive. Because he sleeps better at night now, I don’t need to take naps myself. A lot of the cleaning, blogging, + even working out will get done during nap time.
Do you still have time to workout? For me, working out is a must. Everything just goes better when I get my workout in because it has such a big impact on my mood + stress level. This does look different at times, cue the driveway leg day workout I just did. But getting 5 workouts in during the week will happen one way or another.
Do you miss him? Of course, he has become the light of our lives. But, I work on a very busy nursing unit + there isn’t too much downtime. I know being busy helps because every once in a while when I do have a slower shift, I start to really miss Max. It isn’t unbearable though. I get SO excited to pick him up + now he always gives me the biggest grin when he sees me. At first, he just looked kind of confused + I was sad because I had heard so much about how great it feels when they give you a big grin when you walk in…it just took him a couple weeks 🙂 We head home + I give him all of my love + attention until his bedtime.
Just like with any phase of life, you have to adjust when something is not working + learn along the way. Ask for help when you need it! I wouldn’t be able to get through this without my sweet husband, my own momma, + other mommas. My pumping routine is SO much faster when I took the advice of my friends + started refrigerating pumping parts + putting them in the dishwasher. I’m talking like a 45 minute timesaver. And in this phase of life, 45 minutes on a work day is a lot of time!
You’ll find a routine mommas! You can do this! Keep the questions + suggestions coming!