Monday, April 30, 2012

The life of a working mom

After a wonderful 10 weeks of maternity leave (plus about a month of being on bedrest), last Monday I went back to work. It was bittersweet. I was sad to leave Grant but happy to have some adult interaction again. There are only so many things you can tell a baby especially when they don't talk back to you. Surprisingly when I dropped Grant off to Matt's aunt (who so graciously offered to take care of Grant) I wasn't too choked up and upset. I was able to hold back the tears. And now I'm on to week number two of work, and I'm hopeful that I can make this working mom thing work.

Some people didn't believe I would be able to handle being a working mom. A person who I will not name, (they will probably yell at me after I post this, saying they can't believe I even mentioned this, but oh well) told me that as soon as I had the baby, that I wouldn't be able to want to go back to work. That I would end up quitting my job, and being a stay at home mom. Well I proved this person wrong. I think the people at my work also thought that I wouldn't come back. Though while I love being a mommy, and spending time with Grant makes my heart melt, working is part of my identity. I love to have a purpose, to feel valued, and use my talents. Not that I couldn't do this being a stay at home mom, but for me with my type A personality, I think I would go crazy being a stay at home mom. I'm not knocking at women who make the decision to be a stay at home mom. Being on maternity leave, gave me a sneak peak of what life is like as a stay at home mom. And it is no walk at the park. It's rough. But for me very mundane and repetitive, it doesn't fit with my high strung always have to be doing something personality.  This is why I need be a working mom.

It is sad that we still live in a society where women are scrutinized for being a stay at home mom. They are viewed as being lazy or having the easy life. But being a stay at home mom, is not easy at all, it's a non-stop full time job. On the other side of the coin, mothers who work are also scrutinized. A working mom is seen as someone who doesn't care about their child, and puts work before her child. Neither judgements are true. Both are very hard in different ways.

As a new working mom, I've realized how much things have changed since having a child. Pre-child, my work routine and life was easy. Adding a child to the mix just adds a whole new dynamic. For example, before I had Grant, I would roll out of bed at 7:30, be out the door around 8:10, and get to work around 8:30. Now that I have Grant, I wake up around 7:00 depending when Grant decided to wake up for a feeding. Sometimes he wakes up around 6:30. It takes longer to get ready, because not only do I have to get myself ready, but I have to feed Grant, and get him ready. And keep a baby entertained, while I get ready. Usually I get out the door by 8:10, but then it takes 15 minutes to get to his sitter. (Matt's aunt) Then usually I chit chat for about 10 minutes, and don't get to work until 9:00-9:10.

Not only does it take longer to get to ready to work. I bring so much more with me! Before having a baby, I would bring my purse and lunch with me. Now with Grant, this is all the crap I have to lug around with me. Which is why I forget stuff! I think this day I took this picture I forgot to bring some extra bags of breastmilk. Luckily Aunt Amy had enough.

Now add a diaper bag and my breast pump with me, and of course the baby

Working isn't the same either. Now I have to take 20 minutes two-three times out of my day to pump. So I have to take my breast pump bag and my laptop, go to the first aid room (designated place to pump) and pump away. I feel like doing this takes away from my productivity. But I have to feed my child. So that is important. Though it is annoying to have to interupt my work to do it. And then I worry that maybe my co-workers think I'm being a slacker. But I have a legiate reason to disappear for awhile. I promise!

Coming home is quite different as well. I'm sad that I don't get to be the one that picks up Grant. Since Matt gets home before I do, he gets to pick him up. Matt told me the first day he picked up Grant, he smiled as soon as Matt walked in the door. I'm sad that I get to miss those moments. So it's wonderful when I get to go home. But going home is a new routine. Pre-baby, I would come home, chill out on my laptop wasting time on Facebook, and then make dinner. Then pretty much waste the rest of my night doing nothing, and spending more time on Facebook. Now that Grant is in our lives, it's pretty much nurse him as soon as I get home. Then I make dinner. I'm so glad I decided to make dinners to freeze again. It makes it so easy to come home and not have to worry about what I'll make for dinner. All I have to do is get a frozen meal to unthaw! So then after dinner, I send the night playing with Grant, then giving him a bath, then getting him ready to go to bed. And then before I know it, it's time for me to go to bed. It sadly took me last week three nights, to get the wash folded up. It's hard finding time to find time to keep the house clean and do chores.

It's amazing how being a working mom is completely different. No more going out with my co-workers for drinks and trivia. Now it's time to be a mommy! And spend less time on Facebook. While being a working mom is tough, I'm learning to prioritize my time, and make the best of it. I value my weekends ten times more now. It's my time to spend with my little buddy Grant. I feel proud of myself. I know being a working mom is possible. It's hard but possible. After a hard day's work, it is worth coming home seeing Grant's smiles and listening to his coos. :)

Grant is ready to go to Aunt Amys

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Sleeping Woes

When Grant was first born, the first couple weeks were a breeze. He pretty much slept during the day, and went to bed at a decent time. I even convinced myself that babies are actually pretty easy to take care of. And then he hit three weeks. The nurses warned me about babies when they hit 3 weeks. I don't know what changes at three weeks. But now looking back, that is when Grant's fussiness kicked into full gear, and his ability not to want to sleep.

Matt and I both generally night owls, and going to bed midnight every night. Which would explain why we have a nigh owl child. Both of use generally thrive at night, and we both hate waking up in the mornings. I should have know Grant was also going to be a night owl considering when I was pregnant with him, I felt the most movement between 11:00 pm to 1:00 am. So it seems like pretty much since Grant has hit 3 weeks, he thinks his bedtime is at one am. Every night. The earliest I've gotten him to bed was at 10:30, but that has only happened about a couple of times. If I get lucky, I can get him in bed at midnight. But on average, it's 1:00 am. Which is not good for me considering I go back to work in a week! I can't be going to bed at 1:00 am when Grant is still waking up every 2-3 hours for feedings at night. Who needs sleep? I don't!

So this is what a typical night looks like with Grant: He goes to bed usually 1 o'clock. Wakes up at 4:00 for a feeding, than wakes up at 6 for a feeding, then at 8:00. I'm envious of people who have babies younger than Grant and they are already sleeping through the night. I feel like Grant will never sleep through the night anytime soon. Even during the day, he is awake most of the day. He takes cap naps that last for 15 minutes throughout the day. He is such a light sleeper. Anytime I put him down literally 10 minutes later he'll be wide awake. Maybe he is afraid he'll miss on all the excitement of life if he stays asleep. Totally sounds like my child. I should have know I was going to have a child like this, after all I like to be awake more than being asleep. There is just too much life to enjoy. But the lack of Grant wanting to sleep is taking a toll on me. Today I feel wonderful because Grant decided to sleep until 10 am (he went asleep at 1:00 am, we had to wake up 3 times for feedings, but I'll take that, considering I've been getting terrible nights of sleep with him. Last week he was doing this thing where I would nurse him and then wouldn't go to sleep for two hours. Apparently 4:00 am means time to wake up for the day. Luckily he has decided not to do that this week. But he is still doing this thing where I put him to bed after I feed him, then ten minutes later he wakes up, and ends up on my bed. Bad, bad..Then finally I get him asleep. Right now is a rarity, because I put him down at 10:30 and he is still asleep, as it is approaching midnight. That's a first. I hope he stays sleeping. But anyways lately I've been getting horrible headaches because of my lack of sleep. And nothing helps these headaches, but taking naps. But the problem is when Grant doesn't want to sleep at all during the day, it's hard to take naps.

 I'm hoping and praying when I got back to work this Monday (boo!!) that Grant will start getting a better sleeping schedule for my sake or I'm going to be a crappy zombie going into work. We have purchased a swing online tonight. So hopefully when we get that, it will help Grant sleep. I should have gotten that swing from the start! I love my little buddy so much, I just wish he liked his sleep as much as I do. He loves sleeping on me. But that doesn't work so well if I want a good sleep. Two nights ago, when Matt woke up to get ready for work, he found Grant and I sleeping on the couch. It was the only way I could get him to sleep, on my chest, and I also fell asleep.

I know this is a phase, and this too shall pass. Grant is pretty cute and adorable when he sleeps :)

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

TV show love

While being on bedrest when I was pregnant, and being on maternity leave, I've had an opportunity to watch massive amounts of various tv shows on netflix. Especially when spending a lot of time breastfeeding, I might as well use the time productively by watching some shows. So here are the shows I've watched while pregnant and on maternity leave. (Which has been tons of shows!)
1) Parks and Recreation: I actually watched the first episode when it debut a few years ago, but thought it was stupid, and didn't watch the other episodes. So I decided to give it another chance, when Matt took an interest in the show and started watching it. So I watched all the seasons and caught up with the current season. I love this show. I think it is so funny. I love Leslie Knope. I must say, I myself reminds me of Leslie. And Ron makes me laugh. He is my favorite character. If you want some good laugh watch Park's and Rec. And give the show. It takes awhile to warm up to it but it is pretty funny.
2) Big Bang Theory: I've heard a lot about this show. My brother and some of my other friends watch this show and rave about it. I never had an opportunity to watch this show, and I am glad I finally did. It is so funny! Being a Trekie, thanks to my dad, I love the Star Trek references. And I love Sheldon. That character is what makes the show. I must say Big Bang Theory is my new favorite show since Friends. Every episode is a great laugh.
3) Army Wives: I decided to watch this show on a whim, since I was bored and found it on Netflix. I ended up watching all five seasons within 3 weeks. The show is wonderful and has great storyline. Mainly because this it very realistic and people are going through the same things right now, as we are at war. My favorite character is Pamela. The characters go through so much in 5 seasons. If you want a good drama, watch this show! I couldn't stop watching.
4) 30 Rock: I decided to start watching this show during my Christmas break, since it was on Netflix. I've hear multiple 30 references at work. So I thought would join in on the fun. This show is quirky, and fun. I love Liz Lemon. She deals with one crisis after another. The show is very random, but I love the array of characters.
5) United States of Tara: I decided to watch this show on Netflix, while on bedrest. I became attached to this show very quickly. And I'm sad that this show got canceled. I loved the plot, and Tara's multiple personalities. Toni Coliette does an amazing with her acting. I loved the situations she would find herself in as a result of her multiple personalities. I'm just sad the show got canceled. I would have loved more of this show.
6) Greek This show is kind of dumb, and the acting is terrible, but yet I couldn't stop watching it. I guess I liked watching it because I didn't have the crazy college experience. I enjoyed watching the show. It ended up getting canceled, no surprise there considering it was time, the show was starting to get dull. But it was addicting.
7)Wonder Years: I think I watched episodes of this show here and there when I was a kid, but I vaguely remember the show, so I thought I would watch it since it's on Netflix. I'm currently watching season 3, and I must say I love the show. It reminds me of boy meets world, but taking place in the late 1960's. Now that I'm older watching this show, I get more of the humor. It's a great show.
8) Bridalplasty: Ok this is pretty much trash tv, but I came across it on Netflix and had nothing better to watch. Basically it is a reality competition about 12 brides who compete for plastic surgery. They complete challenges, the winner gets one plastic surgery done whether that be a nose job, or a boob job or whatever. Then the bottom two people of the challenge can get votes off. The winner of the entire game gets all the surgeries done that they want and their dream wedding paid for. What makes this show interesting is how cutthroat and catty these women are. You'll hate Janelle. She is just a backstabber. And I pity half these women considering most of them on the show are beautiful and don't even need anything done to them but yet they think they do. Also what is sad is the person that ends up winning deserves to win. But you could tell her husband didn't seem to like all her fake transformation. So is it really worth it just to look good on your wedding day?

9) Switched at Birth: When I first hear about this show I thought the storyline was dumb and there wouldn't be much of a show with it. But when I started watching it, I was surprised. There's enough drama to keep the storyline pretty exciting. Though you wonder how common it really is to be switched at birth.
10) Party Down: This show unfortunately didn't last very long. It only lasted two seasons, which is unfortunate because it's really funny. It's about a catering service. The people that work there hate there job. The unprofessionalism is humorous at times. It's a great show.

So those 10 shows I've watched recently. Yes I've watched way too much tv

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

The Baby effect

One thing I'm learning that when you have baby, how taking them out in public become a circus act. The way that random strangers react to babies is ridiculous. Ok maybe it isn't that ridiculous but no matter where I go in public whether that be the grocery store, bank, library, department store, etc. At least one person approaches me.

This past week, I had an overload of strangers approach me. I would have thought Grant was a celebrity. We went to Sam's, and no joke I think at least 15 plus people oggled and awed over him. I got the "Awww.. he is so tiny! How old is he?". I was starting to get annoyed, though my mom felt like a proud Grandma. I guess I'm just not use to strangers approaching me this way. It's strange how people react to babies. I know myself when I see a cute baby I might smile when walking by, but I won't come up to the parent and ask them their entire history about their child. So it's taking me awhile to get use to this attention my baby is attracting.

Though everyone likes babies. They are cute. It's interesting to see how people in general (including myself) react to babies. No one gets excited if an 8 year old enters a room, but if a baby enters the room, there is an explosion of interest. Everyone wants to hold and coddle a baby.

Here are some baby stranger stories I've encountered so far:

About a month ago I was a target in the bathroom changing Grant's diaper. Two older women enter the bathroom. One asked me what my baby's name was. And I told her his name is Grant. She says, "Ah that is a great name, he's going to be a movie star with that name." Note I didn't even tell her Grant's middle or last name, just his first. So apparently having the name Grant, is going to make my child a movie star. The other woman in the restroom, was also cooing and awing over Grant. She went in the bathroom stall, and kept opening the door to ask numerous questions. I'm glad she wasn't on the toliet, and then opening the door. But I was wondering when she actually was going to go to the bathroom, because she wouldn't stop asking questions, and opening the bathroom stall door. Weird.

A few weeks ago at Krogers, a lady that worked there stopped in her path, to awe over Grant. Asking the typical questions. And then proceeds to show me an ultrasound picture and say how she is going to be a great grandma in the summer. I'm not sure why she had an ultrasound of her grandaugther's, but she was proud that she was going to be a great grandmother.

A couple of houses down in our neighborhood, there is a strange older man that live there. Any time we walk around the neighborhood and pass his house, we hope and pray that he isn't outside because he loves to talk our ears to death. Since the weather has been nice I've been taking walks in the neighborhood with Grant in his stroller. If I see him out in his yard, I avoid him like the plague, and walk the other direction. Well finally I couldn't avoid him no longer. He finally caught me walking by. The old man approaches me, as he has no shirt on. His stomach looks all weird and concave. He has his underwear hanging out over his pants, and their are big holes in his underwear. And he has a pair of cut off jeans. He usually is like that all the time in his yard. It's gross. I try hard not to stare at his nasty chest anytime he talks to me. But anyways he says, "Oh I didn't know you were pregnant. Look at that little guy. What is his name?" I tell him what his name is. He then proceeds to ask me, "What name are is he going by?" I say, "Uh by his first name, Grant." He then says, "The reason I say that is because my name is.... and I don't go by my first name and I find out right before my parents died that they were going to call me this other name." And then we somehow get on the subject of cats, and he was going to give me this article about cats that is in his basement next time I walk by and see him. Creepy. It might not sound like a creepy story, but if you see this guy and actually talk to him, you would understand.

I guess I should just get use to strangers and people I barely know, going crazy over my child. It's just going to take some while to get use to.

This is one stranger, well not stranger that can hold my baby anytime. Isn't Grant so cute