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

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