I can’t believe it’s been three weeks since I started work again! I am starting to finally get in sync with my new schedule and I can’t help but feel really productive these days. I used to question how the working moms at work manage their times with a full time career and still balance being a dedicated mother and wife at their homes. I actually learned from observation and also from talking to my peers and it all comes down to time management and not procrastinating – which comes to no surprise but it requires practice to say the least. I will talk about how I manage my time in a later post, but today I wanted to review my maternity leave just because it is a memory to me now – Until the second kid comes around. I kid, I kid.
As much as I loved being at home with my baby, I am actually really glad to be at work. I love that I can be a very hands-on partner (it gets down to ironing and making lunches and dinners for the next day) and a very hands-on mom. I feel like I am made to do this. But in all honesty too, the phrase “It takes a village” really means everything to me. R & my mother are the two angels that I have helping me go about my days and I cannot thank them enough.
I spent most of my time on my ML getting to know what it means and takes “to mother” my baby or in other words, what “mothering” really means. I’ve made some milestones in the process of mothering that I think surely deserves a post on its own so here goes my highlights in no particular order:
Pumping & Feeding
I am quite obsessed with breast milk you guys. I am part of many mom groups on Facebook now but one of my favorites is a private group called “Working Moms Who Make BF Work”. I love this group so much not only is it because it is a great resource for all things breastfeeding or non-breastfeeding related topics, but because I find that the mamas on this page are super supportive and super non-judgmental. Through this group, I learned a lot of tricks, I read a lot of happy and sad moments – happy because someone managed to pump 2 ounces of milk instead of the usual 1 ounce, or sad because they just pumped their last milk – Either way, I find myself connecting with these women because all in all, we have one goal in mind, and that is to feed our babies. I learned that keeping up with your milk supply is crucial and each time I get a huge yield one day, I will share it with my virtual friends. Thanks to them, I am still going strong with breastfeeding and I am glad to make the statistics for being the 13 percent of working women who exclusively breastfeeds in the United States per year.
I am pretty sure all new and seasoned parents will attest with me on this one. The one thing we all struggle as parents to newborn babies is the logistical nightmare! It used to be a breeze going to the drugstore to grab a box of Q-tips but now, how I wish there is a drive-through for everything. I get that some parents choose to do their shopping online with a baby, but I actually find joy in going out and picking stuff out myself versus having them delivered to my doorstep. Plus, it gives me a reason to step out of the house. I have gone to the grocery store with a stroller, which is great because you can just push baby around, but it doesn’t help when you have a huge grocery list and your stroller basket becomes too small for all of it, or the other time I went to Home Goods and placed the infant car seat in the shopping cart, only to realize that there isn’t enough space for anything at all other than the car seat itself! I’ve resulted to baby wearing; the best and most convenient way to shop hands down! I still love just bringing my car seat around because Alden sits very well in it. I use his car seat a lot actually – especially when I am eating. Being on ML really helped me learn the ways of traveling with my baby – Be it via stroller, car seat or a baby carrier so now I can safely say that it is still a logistical nightmare, but nothing R & I can’t manage.
Taking Care of Yourself with a Baby
As I mentioned above, being a mom requires ninja time management skills. It is very exhausting to be on your toes all the time but it really pays off. So far, I haven’t yet gotten around to coming up with excuses like, “But I am too tired to even shower” kinda thing because this is not true. You make yourself do the things you want to do. Babies sleep and they sleep a lot. So, I find myself just using that time to do things for myself. It is very important because a lot of moms are plain exhausted all the time and basic things like showering becomes a chore for most of them. I feel that in life, there should be balance and becoming a parent is one of them. Unfortunately, balancing is synonymous with management and with management comes work. When I was on ML, i worked really hard to get into that maintenance mode but I was just enjoying my time not having to do anything other than house chores and blogging (hehe) or watching Chopped marathon on TV. I miss those easy, laid back days at home, but all fun comes to an end. I think that all new mamas should enjoy their babies and sleep as much as you get the time to do it, but also take the time to do things for yourself. Be it that morning coffee on your back porch or a couple of pages into a paragraph of a new novel – Do what is right and what is best for you.
In light of this post, I feel extremely grateful to our family and friends for the kind love & support we received along the way. We have enjoyed every hospital and house visit and we are so happy to know that such love exist around us especially during this special time. Being a mom really is life-changing and so worth it, you guys!