Thursday, September 18, 2014

Back to Life, Back to Reality

Following Ryder's birth, I had the luxury of taking four months maternity leave, which also happened to coincide with one of Seattle's most amazing summers on record. Stewart was also able to take almost ten weeks paternity leave, so needless to say, it was a pretty magical time in our lives.
Adjusting to life with an infant was intense and overwhelming at times, but there was a lot of laughter in between the tears and each day with Ryder got better and better as we all got to know one another.
But always, looming in the distance, was that predetermined date in September when I was scheduled to return to work full time. The clock ticked down slowly but surely, and now here I am -- back to the daily grind.
It's been a difficult adjustment.
If you ask me how I'm doing, the first thing that comes to mind is I'M TIRED. I think I'm even more exhausted than I was during those first few blurry postpartum weeks. I wake at the crack of dawn to get myself and Ryder ready for the day. Then I commute an hour into the city, spend nine hours at the office, and then do the commute in reverse before arriving home in time to spend an hour, two at most, with Ryder before he goes to bed. Then I spend a few hours on dinner, household chores, and time with the hubby before inevitably passing out two pages into a book or ten minutes into a television show. Ryder subsequently proceeds to wake up every three hours throughout the night, which means I'm up for about 30 minutes each time to nurse and rock him back to sleep.
Lather, rinse, repeat.
The first full week of this almost killed me.
But just like everything else, we're figuring it out.
Daddy Day Care is going great, except for the fact that I'm so jealous I can't even see straight because Stew and Ryder get to spend their days playing together. They text me photos, and we do Facetime throughout the day, but it's obviously not the same. I'm a distracted mess at work, and I seem to have lost my ability to multitask at all. I have to leave my desk every 2.5 hours to sit in a dark little room and pump breast milk for the hungry babe waiting at home. Once the queen of overtime, I'm often late to work and march out at 5:00 each day without looking back.

And there's guilt.

I feel guilty that I can't stay at home and raise my child myself. And I feel guilty that I don't want to. I never wanted to be a stay-at-home mom, and there were days this summer that completely validated my decision. In some ways work is my refuge, a place to recharge my brain by interacting with adults and discussing subjects other than poopy diapers and spit up.

But I miss my little boy!

It's rough, but I'll get through it. This phase won't last forever, and someday I'll sleep through the night again. Plus, the time I do have with my angel baby is just that much more precious and appreciated. It makes my heart hurt, how much I love him.

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  1. Oh em gee, he's just adorable! P.S. will you be at the game on Sunday? I've got tickets! :)

  2. I will say this... you make it look easy! I know it is tough and a lot of work, but you should know that I think you are doing a great job! It is good to have you back in the office. We missed you!

  3. oh hunny, i know just how hard it is - you don't ever think you will survive, but it really truly gets better. once Ryder's sleep patterns start becoming more reliable and he isn't waking as often for feedings - you will get more consistent sleep. not sure how i managed going back when harper was 10 weeks old and was in daycare! but seriously, it gets better. i live, eat, breathe for the weekends! i'm with you sister!

  4. He's so cute! You're doing great girl!

  5. You're doing great mama. I have to admit, I was kinda glad that I worked during Ellie's first year. I needed the social interaction with adults (and high school students) as well as a "break". Because let's face it, babies are hard work. But now that Ellie is mobile, walking and being dangerous, I love being home with her. There is so much interaction with us now. But I get it.

  6. Oh, he's so chubby and cute!!! Those cheeks and rolls!!! I can see why you miss him :). Yes, schedules and sleep and everything will fall into place. Some not as soon as you'd like, and some sooner than you think.

  7. Don't worry girl... it's NORMAL to feel this way! I'd be worried if you WEREN'T exhausted!

  8. Going back to work is hard, they say it gets easier, but I'm not sure who "they" are sometimes. Hang in there :)

  9. Gah, it's a relief to hear someone (for once!) talk about continuing on with their career after a baby. I know I shouldn't talk because I don't have children yet, but the thought of giving up a career I've worked so hard for and love, for a kid, sounds depressing. I think (and hope) I can do both and be very happy and fulfilled. Keep up the hard work, looks like you're handling it just fine! Ryder is adorable.

  10. I don't have kids yet, but I understand what you're saying. I would love to have a long maternity leave, but I feel like I will need to work not just for the financial sake but I feel the time away would recharge me and make me apperchaite all time together. One working mom who teaches at my school said it is all about the quality time together, not the quantity and that being out of the house for 8 hours and doing what she loved career wise made her a better mom.


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