Back to work after baby...


Recently I’ve talked to a few first time mamas about the stress of returning to work. I went back to teaching when my daughter was 4 months old. I cried the whole day before I had to go back. Going back was no doubt quite an adjustment.  After my son was born, I went back when he was also 4 months old. I had just  figured out how to get both kids to nap at the same time and now, once again, I had to adjust to going back to work.

My first day back I spilled 8 ounces of pumped breastmilk all over the floor. I cried tears because there is nothing worse than spilled breastmilk. I read the wrong attendance sheet to my first period class and my supervisor came in during my prep period to have a meeting I was unaware of. Needless to say, it was a rough first day returning to work. However, just like 2 years before, I found a new routine. I enjoyed being at work and at the same time could not wait to get home to my little monsters. Is it hard? No doubt. Exhausting? Absolutely. A few things I have found make it easier when you return to work.

1. Crockpot dinners are your best friend. It’s great to come home and dinner is ready.

2. Amazon is great for diapers so you don’t have to run to the drug store at 8 pm because you forgot to go to Target last weekend.

3. Get organized. Pack your lunch/ diaper bag/ work bag the night before. (I personally struggle with this one, but it makes a huge difference when I do it)

4.  Let something go. Don’t sweat it if your house isn’t perfect, laundry isn’t finished, you need your eyebrows done, etc. Realize it’s impossible to do it all and keep your sanity. Sometimes you just need to call it a day and go to bed. 

5.  Use a calendar to write down important dates / time.  Make sure it’s visible to your spouse. 

6. Hang in there mama. You’re doing great. You’re going to find your new routine just like you did with your new baby the day you came home from the hospital. 


"Good try, Mommy!"

A few weeks ago, I went to the beach with my family. My Uncle was showing all of us how to paddle board. He took my daughter and nephew (who are both 3) while they sat, and then a few of the adults gave it a try. I wasn't even planning on taking a turn, but then my daughter , Mackenzie said, "Ok Mommy, it's your turn." So I gave it a try.

I actually got up fairly easily and was able to paddle (we were in the bay so don't be overly impressed by my skills).  Then I took a turn too sharply and fell off the board. All of a sudden, I hear a little voice from the dock yelling, "Good try Mommy! It's ok! Try again!" It's Mackenzie, cheering me on. I smiled, got back up, and paddled back. 

The rest of the day I thought about how Mackenzie had cheered for me and encouraged me to try again. Where did she learn that? Well, from me, her Dad, her Aunt, her Noni, her Grandma, etc.  It made me think what kind of example I would be setting if I told her I was afraid to try, I didn't want to wear a bathing suit, I was worried I'd fall and feel embarrassed.  
Kids do what you do. You can't expect them to be confident if you're not. You can't expect them to eat healthy if you don't. You can't expect them to try new things if you won't.

Always remember, your kids are watching you! Be a good example. Teach them to take risks, fall and get up again, eat healthy but never turn down a cupcake. Be a kind person. Do all the things you want them to do. Be the person you hope they will be. 




Coffee on the couch

When I was younger, if I woke up before 6 am, I would find my mom sitting alone on the couch drinking her coffee. I often wondered why she woke up so early to stare at her coffee cup instead of putting it in a to go cup and drinking it on her way to work. 

Now, as a mom, I get it. I also look forward to the early mornings before my kids wake up drinking my coffee alone on the couch. I ignore the little song the dishwasher sings telling me it's time to empty it. I pretend there are not clothes in the dryer waiting to be folded. I don't rush to clean up the toys off the floor. I just sit and stare at my cup enjoying the quiet. Some days I get 30 minutes, most days about 8, before I hear the sound of the baby crying or a little voice saying “Mommy, I want juice please.” Some people might use this time to sleep in a little longer, accomplish a task or exercise, but I find the coffee on the couch time to be more beneficial. It helps me to  prepare for the day.  

As a mom there is rarely quiet time during the day or even a few minutes to yourself. It's so important to take just 15 or 20 minutes to do whatever you need to re -energIze yourself. It might be coffee on the couch, going for a walk, doing some yoga breathing, or enjoying a nice glass of wine. Whatever it may be, make sure you take the time mamas, you definitely deserve it!

Just like my mom, even if my coffee on the couch time gets interrupted by a crying baby or a sweet little voice, I still feel more ready for the day to begin. It may be the time alone or the jolt of caffeine, but either way it makes my day.