Archive for the ‘maternity leave’ Tag

A bowl full of mush.   Leave a comment

Goodnight Moon.  A classic.  My older son loves that book.  He loves searching the pages for the moon and balloon, and he laughs every time we say “bowl full of mush.”  It is incredibly cute.

Right now, I feel like my brain is a bowl full of mush.  I’ve been back to work for a week and I can’t decide if I’m happy or sad.  My job is very stressful right now.  In one of my earlier posts I mentioned how I was going back to a mess at work.  It actually hasn’t been as bad as I thought and I’m making headway.  Since I’ve been back, productivity has already increased, but it’s not easy.  At all.

When I’m at work, I miss the boys, but I am happy at work.  I enjoy my colleagues and I feel valuable, important, and like I’m truly making a difference.  When I’m at home, however, I do not miss my work.  Sure, I think about it, but I do not miss it.  Tonight, my husband read my toddler a story as he settled down into his bed, and I sat beside the bed and held his hand.  After the story was over, my husband left the room, and I just sat there with my arm on my son.  He was holding it close with both hands…almost hugging it.  And, I cried.  I miss him.  I miss my sons even when I’m with them.  My brain is so full of all of the details of my life and is working so hard to keep them all in order, that I can’t even focus on my own children when I’m with them.

I keep thinking back to my maternity leave and wondering if I did all that I could to make that a special time for my toddler.  Did he have fun being home with mommy?  Did I give him enough attention and play time?  The other day when I picked the boys up from my mother-in-law’s, my toddler did not want to leave.  He absolutely loves his “dadaddy” and “mamaw.”  He threw a fit when I attempted to put him in the car seat.  He cried and straightened up his whole body so I couldn’t get him in the seat.  I finally had to get his dadaddy to help.  I love that he loves his grandparents and that’s genuinely happy when I leave him there, but I hate it at the same time.  Am I that un-fun? (I realize that’s not a word, but you know what I mean.)

I feel like I’m already losing my toddler.  I know that may sound ridiculous, and it’s a difficult feeling to describe.  He doesn’t need me.  He is perfectly content with his mamaw and dadaddy…or whoever he happens to be around at the time.  In some of my earlier posts I’ve talked about how independent my son is.  He’s truly a special boy.  He’s happy most of the time and loves everyone.  He’s taken to his toddler bed like he’s been sleeping in it his whole life (and he’s only a year and a half – today as a matter of fact).  He says 200 plus words, tells me what he needs and when he needs it, has started potty training, and is all around amazing.  I keep trying to remember what it was like when he was a baby and my brain feels like mush.  I can’t seem to remember the feeling of holding him or what he looked like at certain ages.  Sure, I have pictures, but I am having such a difficult time remembering.  And, it wasn’t that long ago!  I’ve heard other moms talk about how they’ll never forget the feeling of holding each of their children in their arms and all of their first moments.  Why am I struggling with this?

I’m already starting to lose some of the memories of my second son when he was a tiny little baby, and he’s only three months old.  I blame it on work.  I blame it on our fast-paced life.  I blame it on myself.  Part of me wonders if I would feel differently if I were a stay at home mom?  My job is so stressful, but I love the challenge.  But, at the same time, I wonder if I could do without the challenge…and the identity I’ve created for myself at work.  I can’t do without the paycheck, but each day the thought has crossed my mind that I could do without this job.  I get so caught up in it, so caught up in the chores at home, so caught up in other people’s issues, that I am forgetting my memories of my own children.

I’ve been back to work for exactly a week now and my head feels like a bowl full of mush.  I’m happy, I’m sad, I’m angry, I’m stressed, I’m all.over.the.place.  I’m mad at my husband and at myself, and I’m having a tough time understanding why.  Some days on the way home I just drive and stare straight ahead…no radio…no phone.  I try to switch off the work brain, clear my head, and turn on the mommy brain.  My mind swims with the details of it all.  Did I submit the correct report at work? Do we have enough juice for the rest of this week for my toddler? Did I pay the bill for our new mattress? When does my car need oil again? Have we given our baby enough tummy time and when is he supposed to roll over? After I run down the list of questions in my head, then I start to worry that I’ll forget the answers and a detail of my life will be missed.  I’m so fearful of waking up one morning and not having enough juice for my toddler or realizing that I left my pumped breast milk on the counter instead of freezing it…  I honestly believe I spend so much time worrying about the details and am so fearful of missing one, that I’m missing the point of all of this all together.

I’m just not quite sure how to clear my head, get rid of the mush, and focus on what’s most important.  In some of my earlier posts I talk about my nut-job parents, and I’m so fearful of turning into them.  I’ve seem some of their crazy ass traits in myself this past week (temper, OCD, snapping at the people I love, being overly pessimistic) and I need these to go away.  I do not want to end up like my mom…who called me today to let me know my great Uncle passed away but quickly turned the conversation into why my step-dad is being mistreated at work because his colleagues are all idiots.  Really?  Was that really the time to bash perfect strangers?  Please lady, I’ve heard it all from you before.  You think everyone you’ve ever come into contact with in a professional setting is an idiot.  On the other hand, I do not want to end up like my dad who is sad, broke, and alone with just his material possessions that he has perfectly displayed and spaced on the tables in his house (that’s a whole other story).

Any advice for this mom would be much appreciated.  I suppose I just need help clearing my head and setting some priorities.  I need to give up control of some things.  I can’t do it all.  I need to stop worrying that I’ll turn into my parents.  I need to focus.

For now though, I need to sleep.  5am gets here quickly.

So, goodnight comb and goodnight brush, goodnight nobody, goodnight mush!

All the best,

Someone’s mom

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I ugly cried.   Leave a comment

Today was my first day back to reality…and it kind of sucked.  I love my job and the people I work with, and if you have read some of my other posts you’ll know I am afraid of being a permanent SAHM, but that doesn’t mean I can’t be sad.

I only got about four hours of sleep last night.  I was tired this morning, and am beyond exhausted as I type this.  The morning went fairly smooth as I had all of the bags packed and ready.  I told myself I’d do the same tonight and have everything ready for tomorrow, but I’m so damn tired I can’t even fathom getting up off of this couch.  I had a lump in my throat the whole time I was getting the boys ready this morning.  I dropped the boys off at their sitter’s house with only one tear shed.  It was only after I was alone in my car that I cried…or should I say, wept.  To make things worse on myself (I suppose I’m a glutton for punishment), I played Allison Krauss’ Baby Mine and Chris Medina’s What Are Words and those two songs made my cry even harder.  I did manage to stop crying long enough to reschedule a dentist appointment and I had actually pulled myself together by the time I arrived to the parking lot at work. However, as I was walking into the building, I realized it was 9am and this would have been about the time my toddler and I would have been having breakfast together.  And, I lost it.  I cried for my buddy.  I missed him so much at that moment. I missed my little baby’s snuggles.  I even missed my dogs.

I was already in the building at this point so I kept on walking to my office.  Most of my team was standing near my office and they had decorated it with bright balloons and streamers.  It was wonderful.  And what did I do? I ugly cried.  Right there, in front of my entire staff.  Mascara running down my face and snot running down my nose.  How embarrassing.  Who does that?!  My team was so excited to see me and had even planned a breakfast pizza party.  And I cried like a baby.  I had to apologize to them and let them know I was happy to see them all and I promised I was excited to be back at work.  They all knew the truth though…how could you not?  Luckily I have a very understanding, sweet team, and I don’t think they’ll hold it against me.

So, I made it through my first day back…barely.  It was painful, but tomorrow will be better.  And, by the end of the week, I am hoping to have my new normal.

Working is best for me, and I’m a better mom because I work.  However, I can’t type this without admitting I am also jealous of some SAHMs I know…I wanted to be them so badly today. But, it will all be ok.  Tomorrow, I will be prepared with waterproof mascara and tissues.

Off to bed.  I plan to post in a few days about what has become of my dad here recently.  Let’s just say I’m a true believer in karma…   My poor parents…so naive to not realize that what goes around comes around.

Goodnight!

All the best,

Someone’s mom

Same epic poo, different kid, different attitude.   Leave a comment

We had a long day yesterday.  We traveled to another city to do a little outlet shopping  (LOVE Carter’s and Motherhood Maternity outlets!) and for a family reunion.  Shopping was quick and chaotic.  I bought a few nursing shirts at Motherhood and then took my little man in there to nurse him.  Love that they are a nursing friendly story.  Their fitting rooms are nice and big with benches, but they have curtains for doors, so the rooms are not quite as private as I would like.  While I was nursing my little man, he had an epic poo.  A very noisy, large amount of poo.  It went EVERYWHERE.  I was a bit embarrassed because I know the people right outside my waiting room heard as I heard giggles from them.  I tried to stifle some of my own laughter as I’m not quite sure how the Motherhood people feel about me changing a poopy diaper in their fitting room.  So, the little man got a fresh diaper, full tummy, and outfit change.

The crazy thing about the situation is that the exact same thing happened when I was nursing my firstborn in that same Motherhood, in the same fitting room, at the same age.  What are the odds of that?  What’s more, the weather here yesterday was chilly, very rainy, and very windy…SAME weather as the day of the first epic poo…two totally different seasons…

Yesterday was different though.  I laughed at the epic poo instead of freaking out.  I did what I had to do and was much more prepared.  The first time it happened with my firstborn, I accidentally smeared poo all over the fitting room bench, and had nothing to put the nasty diaper in.  I had just one clean outfit with me for my firstborn and got a little poo on that so the poor little fella had to wear a poopy outfit all day.  Yesterday, I had a plastic bag ready for that poo diaper, several outfit changes, some sanitary wipes to help remove the poo from the soiled outfit, and a much different attitude.  It’s amazing to me how much more relaxed we can be with the second child.  It is even more amazing how much more love we have in our hearts.  Like the Grinch, I think my heart grew three sizes the day that my second son was born.

Sure, I still worry just as much (probably more) and I’m not always laid back about things.  I still have a lot of anxiety.  But yesterday, I realized that I was able to laugh at a situation that I couldn’t laugh at when I was a new mom.  I suppose I’m just more confident and prepared these days for situations like epic poos and I think I’m making a little progress toward becoming more optimistic and happy too…

The epic poo wasn’t the only crazy thing that happened yesterday.  The family reunion we went to was at the world’s WORST restaurant.  It was awful.  The food was some of the worst we have had and the service was even worse.  We got there a few minutes later than the rest of the party and we were told by the waitress we needed to order immediately or our food would not come out with the others.  Who cares??  But, she made us order right away.  I hadn’t even sat down yet.  I mean, we were still getting the high chair set up.  So, the husband and I each ordered a steak…and we were so hungry and SO disappointed.  I had trouble getting the steak knife through mine.  😦  Before we could finish our meal, the waitress had already come and taken away the bread and cracker baskets, the butter, and several other condiments from the table.  Now, this place was 4 to 5 hours away from closing time and not busy at all…no need for them to be clearing our stuff before we were finished. Oh well.  My husband and I had a great time laughing about it all while we were finishing dinner.  We joked about hitting up a burger joint we saw on the way in and a Ben & Jerry’s to get my Late Night Snack once the reunion was over.

We finish dinner and head out to leave, pack the kids up in the car, turn the key, and nothing.  My car will not start.  Yay!!  Luckily my resourceful husband and brother we were able to roll it down a hill, pop the clutch and get it to start.  That sounds easy enough, but my husband did get hit square in the forehead with the back of my car during all this…not quite sure how that happened…  I did freak out for a second wondering what we were going to do with the kids, how much was this going to cost,  blah blah.  But, then I realized, I could choose my own attitude about it.  So, I laughed…and it felt pretty good to laugh about it!  I knew that it would all work out no matter what.  And, it did.  The car started, we got it home, and it started right up this morning.  Fingers crossed it was just a small glitch in the matrix 😉  In the past, I would have bitched the entire way home and talked about how we can’t afford to fix it, why does this happen to me, blah blah.  I’m pretty proud of myself for not letting that kind of word vomit escape from my mouth yesterday.

The drive home was another crazy adventure.  We had terrible storms through our state yesterday.  We drove through the worst downpour we have ever been in.  My husband was fighting the 30 to 40 mile per hour wind gusts that were trying to blow us all over the road.  It was extremely scary and all I could think about were my two little boys sleeping peacefully in the back seat.  We were under a tornado watch too so had our eyes peeled.  If you read one of my earlier posts, you’ll know I’m terrified of storms and tornadoes, so this situation was extremely stressful for me.  I was so tense my shoulders were hurting.  It was quite an adventure to get home…  We dodged branches and fallen power lines in the road.  We passed several neighborhoods without power.  Surprisingly, everything was fine in our neighborhood.  What a relief!

A few minutes after we get home (and it’s late at this point, 9:30ish) my mother-in-law calls and tells me her house does not have power and that she, my father-in-law, sister- and brother-in-law and their child, have not eaten supper.  Then she asks if we’ve had supper.  I reply yes.  Then she says, “Well we need to eat supper” in a very stressed out crazy way.  All I said was “ok…”  I had no idea where she was going with all of it until she then said, “well we need to eat supper and if you have power we would like to come there.”  Wow.  Ok.  At first, I did freak a little.  The house was a mess because we didn’t clean up before we left that morning, we had just come in from our long-ass day and were trying to get the boys to sleep, and I was exhausted.  But then, I remembered that I could choose my attitude, so I chose to joke with my husband and laugh about it.  And then it became funny…fun even.  I actually had a great time with our little impromptu dinner party.  In the past, I would have bitched, saved face with the company here, and then bitched some more.  I’m proud of myself.

Overall, the husband and I laughed about the whole day when we finally made it to bed at midnight.  Between the epic poo, terrible service and food at the restaurant, the car not starting, the worst storm we’ve ever driven through, and the crazy-ass surprise dinner party at 9:30 at night, it was a day for the books.

As I type this, I’m 50 minutes away from being officially done with my maternity leave.  Although I know it’s for the best for so many reasons, I am still very sad to be heading back to work tomorrow.  I am going to miss my little men more than I can even put into words.  My toddler is my buddy.  He’s been my little best friend these past 12 weeks.  He’s grown up so much right before my eyes.  He is an amazing little man.  Not even 18 months yet and he knows about 200 words, he can tell me what he needs – “I pood, hungy, thirsty, brush my teeth…”  (No hungy is not a misspelling, that’s how he says it – so cute!).  As I type this, he is spending his third night in his toddler bed in his new big boy room.  It is a bit early to be putting him in a toddler bed according to some doctors and books I’ve read…the recommended age is around 2.   He has done absolutely wonderful though and has slept almost the entire night without a sound the past two nights.  Anyway, back to leaving them tomorrow…  I can’t say that I will not enjoy adult interaction and my me time in my car like I’ve mentioned before, and I won’t miss some of the frustrating days I’ve had when they both have been a little grumpy and needy, but I will miss the hell out of them.  I’m so jealous of my mother-in-law because she now gets to see them for the 40 to 50 hours per week that I’ve had them.  She may be the one to see my little baby roll over for the first time, to see my toddler learn a new word or say his first sentence, and she’ll be the one having breakfast with my little buddy.  And, missing those moments sucks ass.  Instead of enjoying my coffee and oatmeal with my little men, I’ll probably be eating on the run while commuting to work.  It sound very depressing as I sit here and type this.

It’ll be ok though.  It has to be.  I have no choice…a) I have to work to pay the bills, and b) if I were a permanent SAHM, I may go crazy and end up like my mother.  It’s just going to take me a few days to accept that everything will be ok.

For now, I’m just going to keep sitting here with my little baby on my lap fast asleep, and listen to my toddler sleeping on the monitor.  I know I am so lucky to have had these past 12 weeks with them, and I am truly grateful.

Tomorrow, a new chapter begins…  Time to turn the page.

Goodnight.

All the best,

Someone’s mom

It’s a beautiful day.   Leave a comment

It’s so pretty outside in my part of the world. It should be in the 30s and 40s this time of year but right now it is almost 70 degrees. I love it; it makes me ready for spring…and more importantly, summer vacation in the OBX (that’s Outer Banks for all of you on the West Coast). However, as much as warm weather excites me, I don’t want the days to speed by. See, aside from working on my patience, constant worry, and obsession with cleanliness, I’m learning to slow down. We’ve all been there in our childhood and teen years where we wish for nothing more than to be grown ups and on our own. However, it does suck a little when we get here…no more parents to pay the bills! Joking – it doesn’t suck that bad and in fact, it’s really fantastic. Anyway, I’ve learned to slow myself down and am really trying to live in the moment as much as I can. This is hard for me because I’m always looking forward. For example, I can’t wait for the day when my husband and I are debt free…which is a long time from now. We are on a plan to make that happen and it’s a long plan. I keep thinking how awesome it will be when we get there, but then I realize my kids will be starting school then and won’t be my babies anymore, and I’m not ready for that. So, until then, we’ll be in debt and live paycheck to paycheck but enjoy the hell out of our children.

I think I get this trait of always looking forward from my Dad. My Dad is prepared for anything and everything, but mostly his death. He has his funeral plans laid out, his plot is purchased, his Will is in order, his life insurance policies are up to date, and I have copies of all of these things because he insists I am as prepared as he is for his own death. You’d think my Dad is in his 60s or 70s, but no, he just turned 50 not long ago. But, he’s been ready for death as long as I can remember. And, I can’t stand it. It’s so morbid. His mother is the same way…especially since my Grandfather died a few years ago. She always talks about how she’s ready to go, can’t wait for it actually. I can’t stand it and tell them to please stop talking about it. I remind them they are in the current state of LIVING and to enjoy LIFE and make the most of each day. My words are empty of course and they are still on the fast track toward their own deaths no matter what I say, and I feel sad for them. Life is amazing; so amazing in fact that sometimes it hurts me to think about how wonderful it actually is. Sure, there are so many negatives and so many challenges we all face, each different and each so important to us. But, at the end of the day, we have one LIFE to LIVE. One chance to get it right; one opportunity to seize the moment and enjoy it. And, I’m working on doing just that. Sure, we need to be prepared. My husband and I need to have a Will in place and make sure our things are “in order” but I refuse to focus on it and worry about it like my Dad and grandmother. But, for now, I’m going to enjoy my family and live in the NOW.

As I type this, I am listening to my wind chimes on the front porch and feeling the breeze from my open kitchen window (in February!!) sneak around the corner and hit me in the family room. My little one is drifting off for another nap in his swing, and my big little one is napping in his crib. I’m waiting for both to wake up soon and am hoping there will be enough light left in the day to take them for a stroll in the neighborhood.

I sure do love being on maternity leave. I’ve learned so much about my toddler and the little boy he is growing into, and even more about myself this time around. It has been a truly wonderful experience; I can’t believe it’s almost time to go back to work – 2 weeks. Luckily, I enjoy my job, so as much as I’ll miss my beautiful babies, I do not completely dread heading back to work. However, I did tell my husband last night that it sure would be great to only worry about taking care of my boys and the house, instead of worrying about the stress of my job. He said “I completely agree with you.” This is very rare – he NEVER agrees with me. He then said “it sucks to have to worry about stuff that’s not even a part of your life.” I get where he’s coming from – when I’m at work, it’s work and it’s about work. But, I also spend 40 hours per week there, so it’s also kind of part of my life…alas we agree to disagree on that. Anyway, throughout my time at home these past few weeks, I have questioned why I work and have thought many days about how nice it would be to be at stay at home mom and be with my boys every day and that moms who get to do that are so much luckier than me. But over the past week, I’ve learned that I work for my boys. They are my motivation to do well and succeed. I want to provide for them and I want them to learn the importance of hard work. I believe that if you give it your all at work and model yourself after others who are successful, then you too can be successful, no matter what line of business you are in. This is one of the good traits I inherited from my Dad – thanks Dad. He instilled the importance of hard work in me when I turned 16. He “gave” me our older car and said if I wanted to drive it, I needed to get a job to pay for the gas and oil. So, the next day, I packed up my brother and headed to the local amusement park and interviewed on the spot (with my brother in two no less) and started working for a place that became a part of my life for almost 10 years…a place that forded me the opportunity to make wonderful friends, achieve several promotions including the most coveted position at the park at one point, meet my husband, and learn a ton of life lessons (including how to fake it til’ you make it when dealing with the public!). Everything I learned there I have carried with me throughout my career and experiences from that park have been shared in every interview I’ve had since then, and have helped me to land a pretty amazing career. So, thanks Dad; I didn’t see it at the time, but making me go out and get a job as soon as I could proved to be extremely life changing for me.

Oh the randomness of my blog. This is why I love writing. I am free to express myself and choose whatever road I want to go down. I can take a thought and completely steer myself down any path I choose. I love how in a few short paragraphs I started with sharing the weather in my small part of our world to thanking my Dad for sending me off to get a job at 16.

So, now I want to hear from you. Are you on maternity leave? Love it or hate it? Ready to go back to work or about to send in the quitting papers? What did you learn from your first job? Did it change your life? I know mine did, and I plan to instill that same work ethic in my kids.

Enjoy your day in your part of the world – remember to slow down if you can. Why not take a minute and reflect on yourself? Would love to hear from you.

All the best,

Someone’s mom