Tag Archives: working mother

Adjusting to Your New Role

No matter if you are entering motherhood at 16, 25, 32, 40+ or somewhere in between, you life will be forever changed once that little boy or girl takes the first breath of air.

I always thought knew my life would be different after becoming a mother. However, until it becomes reality you can only imagine how it will be.

The early weeks are the longest weeks of your life. It seems that the days and nights all mesh together as if you were trapped inside your own version of Groundhog Day. It seems that every day is nothing but the same, but yet it is all brand new.

For my husband, adjust to the role of daddy was pretty easy. He really didn’t have to do much. He hasn’t lost sleep much. Not one damn bit. The man snores like a freight train and has yet to wake up in the middle of the night to change the first diaper. Now, of course I am breastfeeding so that throws a wrench in any midnight bottle feeding episodes.

Speaking of breastfeeding, that is probably the biggest adjustment for me. Exclusively breastfeeding means that I need to be there for my son 100%. In the early weeks, they (you know the lactation experts) advised not to give him a bottle to avoid any confusion between bottle and breast. So anytime Shark Baby was hungry, mama was there. That often meant holding him for hours on end while he cluster fed. Just as soon as I thought I could put him down for 10 minutes and grab a quick shower, he would let out a blood curdling wail and let me know that he didn’t want me to be clean. He wanted milk and he wanted it now. I absolutely love being able to bond with my son and be able to offer him the healthy nourishment for his growth. However, it definitely been an adjustment. I have been able to go from moving freely throughout my day doing my daily tasks when I feel like it and on my own terms.

Now, even the most seemingly mundane task takes forethought. I have always been an independent woman who did what she wanted when she wanted. Now, I have to plan to go pee, plan to go to the grocery store, etc. I am a terrible planner. I always buy the cute yearly agendas with the idea of getting organized and planning my day. It ususally lasts about two weeks and then I forget about it. I am learning that if I am going to survive mommyhood, I am going to have to become a planner. Otherwise, going to the grocery store will become a perfect time for a mini/mega meltdown.  This is something I am working on daily. I am trying to learn his cues to know when it is time to sleep so that I can get my needed tasks accomplished. I am trying to be more prepared going into the store so I can get in and get out quickly. I know when he has had enough (most of the time) to avoid the need to walk out of the store and leave a full cart of groceries in aisle 9.

When SB was 10 weeks old, I returned to work. This has also been a huge adjustment. I had just learned to adjust to being with him 24/7. Now, I was adjusting to being back at work from 7:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. He was spending his day in childcare. I was no longer the sole provider of safety and security for him; another person was responsible for making sure he was happy, healthy and had a fully belly. This rocked me to my core. For the first few days, I kept a box of Kleenex close by my desk to catch the inevitable boohoo moments. I am slowly adjusting to the role of balancing motherhood and worker bee. This probably has to be the most emotionally challenging adjustment for me. I want nothing more than to be there for him to see every coo, cry and development. However, I know that I am doing the best thing for my family right now by working and building a nest egg so that we can live not lavishly, but efficiently and comfortably.

Tell me about how you have had to adjust to your new roles as a parent. What were the biggest surprises and changes that you had to make?

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Back to Reality?

After 10 gloriously stressful, happy, sleepless weeks of maternity leave, I reluctantly returned to work on Monday.
I had plans to wake up early and get in a 30 minute workout. That didn’t happen. I had a cuddlebug on my chest so I took an extra 30 minutes to cuddle and snooze.
At 5:30 a.m. I finally rolled out of bed and moved to the rocker to nurse him. A few tears rolled down my face as I watched him eat. I put him down in his crib to snooze for a few minutes while I proceeded to get ready for work. Showering, dressing and doing my hair went by with ease. But, when I started to get him ready for daycare I lost it.
“OMG! My baby is going to be spending the next 10 hours in the arms of a stranger. I can’t do this. What if he refuses to take the bottle? What will we do? OMG,” I thought as I dressed him and put him in his carseat.
I managed to drop him off with the sitter and walked out the door without crying. I left quickly so I wouldn’t lose it. Well, I LOST IT in the car on the ride to work. It was so much harder than I thought.
Once I got to work, everyone and their brother welcomed me back and asked me about the little man. I was fine as long as they didn’t ask how I was doing. I could mask my sadness with a smile by talking about how wonderful it was to be a mommy.
But, alone in the room with my breast pump I began to think about him and began to get sad again. What in the world was I doing? Leaving my baby? How could I do this?

Alas, I made it to 5 p.m. and I hit the door running to get my little man. I was certain that I would get to the sitter only to find him howling with his face cringed and tears forming in his little eyes. Instead, I was pleasantly surprised to find him sleeping peacefully on her lap. She was sucessfully coerced him into taking a bottle. He ate dutifuly and took nearly 12 ounces on his first full day. I was in total shock. Not that she kept him safe and happy (she has kept children for years and they all LOVE her), but that my baby would actually take a bottle. I was so happy. I could now go back to work and not have to spend most of my day worrying if the phone would ring with her on the line telling me he was miserable.

Today I sit nearly two weeks into my back to work routine and see that the boy has adjusted seamlessly. He loves the sitter and is happy and peaceful when I pick him up each day. I am still struggling to get back to the daily grind successfully. My life as I knew it before has forever changed. I thought my postpartum emotions were under control, but as soon as I started back to this new reality it all went to hell. I still find myself a bawling mess that is easily overwhelmed by emotions. I wish this wasn’t normal.