I’ve never seen a 50-50 day. It’s not a balancing act. It’s a constant compromise and sacrifice. Some days it’s giving 90 percent at work and 10 percent at home. Some days it flips.
Today has been full of mishaps and klutzy mistakes, but we’re surviving and I’m trying to see the silver lining:
- Baby has a stuffy nose, which meant hearing her little dragon sounding snores and baby coughs all night long (although she doesn’t have a fever, so phew!)
- I spilled coffee all over myself on my way out the door this morning (but it only ended up on my tights, so I’m not stained and I smell delicious!)
- I didn’t tighten a bottle of breastmilk when I packed E’s bottles this morning, so it spilled - and the daycare called me to confirm that I only wanted her to eat 1 oz this morning (thank goodness I pack extra bottles - so no need to panic)
- I’m back into the groove at work (as much as possible when I can check a webcam and watch my little one at daycare) and I’m already feeling overextended (from saying yes too often) and overwhelmed with the number of projects I need to tackle (although I guess this means they need me and my job is valuable, right?)
Life is good, but man - so many of my stressors would be slightly alleviated if I could only work from home…
I am ready to freeze time.
Ellie is 15 weeks old. And it seems like she’s changing every day. Her expressions are hilarious and I love to listen to her coo and giggle and sing. She’s super close to rolling over (back to tummy) – and I’m probably an awful parent for admitting this, but I’m kinda dreading when she finally masters this task. (Not only does it mean that she’s no longer safe in the middle of my bed, it also means my little lady is growing up! Boo!)
Today was her first drop off at daycare and Jeff and I tackled it together. We may be smiling in the pictures below, but I was all tears on my drive to work. I know she’s in good hands (I mean the daycare offers baby yoga and baby sign language), but it’s still daycare. It’s still someone else taking care of my kid. It still means that someone else (a stranger until a few weeks ago) will see Ellie more than I will on Tuesday and Wednesdays. And - it officially signals that my maternity leave is over. Thank goodness Jeff will be doing the dropoffs every morning. I don’t know that I could go through the heart wrenching motions every time.
At least I get to come home to this adorable little munchkin (who’s dressed in leopard print fleece today - I just can’t handle the cuteness!) and stalk the daycare web cams and hang out with her whenever possible. (I already booked overnight work travel for next week, which I’m trying not to think about. I can only handle so much separation anxiety at once!)
On a lighter note, I texted a pic to both Jeff’s and my mom to let them know that today was her first day. This just shows how different they are. My mom, so matter of fact, complimented her outfit. Jeff’s mom claims she’s been sobbing all morning (and actually, I don’t doubt it).
So, Ellie is sweet and awesome and perfect. I am a ball of emotions and my heart swells when I think about how precious she is and how lucky I am.
Jeff just sent me this photo of Ellie while they were out on a walk. Her smile, popped collar, and leopard print blanket? Oh my gosh, she melts my heart.
And it’s so reassuring to know she’s enjoying her Daddy/Daughter Days.
Active Nation Day
For most of my life I’d consider myself an active person (‘cept for those few unfortunate post-college/first job years. Now, those were rough!). I played lots of sports growing up, had no problem passing the swim test to become a lifeguard or teach swim lessons, and in the past few years, I’ve discovered how much I love running and doing yoga.
Since having Ellie though, I haven’t made much time for fitness. I’ve prioritized naps over gym sessions and long showers over long runs, with the excuse “I just don’t have the time to work out.” My attitude on this really needs to change, since I want to be active for myself and for my little one. Tomorrow, September 28th, is Active Nation Day and I’ll be making it my goal to get out and do something.
Lorna Jane, the activewear company, is challenging all women to live an authentic and active life. And to celebrate this mantra, they’re hosting Active Nation Day events around the globe.
Interested in participating?
- Sign up to find events in a city near you
- Join virtually with the app for iOS or Android (which also lets you track all movement [not just for Active Nation Day] and is chock full of delicious recipes & inspirational quotes)
- Watch and learn the signature Lorna Jane dance move here. (If you show them how you do the #LJMOVE, you have a chance to win a $1,000 Lorna Jane gift card!)
I definitely need a little push to maintain a healthy lifestyle and to keep fitness fun and engaging (and not seem like a daunting task)! And I figure, if I’m going to be active tomorrow anyway, why not join the movement - especially for the chance to win $1,000 of adorable workout clothes (unlike all the ill-fitting stuff currently in my closet!)
This was my last full week of maternity leave. I’m headed back to work (and back to my hour long commute) next Wednesday. The transition won’t be as bad as it could be - since Jeff is taking off work for the first two weeks I’m back (so we don’t need to worry about rushing out of the house; organizing daycare dropoffs/pickups; he’ll be able to tell me how much she’s drinking from a bottle; and I’ll get lots of updates and pictures from him during the day). I’ve also decided to use my FMLA/unpaid time to work 4 day weeks for the rest of the year. Hopefully these steps will make going back to work a little less awful. I know I need to go back eventually, but I still don’t feel fully ready. And I’m not sure I ever will be.
There are so many things I’m going to miss about spending all day at home with my little lady, like:
- Laying in bed, side by side watching Good Morning America (and dozing off to Kelly & MIchael)
- Being the first person Ellie sees when she wakes up - and being greeted by a giant smile and a twinkle in her eyes
- Our daily photo shoots - whether dressed in a crazy outfit, when trying something new, or just giving a ridiculous expression, I’ll miss capturing these moments on camera.
- Laying on the floor during our daily reading sessions. I find it’s much easier to capture her attention (is it even possible to capture the attention of an infant?) and hold a book while laying on the floor. We roll out a big blanket (typically her NY Jets one) and read book after book together.
- Missing key developmental milestones. She’s so close to rolling over (back to tummy) and I want to be around to witness this first!
- Our impromptu trips and lunch dates. Now that I’m feeling much more confident in our daily schedules and with BF in public, it seems we’re able to get out of the house much more easily. I’ll miss our daily walks, trips to get coffee, or just running errands with my little lady in tow.
I’m not cut out to be a stay-at-home mom (I give y’all credit. It’s a lot to handle!) - but I’m not ready to join the workforce 100% yet (especially with the commute I currently have). I’ve heard people say that going back to work never gets easier, but it does become routine.
Wish me luck y’all. Wish me luck.
Happy three months, Ellie! I can’t believe you’ve been our lives for three months already!
This month: You’re definitely growing up, little one. You’re becoming more vocal and you’re holding your head up like a champ (which also means that snuggling with you is getting harder - you just want to look around and see what’s going on)! We had a busy month - and we’ve definitely found our groove together. We’ve gone out shopping (spending nearly a full day at the outlets), you took your first trip to Target (where you behaved like a champ!), and we “ran” our very first 5k together. When we hold you, you now hug back (which is the sweetest thing) and you’ve found out how to blow bubbles (mama thinks it’s almost time to make you wear a bib)!
You’re loving: Your hands (especially your right one). Your dad and I refer to it as your best friend - since you”ll gaze longingly at and chatter with it. You also love laying on the bed (supervised, of course) and watching the fan rotate. You like being worn in a wrap (thank goodness, since mama may have gotten caught up in buying them). I’ll take you shopping or on walks and when the sun’s too bright or when you get tired, you just tuck your little head, close your eyes, and take a nap. But, most of all, you love to talk! You like to hold conversations with everyone - especially your dad. He can hold your attention for longer than anyone else.
You dislike: Naps. Although your sleeping has gotten better (we enjoyed 8+ hours of sleep for a few weeks!) - we’ve had a rough couple of days recently (you wake up at 2:30am and after eating, you just want to hang out!) Still, even when your nighttime sleep is at its best, it’s still a struggle to get you to nap. The only thing you hate more than napping is being overly tired, so it’s quite the conundrum!
But really, Ellie - you’re a pretty awesome little one. Your eyes light up when I pick you up (especially first thing in the morning) and it’s the sweetest thing. We’re slowly getting in a groove (mama breastfeeds you in public without batting an eye and I’m no longer panicked about trying to plan your eating and sleeping schedules to get us out of the house). You’re the sweetest, most amazing little lady. And I’m so glad you’re in our lives.
This weekend was perfect. Absolutely perfect.
Friday: My mom, sister and I celebrated my birthday (albeit a bit late) by going to one of those paint + wine places. While my painting was a mess, I had a good time and Jeff proved he’s fully competent to take care of Ellie, since he had her bathed, fed, and in bed by the time I got home. This was the first time I wasn’t around for bedtime and I breathed a sigh of relief when I came home and all was well - especially since I know once I return to work I’ll be returning to work travel.
Saturday was a lazy day. I don’t think we took off our pjs until after lunch. Oops. It was a relaxing morning filled with slowly drinking iced coffees, a grocery shopping trip, lots of time spent lounging on the couch (while dad - and sometimes baby - played video games) and not much more.
Sunday was busy! We strapped on our sneakers bright and early and headed out for a 5k to benefit a local animal shelter. Although she didn’t wear dry fit fabric, Ellie was dressed appropriately, wearing her shirt with a dachshund on it. We stayed for the picnic afterwards, where I breastfed in public (not in my car like usual), laid in the grass, and watched the dogs parade on by. We took lots of pictures by mums and pumpkins (a fall necessity, right?), soaked in the fall sun, watched football when we got home.
Fall is my absolutely favorite time of year. And fall weekends like these are the best. I’m slowly running out of time left on maternity leave - but I keep reminding myself to appreciate each day and remember - even though I’m headed back to work and back to the office, that weekends like this are amazing (and can still exist once I’m a working mom).