Hi mamas! You might have noticed I’ve been unintentionally quiet these past few weeks. I promise I haven’t forgotten about you.
I went back to work this month.
I thought I was ready and excited. And to be honest, it hasn’t been what I expected. I talked to other moms (thank you, village!) and I asked questions and I prepared myself the best I knew how. I’m still adjusting.
Don’t get me wrong, I absolutely LOVE my job. This is the first job I’ve ever had that I was adamant about going back to after baby. I always thought that after I had babies, I would stay at home with them until they were back in school. In the 2 years since I’ve been at my current job, that view changed.
Not only do I love what I do, but I LOVE my coworkers. They were my rock through the past two years. The wedding planning, the pregnancy, birth, and now… returning back to work as a mom. The women (and men) that I work with are the best that there are.
If it wasn’t for my support network at work, I truly don’t think that I would have been able to, or even wanted to, go back to work.
Right now, I’m working out of the house for 1 (soon to be 2) days a week and working from home for the rest of the week. My mom is watching our girl while I’m at work. I’m coming home to nurse on the days I’m working.
Everyone prepared me for how hard it would be to be away from our girl. It was tough the first day, but I know she’s at home with my mom, having a great time. She thinks her Grammie is a hoot. And I get to drink my coffee uninterrupted and (somewhat) warm!
Leaving our girl isn’t the hard part.
It’s this new transition. We transition into pregnancy and spend 9 months accommodating for this new life growing inside us. We transition through the physical and hormonal changes. We become a new (rounder) person. Then we transition into mothers. We give birth and transition again physically and mentally.
How we transition is different for every mom. Dependent on so many things. How our pregnancy goes, how labor and delivery goes… there are so many conditions that determine how we ride out all these transitions.
Now, I’m transitioning from someone who was focused on our girl 24 hours a day and night to someone that has to find space for my old passions and ways of life. At the end of each day… I’m much more tired than I’ve ever been. Not physically, but mentally.
My brain is working hard to switch from mom-mode to working-mom-mode. It’s not easy, but I’m doing it.
Some days, I’m just down right exhausted. Most days, I’m proud. I’m proud that I’m figuring this out. I’m proud that I’ve had so many opportunities to grow in the past year.
I’m not always handling this transition with grace (seriously, ask my husband…) but I can be sure of one thing, I can handle it. I might not know exactly how, but I know that I can.
Currently we’re hitting our 4 month sleep regression a little early, just when I was starting to get the hang of things. She used to struggle to go down, but once she was down, she was down for a solid 7-8 hours.
To the moms rolling their eyes at me, don’t worry. I’m getting my payback now. We barely nap during the day, we fight bedtime and we’re up multiple times a night to nurse. And we wake up earlier now, too.
On top of all this, I’m struggling with all the normal postpartum stuff. My body has changed drastically in the past year and I’m having a hard time loving what I see in the mirror. My clothes fit differently, and most of the time I don’t even have time to find an outfit I feel good in.
And if I do throw on something other than my husbands boxers and a nursing bra, it has spit up on it within 30 minutes. Nothing makes your baby spit up more than an outfit you feel like a rockstar in, amiright?
If I do have the time to get dressed and do something with my face or hair, I don’t. Why? Because the rest of the house, that’s why.
There’s dishes to do, laundry piled up, sweeping up a weeks worth of dust bunnies, pets to feed, pumping to build a freezer stash, bills to be paid, groceries to get, or maybe I just want to sit and cry for a minute. I feel guilty taking that time for me. I feel like when I do have a second to do something that isn’t mom or work related, that I need to be busy.
It’s this constant nagging that I have to be exactly who I was before I was mom. That I have to keep our house spotless. I feel like I need to do everything. And that need and to do list is sometimes so overwhelming, that I simply sit and stress about how much there is to do. Which is followed by the immense guilt that I did “nothing” all day. Because at the end of the day I don’t have a checked off to do list.
I know that this will pass. I know that this is only a season. I know that in no time, everything will change yet again. But that doesn’t mean it isn’t hard.
I keep coming back to the quote, “Just because I carry it well, doesn’t mean it isn’t heavy.” My husband and I just had this conversation and he had no idea that I was having a hard time with all of this. I think that’s the problem. As moms, we don’t want anyone to know that we’re having a hard time.
I want to share my struggles so other moms know it’s ok. And I know not all moms feel this way. But I’m hoping that someone, somewhere will read this and think, “I’m glad I’m not alone.” I hope somewhere there is a mom that gives herself a little more grace because she knows that all of ~this~ is normal!
You’re not failing if you’re struggling. You’re not doing a bad job if you’re struggling. You’re enough. Whatever you’re struggling with, is normal. It’s okay to struggle. That’s how you build strength.
Moms, I hope that you can choose to set one thing down today and lighten whatever you’re carrying. Our babies are watching and they will benefit from seeing us treat ourselves with kindness and grace.
If you’re struggling, reach out! Let’s talk. Let’s cry. Let’s laugh. We’re in this together.