Wednesday, July 11, 2018

Maternity Leave Goals Review + What's Next

Just like that, today is my last full day of maternity leave (sob!). I won't lie - there have been plenty of challenging days during my leave, especially in the last month+ when Paul started to take catnaps which meant I spent so much of the day putting him to sleep. But even though there were challenging/frustrating days, I am still sad to see my time at home with him come to an end. That said, I *think* I will do ok with going back to work. I say think because I don't really know what it's going to be like until I go back to work. I think it will help that I love my job and co-workers. I am nervous about how little time I will get with Paul during the week as he'll go to bed between 6-7 and I'll get home around 5... but I'm reminding myself that his bedtime will get pushed back as he gets older. And this will force us to really make the most of our time with him on the weekend.

Our smiley little guy

Paul has discovered his feet. They are his favorite thing to play with these days!

I'm going to miss this little guy so much!
Months ago I set some goals for my maternity leave so I thought I'd review them!

1. Swap out maternity clothes for pre-pregnancy clothes = complete. I not only swapped out my maternity clothes. I also moved my dresser and all my hanging clothes from the guest room to mine & Phil's bedroom as the guest room is now Paul's. This was a big job but I got it done a couple of weeks ago and it's really nice to have all of my things in my bedroom. I didn't think that my clothes would fit in Phil's closet, but I've paired down my wardrobe quite a bit, especially since many things don't quite fit yet.

2. Lose my maternity weight = incomplete. This was probably an unrealistic goal to set but it was something I had really hoped to achieve. I still have about 8-10 pounds of pregnancy weight to lose but I don't know that I will lose them until I am done pumping/breast feeding. I'm not eating perfectly, but I'm eating pretty well overall and I'm trying to exercise 3-5 times/week. But the weight just doesn't want to budge. I'm trying to be patient with myself and I frequently remind myself that this is a season of life and I won't always look the way that I do. It helped to buy a few new items for work, though. I didn't want to buy a lot more clothes as I'm hoping this isn't my new weight but I definitely needed a few more pairs of pants that fit well and were flattering as my super fitted pre-pregnancy pants did not look good or make me feel good about how I looked.

3. Clean out the rest of our kitchen cupboards = complete. This was harder to achieve than I thought it would be as I put it off until the last 6 weeks of leave and then Paul started to take micro naps. I managed to clean the remaining cupboards this week while he was playing on his activity mat. It felt good to clean out the cupboards as I don't think some of them had been wiped down since Phil moved in 4 years ago!

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Several have asked what we are doing for daycare for Paul so I thought I'd give a little "what's next" update. I return to work tomorrow and my first week back is half days before returning to work full time. His daycare spot doesn't open up until July 23rd so family and a friend will be watching Paul for the next 1.5 weeks. Phil is working from home tomorrow and Friday so he can watch Paul in the afternoons when I am at work. Having him watch Paul the first 2 days will really help with the transition. Plus, we are in the midst of sleep training and the first week is really important so I am glad Phil will be with him so we can adhere to the sleep plan.

Paul's daycare is a Spanish Immersion daycare that is located between our house and downtown where we work. Our plan is for me to do drop off and Phil to do pick up. We will see how this goes. The stretch of freeway between our house and downtown is a DISASTER as they are doing a major renovation project so we are going to *try* to still take the bus to work. There is a bus stop a couple of blocks from daycare so I will park our car, drop off Paul, and take the bus. If we needed to go back to daycare mid-day (like if Paul got sick) we could take an uber. We will see how this goes, though, and adjust as necessary. I think we will probably drive to work for the first couple of weeks as we are adjusting to our new schedule, but I’m really hoping it works well to take the bus because traffic is so awful right now but they have special lanes and exits open for buses so that would make the commute shorter.

I'm pretty nervous about how hectic our mornings will be between pumping, feeding Paul and getting ready but we'll find our groove. I'm going to have to get up at 5 am so I'm worried about how long the days are going to be but I keep reminding myself that countless other women have figured this out and I will, too. Pumping just makes it a little more complicated (if I was nursing I would just nurse Paul when he woke up which is much easier logistically).

Send us some good thoughts tomorrow and in the weeks to come as we adjust to our new reality! And I'd love advice/words of encouragement from other moms who have been in my shoes!

12 comments:

Gracie said...

Absolutely you'll figure this out! You are a planner, but also flexible, so the transition will be as easy as possible under the circumstances. And since you're very dedicated to your job, I expect you'll find yourself glad to be back. Hope the bus plan works out: it's so nice to be able to make use of your commute time for reading or emails rather than driving.

Jolene - EverydayFoodie said...

It will definitely take some time to adjust, but you'll fall into a groove, and see what works best for you. You've got this!

That's nice that you have a family member and friend who can watch Paul for a week and a half - so helpful.

Carolina John said...

You'll get it figured out. Kelley couldn't stand the thought of dropping off Ella at daycare, so I had to do that every day, and my work schedule at the time was different every day so it got hectic. She had no trouble picking up though. Daycare always feels like a juggling act.

Glad you've enjoyed the maternity leave time! And good luck going back to the office tomorrow.

Marlys Dotzenrod said...

I was fortunate that I didn't have to use daycare, as I worked from home or took you kids to the office with me, so I know it will be hard, but I also know you will make the adjustment and things will fall into place. Mom's have a hard time with separation - harder than babies, I believe!
I am looking forward to spending two days with him! Color me happy!

katielookingforward said...

I'm glad you have half days to ease back in! And how awesome to have a Spanish immersion day care!?! wow!

Kelly (She Wears a Red Sox Cap) said...

Great job making the most of your maternity leave- getting a few things done and also enjoying time with Paul. I think the transition plan you have set up (family watching him, half days etc) is great one and will really help. For me the first week was the hardest, specifically the last day of the first week when I was SO damn exhausted. After that it slowly got better. I was always happy to be at work in theory but the logistics were challenging and I felt guilty a lot. It got easier the older Max got. Hoping that will be the case for me in September too!

Kelly (She Wears a Red Sox Cap) said...

(I should add- I think that being a mom made me a better worker. I was more productive and better at prioritizing the most important things. I do work at home a lot less often, especially when he was really little. When I first went back to work Max was going to bed at the same time as me, so I had no real time and I think that was kind of a good thing lol. Hopefully you'll find some benefits as well!)

Jeanie said...

Good for you on your goals. Especially the closets and cupboards, which can be a real pain and time sink! I'm anxious to hear how Paul does with the child care and then day care soon. I think the Spanish immersion sounds fascinating and a wonderful idea. I'll look forward to your posts!

Sandra Bond said...

I am sure this is going to be a big adjustment with you going back to work, starting daycare and figuring out a schedule.
In Germany, they always have a "easing-into" phase at the daycare, where Mom stays most of the time and just goes away for an hour or so in the beginning, then longer stretches of time, do you have that too or do you just go there and have to leave him right away?

Stephany said...

I hope the transition to working motherhood goes well! If anyone can do it, I know you can. It will definitely be a change from the way your mornings used to begin, but you'll figure it out in time.

And I hope you're not too upset about not losing the pregnancy weight. It took nine months to gain it, so give yourself grace there. :) And only being 10 lbs away is amazing, IMO.

Emilie said...

Balancing working with being a mom is hard, and I remember feeling super intimidated by the early mornings and how to get us out the door on time. In all honesty, I’m late to work most days. I was never late before I had a baby! It helps to have everything packed the night before, as much as possible. That’s my only real advice because I feel like I am still figuring everything out myself even though I’ve been back to work for well over a year! Now I am nervous for how I’ll manage with two kiddos next year, but I still haven’t decided if i will go back to work or stay home full time. Time will tell I guess!

I did not lose the last 10 lbs until I stopped breastfeeding at 15 months. Then I got pregnant right away and I’m back up. I got about 2 weeks in my pre-pregnancy clothes! One thing that helped me in the nursing days was wearing side panel maternity pants. They were comfortable, had wiggle room, but didn’t have the full belly panel that regular maternity pants have. If I was extra hungry one day due to cluster feeding or something, it wasn’t uncomfortable to eat a little more because my pants never felt too tight.

Amber said...

As much as Eric's opposite shift schedule SUCKS the mornings is one place it will be a saving grace when I go back to work. The plan as of right now is for me to wake Olivia up right before I leave (probably around 7:15 - 7:30) and nurse her (if we're still nursing in the morning then). Eric will then feed her breakfast and take her to my moms. Depending on how her nap schedule is at that point in time she might even have her first nap at home, but Eric will need to go to sleep by 10:30 - 11 at the latest so we'll see.

Anyways, I know that this is a big and scary transition for you guys but I also know you WILL figure it out!! Will be sending you all the good thoughts for next week when you officially start this new schedule. I'm really glad you were able to take 1.5 weeks of partial half days and then also having family/friends take care of Paul to really ease back into things.