Category Archives: Work

Returning to the Classroom

Starting next week, I will once again be a 5th grade teacher. It has been four years since the last time I was in charge of a classroom and I am feeling just a little overwhelmed. The past few days I have been at the required new teacher workshops which has only increased my anxiety. Between preparing for the school year, prepping for Becca’s 2nd birthday party and finishing up an editing project, I haven’t had much time to blog.

However, I do have a intro-to-school activity for the preschool/kindergarten set so I will see if I can get that posted tomorrow. I also have a few other posts in mind so hopefully, I will be able to get to them.

In the meantime, I will be laminating posters, baking lasagnas and blowing up balloons!

Mary Kate

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Filed under Random Thoughts, Work

Weaning

Since I’ve been so tired there has been a lot that has happened in the last few months that I have neglected to blog about. So I’m going to try to catch up a little. One big thing that happened is that I weaned John Patrick.

Since every baby and every mom are different, Mary Kate thought it would be a good idea to share my experience in case it helps anyone else out there in the blogosphere. Great idea!

A little background: Since John Patrick was a preemie, he was introduced to the bottle before the breast. It took him two months to get the hang of breastfeeding – remember that? So I did a lot of pumping at first. But once he finally clicked with breastfeeding, it was all downhill – for awhile.

Introducing formula: At three months I decided to slowly introduce formula. I knew that I would be going back to work in another four weeks and I wanted him to get used to eating formula with me, in case he had any kind of bad reaction to it. I knew that he would probably have to take some formula at his nursery. He clicked with it really easily. It almost seemed as if he didn’t even notice a difference. (I decided not to take that personally.)

Going back to work: Now I should preface this by saying that going back to work was EXTREMELY difficult for me. It wasn’t so much that I didn’t want to leave him (although that was a part of it). But it was mostly because my boss decided to punish me for a couple of months for having a baby and my work environment was unbearably stressful. This was the point in the last 8 months that I almost had a nervous breakdown. I felt like I couldn’t do anything right, in any part of my life. It was really horrible.

Through all this stress my milk supply consistently decreased everyday. No matter what I did (pumped more, drank special teas, breastfed more at home) it didn’t matter. First I went down to 50% breast milk and 50% formula at his nursery. Then it went down to only one bottle a day. I felt guilty because at this point John Patrick was only 5 months old. I had it in my mind that I would definitely breastfeed for a full 6 months.

Then I finally realized that the stress of breastfeeding was also making me crazy. I was literally trying to be EVERYTHING to EVERYBODY (nurturer / nourisher to my son, the model employee for my boss, organizer / household manager for my husband). I finally just snapped. And I realized that I just couldn’t do it all.

Just letting go: Once I decided that it was ok for John Patrick to take formula and that I had done the best I could (I did last 5 months with a preemie who originally had no intention of ever breastfeeding), things just happened naturally. My body produced less and less everyday. John Patrick became less and less interested in breastfeeding. Till finally the only nursing I was doing was before bedtime. I don’t even remember the last time I nursed him but at some point he stopped wanting to be nursed then too. And my body stopped producing about the same time.

For me, I didn’t have hormonal issues or engorgement. My issues were more psychological. But as I soon as I stopped putting so much pressure on myself, it just happened naturally. And he’s a big chunky healthy boy so I’m over feeling “guilty”.

Everyone experiences something different when weaning (if you decided to breastfeed). I guess my only advice is don’t be your own worst enemy. It’ll happen when it’s supposed to happen.

Good Luck!

Jen

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Filed under Baby, Breastfeeding, Daycare, Mom Issue, Take a Moment, Work

I’m So Tired

Warning – Whinny Post Alert!!!!

I’m so tired.  And I’m tired of saying, “I’m so tired”.  And my husband and friends are tired of hearing “I’m so tired”.  But I’m so tired.

I just can’t seem to recover.  I have been exhausted since my second trimester.  So basically, I have been exhausted for a year now.  No one tells you that.  And it’s not that I don’t ever sleep.  I sleep.  But not the same quality of sleep I had before.  I don’t think I’ve just woken up on my own since I gave birth.  There is always something or someone waking me up.  Admittedly that the “someone” is the most adorable human being ever – but nonetheless, waking up to his screams is quite a jarring experience.

The other day I was complaining explaining to someone that I feel like I work two full time jobs.  I work all day and then come home and try to be a good mom.  Then I physically drop at 9:30.  Most nights I don’t even have enough energy to read a couple of pages of a great book I’m trying to read.  This morning I noticed that my eyebrows are out of control.  I just haven’t had time to pluck.  My house is a mess and dirty.  I haven’t updated John Patrick’s album since he was three months old.  And I’m sure most of my friends think I’m a big selfish hermit because I never call anyone anymore.

Did I mention that I’m so tired?  Ok, and admittedly, feeling sorry for myself.  Believe me, I KNOW that I’m not the only working and tired mom out there.  But how do you all do it?  And am I ever going to feel rested again?  Sometimes I just daydream about checking into a fancy hotel, drawing the curtains shut, turning the air conditioner down really low, and sleeping for a good 14 hours.  In this dream, I wake up on my own because I have had enough sleep and it’s a slow process, not a jumping out of bed and running to get a bottle process.  But then I realize that even one night away from my pumpkin would make me miserable because I would miss him so much.  So I guess it just leaves me with…

I’m so tired.

Jen

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Filed under Baby, Infant, Sleep, Work

Back to Work

I really thought the first 6 weeks having John Patrick home were hard. But nothing prepared me for going back to work. It has been so much harder than I imagined it would be. Simple sayings such as “not enough hours in the day” have a whole new meaning to me now.

Here are the top ten things I’ve learned in the last week and a half being back at work:

1.) My boss doesn’t believe in “adjustment” periods.

2.) People who get a full 8 hours of uninterrupted sleep a night are super annoying in the morning.

3.) I’m jealous of my son’s daycare teacher.

4.) It’s possible to fall asleep while pumping.

5.) Stress causes my milk supply to decrease.

6.) John Patrick now needs 6 ounces per feeding.

7.) Our laundry bill each month could feed a small country in Africa.

8.) Being broke isn’t so painful if you don’t have time to shop for anything.

9.) Time goes by ten times faster on the weekends.

10.) Exhaustion makes me write silly posts.

Jen

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Filed under Daycare, Mom Issue, Random Thoughts, Work

The World Went On Without Me?

As I slowly get back into work, it fascinates me that the world just went trucking right along while I had a baby. I know that sounds crazy but there are more than a few times when I’m in a meeting and I want to yell “but I had a baby!” And honestly, it serves me right. I am admitting that I used to be one of those people that would think, “ok, great, you had a baby, can we get back to work now?

I’m now publicly apologizing for those thoughts.

It’s so completely strange going back to work. I’ve only been gone a few months but I feel like an entirely different person. My priorities, worries, stresses, and joys are so different. I can already tell that it’s going to take me awhile to get used to the new me. Right now I’m out of sorts and trying to get used to the fact that the world really didn’t stop when I had a baby. Strange, it sure felt like it did.

Jen

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Filed under Baby, Mom Issue, Take a Moment, Work

Thinking Positively about Daycare

This coming Monday is the day – the day I’ve been dreading since I saw the little pink line on the pregnancy test. It’s the day John Patrick goes to daycare. I really want to write about all the things I’m terrified about, all the guilt I have, and this lump in my throat that won’t go away. But I’m not going to do it. This is a part of life and I have to pull myself together. So instead, I’m going to write about all the wonderfully positive things about daycare.

Here they are:

1.) There are more toys there for him to play with.

2.) Our daycare is very multicultural so he will be exposed to a variety of cultures.

3.) He will make his first friends.

4.) His teacher already loves him.

5.) I can have a little break. (I can’t tell you how guilty I feel even writing that one.)

6.) Our time together will be even more special.

7.) He will start to get used to other people taking care of him and therefore not cry hysterically when Mommy isn’t in the room.

8.) His teachers will be focusing on him and his class. So he will be doing fun things instead of sitting in a bouncy seat all day watching me work.

9.) He’ll socialize and learn lessons that Mommy and Daddy can’t teach him.

10.) School birthday parties!

Why don’t I feel better?

Jen

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Filed under Baby, Daycare, Uncategorized, Work

Shh!!! I like to work

O.K. The secret is out; I like to work.

It is true.

I am a mom and I enjoy working outside the home.

Don’t get me wrong; when Omar and I hit the megamillions (and we will — it’s just a matter of time), I will not be working a 9-5 job or punching a time clock. However, I will do some sort-of work outside of the home (I also plan on hiring a personal trainer, masseuse, nutritionist and housekeeper but that is a post for another day). I don’t like that I NEED to work to pay our mortgage.  However, there is a part of me that has always enjoyed working.

I enjoy the satisfaction I feel at the completion of a writing project or teacher workshop. I love the clear and concrete feedback that I receive from my employers or clients. I co-facilitated a workshop today and received impressive evaluations from all of the participants (okay– must of them– but it still felt pretty good). I love that when I am working I can begin a coherent thought and actually follow it through to its conclusion.

But then I begin to feel guilty and sad…

I feel guilty that I was away from Becca for most of her waking hours today. I feel sad that I didn’t get to chase her in and out of the kitchen until she fell on the floor giggling. I feel guilty that Becca refused to eat dinner until Omar took her upstairs and showed her that I wasn’t hiding up there somewhere. I feel sad that I need to get up early tomorrow and leave for a presentation just as Becca is waking up. I feel guilty that I will enjoy making that presentation and having the opportunity to collaborate with my peers.

Feeling guilty and sad (and a little happy)

Mary Kate

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Filed under Take a Moment, Work