a letter to my child’s daycare…

From that first day, and every day I am dropping off the most important thing in my life, my child. That is my heart walking through that door and sitting down to breakfast or to play with his friends. That is my whole world and I leave him with you.

Some days it takes all I have not to hold back tears as I leave him in your care. Some days I worry that maybe he is not happy there and should be home with me, that I’ve got this whole parenting thing all wrong. Some days I skip away because finally getting some time to myself is oh so necessary after some of the mornings we have had. And sometimes it takes everything I have not to run back in and give him one more hug before I go.

Please be good to him, he is my sweetheart. Please don’t let him cry too long when he is upset, please comfort him when he is sad or not feeling well. Please teach him right when he is wrong. Please help him to grow into the sweet and caring boy I know he can become.

Please tell me all about his day. Tell me about his interactions with other children, songs, games, and stories he enjoyed. Tell me all of this because I miss every one of these moments when I am gone. The mornings, nights, and weekends go by in a blur and I worry that you know more about my child than I do. Please tell me that he is happy, laughing, and smiling. Please tell me that he is ok without me.

Everyday, I leave him with you. And everyday I question my decision to do so.  Please let me know that I am doing the right thing. Please take good care of my heart.

why i am not (and will never be) a stay at home mom...

During maternity leave I would have done ANYTHING to be a stay at home mom and raise my sweet newborn son for years if not decades.  I looked into how to pull it off financially with side jobs, etsy shops, even selling our home in our expensive neighborhood and moving to the sticks to raise our brood of children.  My hormones were on fire and I was determined to be a stay at home mom.  

Now I realize why 6 weeks, 8 weeks, or even 12 weeks is not enough maternity leave for new moms, we are hormonal, delusional, and not even in the right mindset to return to the workforce, but we do.  We may cry on the way to work, in the bathroom, and even quietly at our desks, but we return to work before we are ready.

Days turned into weeks back at work and probably a month or so before my son's first birthday, everything began to find its balance.  Bedtime for my son evened out finally to 7pm so he was no longer napping the minute he got home from daycare and mornings became an easy routine where we all managed to get out the door somewhat on time.  Then when he started on whole milk & the school food plan at one year, all that time dealing with bottles and mini containers of chopped up f00d became time gained and we all started to see the light at the end of the tunnel.  Going to work started to feel like a vacation compared to staying home with my ever growing son who needed more and more stimulation as each day passed.  

Today was the end of a very long 3 day weekend and I realize more than ever that for 40 hours a week, I am meant to be at work.  I love my son...madly.  I love every moment we have together.  But taking care of a child, even if it is my own, full time, is truly not for me.  Honestly, I feel it is way harder to be a stay at home mom than a working mom.  I enjoy adult conversations. going to the bathroom by myself, and eating lunch.  All things that do not take place at home with a toddler.  Sometimes when I am on the elevator alone at work I can't help but smile, the feeling of truly being alone is not something that you come by too often as the mother of young children.

I am now a little excited for Mondays.  Yes I am jealous of the stay at home moms for brief moments when I am tired and feel like I can't keep this life together anymore, but I know that this is the right life for me.  And if you are a stay at home mom right now and happy with what you do, it is indeed the right life for you...we are so lucky that we get to choose our life.  It wasn't that long ago that staying home with the kids was the only option for a mother.

As spring break approaches, I am honestly a little intimidated by a week off with my son as I know I can't provide him the stimulation and exertion of energy that he requires and receives at school in a classroom filled with 15 kids connected to a playground.  But I plan to spend every waking minute with him and take in every second because I am a working mom whose time is limited with my son, but at the same time is just enough.

all good things come to an end...back to work after maternity leave...

Going back to work is bittersweet.  A part of me always knew I was not cut out to stay home all day with a baby (it is really hard work - and seems to only get harder...)  The other part is screaming you have to be home with your baby and I know in my heart there is nowhere else I would rather be then at home snuggling with Mason.  

To think that I won’t see every smile, every milestone, every word, every everything from Mason breaks my heart.  My sweet little boy will be in another woman's arms for 40 hours a week.  Of course I thought of leaving my job all together and staying home – I am sure every Mother has.  But I vowed to give it a few months and try – I just can’t even imagine finding the balance and not feeling the guilt that comes with being a working mom.  It is hard not to believe that the best place for babies are with their moms.  But then again millions of moms are working and making it work – justified by the long waiting lists to get into daycare.  I can’t help but think that I won’t be able to do both well – be a mom and have a career.  Something has to sacrifice.  Something has to get less of my attention and I have already decided it has to be my career.  I will not be the mom who works late or travels extensively – that is not the reason I had children.  I have to choose – I know I can’t have both.

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pump and work...work and pump

It feels like I am constantly pumping at work to keep up my milk supply and meet Mason's needs.  I technically need to pump 3 times a day while I am at work for at least 20 minutes each session to produce about 15oz of breastmilk and even then I still need to supplement his bottles with about 6 oz of formula to meet his 21oz daily requirement.  It honestly feels like every second I turn around, I need to pump again - some days I feel like I get nothing done and the days I only pump twice I feel like a horrible mother with more guilt on my shoulders than I can handle.  

The act of pumping at work is insane.  I go into this little room, strip off the top half of my clothes, hook up to all the gadgets (which seriously needs to be revamped completely - I should be able to push a button at my desk and be pumping by now), then sit there as milk is pumped vigorously out of my body.  The fact that I take my shirt off in any form at work is completely inappropriate to begin with, add on top of that expressing milk and storing it in a bag at my desk, even weirder.  I have put together some of the best advice I received for pumping at work and that I strictly abide by:

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the awful, horrible, no good, weekend...

Some days I just feel defeated.  I feel like nothing can possibly go right.   The times when I go in the kitchen and realize I never put the milk I pumped in the fridge, let alone a cap on it.  The times when I get in my car already late for everything and discover I have no gas.  I feel like throwing in the towel, giving up, saying I have had enough.  I cannot possibly do this one more day.  Being a parent, I now have more of these days then I ever imagined trying to work, deal with daycare, keeping my marriage in one piece, and doing what feels like endless loads of laundry.  Today was one of those days.

We had an awful weekend, I was getting over a terrible fever and was exhausted, weak, and not at my best.  Mason we believe, though we do not have any little teeth buds to prove it, is teething.

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