Thankful Thursday

After yesterday’s Whinefest, I decided to do a Thankful Thursday post to remind myself of all the wonderful things in my life right now. It’s easy to focus on the less than stellar things, but important to remember it’s not all doom and gloom. 

1) My sister reminded me of how just two months ago, I was struggling to shower everyday and get dressed before noon. Now I’m getting dressed every morning, commuting into San Francisco, completing a full day’s work, going home, putting some kind of dinner on the table, and am still able to dance around the house with Mabel before bedtime. 

2) I have a great partner. S has been so supportive since I went back to work. She can work crazy long days at her lab, but she always helps with Mabel without complaint. We have 4 hour shifts at night when we’re each on “Mabel Duty.” Whoever is on duty when Mabel wakes up tends to her needs. This way we each get at least 4 uninterrupted hours of sleep each night. She never grumbles about this, even when she has worked a 12 hour day and wants nothing more than to pass out in bed for 8 or so hours. She washes bottles when I oversleep and have to race out the door. She scoops the cat litter. 

3) Even though money is tight, we can afford a lovely nanny. All of our bills get paid. We have food on the table every day. We each have a retirement fund. 

4) Mabel. This girl is the light of my life. She is super smiley and has recently started chuckling. Not full belly laughs yet, but close. My favorite times each day:  her 5:30am feeding when we can snuggle. She usually nurses and then curls up with me in bed until I get up at 6. And when I get home from work in the evening, it’s usually right before she goes down for her last nap of the day. She curls her arms around my shoulders and buries her face in my neck while she “growls” herself to sleep. (That’s the only way I can describe it! She does this low growling sound as she’s drifting off, which I assume is her soothing herself to sleep.)

So things aren’t all bad. They’re pretty good actually when you look at the big picture. I just need to keep reminding myself of this when life gets stressful. 

Whiney Wednesday

It is Wednesday, right? I lose track of the days of the week somewhere around Tuesday.

First up on my whine list: my commute. We’re looking into getting a second car but first we have to look over our finances and we’d like to pay off our current car. S mentioned looking this weekend, but we’ll see. I’m a preparer and hate jumping into something big, like buying a car, without a plan already laid out. In the meantime, I’ve been late to work every day this week and I’ve found that I have to leave around 3:45pm in order to not be late meeting the nanny at 5pm. Because sometimes public transit isn’t so great. So I’m in the office for only about 7 hours a day. Sounds great, right? Except I have a mountain of work to do for our big November fundraiser. My tight schedule in the office is just stressful right now. 

Whine #2  – pumping. I’ve had a very low milk supply from the get-go, but I’ve been pumping religiously and nursing Mabel in the mornings. Suddenly last weekend, my supply took another dip. Normally, 3-4 pumping sessions a day would yield about 4 oz. Enough for a bottle for Mabel. And I was fine with that. One day that just dropped down to 2.5 oz – the total after pumping 4 times! Now it takes me 2 days to pump 1 bottles worth of breast milk. I’m taking all kinds of herbs and drinking lactation tea every day, but it hasn’t budged in the last few days. I’m giving it more time, but I sadly can see the end of pumping in my near future. 

Whine #3 – comparisons. I know I shouldn’t compare myself to other moms or Mabel to other babies. I know this! But it’s hard not to. My friend L, who we’ll have a nannyshare with when she starts back to work in 2 weeks, is wonderful. She’s hilarious and smart and while we’ve been colleagues (we work at the same nonprofit) for a while, we bonded over being pregnant at the same time and have become good friends. Because we have daughters only 5 weeks apart in age, it’s been easy to compare our journeys. L has an abundance of breast milk. She can feed her daughter and then pump 8 oz in one sitting like its nothing. You just heard my story (see Whine #2). L was wearing her pre-pregnancy jeans 3 weeks after giving birth. I can only fit into 2 of my pre-pregnancy pants now, 4 months postpartum – and those are my super stretchy jeggings. And last but not least, L’s daughter just started sleeping 8 hours a night! Straight. As in from 9pm – 5am. SHE’S the elusive 3 month old sleeping through the night. I love my life. I love my kiddo – who is down to two wake ups per night. I hate that I’m putting any sort of dark cloud over this motherhood experience by comparing us to others. I’m working on it.

That’s enough whining for one morning. 

Balancing act

Y’all, I was going to do a post on “work nesting” the week before I returned to work and yet here I am, 2.5 weeks into being back at the office. This is indicative of my life at the moment. 

Working mom. Damn. It’s hard. I love my job and I love my colleagues. I actually have a lot of fun when I’m at work, but it’s definitely different now. 

I leave for work at 7am so I’m there by 8am. S is at home to greet the nanny at 8am and then she heads to her job. I leave my office at 4pm so I can relieve the nanny by 5. S gets home around 6:30 or 7. 

First, the commute. My hour long commute never bothered me before, but now it does. I have to take a bus to the closest BART station (our commuter train into San Francisco). After one week of this, S and I decided we needed to become a 2-car family – even though we’re already stretched thin financially. Driving to the BART station will shave 20 min off my commute – one way. Hells yes. We’re planning to dip into savings to pay off our current car so we only have 1 car payment each month. I cannot wait for this. Always prided ourselves on living in an urban area and taking advantage of public transit. Nothing makes me feel more suburban than us having two cars. But damn I have no patience for long commutes anymore.

Pre-baby, I had good time management skills at work, but I wasn’t hustling all day. I would take a leisurely walk to a coffee shop and I often ate my lunch at a nearby park. No more. I have an inflexible time when I have to leave the office, not to mention the 3 pump breaks I have to take throughout the work day. When I’m at work now I’m all business, all the time. Which is…a little lonely. I tend to wolf down lunch at my desk. I can’t take part in any after-work happy hours. I know I should cut myself some slack and spend a little fun time with my colleagues every once in awhile, but I think I also feel a tad guilty that I’m only in the office for 8 hours a day. Like I need to make up for it by getting as much done as humanly possible in that time frame. Is that weird?

I also didn’t realize just how tired I would be every night. It feels like we never stop moving until we go to bed. After getting home, playing with Mabel, cooking dinner, washing bottles and dishes, doing a couple household chores and prepping for the next day, we practically fall into bed already asleep.

The good parts? I’m taking better care of myself physically after a summer spent mostly in pjs with messy hair and unbrushed teeth. I do enjoy having conversations with adults all day, though I feel a bit behind in current events. 

In the midst of all this, we moved Mabel to her crib. We realized she was as long as the bassinet mattress now and she learned how to roll over last week! This meant I kept waking up to find she had rolled in her sleep and was smashed against the side of the bassinet. Now she has lots of wiggle room in the crib. Though we aren’t quite ready to have her in a separate room from us (and her crib won’t fit in our bedroom) so we’re taking turns sleeping on the bed we have in the nursery. Not sleeping in the same bed as my wife most days – a post for another day. Not an ideal situation, but we know it’s only temporary. And we are actually getting a bit more sleep this way. 

Also, I read in TWO separate books recently that most babies are sleeping through the night at three months old and this just made me irrationally ANGRY. Mabel wakes up 3 times a night at pretty much the same times every night. And I don’t really see this changing anytime soon. 

Ok, I’m about to pass out, but I have so many blog posts outlined in my head right now. I’ll try to be more on top of it.