Disclaimer: This applies to ME only. I am not trying to suggest this is the way to do things or this is what is best for every mom or every family. This is just simply how things are for me. Thanks 🙂
My dearest Milana,
On Tuesday of this past week I had my work email reactivated.
Yesterday we met with your daycare teacher, Miss Sarah, who took care of Nico and Gabriella in the early months of their lives prior to starting at Montessori.
Tomorrow you turn two months old.
Sunday is our final day together 24/7.
And Monday I go back to work.
I want to be honest with you, my girl- I am a better mom because I work.
I am not defined by my job or the things I do, but I am better because of it. I know that may not be the case for every mom or every family, but it is the case with me. And while I feel twinges of guilt being away from you so much at such a young age, I promise you I will be fully present when we are together. Instead of having anxiety or guilt about being away from you, I will just continue advocating for paid parental leave in the United States to anyone that will listen.
It is the system that is broken, and I’m not going to feel guilty because I am forced into it by nature of being a mom that lives in the United States. It stinks. As you’ll soon see, my sweet child, I do not often stay silent when it comes to challenging the status quo. While I have been fortunate to have a nine weeks “off,” it was combined paid and unpaid time that many new moms do not have the luxury of taking. In fact, some statistics show 1 in 4 moms have to return to work at two weeks postpartum. TWO WEEKS POSTPARTUM.
I’ll save my fury over that for another post.
At this point, Milana, we’ve successfully established nursing and are working on a pretty good schedule. My new Willow 2.0 Pump gives me my hands back when I’m pumping after feeds- and I can actually manage to eat or take you on a walk or use the bathroom. #momlife.
You are pretty happy to go to sleep at the end of the day and go down without much struggle. We both are grateful for the Baby Merlin Magic Sleep Suit; the same one aided your big brother and sister in falling asleep in their early days.
You are the joy in our home; Nico and Gabriella just fawn over you daily and miss you when they’re gone at school. They look forward to you being able to join them at Montessori at some future point.
We did a lot during the past two months – lots of lunch dates and walks around the neighborhood. Being born in the summer facilitates getting out of the house so much more than winter births. We went on your first trip to Walt Disney World; you actually set the record in our house for making it there younger than the other two.
While there was so many things that needed to get done, I made sure to try to soak up every minute that I could with you, while making sure that Nico and Gabriella got some 1:1 time with mom too. It’s a big transition when there’s a new baby in the house, but you made it pretty easy.
I’m not sure if it’s just that I haven’t slept like a normal human being since first getting pregnant almost four years ago or if I just don’t require as much sleep as I used too, but I haven’t been especially tired. That will probably change next week; we’ll see. I should thank you for, like your big sister, falling into a sleep routine pretty easily. Last night we hit our first 8 hour stretch without eating. While I was still pumping every 3 hours, it was nice to be able to go straight back to bed after.
Who am I kidding? I didn’t go right back to bed. I had some middle of the night snacks, perused social media, went to the bathroom, and then hit the pillow, only to be woken by your newly potty trained sister 🙂 Then it was almost time to pump again.
I have no complaints, it’s really just not as hard as it used to be.
That might change on Monday, though, when I have to start using my brain again.
I have to confess to you though, I love working. I want to work. I’m so sad to be leaving you, but I’m so excited to get back to the hustle of my job. It’s exhilarating for me (most of the time). I hope that you find a job that you love and pursue it fearlessly and with passion.
Why do I feel like I’m a better mom because I work outside of the home?
- I get more done at home. On days where my to do list is 100 items long, I usually manage to get a good number of them done. On days where my to do list is 3 items long, it might just take me all day to get them done, if they get done at all. The old saying says to ask a busy person if you want to get something done. As a working mom of #3under3, I think I qualify as a busy person. And when I have work plus mommying, I manage to get more done. Which leads me to…
- Working brings back routine. The hardest part of maternity leave for me is not having a schedule. It’s different when I’m home with Nico and Gabriella- they have an established routine that has markers at various points of the day. With you being so young, we’re still working on the routine, and it changes as you go through growth spurts or have a fussy day or any other random things comes up. Going back to work means that you will have a set schedule at daycare and we will all have a more regular schedule during the times we are home.
- I get to be me. I think I’m pretty darn good at my job. My company thinks I’m pretty darn good at my job too. Working allows me time to use my brain, challenge myself, and talk about complicated problems that sometimes don’t have answers. I am an advocate by nature; lawyering allows me to do what I am best at every day and allows the fire to keep burning inside.
- Finally, being away from my kids makes me appreciate the time we have together so much more because it is so limited. It allows me to be 100% present. It helps me to be more patient, because I’m not tired from negotiating with toddlers all day. It gives me better perspective and reminds me what matters most.