Tomorrow marks my first day back at work full time. I will have Fridays off for the foreseeable future, but I have to use earned comp days. In many ways, I am sad to not be at home three days a week with Nora. In other ways, I feel ready to rise to the challenge of balancing a full-time career with mommyhood. And, no matter what, Nora will always be the first priority in my life whether I am at home or at work.
When I returned to work part time in November, I reflected that the change marked the end of “chapter 1,” meaning our first eight weeks with Nora. Now, another eight weeks have passed and chapter 2 comes to a close. I think chapter 2 helped us transition back to “real life” after a baby. We adjusted to a more hectic schedule; I had to figure out how to get out the door by eight in the morning dressed for work hauling a baby, breast pump and supplies, daycare bag, and packed lunch (more difficult than it sounds!) to the car. We also had to deck the halls, celebrate the holidays, and undeck the halls in that time period. An extra layer of crazy, I tell you!
Chapter 2 helped us get to know our baby even better. We now have a solid routine when we leave the house. We aren’t nearly as sleep deprived. We booked vacations for spring, knowing that our little girl will be ready to travel. And celebrating the holidays with a baby made our family feel complete.
We’re now going to have to adjust to a new phase, one where we all have full schedules. Steve, Nora, and I will all have structured lives on the weekdays. To keep sane during our busy weeks, I have implemented a few new things at the house:
- I now make a weekly meal plan and write an extensive grocery list. When we go shopping, we only buy what is on the list. This saves a lot of time at the store and a lot of money.
- I have a list on the fridge that spells out everything that needs to be in my work bag and Nora’s daycare bag. I double check it before I leave the house.
- I had to buy new clothes for work, since I haven’t had time to lose the rest of my pregnancy weight yet. All items are machine washable and I bought enough outfits for the week, so I won’t have to wash trousers mid week.
- I rearranged the house so Nora has a nook filled with toys. I wanted to make sure she could get right to the fun stuff when we come home from work. I want to have an hour in the morning and a few hours at night to play with her. Her nook keeps toys handy and it helps keep the house clean, so I won’t be walking into a messy house after a long day at the office.
Steve and I are working together to make sure Nora spends limited time at daycare in the next few months. I will take Fridays off and he will try to take one day a week off so she’s only at daycare three days a week for awhile. I have such mixed feelings about putting her in daycare, but for now it’s what we have to do. And we’ll be sure to make the weekends relaxed and low-key. Plus, we have trips to Disney World and Idaho to look forward to in March and May!
I’ll let you know how work goes when I do my weekly update! I hope things go smoothly and I can get back to all of my fun distractions!