Friday, August 27, 2010

Next steps & moving on....

Well, this is the last day of my official non-working life in baby-land.
Next week I start working from home, before I officially go back to the office on Sept. 7th. The baby-moon is over :( Real life must now begin.

While I have to admit, I HAVE missed going downtown, and the hustle and bustle of it all, I am not thrilled to go back to work, it's just something that has to be done. I have met and know lots of moms who say they actually looked forward to going back to work, and that they were ready. Well, I can honestly admit that I actually could stay at home, if things were different. I know what has to be done, and I fully accept it, and I actually have good things happening at work, so I'm going back to a totally positive situation. I am LUCKY to have a job, as so many struggle with unemployment each day. That, and the fact that I know I'll be able to give Elise a good life, keep me going.
If I think too much about not being at home and playing with her all day, it will destroy me, so I must think positively. For her sake and mine. I must believe everything will work out just fine.

Next week we have our final meeting with daycare before we begin. I have a few concerns and worries, I'm hoping this adjustment period for Elise goes okay. I don't know if it's normal for every baby to need to nurse so much, but she can be a fussy baby sometimes, and so nursing is my way of comforting her, whether she's hungry or not. I do try and walk around with her, bounce her, swing her, talk to her, etc but sometimes all she wants is to nurse. Soon though, she will not have me to nurse her all day long or when she needs it. I will be giving the day care bottles of milk, but what if she's not hungry-how will they soothe her? It just makes me worry and I hate that I'm not going to be there to fulfill her needs. Another thing that's bothering me is routine.
We have no routine, really.
I have been letting baby lead the way, and when she needs to eat, she eats. When she's tired, she sleeps. I started reading all these baby books about setting schedules and it literally makes my head spin. Am I a bad parent because I'm going back to work with no set schedule in place for my baby? She usually goes to bed for the night around 9 or 10, and I'm working on 9 being the norm vs. 10 because I want her to get the most sleep she can at night. But I don't follow any kinds of nap schedule during the day. I'm sure this works out okay for stay at home moms who can let baby lead but what do moms who work outside the home do for this? I'm assuming day care will put her on a schedule, is that bad to assume? Ugh. I just haven't liked any of the schedules that I've read about so far, I don't know what's wrong with me.

Anyway, I'm nervous about this big change in our lives and hoping (praying) the adjustment is good for us both. I hope they give Elise all of the attention she deserves. :( I know some moms do not get as much leave as I have taken and I should be grateful that I had 12 long weeks with my baby to bond, etc but it still feels so short sometimes. I must be confident in my choice and know that plenty of moms work outside the home, and that we will be okay.

I've also been wondering why I didn't do this sooner, and how amazing it really is, this parenting thing. I can't believe I thought something else mattered more than this.


Anonymous said...

I don't have any great advice, but Ihave a good feeling that it will all work out fine. And I'm sure you have a good circle of mom support that will likely be invaluable during the transistion to daycare/working. Elise is a lucky girl, and I in no way can imagine that letting her lead the way schedule wise has been a bad thing. Going with your instincts cant be bad, right?

Adventures In Babywearing said...

Oh your words are so beautiful, and filled with so. much. love.

You are a good mother.

I am secretly thrilled that you have been letting Elise tell you when she needs to nurse and be comforted vs. putting her on a schedule like "society" dictates. It seems you've been laid back so hopefully she'll settle right in with her new digs when you go back- because you have established the foundation, a security, and she will know that.

It's going to all work out.

You are a very good mother.


Warden of Chaos said...

Jen -

The fact that you are worried shows just what a good mom you are!

As far as day care and a schedule, I wouldn't worry too much. Although THEY will be on a loose schedule, most infant day care centers put the baby's needs ahead of the schedule. Talk to the care givers of the room Elise will be in and ask questions about it. That will put your mind at ease. And don't feel bad when you call every hour to check in with her the first day - totally normal.

Also, don't feel like a bad mom when she cries. It's a show for YOU, not necessarily an indicator something is wrong. With both of my boys (although they were older and more aware, so you may not have this issue), they cried when we left every day the first week, a couple of times the second week, and then not at all. Also, within minutes of us leaving and the teachers giving them a little extra attention, they dried up.

If you can, I would also recommend taking Elise to day care during your at-home week and staying there with her for an hour - while the care givers take care of her - and then leave with her. It will help her to see you trust these people, and you can see how they interact with Elise.

Finally, if you need any advice, sympathy, commiseration, or anything else from a working mom, feel free to email me. Also, I usually don't talk up my blog in other's comments, but my entire blog, The Working Mom Woes, is specifically about what you are going through. Take a look at it and feel free to make comments or ask questions.

This is such a hard thing, but remember what you are teaching your daughter - that parenting is about loving yourself first because we cannot give away what we don't own. If that means working for you because it makes you happy or provides the lifestyle you want your family to have, then you will share that happiness with her.

You're doing great, Jen!

Erin said...

The thing about babies is that all babies are different and it's up to the mom to decide what's best. Luke was like Elise and didn't need to be on a schedule. He slept great, ate great, and was generally an easy-going baby. The transition to the sitter's was a pretty easy one for him, too, because the schedule just fell into place naturally.
Now Tommy? He needed to be on a schedule and once he was, he was a much happier baby. He needs routine! So, don't feel like you've done something wrong or like she won't do well at daycare because you don't have her on a schedule. Something tells me she'll be just fine.