Thursday, April 30, 2015

You'll never know unless you ask!

This is how I feel about motherhood.  It's overwhelming how much I love our little nugget.
I'm just about finished with my third week of work.  I promised myself that I'd give work a full four weeks before I thought seriously about, or made any decisions about, asking to reduce my hours or work from home occasionally.  But I'd be lying if I didn't admit that it is on my mind ALL the time.  I am fortunate in that I live close to my office (9 minutes) and don't have rigid hours, so I generally arrive at 8:00 AM and leave at 5:00 PM.  However, this means I get about an hour in the morning with B (during which time I am also getting ready for work, so it isn't quality time) and when I get home I get about an hour before she is ready to eat and get ready for bed.  Sometimes she is napping, so I get even less.

And it just isn't feeling like enough.

As a lawyer, I don't have the kind of job that can be shared with someone else so I can't just go part-time (the work arises when it does and often cannot be pushed off for a day or two).  But I am productive and focused when I am at work and I think I could get my work done in a shorter period of time, which would allow me to see more of B.  Right now I am considering asking to work 8 to 3 and to finish up anything that needs to get done urgently after B goes to bed.

I'm wondering if any of you have asked for reduced hours or a big change in your work situation?  Do you have any suggestions for how best to approach the conversation?

One thing I keep reminding myself is that I'll never know what is possible unless I ask.  The answer may be "no," but it may not be.

And the following quote reminded me why finding the balance that works for me is so very important.  I don't want to lose myself, but what matters most to my heart is spending time with B.

By the way, both of these posters are from the artist Susan O'Malley who did an amazing project where she asked people on the street to give the advice they thought their 80-year-old self would give.  I love the responses.  In heart-wrenching news, she passed away in March at 39 weeks pregnant with twins and lost both of her girls, too.  I cannot even imagine how her husband is surviving.

Friday, April 17, 2015

My Babies & Due Dates

I finally wanted to share my baby's full names.  Not sure what is inspiring me to do this today, but I was just thinking about the anonymity of this blog and that I might be changing my tune about whether it it is necessary.


Baby L is referred to as "L" because we called her Lemon through my pregnancy. I'm not sure why, but it was an early nickname and it stuck.  But her real name is Quinn.  Beautiful, sweet Quinn.  I often think of her as my little Q.  But I do also still think of her as Lemon and think it would have been one of her nicknames.  Or maybe it is still her nickname?  I get tripped up in tenses when I think of Quinn.

And our Baby B!  The love of my life who brings me so much joy -- more than I thought we might ever feel again after we lost Quinn.  Baby B's real name is Blythe.  It means happy.  We hope she is happy and she certainly makes us the happiest we've ever been.  It has been my favorite name for ages and it just fit her (even though it took us 3 days in the hospital to actually commit).

So there it is.  You have now officially met my Baby B and Baby L.


Last week was also the one-year anniversary of L's due date.  Little Lemon would be one year old.  I would have a one-year-old.  My due date anniversary and my last week of maternity leave combined to make it an emotional week.  Mostly I cuddled Miss B as much as possible, gave her many kisses, let her nap in my arms, and enjoyed every second with her.  But I also told her about her sister and had a few good cries thinking about the last two years and everything we have been through, lost, and gained.

As we all know, anniversaries are tough.

Working for the Weekend

Happy Friday!  This one is especially happy since it is my first week back at work and I am counting the minutes until I can go home and snuggle with B (6 hours, 14 minutes).  B is home with a nanny who I think it taking wonderful care of her.  I suppose I have to trust my instincts on this one (and my husband's, since we hired her), but it is SO hard to leave her at home with someone who I really do not know well, no matter that she had great references and we loved her in her interview.  Any advice on this one?  I told my husband I wanted to install a nanny cam and he officially thinks I am off my rocker and has warned me not to frighten the nanny away.

The emotions of this first week back are intense.  Truthfully, it feels really nice to get up, shower, blow dry my hair, and go to work!  I get a coffee on the way, I get a lot done, I converse with adults, and I have some freedom and feel a bit more like myself.  I try to squeeze in a workout and to remember what I am like as an individual rather than just who I am as a Mom.  And I have some time to catch up on blogging and reading other blogs (I am sure my employer would be thrilled to hear that).

But, I spend a great deal of my day thinking about B.  What is she up to?  When can we snuggle?  Will she be awake when I am home?  What are she and the nanny up to?  Is she happy?  Is she being properly cared for?  Will she resent me for not having stayed home with her?  The list goes on and on...

B will be four months old next week and we are having so much fun together so I just hate missing out on things.  She has rolled over a few times and laughs and smiles and loves being read to and sung to. And I am not there to see it happen.  This weekend we are taking her swimming for the first time. I cannot wait.

I know we all struggle with these emotions and there is a completely other side of them for those of us who stay home with our babies full-time.  I knew it would be hard, but perhaps not *this* hard.  Any thoughts or advice from those of you who have been doing this longer?

Crazy hair!