Saturday, September 29, 2012

Back to the land of the living (and working)

It's been almost 9 weeks since Reina was born -- wow, that totally flew by! Overall, it has been a more delightful, easier ride than with Lorelei as an infant. Not to say that Reina is an "easy baby" or anything, but she doesn't spend all her waking hours screaming for hours on end. She (kind of) sleeps at night, though not "through the night." She's only done that a handful of times, and I'm trying my best not to stress about what conditions caused that. Probably none. Just randomness.

I'm getting back to myself in a couple of ways. I feel fully recovered at this point (though still tired). I have run a total of one time since I had her -- but I plan on running today. Let's see if that happens... And I have decided to go back to work.

When I say "go back to work," I don't mean return to the job I had before. That position ended at the end of the school year and I was unsure whether I would just stay at home with the girls or try to find work. While I've been having a lovely maternity "vacation" -- Lorelei still went to her babysitter while I stayed at home with Reina -- that was not exactly sustainable, for a number of reasons. If I decided not to return to the working world, I'd be committing to staying home with both kids. Lorelei's babysitter is a wonderful person and has been the best possible option for our family until now. I wouldn't want to lose her either.

So, starting Monday, I will be going to a new job and both children will be with the sitter. I am very excited, but of course there will probably be many tearful mornings when I simply will not be liking this at all. When the snow is falling, I'm going to curse myself for making this decision. When the babysitter tells me of something amazing either of the girls did, I'm going to wonder why I decided not to be there for those milestones.

But I have come to realize this about myself: I need to work. Not only to contribute to our family's income, but also to feel a social connection outside of my children and husband. Plus, I need to fulfill a creative, productive urge that has nothing to do with my kids. It's kind of ironic, actually, because I work with children in my field. But it's just different. I can't explain it.

I know a few moms who have recently decided to become stay-at-home-moms instead of going to work. That is totally cool too. I did that with Lorelei. But I couldn't help feeling trapped as a stay-at-home mom. Maybe it's because I didn't find a great group of moms in my area to hang out with. I went to a breastfeeding support group, and a moms group, once in awhile, but neither were close to where we lived. I also felt -- and still feel, to a certain extent -- a healthy dose of anxiety when it comes to constantly being with groups of moms and their kids (and my own). I always feel as though my kid is going to do something "wrong," or that I'll get ostracized or something. I know that sounds ridiculous. But it's not easy to just "put yourself out there" and trust that everyone has those irrational fears.

So anyway. Life's going to get crazy here for awhile (possibly forever). But I hope I can still check in from time to time.

P.S. Any moms who happen to be reading this who have done partial weaning (nursing morning and night but formula feeding during the day), I'd love to hear how it went for you! Looking forward to having this uncomfortable period, where my supply is reorganizing itself, to be overwith. Thanks!

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