Many sweet friends, family, and church members have been asking how my first week back at work after my eleven-week maternity leave was going. I've held off on blogging about it (not that I've had time to!) until at least this first week was under my belt.
The short answer is "fine." I haven't cried. I haven't held Claire's car seat hostage and refused to let Matt take her to day care. I'm fine.
The longer answer on the work side of things is that I've been a little overwhelmed at times but glad to be back overall. I spent Monday just getting my feet wet again, catching up on what's been happening while I was out. I checked e-mail periodically while I was out, so I only had about two weeks' worth to sort through upon my return (and since those two weeks were over the holidays, they were much lighter than they might have been!) Tuesday, I had a few freak-outs as I got deeper back into the swing of things, and by Wednesday my to-do list was growing faster than I could mark things off of it. Thursday and Friday, I was more or less on top of things, though I still haven't taken back the reins on everything I'd passed off to colleagues while I was gone. (I really would have been overwhelmed had I taken back all my old responsibilities immediately, so thank you, S and B!)
I've been pumping 2-3 times a day, which is much more difficult this time around a) because I don't have a little, rarely-used conference room near my office like I did with Kate and have to walk a ways to get to the designated pumping room (which is nice and clean and has a lock, so that's good) and b) because I wasn't already pumping a million times a day like I was with Kate. I knew this would be tough, since boobies and babies respond differently to pumping/bottles than nursing. So, I'm having to pump 4-5 times a day (i.e. before and after work as well as during) to make the milk she drinks from three bottles a day at day care. I have no spare stash this time—a total change from the chest freezer in the garage full of bagged milk I had last time! I'm trying to get my supply up, hopefully to the point that I can just pump twice a day at work and maybe build up a fridge/freezer stash, or at least to where I can only pump at work and not between feedings at home as well!
On the home front, it's been exhausting, especially since Matt was busy every night this week, so I've been outnumbered in the evenings. This has been difficult because I can't really give attention to both girls at the same time, except for those brief moments where I'm holding Claire and Kate body slams us both with a big cuddle. So, I feel like when I'm doing something with Kate, I'm neglecting Claire (or more accurately, missing Claire, since it's me that it bothers, not her) and when I'm cuddling Claire, I'm ignoring Kate and risking a meltdown or intentional potty-accident if she feels usurped by the baby. I'm craving one-on-one time with each girl. I feel like I'm neglecting Kate more now than when I was on leave, I guess because now my home-time has to be shared by both girls, whereas I had all day with Claire before and more easily turned my attention to Kate when she came home. I do miss my days at home with Claire (and, let's be honest; I miss Matt Lauer and Ann Curry, and Hoda and Kathie Lee), but I'm coping.
I anticipated mornings to be crazy, getting all four of us out the door. They've been pretty good, actually, but only because of my resolution. I've been setting our clothes out the night before, getting up at 5:30, showering, enjoying some "me" time with a cup of coffee (from a coffeepot set the night before to brew while I shower!) tending to the kids when they wake up, getting bottles and lunch and myself and everything ready. . . I'm proud of myself. I've had to be a little flexible some mornings, but Monday went perfectly as planned, which has given me the resolve to stick to the desired routine, and we've gotten out the door on time (or early) every day.
Here's my list by the door to make sure we've got all our bags: a purse, pump bag, lunch bag, two backpacks, and sometimes other accouterments for school.
And your reward for reading all the way to the bottom of this post:
Guess who rolled over on Sunday? It seems to have been unintentional and she probably won't do it again for a month or more, but I left her on her back on a blanket while doing something with Kate in the kitchen, and a few minutes later, I heard Claire fussing, looked over, and saw this!
Yes, of course I grabbed my camera before going to assist her. She's not so crazy about being on her tummy!
I'm so glad it's the weekend—and a three-day one at that!