Hello friends! This Friday we’re chatting five things saving my life right now. I went back to work this week and it was filled with all the little bumps in the road one would expect. The two year threw a tantrum next to the minivan outside of daycare drop off. The only reason he stopped crying is because he realized he was throwing a tantrum in 10 degree weather, in the snow. I cried all the way home after dropping the babe off at day care the first day. And then missed him every minute he was there. At work, I didn’t have access to the charting system the ENTIRE first day and called the help desk four different times. I left work without accessing the charting system all day and a stack of notes from all the patients I had seen. I did have a patient comment “that was the most comfortable pap smear I’ve ever had.” I count that as a win (I think). It was a bumpy week for sure but these things saved my life just a little bit…
My Medela pump. Oh, she is tried and true. I don’t think I’ve talked a lot about pumping before but I have spent about 2.5 years pumping with this gal. She has helped me pump THOUSANDS of ounces for my babes at all hours of the day. The only thing I had to replace on her with babe #2 was the tubing because I backfilled the tubes without realizing it – twice. Silliness. I had a Spectra that I trialed with babe #2 but I ended up giving it away to someone because I was always able to pump faster with a Medela. Faster meaning about 5 minutes per each session…which is almost 30 extra minutes of pumping when you’re working a 24 hour shift. That’s 30 minutes I could be sleeping. You get the picture. I’m glad she survived a year in the assorted bin of “breastfeeding accessories.” So far it’s a strong comeback.
Going back to work in the middle of the week. Why did I ever go back to work on a Monday? Going back to work in the middle of the week was glorious. You have enough time to say hello to everyone, work through 3 months of emails, find out not much actually changed while you were gone and then it’s the weekend – and you get to hang out with the family. Plus, a few days is nicer to work out the kinks (when are my pump times and where did I put that password?) than a full week.
My 4 year old’s Hatch light. Does anyone else have a child that naturally wakes up at 5am? Every day? No matter what time they go to bed? Well, my 4 year old does. She is the most chipper little one as soon as her eyelids pop open at 5:01am every day and she hits the ground sprinting. Enter the Hatch light. The light is amazing. You can set it to turn colors at certain times of the day and then teach your children what the colors mean. At our house, you may wake mom and dad up when your light is yellow. We use it at bedtime too – the light comes on an hour before bed as blue, then at bedtime it turns purple. When we’re reading books and see the light turn purple, we all know it’s time to get tucked in, say prayers and go to sleep. It’s been lovely for routine but also to help encourage independent play in the early morning hours while the rest of the house is sleeping!
Working out. The postpartum recovery after baby three was much faster – but oh my, my body is sore almost all the time. My entire back is so tired from poor breastfeeding posture and picking up the 20, 30, and 40lb babes all day long. But, I started working out about 4 weeks postpartum and I think it has made all the difference. I started slowly with a postnatal program and after finishing that, I started a strength training program 2 weeks ago. It’s been very humbling how sore my body continues to be while increasing the strength in my muscles. Most of my workouts happen with the baby in the bouncer and the toddlers running circles around me, but they do happen and that’s been instrumental in my mental and physical recovery.
Limited/no cell phone use in the afternoons/evenings. I love this habit so much. When I walk out of work, I try not to touch my cell phone until after my kids go to bed. Most of the time I don’t have any moments to scroll through anything or even read a text message, but not having my phone around allows me to really focus on the kids, their bath time and bed time routines, and my most favorite part of the day – reading them books before bedtime. I started the habit somewhat unintentionally after reading a post by Cal Newport about leaving your phone in one place in your house. He wrote that when you need your phone, you get up and go to that place, use your phone, then go back to your activity, etc., instead of carrying your phone around with you. I loved the idea and leave it in my work bag or purse until the kids are asleep. Most of the time I don’t even go pick it up until I go to bed. (This is also why I am terrible at responding to text messages).
That’s the Five for this week! I’m almost done with preconception goodies for next week too. My plan was to launch this past Wednesday but the evidence for preconception morphed into a giant pile of articles to read. That coupled with going back to work…oh vey. It’s coming!
Mamas that went back to work after a babe…What helped you going back to work? What helped you at home or helped your family? What do you wish you knew?
I wish I knew how many extra bags I would be carrying all the time (hello lunch bag, work bag, pump bag…). I’m a bag lady now!
That’s all for Friday – enjoy your weekend. Go outside. Do something nice for yourself. See you Monday for a birth story from another dear friend of mine and the first birth story about a cesarean section!
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