The Juggling Game

Whether you decide or must go back to work after maternity leave, it is never easy. You become a juggler. You are figuring out how to work and how to be a mom at the same time along with doing all the other everyday things in your life. The first three months home is an adjustment period filled with no sleep (which truly tests your sanity), figuring out what to do with this new life you’re now responsible for, how to ‘be’ a parent with your spouse or significant other, how to still be a wife/husband/partner with your newly added family member and really just trying to survive each day while the time to return to work adds on a new weighted ball to throw up into the mix.

I had a relatively great pregnancy and despite my long labor, it was all worth it when I heard the doctor say ‘it’s a girl’ (we left the sex to be a surprise!). The first week home felt like the most exhausting and difficult time in my life. I’m a mom, now what the heck do I do and how the heck do I do it? I never felt more insecure and questioned my ability to anything and everything. It’s like someone dropping you off in the middle of the ocean and you trying to find your way to shore with your eyes closed. You don’t know what you’re doing but all you know is that you need to keep your head above water and swim and eventually you’ll get there. Eventually, I will get how to be a parent, or at least that’s what I keep telling myself!

So when it was time for me to return to work (I was lucky enough that my husband and I made the decision I would return part time), I wasn’t ready. How could I leave my three month old? How could I be apart from her for 9 hours a day when she hasn’t left my side since she was born? How could I focus at work when all I’ll be thinking about is how much I miss her, how is she doing, what is she doing, is she adjusting and will she be okay? It became an internal battle filled with guilt for leaving but also a little bit of relief to get a break from motherhood and back into the working world.

My first week back was awful. I cried at least once a day in the office. When someone would ask me about her my eyes would immediately well up and I found myself apologizing and feeling completely silly. However, I feel most people, parents or not, are sympathetic to the situation and understand that it’s hard to leave your child. I was eventually able to focus on work and it did feel good to be back, but a part of me still felt guilty as if I was abandoning my baby. I had to tell myself though that this is life and not many people have the ability to be a stay-at-home mom which I feel is just as difficult (if not more) than a working (at an office) mom. So, I checked in often (probably a little too much!) and told myself it will get easier (along with a lot of supportive mom friends who said the same thing).

And it did, it got easier. Now, I enjoy my time away from my daughter but can’t wait to see her when the day ends. Although my time with her on those days is short lived by the time I get home to when her bedtime routine starts, I cherish each moment. Of course I am completely exhausted starting those days at 5:30am and ending around 10pm when all the clean up is done, diaper bag is packed for the next day and bottles are washed and made but it’s worth it. She is worth it. And even though I still don’t feel like I completely have a grasp on this juggling game, I know time and experience will help me to get there or I’ll just fly by the seat of my pants and hope for the best!

Congratulations! It’s a ?

My husband and I have decided not to find out the sex of our baby. This seemed to actually infuriate some people. “Why would you do that?” we’d get asked with a judgmental look upon their face. That was only the start of judgments and opinions we’d soon get! The answer I wanted to give the majority of the time was “BECAUSE WE CAN!” but I would politely reply, “We want it to be a surprise.” And why not? Because there are so many surprises in life?

I can’t imagine a more incredible surprise then birthing my child and having my husband tell me that we made a baby boy or baby girl. I literally cannot wait for that day! But if I’m being completely honest, there is another reason we’re waiting….

For the longest time, I told myself if I ever got pregnant I’d have to know the sex immediately. I’d need to plan! I am a Type A planner, always have been, probably always will be. But the minute we found out, I had a moment and said, “Let’s not find out, let’s be surprised,” to which my husband smiled and agreed. He was always fine with not finding out the entire time, but it was me with my impatience and ‘need for now’ that couldn’t wait. Something just feels right about this surprise, as if it’s the way God intended it to be. Then again, I still haven’t told you part of the reason we’re waiting….

Well, for starters there is a guarantee that day the child is what was predicted. I read a few article that said doctors are right 90% of the time while others said 100%. Some sites stated that with boys it’s 100% and girls 70%. While these odds are high, I’m sure you’ve heard of maybe even known of one person who thought they were having a boy or girl (nursery set, clothes washed and ready) and ‘uh oh’ they had the opposite! The planner in me would go CRAZY! As I said before, the ‘surprise’ factor is also pretty great. But I think for this first time around we’re waiting because of our love for our own genders! My husband wants a boy while I want a girl.

It’s funny as we talk about it and realize how much we really do want our own gender. My husband, growing up with two older brothers, actually said to me the other day, “I don’t get women, I wouldn’t know what to do with a little girl,” to which I replied, “Same goes for me and men!” I grew up with one sister so I completely understand where he’s coming from. Don’t get me wrong, we want HEALTHY first. That’s all we truly care about it, but when it comes to playing favorites on boys and girls, you will definitely hear us state our feelings!

But when it really comes down to it, I love this child so much already that I know the day I meet him or her, I will be so much more in love the sex won’t matter. Sure, if it’s a boy I’ll be sad about not being able to buy little dresses, have tea parties and all the fun things you do with little girls, but I will also love how much this little boy will love me (as I’ve witnessed from many friends who have sons). And, while it’s up to God what we’re blessed with, there’s always the second and maybe even third time around! Either way, I know we are lucky so boy or girl, I couldn’t be happier.