Thursday, August 18, 2016

#twoundertwo - when the working mom struggle is real

Just when I was cautiously, and foolishly, thinking maaaaaybe I had this transition from 1-2 kids thing sort of under control...I went back to work. And any illusion of having things together or being somewhat of a normal, non crazy person went straight to hell. I have a long documented (on the blog) history of attachment issues to my kids. This does not help. In fact, maybe it's best that I'm forced to separate from them 40-50 hours a week in order to make a living. But I still retain my right to hate it.

But on the bright side, the Instant Pot went on sale. 
I know it's confusing, since I did a whole post about going back to work last week. First of all, our school year began yesterday, on a Wednesday. Yesterday morning, every teacher in our district was on duty, and school opens to the students on the following Wednesday. The work I previously mentioned was optional for both teachers and students, and it was a sixth grade orientation of sorts for 7 days (M-F and then Monday and Tuesday of this week). It was also only 6 hours per day.

The real reason I was basically fine last week was that the kids were with Eric. Let's pause for a warning: my hormones are out of control right now because leaving my 3 month old baby makes me sick to my stomach and causes me to not think rationally. In this post, I will be sharing these irrational thoughts. I realize they are irrational, but I can't stop thinking them.

In my opinion/experience, you can't love anyone as much as you love your own children. You just can't. Or at least, I can't. The extension of that rule is that no one can love your children as much as you do. Therefore, while I was sad to leave them, I was leaving them with the one person who loves them as much as I do, my baby daddy. If there was some sort of horrific zombie apocalypse or something, I would rest assured that he would do anything and everything to keep them safe beyond what anyone else on the planet would do. He has those intense extra reserves of patience that you can only have for your own children.

This week, they went to daycare. Now, I've said before, we are 150% happy and thankful for our sitter. We couldn't ask for anything better, evidenced by the fact that Dalton is crazy about her. But she's not their parent. It's just different. Also, it can be challenging enough to co-parent with your spouse, the person you swore to love forever and had an equal part in bringing these children into your home. Introducing a third person into that mix is just confusing.

For these reasons, I lost my mind. I'm exhausted. Because of my infant? No. Because of my toddler? No. Because I was up too late Monday night crying about having to leave Royce again the following day (and, you know, every day now). I realize that sounds callous towards my first born. I certainly miss him too, and I've certainly shed plenty of tears over it. But the fact is it's just easier to leave a toddler. It sucks, because he's hilarious and adorable and his little personality is so strong now and he's at the age where we can interact and play together and it's so much fun. However, I've been working full time since before he was 3 months old. I'm used to leaving him, which is sad but true. He's also used to daycare, and loves it there, which of course helps immensely.

I just want to look at these faces all day long.

Royce has not had the best adjustment. Which is maybe to be expected, because all transitions are hard, but when it's your 3 month old having the hard time, it's impossible not to be consumed with guilt and devastation. Our sitter and Eric generally try to sugarcoat things for me (probably because they have picked up on the fact that I'm barely hanging on by a hormone laced thread). On Monday, I ended up racing over there to nurse because there was a miscommunication with the milk, we forgot the swaddle, basically everything had gone straight to hell. In addition to my kids, there was a 7 year old boy there, really sweet kid, who immediately started telling me how Royce had cried all day. Which led my late night cry fest. Kids don't sugarcoat.

For better or worse, we never did a trial run at daycare, or with any sitter, even family before I started work either time. To me, that would be like doing a trial run for labor by simulating contractions. "Allow me to prepare for this unpleasant thing by doing more of this unpleasant thing." No. I didn't want to leave them at all because I wanted to be with them at all times. I didn't really see how leaving them for a few hours would help that, since it certainly wasn't like they would remember things. Of course, now my adjustment is going horribly, so maybe there's something to it, but what's done is done.

I was also consumed with guilt (sensing a theme here?) because when Eric dropped them off, Royce was sleeping. Oh, also Eric drops them off even though we now work together at the same school, which I'm not sure I've mentioned. Because I CAN'T HANDLE IT. So we drive separately. Anyway, I was imagining Royce waking up and being totally confused about why everyone he knew in the world was gone. I'm not exactly sure what the alternative was, did I want Eric to wake him up and explain things to him? That certainly is a logical idea. But Eric reminded me that Dalton was with him, and that made me feel so much better. It really makes me happy that since we use an in home daycare, the boys get to be together all day.

To counteract this extremely negative blog post, I would like to share that on Tuesday, before the school year officially began, I made shawarma for the first time. Make this immediately and thank me later. I made it while both boys napped (Royce on my chest in the ergo), watching Battle of the Blackwater (because Game of Thrones puts my "problems" in perspective and I just never get sick of that episode).

I also just need to say that I'm so, so grateful to all my family, friends, and coworkers who let me vent and cry, listened to me complain, talked to me on the phone making me laugh until I cried, and let us hang out at their house when I locked myself and the kids out yesterday on a 100 degree day right after I bought ice cream and had all my pumped milk, yes, this happened, and I didn't even reach my 10k steps because of it. I'm now losing this week's FitBit competition. 

Today I have a training at a school with air conditioning (yay!) that's also near daycare (yay!) so I'm going to drop them off (nooooooooooooooooo). I've been debating if I should try to go at lunch and nurse, or if that would upset Dalton too much, with the kind of time and attention that is usually reserved for Supreme Court justices in murder cases. Opinions welcome. 

What's your go to feel good TV? My friend also got me back on The Office, and I've just been randomly watching early episodes on Netflix and cracking up. 


  1. Hang in there- it can be so hard at first but it will get better. You're doing great! Remember kids are very resilient.

  2. Just remind yourself that you went through this with D and look how well it turned out!!! That being said, I.GET.YOU. I swear I sometimes feel we're the same person because I easily could have written the paragraphs about being the only person in the world that loves him that much. I thought I was the only one who thought these crazy long-winded thoughts too! and btw, this is aka newlywedsonabudget... except i sold my blog so now I'm writing under my new freelance site until I can put together a new blog.

  3. I totally can sympathize. I could also have written the same words (although with not nearly as much humor). I loved the line comparing it to preparing for labor. :)

    Try to remember that things get better/easier/more manageable with time and you'll be getting into a routine everyday.

    I cannot even handle the cuteness that is that picture of Royce swaddled and smiling.

    Feel good tv for me? Golden Girls ALL DAY LONG. Those ladies in Miami can make me laugh and take my mind off of anything.


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