On November 1st I went back to work. It took 2.75 hours to get everything done and everyone out the door, but we did it. And Sam and I even got to work a little early and there were no tears. I thought for sure there would be tears, but Patrick has wonderful teachers who I already want to hire away. Though, I would have to fight my boss for them, his baby girl was in their class as well - she actually just transitioned out which is so sad because she was such a good 'mama' to Patrick... I digress. I went back to work.
What I missed the most I found really surprisingly. I missed breastfeeding the most. I missed feeding him, being the one that fed him, and holding him close. So I will retract a portion of my previous stance, and say that breastfeeding is good for bonding. (I still don't believe that it is the only way...and the ninnie nazis should be nicer...but anyway) I don't like that I get to feed him at minimum once a day and at max three times and it has to be a really good day to hit three. But I am counting myself lucky that he is switching between breast and bottle easily.
That being said. I hate pumping. Again, I'm lucky because my cube could literally not be a single foot closer to the large private bathroom that houses an armchair and endtable with an outlet, but it's boring and awkward and I don't like it. I would much rather be feeding my baby instead of stressing out about only producing 3 ounces instead of the 4 I need to put in the bottle. And I'm constantly second guessing if he needs the four ounces we just started giving him or if the three was enough and now he's being overfed, etc. etc. etc. All I do is overthink the whole thing and worry that I'm not doing the right thing and I hate pumping. But it is a means to an end, and the only productive thing I can do, so I less than happily march the 15 feet to the bathroom two to three times a day. Alls well that ends well I suppose.
Our morning, well my morning atleast, now starts at 5:30am, if not earlier. I have to get up and pump, I don't mind doing it at home while watching the news though - it's not boring watching the weather four times, and then hurry up and take a shower. We pray that Patrick sleeps through the whole routine or goes back to sleep if he woke up because it is nearly impossible to get out of the house by 7:15/20 if he is awake. I don't know what happened - but the swing is no longer magic and both of us are back and forth constantly trying to keep him happy while also trying to iron and dry our hair. Oh and get William ready and keep him happy. I find it amusing that with one child we got up at 7:00 and all three of us were out the door thirty minutes later, but with two children, I am awake a good hour and half earlier. But we are both to work early and the morning seems to work, so I'll take it.
The evenings are slowly getting better. Though, what seemed so terrible might have been caused by Sam having to work extremely late the past two weeks, so I was on my own most nights. But I am surprised at how difficult it is to get it all done. As soon as we get home, Patrick needs to be fed, but dinner also needs to be made. Dinner has only been on the table once by 6pm and that was tonight and it was a miracle. So, I think there will be some schedule adjusting. Hopefully William will adjust with the schedule and not against it. It's not helping that he is VERY two. But this too shall pass. I keep telling myself. Someday he will be six and we will have a whole different set of problems but atleast he won't be two any longer. haha!
There is literally no time to do anything. I think this is because I go to bed before 9pm. I would like to be in bed by 8, but that's not really happening anymore since Patrick wants to have his "midnight" snack around 7:30 and by god, I'm not going to bed the same time as an infant!! ha!! Thank goodness my husband stays up a little later so sometimes the dishes get done. But the house seems to stay in a constant disarray and I've only managed to run maybe twice in the past two weeks. I had no idea that having two would more than triple the work - crazy!! I don't know how we are ever going to have time to do anything ever again. I'm sure at some point it will all even out, but right now, it seems impossible. Atleast Patrick is a happy relaxed joy of a baby.
So funny how I thought we were doing so good at two before I went back to work. Like it was nothing. We adjusted easily and things were going smoothly. I was so naive. Being home and keeping the house up is easy. It's not like being a stay at home mom is a piece of cake, but having been both, I think being a working mom is harder. Both types of moms have household responsibilites, but one has to leave the house, not see the kids all day, and still find time to do the laundry and vacuum in the non-existent free time. It's a little overwhelming actually. All I want to do is play with the kids and soak up the baby smiles and William kisses, but I'm constantly reminded of how much work needs to be done. It's easy to say - go play with the kids, don't worry about the housework, but then you are living in absolute filth, so we've got to figure out to find the balance.
I think I cried a little at some point during the first week, just not the first day, but my first breakdown over the whole thing happened this past weekend. We really needed to spend some quality time with William without Patrick around, and Sam's mom had been offering to keep Patrick, so it was all set up. She would take him on Saturday and keep him all day, while we took William to see the Thomas and Friends movie on the big screen (he LOOOVVEDD it by the way and was so well behaved) and give him some well deserved mommy & daddy time. We wake up Saturday about 6:20, I feed the baby, William gets up, Sam makes breakfast, showers are taken. I get out of the shower and Patrick wants a snack. Then instead of continuing with the morning, I have a mini-breakdown because I have nothing to wear. Nothing fits that is clean and everything else is dirty. I don't want to look like a slob and wear yoga pants with a tshirt, so I all but refuse to get dressed and ready for breakfast at Chick-fil-a. Sam and I end up taking separate cars to breakfast. I did wear yoga pants. I cling to Patrick all breakfast. No seriously - I don't know that I even let anyone else look at him - I just let him sleep in my arms and I stared into space trying to avoid what was happening. Breakfast ends and I have to put him in his seat and move him to Becky's car. I make it through that, get to my car, and just start crying. My mini-breakdown earlier was just trying to create an excuse so I wouldn't have to let him go. That if I could pretend I had nothing to wear and acted just a little crazy, maybe Sam would buy it and I wouldn't have to go to breakfast...
The thing is - I only get two days a week with him. Two days to feed him, snuggle with him, and make him know how much I love him. And they had arranged for him to basically be gone from me for a whole day. I lost it. I didn't feel like anyone got it. It was different with William. I was with him 7 days a week - I wasn't missing anything. Not a smile, not a play kick, and certainly not a single colicky cry. I feel like I'm missing everything with Patrick and I hate that I'm not home with him (even though it wasn't the plan with William, etc blah etc blah). I had a breakdown. Sam made it better by us going to B&B's to watch football by 2:30 - so it was only four hours missed - but I still didn't like it.
So yeah - I've been back at work for 2 weeks. I like work, so it's not bad, and it's kinda slow this time of year, so it's giving me plenty of opportunity to ease in and remember all the things I pushed to the back of my brain. I'm sure it gets easier and better and soon it will be routine just like it was when we were just three. I have a feeling that there was a time when I felt like it was all a little much then too, but then it got better and easier.
**NOTE: After finishing this up and reflecting for a moment - I think I might come off as a little whiny - and I certainly didn't mean to make it sound like I am unhappy and have nothing good in my life. I am beyond blessed and the fact that my whiny-ness can be contained to a couple paragraphs is testament enough (atleast to me) that I've got it pretty good. Just a couple kinks to work out is all. Just wanted to make that clear. I am not ungrateful. (just exhausted - haha!!)