Monday, December 19, 2011

So that happened

I went back to work today.

Ugh. I don't even know where to start. I got up at a ridiculously early hour to make sure I had enough time and yet I was still late to work. I cried in the car on my way to drop off Chloe at her sitter's house. I cried when I walked out, leaving her in very capable hands, but leaving her nonetheless. I cried while pumping. Twice. I cried tonight thinking about how I have to do it all again tomorrow and the next day and the day after.

The problem here is me and I know Future Me will read this someday and wish she could reach back in time and smack some sense into me. Here is why I know it's all my issue: Chloe's sitter is wonderful and is already loving my girl hard. Everyone at work gave me a wide berth and no one demanded anything of me today. Noah had a crap day at preschool but his teachers didn't press the issue. I'm the delicate flower wilting from the anxiety and stress. I worry about the kids (more so Chloe because she's wee and new and utterly defenseless) even though I know they're fine. I worry about the commute and how to make it as fast as possible so I can get the kids home at a decent time. I worry about how we're going to structure drop offs and pick ups with two kids at two different places and make sure neither is the last kid left waiting(don't ask...this is my own personal, totally unfounded, issue). I worry about pumping and keeping my supply up and how best to store the milk at work. I worry about how dinner is going to get made when I have a loud, demanding three year old and a loud, demanding three month old all wanting something at the same time.

I'm tired just writing that all out. I'm sorry, Future Me. I know it will all be just fine and these things will work themselves out in time and I need to quit the complaining. In the meantime, do you have any advice on how to streamline life with kids while working? One kid was a cake walk compared to this circus.


Jessica said...

I am so, so sorry. I was not prepared for how much harder it was logistically to go back to work with two kids (going different places) than with one. I hate to tell you this...but three months in it's not much better. I really hope it impoves faster for you. I just take it a week (or a day) at a time, which seems to help.

Cass Still Curious said...

I wish I could hug you right now :-) and then grab your shoulders and say "You've got this even when you don't think you do - you do"

And here I thought the last kid picked up was just my issue....what a delight that I have such fantastic company. I was late one night and Lexi was the last one - I WEPT the whole way to get her - a meeting ran over and I WEPT. At my arrival I wanted to just hand them my Mom card and get carried away....instead she was standing there in the midst of five adults getting undivided attention all around the room - the kid was IN HER GLORY. I still wept. I have a little crazy in me.

Anonymous said...

I thought about you yesterday, wondering how you were doing. It will get better, you know that. It's an adjustment for all. And the more you worry, the more the kids will pick up on the worry vibe. So do your best, cry if you need to, and be happy knowing you have two amazing kids who have a fabulous mother who loves them!

Erica said...

Arg. No advice for you. Also know that it's a nutty time of year. Even though I'm not really doing anything for Christmas, I'm still feeling some stress from it. Take it day by day. Breathe. Drink wine. Hang in.
And also -this is something I've been thinking. I'm SLOWLY letting the slightest glimmer of #2 thoughts in and you know what - I'm not pumping. Not once. And I don't care about my milk supply. Whatever. It was SO stressful to me that I'm just not doing it at all. So I'm not saying you shouldn't pump but maybe just don't worry as much about it. you are a great mom.

Hillary said...

Lower your expectations. Seriously. I'm not trying to be facetious or a troll, but I found when I still was pumping and trying to get everyone out the door my life was easier on the days when I just threw my hands up in the air and said, Screw it. As long as we're all alive at the end of the day, I'm calling it a success. Sometimes, that meant ordering a pizza for dinner or supplementing the pumped milk with a bottle of formula. Sometimes, I expected nothing, but ended up being a rockstar momma with dinner on the table and the kids cooing away with an educational toy.

You'll figure out your rhythm.

A'Dell said...

Isn't it hilarious how you used to think one baby was hard? And now you are like WHOA ONE BABY IS EZEEEEE.

This is the hardest part, the worst part, the most cluster-fucky part. The start of anything new is where nobody knows how to do anything and everything can feel like a failure, even when it isn't, but with time it will get better. SO MUCH BETTER.

Make sure to give yourself credit for it all: it's not just the working (the working was always the easy part, for me), it's the schedule-keeping and the feeding and pumping and making sure you end up with enough time to wash your face each night. It is a crapton of work, but you can do it and you can rock it because you are awesome.

Go Sara!


Nilsa @ SoMi Speaks said...

I knew I should've checked *here* before emailing you. <>

I was the last kid picked up all the time. My mom was always late. I like to think I turned out alright (and am a very prompt person as a result!).

If you're the slow cooker type, abuse it this winter! If not, think about making BIG, freezable meals over the weekend, so all you need to do is warm things up during the week. Let friends cook you a meal on really crazy weeks when husband might be at work too much (I MEAN IT!). Allow yourself to wonder how you're going to survive, but remind yourself you'll make it ... because, you will! xoxo

Mama Bub said...

I'm sorry you're feeling this way. I get this way when there's something new going on and I just can't wrap my brain around how it's all going to work out. It WILL work out, but it is stressful figuring out the mechanics of it all. Hang in there.

As for HOW to make it work? I second the idea of freezer meals. There are a lot of great idea out there, but try to find ones that are simple, like prepping chicken with a marinade, or pre-baking bread for dinner, or ground turkey with veggies and freezing that for tacos. I'm, uh, stating the obvious here, but it didn't really occur to me that I could freeze all sorts of little shortcuts to make dinnertime easier. I had it in my head that I needed to be making casseroles or lasagnas and those were my only options.

Anonymous said...

Sending big hugs... it's so hard to work when they're little. Been there, done that, and it does get easier... though I have no advice for two. Best advice I have is to use the slow cooker and freezer meals like others have suggested, and to have a loose meal plan because NOTHING stresses me out more than having to come up with something on the spot. Also, as annoying as it sounds - make sure you have a little bit of time for yourself. The less stressed you are, the easier it all goes - work, life, and pumping. I pumped at work for 10 months, and the best advice I can give you for storage is to get one of those little Medela coolers with the freezer inserts, and buy a few extra freezer inserts so that one is always cold. They kept my milk cold for up to 12 hours and were great. Also, I kept freezer bags for milk in my desk as well for days when I unexpectedly had increased supply; that way I didn't have to worry about where to put it, I had room. Hugs hugs hugs... it will all be okay.

Joy said...

I'm going to agree with Hillary and everyone else who echoed the theme: temporarily lowering your expectations is a really good survival mechanism for the next several months. Take it for what you will (you've known me your entire life!), but I can't count the times I dropped off one or both children in their pajamas, unfed, with their clothes and breakfast packed in the bag so I could make a 7:30 meeting. I abandoned most of the dinner prep to D, which some weeks meant a steady diet of mac-and-cheese and pizza. Some weeks I did really well, I made meals ahead and had stuff prepped in the fridge/freezer and the crockpot and rice cooker going. Other weeks - heck no. And I HATED that. But now, looking back at it, I'm amazed at the expectations I had for myself. (and sometimes I still am, even though the kids are ambulatory and doing their own cooking - the whole thing just morphs. but you come to expect that.)

And, the single most critical thing is that you take care of YOURSELF. Sleep, food, a little exercise, a little wine, whatever it takes. You cannot provide love and material support for your family if you have nothing in the tank to fuel yourself. Prioritize that, and you're halfway there. (Sorry, bossy cousin moment, but I mean it. :) )

This is a temporary thing, so very very temporary. And you are more than capable of handling it all and loving on your family in that special Sara way. Love you, sweet, and lots of hugs to you.