New Mom


January 25, 2016


My final verdict: 89% Dugan, 11% Dunbar.

I’ve always been so fascinated by genetics, especially when it comes to babies.  For example, 2 of my sister’s kids look a lot like my Mom’s side of the family, even though my sister looks 100% like my Dad.   I guess she is just carrying some recessive blonde-headed genes.  So random!

When I was pregnant I would ask Joe at least once a week “what do you think the baby will look like though!?” and he would always reply the same way, “I dunno, probably like both of us.”

The craziest thing is that I spent 9+ months obsessing and daydreaming about what Maisie would look like and as soon as they handed her to me, my first thought was “oh yeah, DUH, of course that’s what she looks like.”  It felt more like seeing someone you haven’t seen in years than a first-time meeting.  My second thought was “holy crap, she looks exactly like Joe.”  Even the nurses in the delivery room were commenting on how much she looked like her Daddy.

As she’s gotten older, I’ve started to see some very subtle shades of Dunbar in her face though.  Not even necessarily my features in particular.  Here’s a side by side of Maisie with one of my brothers and I as babies…something about the nose/mouth situation…


But most of the time, I just see a wholeeee lotta Joe Dugan in her face…


And to me, the most insane part of this is that if we have more kids, they could look completely different.  CRAZYTOWN, USA!

A To-Do List for Soon to be Parents

November 30, 2015


When we first brought Maisie home from the hospital, I would collapse into bed around 8 p.m. every night and think “We made it another day.  I’m alive.  The baby is alive.  We made it.”  It was pure survival mode.  I was just trying to ride out the storm one day at a time until I got the hang of taking care of her.  Things will surely get easier, I would tell myself, it won’t be this hard forever.

I am disturbed to report that almost 7 months later I am writing this post from my bed at 9:17 pm on a Friday night after a long day alone with the baby, prompted by the exact inner monologue described above.  In fact, I’ve decided that this feeling is probably going to stick around indefinitely and parenthood (at least while your kids are young) is kind of like a perpetual state of survival.

While I don’t have these thoughts every single night the way I did in the beginning…it’s not because things have gotten easier.  I think I’ve just gotten more accustomed to it.  To putting the needs of someone else before my own 24 hours a day.  To letting my to-do list pile up (along with my anxiety) because there just isn’t time for any of it.  To being so exhausted that I can barely see straight or formulate a sentence.

And I wouldn’t trade it for the world.  What a testament to the continued survival of the human race, no?

So now that I have this added perspective (and I can kind of still remember my old life) I have decided to compile a different kind of to-do list for parents to be:

  1. If you’re hungry, eat something.  If you’re tired (you’re not), take a load off.  Put those feet up and crank the Netflix.  If you have to pee, go right ahead.
  3. Sleep in.  Whenever you get the chance, just sleep until you wake up on your own.
  4. Ladies – take as many long showers as you can.  Trust me on this one.
  5. Start a chore or a project and soak in the fact that you will finish this task uninterrupted and at whatever pace you see fit.
  6. Hang out with your friends every chance you get.  If they don’t have kids, you will most likely never see them again after your baby is born.
  7. Just pick up your keys/wallet/phone and leave the house.  Whenever you want.  For whatever reason you want.  Just walk.out.the.door without a second thought of something you might have forgotten to pack.
  8. Buy something for yourself that you don’t need.  Something you just really want.  The more pointless the better.
  9. Blow dry your hair and wear nice clothes if you feel like it – there is a pretty low chance you will get thrown up on.
  10. Spend an entire day doing whatever it is you feel like doing.  Laying on the couch, going for a long bike ride or a long drive, meeting a friend for lunch.  Whatever YOU want to do, do it!

There it is.  If I could rewind the clock 1 year I would smack the copy of “What to Expect When You’re Expecting” out of my own hands and do every single one of these things at every available opportunity.  In fact, this list should probably be the official Preface of that stupid book.

Housekeeping note – Despite how it may sometimes seem, I am not the most self-important person to ever be alive.  I know there are real people with real problems all over the world.  Keeping it light and writing about my little life here is something I enjoy, so I do.  That’s all 🙂


On Not Enjoying Every Second

October 29, 2015


When you are new Mom, you receive a lot of advice from the more seasoned Mothers around you – both solicited and unsolicited.  One of the most common phrases thrown my way after Maisie was born was “enjoy every precious second…it goes so fast.”

To that, I simply say:  Nope!

To clarify a bit, I am enjoying most seconds.  I am willing myself on a daily basis to soak my baby girl in.  To memorize everything about her in this fleeting stage of babyhood.  The way her chubby hand will softly rest on mine when she’s drinking her goodnight bottle.  Her two little teeth poking through her gums.  The look on her face when her Daddy gets home from work.  The way she nestles into my chest when she’s tired.  All of these things are more enjoyable than I can possibly express.

But on the flip side, there are also many seconds that cannot be enjoyed.  Moments that push me to the brink of insanity.  Moments that make me want to get in the car and drive away.  Moments of pure frustration.

And I’m okay with that.

A few years ago I stumbled upon this passage while reading my favorite blog and it has completely changed my outlook on happiness:

I actually attack the concept of happiness. The idea that—I don’t mind people being happy—but the idea that everything we do is part of the pursuit of happiness seems to me a really dangerous idea and has led to a contemporary disease in Western society, which is fear of sadness. It’s a really odd thing that we’re now seeing people saying “write down three things that made you happy today before you go to sleep” and “cheer up” and “happiness is our birthright” and so on. We’re kind of teaching our kids that happiness is the default position. It’s rubbish. Wholeness is what we ought to be striving for and part of that is sadness, disappointment, frustration, failure; all of those things which make us who we are. Happiness and victory and fulfillment are nice little things that also happen to us, but they don’t teach us much. Everyone says we grow through pain and then as soon as they experience pain they say, “Quick! Move on! Cheer up!” I’d like just for a year to have a moratorium on the word “happiness” and to replace it with the word “wholeness.” Ask yourself, “Is this contributing to my wholeness?” and if you’re having a bad day, it is.

—Hugh MacKay, author of The Good Life

Ever since I read these words I’ve been striving for wholeness, rather than 24/7 happiness.  And part of that wholeness is NOT enjoying every second of my girl’s existence.  Because, let’s face it, when you are exhausted and at the tail end of a long day, dealing with the fact that your baby is suddenly making her “I’m doing a poopie” face in the bathtub…not so enjoyable!

And that’s okay.

The Carseat. It’s a problem.

October 13, 2015


Just hanging out at the Exit 53 text stop.  Ya know, with the sleeping truckers and drug dealers.

During my pregnancy I happened upon a tongue-in-cheek article outlining the “Different Kinds of Babies” there are.  The kind that doesn’t sleep, the kind that has colic, the kind that won’t eat etc.

The article ended with a paragraph that said…”but worst of all…the kind of baby that hates being in a carseat.”  The only advice offered was to stock up on earplugs and alcohol.

Fast forward 6 months and guesssssss which kind of baby I have?

You guys.  I hate even talking about this.  I can hear myself when I do.  I sound like an overprotective, coddling new parent when I tell tales of having to pull over multiple times on a trip home because the baby is crying.

But here’s the thing.  Unless you’ve been in that car…you don’t understand.

It always starts as fussing.  Harmless enough, right?  But 5-10 minutes of fussing turns into 5-10 minutes of crying turns into 5-10 minutes of sounds like a baby being tortured in the backseat turns into purple-faced choking between ear-piercing screams….and then I have no choice but to pull over.  And wouldn’t you know it that little stinker stops crying the instant she is out of the carseat and even has the audacity to LAUGH and SMILE in my face.

All the usual suggestions have been tried.  Wait until she’s well-fed and tired?  Tried it.  Give her a toy?  Tried it.  Sing to her?  Tried it.  Play children’s songs on the radio?  Tried it.  Give up and just cry along with her?  TRIED IT.

The crazy thing is it doesn’t happen every time.  These days, getting in the car with Maisie feels a lot like playing Russian Roulette.  Sometimes she’s FINE.  “Over the hump!…it was just a phase!” I think.  Those thoughts continue to be dead wrong.  If we take 10 car trips – 3 of those will inevitably be a nightmare.

We have identified a few scenarios that are more likely to trigger a backseat freakout.  Driving after 3 p.m.  Driving if it’s dark out (SOOOO excited about daylight savings time…ughhh).  Driving if she has recently had a long nap.  But it’s also happened without any of these.

As silly as it sounds, this carseat situation has kind of been my first real parenting hurdle.  Half of me wants to give in to fears of traumatizing Maisie for life and never leave the house again.  Half of me refuses to be held hostage in my own home by a 5 month old.

So, my dears, after a lovely day with my parents turned into the ride home from hell last night, I am asking (begging) for your help.  PLEASE comment with any advice, tips or tricks.

The ONE thing we haven’t tried is an iPad.  Joe and I talked a big game when I was pregnant about being super strict with exposing the baby to these kind of electronic fixers.  WHEN I WAS YOUR AGE MY FATHER DROVE ME TO CALIFORNIA AND BACK, THERE WAS NO IPAD!  But I’m so desperate, I think we may have to give in.


10 Things I Wish I Could Tell My Post-Partum Self

October 8, 2015


Hey Buddy,

It’s 4 a.m. on May 9th, 2015 and you are so tired you can’t think straight.  The baby is sleeping on your chest because you are terrified if you put her in the bassinet she will stop breathing when you’re not watching.  Your mind is swirling with crazy anxious thoughts.  I’m writing to you from 5 months in your future and there are a few things you need to hear:

  1. That heavy feeling in your chest?  That heavy, HEAVY burden of keeping this perfect little human alive and well?  Buckle up.  You’re in it for the long haul.  What I will say though, is that heavy feeling gets lighter.  Every day, it will get a little bit easier.
  2. I know you miss your old life.  I know it hurts thinking about how things will never be the same.  Go ahead and grieve.  Allow yourself to feel sad about it.  In 6 weeks that Maisie girl is going to lock eyes with you and flash a big gummy smile.  Your eyes will fill with happy tears and you will wonder how you ever doubted whether or not having a baby was a good idea.
  3. You feel like a stranger in your own body.  Nothing fits and everything looks horrible.  Girl, you just had a baby.  Be kind to yourself.  And yes, your husband is still attracted to you.  If anything, even more so.  You just brought his daughter into the world with that body that you hate so much.  Be kind to yourself.
  4. It’s okay to fantasize about leaving everything behind and driving to California by yourself.  You know why?  Because you won’t.  And you know it.  But go ahead, keep on California dreamin’.  You’re not the only new Mom to feel this way.
  5. I know you are wondering why nobody told you how hard this would be.  They didn’t tell you because this too shall pass.  So stop drafting insane and hostile text messages to your sister demanding to know why she didn’t warn you.  She didn’t warn you because it. will. get. easier.
  6. I know you think the baby sounds like a gremlin when she is crying in the middle of the night.  I know you are beating yourself up for saying “what do you want from me?” out loud to a 4 day old baby in the dark.  I promise that this will make you shake your head and laugh very hard one day…and sooner than you think.
  7. You are questioning whether or not you are nurturing or gentle or kind enough to be a good Mother.  Here’s the thing…you are.  Even right now.  You are.  Are you not awake at 4 a.m. to make sure she is still breathing?  You are a good Mother.
  8. Yes, I must admit…your marriage is forever changed.  I promise that you will soon see that it has changed for the better.  You will watch as you and your husband become the most kick-ass team ever.  So stop stressing.
  9. You will sleep again.  Never as soundly or for as long as you did before the baby was born, but you WILL sleep again.
  10. You see that breathtaking baby girl?  That beautiful little creature with the crazy shock of hair on her head?  Before you know it, you will literally believe with everything you are that she is the reason you were put on this earth.  Take a deep breath and soak her in.  She won’t be this little forever.

Now swaddle that girl up tight, give her a kiss from me (I miss my newborn peanut girl!), put her in her bassinet and go back to bed.



Does She Know I’m Her Mom?

September 30, 2015


Joe and I often communicate through picture texts.  These were sent to him on Doctor Day.  Poor bunny 🙁

Since bringing Maisie home from the hospital I have constantly doubted a) whether or not I’m a good Mother and b) whether or not she knows that I’m her Mommy.  In those early newborn days especially I would find myself wondering if she even cared who was giving her a bottle or rocking her to sleep.

These nagging feelings of self-doubt amped up in a major way when Maisie started daycare.  I couldn’t stop stressing.  Won’t she be confused about who her Mommy is?  My own Mother stayed home with us, so I had no experience of my own to compare.  Joe would constantly reassure me that his Mom always worked, and even though he spent a lot of time with his Grandmother as a boy, he always knew that his Mom was his Mom.

Anyway, last week Maisie had a well-visit at the Pediatrician.  She got several vaccinations and the doctor warned me that she may be a bit out of sorts for the rest of the day.  When she woke up from her nap that afternoon she. was. miserable.  She was crying so hard she wouldn’t even take a bottle, which is SO unlike her.  I walked her all around the house, patting her back and singing songs gently in her ear but she still cried.  Finally, I took her out into the backyard.  I think the cool air and change of environment kind of snapped her out of it and she calmed down.  A few minutes later we went back in the house to change her diaper and when I tried to lay her on the changing table, she started crying again.  Her hands clung to my shirt and wouldn’t let go.

I will never forget that moment for the rest of my life.  My girl was feeling sick and all she wanted was for me to keep holding her.  I pulled her in close and whispered “Mommy’s here” while I struggled to hold back my own tears.  Just like that, all of the doubts I had been dealing with for 4+ months instantly vanished.

Sigh.  I lack the vocabulary to express my overwhelming, all-consuming and psychotic love for this child.

“The moment a child is born, the mother is also born. She never existed before. The woman existed, but the mother, never. A mother is something absolutely new.”—Rajneesh 



Maisie’s Birth Story | 39 Week Induction

September 29, 2015

1Our last picture as non-parents.  I look fully capable of operating heavy machinery!

I’m aware that this is a bit out of order.  The truth is I have had this post written for over 3 months and have been too nervous and shy to share it.  After all, is there ever a time a woman is more vulnerable/exposed than she is while giving birth?  I highhhlyyyyy doubt it.  Anyway – before I change my mind – here it is.

It was decided by my ObGyn that I would be induced at 39 weeks. The major risk factors of Gestational Diabetes are 10lb+ babies (whose shoulders can be broken/dislocated during delivery) and premature degradation of the placenta – which can lead to the “s” word.  If you don’t know what the “s” word is, you’ve never been pregnant.  Once a doctor even says this word out loud to you, you just kind of agree to whatever they recommend…but I was still nervous about forcing the baby to come out before she was really ready.

To make myself feel better, I spent the days before my induction googling for hours and reading as many positive induction stories as I could get my hands on.  I am trying to pay it forward now by sharing my experience.  We checked into the hospital at 7 p.m. on a Monday night and Maisie was born almost exactly 24 hours later.  Overall my experience was positive – although I have never gone into labor naturally so I have nothing to compare it to.

I am writing this the only way I know how – the way I actually remember it – fragmented and drug-laced.

Joe and I putter around the house getting a few final things ready and occasionally saying to each other “This is so weird.”  Because it is.  The weirdest. day. ever.  My Mom comes over.  I am very nervous.  I eat pizza for the first time in 4 months.  I get a massive nosebleed.  I google “nosebleeds 3rd trimester.”  I diagnose myself with preeclampsia.  I shower.  Suddenly it’s time to leave.

We get to the hospital and check in.  I act like a 4 year old child while they try to put in the I.V.  I don’t have preeclampsia.  The doctor inserts Cervadil and tells me to try and get some sleep.

Around 3 a.m. I wake up to very painful back labor.  The mean nurse says I’m not having real contractions.  Things will get much worse she says.  I do not handle this news well.  The mean nurse calls the doctor.  He approves a Demerol drip.  Drugs are amazing.  I fall back asleep.

I wake up early the next morning.  I want more Demerol.  The mean nurse says no.  My doctor comes back.  He checks me and says I am 4 cm dilated (not real contractions my ass!).  Do I want an epidural before we start Pitocin?  Um, YES.  Joe leaves.  Epidural goes in.  Epidural is AMAZING.  The pain is gone.  They start the Pitocin drip and I fall back asleep.  Joe comes back.  I start crushing ice chips.  The mean nurse says I’m eating too many ice chips.  My Mom comes.  The three of us sit and wait.  They watch the monitor.  I make Joe read all the texts he is receiving from friends and family members out loud.  They watch the monitor more.  They ask me with a weird look on their faces if I can feel anything.  I say no.  The Doctor is back.  8 cm now.  He tells me they will turn down the epidural because it’s almost time to push.  I am excited.  The mean nurse says that since this is my first baby I could be pushing for hours.  As soon as she leaves the room I cry and demand a new nurse.  I am Madonna.

I am starting to feel a lot of pressure.  The mean nurse tells me to start pushing.  I push.  Nothing.  Is.  Happening.  The nurse, Joe and my Mom are cheering me on but they are just patronizing me because nothing. is. happening.  This pattern of pushing and cheering goes on for what seems like forever.  Suddenly Joe’s voice changes.  Something IS happening.  They hold up a mirror so I can see.  Seeing makes me scared.  The nurses keep talking about the baby’s hair.  The doctor is back.  More people are in the room now.  The pain is all-consuming.  I push more.  I throw up.  I push more.  I give up.  I tell Joe I want to go home.  I cry.  Creedance Clearwater Revival is playing in the background.  The doctor asks if I want a C-Section.  I say yes.  He is kidding.  I push and I hear it in Joe’s voice again…her head is out.  Stop pushing they say.  I’m crying too hard to even care.

All of a sudden there is something warm and heavy on my stomach.  Joe is crying.  There is a bright light in my face.  I can’t really see.  I cry with relief because the pain is gone.  They take the baby away and ask me what her name is.  I am crying too hard to talk. “Maisie Janice” says Joe.  My Mom grabs my face and kisses me.  I can hear the baby crying.  I ask over and over and over again if she is okay.  I tell Joe to go make sure she is okay.  He leaves and comes back with a pink piece of paper in his hands.  He shows it to me.  His hands are shaking the paper.  It has her footprints on it. They are the tiniest footprints I’ve ever seen. They bring the baby back over and she is wrapped up like a little burrito.  Her eyes are wide open and she is looking right at me.  She looks so familiar.  I think “there she is…that’s her….of COURSE that’s her.  Maisie.”

2Meeting my daughter.  

Isolation Diaries | My Maternity Leave

September 2, 2015

asdfQ: How many selfies can a lonely Mother and her 8 week old baby take?   A: More than is probably normal.

Before Maisie was born, I was looking forward to my maternity leave.  Like the way you look forward to a vacation or exciting trip.  After working through a long and challenging pregnancy, I couldn’t wait to finally meet my baby, get a break from the daily grind and take it easy for a few months.  I mean, how hard could it really be to take care of one baby?  :pause for laughs:

For what it’s worth, the first 3 weeks of my maternity leave were (mostly) wonderful.  Joe had saved up a bunch of vacation time so we were able to split Maisie-duty and welcome many visits from family and friends.  We kind of just sat around with stars in our eyes and stared at the baby all day.  Of course we were tired and there were fleeting moments of stress (feeding troubles etc.), but everything was going great.

But then the visitors tapered off.

And then Joe went back to work.

And then I pretty much lost my damn mind.

The hormone-fueled issues that I had during my maternity leave were rarely about having to take care of Maisie.  At the root of every teary outburst and insane text message was the isolation.  We live an hour or more away from family and friends and since buying our house last summer we haven’t really had an opportunity to meet anyone nearby.   Most of the time I felt like I might as well be living in Alaska.  Joe would leave for work and return 12 lonnnngggggg hours later.  For an exhausted, self-doubting new Mother…12 hours can feel like a lifetime.

What started as initial loneliness quickly snowballed.  I would check my social media feed and see pictures of people out in the world, leaving their houses and living their lives and it made me feel even more alone.  I made a few half-hearted attempts to find a local Moms Group and I even took Maisie for a walk in the stroller almost every morning at a nearby park hoping I would end up striking up a conversation with someone but nothing ever materialized.  There were so many days – too many to count – that I desperately wanted to wave a white flag and beg for help (visits) from friends and family, but I didn’t want to inconvenience anyone and I was too embarrassed to admit how much I was struggling.

My takeaway is that I thank my lucky stars every night for my husband.  Lord knows it wasn’t easy being married to me for those 10 weeks.  I spent most nights retroactively apologizing for whatever insane thing I said or did that day.  He would just shrug it all off as “new Mom stuff” (trust me, it wasn’t).  What a guy, that Joe Dugan.  I am equally blessed to have a best friend who was willing to field my near-constant hysterical phone calls and always be there to listen and offer whatever support she could.

I wish there was a neat and tidy way to wrap this post up and make it a little more uplifting, but in the interest of keeping it real, I cannot sugar coat.  Truth be told, this is still an issue I struggle with on the weekends when Joe is working.  I’m constantly torn between staying close to home (and being alone all day) or dragging the baby all over Long Island to see family and friends.

The good news is that I found a Mommy and Me class nearby on Saturday mornings for babies 4 months old and up.  I’m going to challenge myself to go in October.  It’s oddly easy for me to sit behind a computer screen and bare my soul but I sometimes feel shy and lame in real-life situations where I don’t know anyone.  Fingers crossed and maybe an update to follow! 🙂  (This is already reading like a pathetic children’s book.  Working title: “Catherine makes a friend”)

I swear to God I used to be a normal person!

Bottle vs. Breast – When It’s Not A Choice

August 18, 2015


As soon as I found out I was pregnant, I was inundated with preachings stressing the benefits of breastfeeding.  I totally bought in.  I spent the months leading up to my maternity leave daydreaming about breastfeeding my baby in a long flowy dress under a willow tree. It was gonna be AMAZING.  I even took a breastfeeding class and left feeling 100% confident.  It looked so easy!

Cue the reality check.  After Maisie was born, I immediately realized that breastfeeding would be an uphill battle.  I’m very “large-chested”, as the old biddies say, and baby girl was a 7lb peanut.  We tried a few different feeding positions and they all left me either completely unable to see what I was doing or worried that I was going to accidentally kill her.  Eventually, we were able to get her to latch (and I say “we” literally…it was a 3 person operation) and although it was extremely painful, I was happy that it was working. Once we got home, the pain was getting so bad that I found myself starting to dread her feeding times.  When she would finally latch, I would wince and squeeze Joe’s hand harder than I did during labor.  I had read over and over again that the discomfort eventually fades, so I resolved to keep pushing through.

We cluelessly headed to Maisie’s first Pediatrician appointment after a few rough days/nights.  I still shudder thinking about this.  Right away the Doctor noticed that the baby was very jaundiced and, after putting her on the scale, was concerned about how much weight she had lost.  We were sent straight to the hospital to have her bilirubin level tested with the possibility of an overnight stay in the NICU.  The Doctor also provided strict instructions to pump into a bottle (so we could measure how much she was eating) and feed her more frequently for the next few days.  As you can probably guess, I absolutely lost it.  I felt like a complete failure and the worst Mother in the world.

Thankfully, Maisie didn’t need to stay in the NICU that night.  We found a breast pump that was covered by our insurance and little Miss Piggy started pounding bottles and never looked back.  After she passed her follow up “weight check” visits at the Doctor I tried multiple times to get her to latch again, and she was. not. having. it.

Eventually my pumping supply started dwindling and I was unable to keep up with her demand.  The amount of supplemental formula we were giving her seemed to increase on a daily basis.  I freaked out.  After everything I had read and been told by Doctors and nurses, I was left feeling like the formula was one step up from sulfuric acid.  I cried to my Mom one day that I was worried Maisie would be overweight because I was a breastfeeding failure – she frantically interrupted my sobs with “YOUR SISTER WAS A FORMULA BABY!…SHE’S NEVER HAD ANY PROBLEMS WITH HER WEIGHT!!”  Jan, bless her heart.

Looking back, I don’t think Maisie ever really latched correctly.  If I had to do it all over again, I would have tried to visit with a lactation consultant for guidance.  I still feel pangs of jealousy and guilt when I see friends breastfeeding their babies.  I ended up pumping for 2 solid months – which is an extreme commitment in itself and very difficult (if not impossible) to keep up with when caring for a newborn.

It’s funny, as I’m writing this out now it all seems so trivial and ridiculous.  But when you’re a new Mom and you so desperately want what’s best for your baby, it’s hard to keep perspective on such things.  I remember feeling insecure about feeding her bottles in front of people, wondering if I was being judged.  Gee wiz, we’re all doing the best we can.

Finally – for all you new Moms out there who may be wrestling with this same set of issues –  I have compiled a list of reasons why bottle-feeding your baby EFFING ROCKS to boost your spirits:

  1. Based on a “never fails” feeding schedule prescribed by our rockstar Pediatrician at her 1-month well visit, Maisie J has been sleeping through the night since she was 7 weeks old.  This is not a joke or a trick.  8 p.m. – 6 a.m.  Every. Night.
  2. Even before she slept through the night, Joe and I were able to alternate the nighttime feedings.
  3. Feeding your baby a bottle still feels like bonding.  It always has to me, and it probably always will.
  4. You can leave the baby with family and go to Target and not have to worry about having a starving baby at home.
  5. Although it may look a little different than you pictured, you are still feeding your baby.  And that’s the most important thing.

Life as a (Newly) Working (New) Mom

August 7, 2015


Maisie snug as a bug during her first week at daycare


Confession time:  the 2 weeks leading up to my return to work were probably the worst of my entire life.  I cried almost every day, sometimes inconsolably.  I was terrified.  At night, Joe and I would lay in bed and I would tearfully ask him the same daycare-related questions over and over…

“Are you sure she will be safe there?”

“Can you promise you won’t leave her there if she is crying?”

“Will you remind them that she needs to be put down for a nap on her back only?”

Then the dreaded morning came.  After very little sleep the night before I smiled at Maisie through tears while Joe was getting ready for work.  I nervously watched the clock and cringed as the minutes ticked by.  When the front door closed behind them, I completely fell apart.  I laid on the couch and WAILED for 15 minutes while clutching one of her favorite toys.  It was the most ridiculous and dramatic thing you’ve ever seen.

But then something unexpected happened…

Me going back to work has changed our lives completely – for the better.  Maisie is thriving and I am a happier, more balanced, more sane person than I was when I was with her all day every day.  Most importantly, I’m a better Mother.

On the 3 days a week she is there, I pick her up on my way home from work with butterflies in my stomach. Our reunion is, without fail, the best part of my day.  When we get home I am able to soak in every minute. Things that stressed me out and frustrated me a month ago (water everywhere after bath, spitty-ups, poopsplosions, multiple attempts to put her down for the night etc.) don’t bother me in the least.  I am truly able to cherish spending time with her.

This surprising outcome has been completely facilitated by Maisie’s amazing babysitters – Gina and Judy.  They send me cute picture texts throughout the day to calm my nerves and let me know that my baby is happy and safe.  My heart melts when I walk in and see her smiling while watching all the “big kids” dance or do circle time.  We are only 2 weeks in but (knock on wood) things are going better than I could have ever imagined.

I’m sharing this tale of woe-turned-relief in hopes to ease the mind of even 1 new Mom who might be reading.  Did you look forward to going back to work?  Did you dread it?  Am I insane for being so worried initially?

Good luck to all who are going through this soon!

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