I wrote the first part of this post a week ago Sunday – the night before my first day back to work. I didn’t end up posting it because Guinevere decided to be super fussy (maybe she knew I was going back to work?) and so I couldn’t proofread/select pictures to go with it. The second part I wrote today (had initially intended to post after my first day back, as those of you who have kids probably understand, I was super exhausted and wanted to spend most of my awake weeknight time with my baby.)
Guinevere’s First Day(s) of Daycare
We have now made it through Guinevere’s first two days of daycare. I think the first day was harder on Aaron than it was on me, but by the second day, I just kept thinking, “I miss my baby!” The house felt too quiet that second day. I think it’s because the first day just felt like a nice break. I could actually accomplish things at home that are difficult to do with a baby around . . . though I didn’t get nearly as much done as I’d wanted.
After we dropped Guinevere off at daycare on the first day, Aaron and I went out to breakfast, just because we could. It was kind of nice to sit and eat an entire meal without having to worry about a fussy baby. I will admit, I felt no remorse about having her in daycare that day (I hope that doesn’t make me sound like an uncaring mom). It was just nice to have a break.
I went home and tried on almost my entire wardrobe to see what fits me now and what doesn’t. I am pleased to announce that almost all of my jeans now fit! However, most of my slacks do not, and probably won’t ever. (They are from when I was dancing several hours a day, multiple days a week and was “ballerina size.”) So I used it as an opportunity to go buy some new clothes. I didn’t really want to start out my new life as a working mom with the same old tired wardrobe anyway. That was the other nice thing about having Guinevere in daycare – I could go to the mall and try on several articles of clothing without trying to figure out how to get a stroller in the dressing room with me!
As refreshing as it was to not have the baby around during the day, it was so exciting when I picked her up! I swear she felt like she gained a pound or two in just one day! Of course, that could also be because she was sound asleep when I went to pick her up. The daycare lady said she did really well – she even did tummy time! I was most impressed that she came home in the same outfit we dropped her off in – usually she has several changes throughout the day because she is my little Mount Vesuvius (i.e. she spits up A LOT). When we got home that night, Guinevere was super talkative and smiley . . . and then she passed out for the night about an hour earlier than normal.
The second day, Aaron and I dropped her off and then had breakfast at home together. Maybe it’s because we ate breakfast at home, maybe it’s because I always love spending time with Ginny in the mornings when she’s usually in a good mood, maybe it’s that it felt more real, more permanent on day 2 . . . I don’t know what it was, all I know is that I definitely missed her more the second day. I think I’m really glad we started her on a Thursday so that I could miss her Friday, but know that I’d get to spend all day Saturday with her again. I ended up occupying myself pretty well by running around doing errands and making sure I was ready to go back to work myself.
I am really glad that we decided to start her in daycare before I go back to work, though. I’m more familiar with what our morning routine will need to be – though it was nice to be able to be more relaxed about it than I will be tomorrow morning. I’ve already laid out my clothes for the morning. My pump and bottles are sitting by the front door all ready to go. I’m going to fix myself a lunch before I go to bed. Hopefully I don’t forget anything and tomorrow goes smoothly.
First week of Work
I had a hard time sleeping the night before my first day back to work. I woke up every hour from 1am until I finally got up at 5am. During the brief moments that I did sleep, I had dreams about sleeping through my alarm and waking up at 10am! When I finally did get up, I was able to feed Guinevere, get in the shower, and get completely ready in record time. I think it helps that I set everything out the night before.
For my first day back, Aaron and I arranged it so that I would drop Guinevere off at daycare and he would pick her up. That way, just in case I got stuck at work with all I had to catch up on, I wouldn’t be dashing out the door and stressing about being late to pick her up. It’s really nice that Aaron’s schedule (right now) is such that we can alternate who picks her up and drops her off.
I will admit, dropping my baby off at daycare and going off to work for the first time was more emotional than I thought it would be. I cried a little in the car as I drove away. I am really glad that we started her in daycare a couple days before I went back to work. When I told the daycare lady that it was my first day back to work, she said, “Ok, we’ll be sure to send you a picture during the day today.” And she did! It made my heart melt, and definitely made my first day back much better.
|This face could make anybody's day better.|
Apparently the traffic Gods decided to fool me my first day back with fantastic traffic. I dropped Guinevere off at the daycare at 7:15 and was at work by 8am. Pre-baby, I would leave the house at 8am and it would take at least an hour to get to work. I thought maybe 7am was better than 8am for some reason . . . oooh no! Traffic was horrendous the rest of the week! On Wednesday, it was my turn to pick up Guinevere and it took me an hour and a half to get there! I am so glad we didn’t choose a daycare that charges by the minute to parents who are late. There are some facilities we looked at where an extra half hour would have cost me $300!
Back to Monday. I got in an hour earlier than anyone else and then realized I didn’t have access to my computer yet because it was still set up for the temp. So I decided to use the time to do my first pump session at work. I am so glad I have my own office for pumping! I made a sign for the door that says, “If you value your eyesight, please do not enter. Pumping in progress.” Fortunately, my office is a casual enough environment that a sign like that is appropriate. Though, I’m thinking of maybe going for some alliteration and changing it to, “Privacy please. Pumping in progress.” I am very grateful to whoever gave me one of those special bras that you can wear for hands free pumping. I’ve been able to send and receive emails, redline agreements, and get plenty of work done, all while pumping. I can’t say pumping is my favorite activity, but it is kind of nice to have some quiet time when I know no one will interrupt me.
I must say, it felt really good to be back at work! I had lots to get caught up on, but it doesn’t feel like I had been away for 3 months. It was more like I had just been on vacation for a couple weeks. It felt great to use my brain again! I was so glad to discover it still works. Not that it doesn’t take brainpower to deal with a baby; it’s just a different kind of brainpower. I was also pleased with how much I remembered. Co-workers would come into my office and ask a question, and I knew most of the answers off the top of my head. Also, pregnancy brain is real! There were several moments where I remembered how fuzzy my brain was toward the end of my pregnancy vs. how clear it felt this week even after 3 months of being away.
As great as it felt to be back at work, I was so excited to see Guinevere’s little face when I got home. Aaron picked her up and we had dinner together as a family. G passed out super early that first night (around 7:30), probably exhausted from her day learning new things and seeing new people. She slept all the way until her 5 am feeding. It sort of made me sad - I would have let her stay up as late as she wanted so I could spend time with her.
I am really glad that my first weekend after going back to work is a 3-day weekend (we get Columbus day off). I think I would have been really sad to have to go back to work today. I could have dropped Guinevere off at daycare if I wanted a day to myself, but I knew I wanted to spend the entire day with my baby. We did laundry, sang songs and went for a walk together – a perfect day. :)