Even before I became a Mom, I had plans for a comeback for my body. I had big plans for amazing before-and-after photos with a success story to go along with it. But then, somewhere along the way things changed. My mindset shifted and I became much more focused on accepting my body after baby versus trying to get “back” the body I had….
One year ago today, I walked into back into my office to make my return from maternity leave. Thankfully, it was the first day my company moved into their new headquarters so everyone was a bit discombobulated. It made it slightly easier to deal with the awkward, crazy way I was feeling inside. Everything was the same, but I was a different person.
Now that I have a full year of working motherhood under my belt, I can honestly say that it feels like my new normal. So much so that I had to dig deep to remember how I was feeling last year at this time. I’ve realized the past few weeks that despite the fact that I felt like a completely different person when I returned to work, after time I’ve adapted and become an even better version of my previous self.
That’s not to say that in the beginning I did not struggle. It may have been my insecurity, but when I first returned to work it felt like I was not being taken as seriously. I was the new mom and I had to pass the test that I still lived up to my previous expectations before I was taken seriously. For Rich I feel it was the opposite and he was given more respect at work when he became a Dad. It was an interesting effect, but after proving myself both as a Mom and in the workplace I am confident that becoming a Mom has made me a better employee. Yes there are days when my lives bleed together and everyday I may take time from either in order to pull both jobs off, but in the end my job gets done- well.
As a working Mom I’ve found that remembering the example I’m setting for my son is the best motivation to work hard on the job. I was prepared to feel guilty and some days I feel the ping of guilt as I’m going about my day, but in my gut I know that continuing to pursue my career is the best choice for myself and for my family.
But, I do feel guilty. I often feel guilty that I drop Buel off early to daycare so that I can fit in my morning workout. I feel guilty when I forget items or paperwork to turn into his teachers. I feel guilty that I do not make all of his food from scratch and worry that we rush through our routines. I could go on, but I have learned to remind myself that worrying about these things is what makes me a good Mom. It’s never enough because I want to be the absolute best for my son and that’s how much I love him.
I’ve learned that the guilt I feel is no different than any other Mom’s guilt- we all feel it. There’s times that I felt guilty because I do not do “enough” as a Mom but we all feel this way. I have Mom friends in a variety of scenarios and pretty much that only thing that we all have in common is that we all have guilt to some extent that we could be doing things better. It’s called love.
Over the past year I’ve learned that preparation and flexibility are the keys to survival. I spent a lot of time over the past year focused on our routines and figuring out the best ways to manage our time. Every evening I pack our bags like we’re going on vacation, lay out our clothes and make sure meals are planned and ready to go. I constantly check our family calendar and my personal to-do list to keep our household running smoothly. I plan out my time meticulous and it allows me to fit in every priority in my week. It’s a lot of work but keeping us organized keeps us prepared for the daily challenges that will inevitably come our way.
As a Mom I’ve learned that it’s absolutely vital to make time for myself. No matter the situation, in order to be a good Mom you must have a full tank. It’s like the say, you must put on your own oxygen mask before tending to others. So I make time for myself every week. I get my errands done during my work from home day on Friday so that weekend nap times are my time to myself. I get manicures every two weeks on lunch. I work out in the mornings so I can get ready in peace. And when I need a break I have no qualms about asking for help.
One year later I wouldn’t consider myself a working Mom. I’m just myself. I’ve adapted and grown and now have a new role. And even though I felt completely different when I returned to work a year ago now the many aspects of my day are just who I am.
I’m officially feeling in the Christmas spirit after a low key weekend. We spent the entire weekend in our pajamas and I did not mind it one bit. I read a lot, we watched Christmas movies and the most productive things I did were make a double batch of cookie dough and stuff our Christmas cards.
Yesterday we had the most magical snowfall and we enjoyed sitting inside as a family lounging and watching the snow out our window. Our house feels like a cabin in this weather and I love it!
I am looking forward to our trip to Michigan this weekend that’ll kick off our celebrations. We will celebrate with my Dad’s side of the family on Saturday then go to my friend Katelyn’s annual tacky sweater party while we’re there as well. Then we will come home and continue with our traditions!
Just like we do every year, we will have a traditional dinner at our house after mass on Christmas Eve. Buel will be tasked with looking for the first star in the night sky before we eat and then after dinner he’ll get his Wigilia gift. This is a tradition I started last year with new pajamas and a new book to read before bed as his gift. As you can see, this year is a “truck” theme.
When it came to presents for Buel from us this year I wanted something to ground us and found the “something they want, something they need, something to wear and something to read” poem floating all over the internet. I actually think I found it on Pinterest first and was inspired to keep things simple.
Since he does not technically “want” anything this year I took the liberty of getting him a play kitchen with some pots and pans to go with it as his gift. He loves the one at daycare so I’m hoping it’ll be a hit.
He needs some snow boots and snow pants, so that fit the bill for his “something they need” gift. I almost opened these this past weekend, but I waited instead.
To wear, I’m gifting him with a cute new sweater to wear on Christmas Day. We got to my in-laws for dinner and then to friends’ for a gift exchange, so he’ll get two wears out of it on Christmas Day alone!
Lastly, to read is The-Not Very Merry Pout Pout Fish. His Pout Pout Fish book is one of our favorites and he already has the Halloween version, so I figured I would continue on with his theme for the year.
Finally, I’m looking forward to starting the Santa tradition this year. Buel may not be quite old enough to fully understand yet, but I’m excited to start the tradition in our new house. We have a little wood door on our fireplace that’s meant to store firewood and I’m excited to use it as a “Santa door” where his presents will arrive. Santa got him a Little People Nativity Scene, a Melissa and Doug Latches Activity Board and a lift-the-flap board book. These will be unwrapped to save myself time in the future. 😉
Typing this out has gotten me so excited and I’m looking forward to the next few weeks. I hope you have a good one!
If you’ve been reading this blog for any length of time or happen to know me in real life, you know that I tend to set pretty high expectations for myself. I wholeheartedly believe that you can have it all if you work hard and reach any goal that you set your mind on. It’s how I was raised and I’ve proven that this attitude works time and time again. Of course, this attitude has lead me to fail several times. But that does not stop me….
This has been the fastest and slowest year my life. It seems like I’ve been a Mom forever, but it seems like just yesterday we were heading to the hospital, anxious to meet our little man. Buel turned one last week and I waited to write this update to give myself time to soak it all in. It’s a lot to grasp that my baby is now a toddler!
A year ago, I wrote a post about the things that I valued that I refused to change after I had a baby. Call it naive or stubborn, but looking back I can still say that those things are still the values I strive for.
But like it or not, things have changed. These days I barely even notice as I’m pretty much settled into our new normal. Even so, I can say without a doubt that I’ve changed a lot over the past year….
It’s time again for my monthly parenthood update. Buel is officially eleven months tomorrow and it’s been amazing how much older he seems within the past month. It seems that we’ve gone straight into the toddler phase and we’re partially in disbelief, nervous for what’s to come, exhausted from trying to keep up with him and at the same time having so much fun!
I’m continuing along with my Mom Talk series with a topic that I’ve been getting a lot of questions on- traveling with a baby! Earlier in the month we took both a road trip and Buel’s first flight, so I thought now would be a good time to share some things I’ve learned around the way….
After feeling completely burnt out on Friday, a weekend of no plans was just what I needed. We spent our evenings vegging on the couch, slept over eight hours each night, I stayed in my pajamas all day on Saturday and Sunday we spent the day as a family. I am feeling so much better today!
This leads me to my next topic in my Mom Talk series- Self Care. As important as it is for EVERYONE to take care of themselves, as a Mom it’s becoming increasingly more important. It’s true what they say, you cannot take care of others unless you take care of yourself first.