Tag Archives: breastfeeding

working mom woes

So I have to fly out to NC for a new hire orientation in early December. After going back and forth over whether to bring the MM (who is still nursing) and have my mom watch him, I think I’ve decided to leave him home with DW and brother. I have a huge pit in my stomach just thinking about it. I’ll be gone Sun-Wed, so 3 nights and 4 days. I could cry.

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stress

OMG, I am so freaking stressed out. I need a weekend away, to do nothing but read trashy magazines next to the beach or in a bubble bath, eat delicious meals without a child screaming or wanting to sit in my lap, and S-L-E-E-P. Yeah, like that will be happening anytime soon. Onto the bullets o’ havoc!

  • Seattle job: I had my first interview a week ago Friday. It went well and I’m scheduled for the 2nd phone interview tomorrow afternoon. If that goes well, they’ll want me to fly up for a day of interviews. So, I’ll have to leave my breastfeeding baby overnight for the first time. Then have a completely stressful day of interviews while worrying about what’s happening at home with the baby. Then, if I get offered the job, we have to decide whether or not we want to do it. If we do it, we have the pleasure of moving to another state with 2 small kids and 3 cats. Right before the holiday season. Fun, right?
  • Current job: Super stressful. I don’t want to do anything, but I’m overtasked all of a sudden with things that I don’t know how to do. I get vague info, have no one to bounce ideas off of, etc. Hate it. I never wanted this position, but when my old manager left, my new manager offered it to me and acted like I’d be an idiot not to accept. So, I accepted, knowing I didn’t want it and would hate it (involves sales, for God’s sake – that is not me).
  • Homelife: We have officially outgrown our place. The kids need a yard to run around in. I need a decent workspace. THIS PLACE IS NOT CUTTING IT! Monkey is constantly (and I do mean CONSTANTLY) hitting, kicking, pushing the MM. He (Monkey) is obviously pissed off in general lately, but I don’t know how to improve it. It makes me sad for both boys and I worry that they won’t be close as they get older. I know that fighting will be part of a sibling relationship, but this is ridiculous.
  • MiL: This list is so long and ever growing that I simply can’t write it all down. Just suffice it to say that it sucks to be her and to be us where she is concerned.

So, that’s my current shitty situation. My head and stomach hurt every day due to stress and lack of sleep (baby nursing and stress-related insomnia). I’m really trying to reframe – my family is healthy, I make a good salary, we are not in debt, we live in a beautiful area, we have the 2 kids we longed for, grateful for the possibility of a new job – but it’s really really hard these days.

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what we’re up to

We are exactly 1 week away from the Marshmallow’s first birthday. I can’t believe it – it has gone SO quickly. That wasn’t really the case with Monkey, so it’s a surprise this time around. We were going to have a party for the MM’s birthday at Grandma’s house next weekend, but most of the people we invited couldn’t make it. It was a family-only party and half the family has a time-share that weekend that we were unaware of. Sigh. We are still going to set up a little party for him at Grandma’s Sunday but it’ll just be us, Grandma, and DW’s aunt and cousin. Maybe we’ll see if some friends want to come to our place on his actual birthday to sing and have cake and ice cream. I feel bad as we did a big shindig for Monkey’s first, but things are just different now. We are busier with two kids, a lot of our friend couples have broken up and things are awkward now, and the MM doesn’t have little friends his age like Monkey did. DW is going to start getting out there and making new mommy friends with babies – poor second child syndrome. I reminded her that Monkey was in Gym.boree classes and being taken to events daily when he was like 6 months old. (Yes, we plan on getting the MM into Gym.boree soon.)

See? We really did have a party planned 😦

bdayinvite

The MM is doing a lot of finger walking and standing on his own lately, so I imagine he’ll be walking pretty soon. He has 2 teeth coming in, and they are causing obvious discomfort. I think I may invest in an amber teething necklace to see if it helps. Poor boo is so cranky and miserable and that is not my sweet, mellow man’s general mood. Baby is in 12-18 month shirts/onesies and 6-12 month bottoms – his brother was the same. Big and broad up top, small below. The MM loves all toys and loves to play. Lately he’s really into balls. He will throw them, lay across them on his belly, roll them, etc. His sleep is still pretty good, though nursing at night is still a challenge. I’m trying to muster the strength to night-wean as I said I would at 12 months, but my resolve is not very strong. He is my last baby and even though I’m tired, I so enjoy those precious nighttime cuddles. He is still not doing much eating, either. He’ll do pureed baby food, but actual solids? Not so much. He chokes and spits it out. We keep trying so here’s hoping he catches on soon!

I need to figure out this nursing thing because I’ve been doing a lot of work travel lately. A couple of weeks ago, we went to San Diego for a conference. Last week we were in Northern California as I had a presentation to do at an internal summit. Luckily it was also Monkey’s Spring Break, so he didn’t miss any school and we would have had to find stuff to do anyway. I’m going solo for a nearby trip in mid-May (fly in and out the same day). On our trip home, we flew in, picked up our bags, dragged everything/one to the car, strapped the kids into their carseats, turned the key in the ignition and… DEAD CAR! UGH! I called AAA and they were running behind and said they’d be there in an hour and a half (!!!). I was like, “Seriously??? I have 2 small kids here!” Fortunately, they put a rush on our ticket and someone was there within 15 minutes. They gave us a jump and we went home. We had tickets to see Neko Case that night (purchased prior to knowing about this work trip) and we had to miss it as the car wouldn’t start. Bummer and a relief as I was really wanting to just chill out in my jammies. We got a new battery put in on Friday and all is right in car land again.

View from our hotel room in San Diego (pretty sweet, eh?):

sd

We had a nice and busy Easter weekend. Saturday we went to a friend’s birthday party at a local park (a fireman theme and they had an actual firetruck show up!) and then went to another friend’s place for an afternoon play date where we had an egg hunt. On Sunday we did the whole Easter basket thing, dyed eggs (whoops – was pretty late this year), and then went to Grandma’s and had an egg hunt and more little baskets.

Fire truck at birthday party:

firetruck

Easter baskets!

easterbaskets

I’ll be doing an Easter picture post, so let me know if you need the password.

 

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random topics post :)

I have two topics that I want to write about:

  • Work travel while breastfeeding
  • Girls’ dance

Here goes!

Work travel while breastfeeding

UPDATE: My boss was fine with my non-attendance. When will I learn not so stress over situations until they happen? Sigh. She was lovely about it.

I have a new boss (a woman who recently announced her pregnancy with her third child). She has been my boss since late December. Since then, I’ve traveled for work once and have two more trips upcoming (one to San Diego and one to Northern California). I’ve let her know that I’m still breastfeeding, my child is not yet one, and overnights without him are simply not doable right now. For the two upcoming trips, the family is coming with me so that I’m able to do the trips and not freak my baby out. I know that she travels frequently and has a nanny. She also mentioned that she weaned her first two at 13 months so that she could resume work travel. This is not my style, and I’m not interested in a bunch of work travel even if I were able to do it. There was no talk of travel when she offered me the position, or we’d have had this discussion then.

Now to the dilemma: The primary department that I work with is having 4 training sessions over 4 weeks time, late April-May. Three are on the East coast and one is in Arizona (I could fly in and out in a day for that one). I need to tell my boss about these sessions, that they are a great opportunity for the work I’m doing, but there is no way I can be gone for all these overnights. I am tasked with starting this new initiative, so I currently have no one else I could send – it’s just me. I’m worried about the conversation we are going to have later today as I’m sure it will annoy her and I’m not confident she’ll let me off the hook. Maybe I’ll get lucky and she’ll be more understanding than I think, but I’m not counting on it. I am the breadwinner in our house, so it’s important that I keep my job, but let’s be real, my priority is my baby, not this job that I don’t even really like. (Yes, I’m getting my resume together and starting to actively look for another position.)

I hate that this is even an issue. It’s such a brief time that our children are babies. Why can’t we have that time to do what we feel is right? The MM is still not taking to solids or bottles, so how the hell am I supposed to leave him for days/nights, you know? I don’t see how I can and I’m really pissed off that I have to worry about it – especially with another mom as my boss. My last boss (a man with 3 kids) was very cool with these issues. He never made me feel like I had to make a decision. Now, my boss hasn’t done that yet, so maybe it won’t be an issue, but… I plan to offer to be there via video, to assist with creating the presentation, anything and everything I can do to support it without having to hop a plane. Here’s hoping it’s enough.

Ugh, ugh, ugh.

 

Girls’ dance

Monkey’s pre-school had their annual fundraising event over the weekend. It was a nice affair – vintage circus theme, good food, games, crafts, etc. One of the pieces of entertainment was a couple of dance routines by a local dance school troop. Girls were about 10 years old, I’d say. Dude, I was seriously scandalized by what I saw! First, the costumes: They were dressed like “bumblebees” in tight, cropped shredded yellow shirts with black bra-like tops underneath. Black booty shorts with a tulle ruffle on the butt. Thigh-high black and yellow striped socks. DUDE! Remember when we were kids and girls dressed in sequined leotards, tutus, and tights for recitals? Then the song: Not sure what song it was but it was very suggestive, even had the word “shit” but shushed (“Shhhhhhhh” where the very obvious “shit” would have been, and that was worked into the routine with the little girls putting finger to lips while looking sexily over their shoulders at the audience). And the dance: Holy SHIT, y’all! I was just so uncomfortable and taken aback. Stripper poles would not have been amiss with this routine.  Thrusts and overtly sexual moves, super sexy/flirty faces, just over the effin’ top. Am I crazy? Is this the norm? I’ve never been so happy to have boys as when I witnessed this display. Shock.Ing. And I wasn’t the only one. A glance around the yard showed me many uncomfortable looking faces, another mom of 2 boys came by DW and whispered, “Good thing we have boys, right?” – it was nuts. And we wonder why kids are having sex at younger ages… Let’s start by not sexualizing little girls! Ick!

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the nursing traveler

I may or may not have shared that I’m in a new position at work. My boss left for a job at another company in early Dec. and my new boss offered me a position that is a step up the ladder (from Sr. Principal to Manager, though I have no direct reports yet). I still would have preferred the Seattle position, but alas, it was not offered. Anyway, this post is not technically about my new job, but rather how my new boss has asked me to travel a couple of times. I want to see if any of you out there have had this issue while nursing and how you handled it.

The MM will be 9 months old on Jan 29th. He will take a bottle, but will only drink a small portion (less than an oz.). We started him on solids at 6 months, but he is not all that interested. He often totally refuses baby food, but sometimes he eats it up. What does he want? Mama’s milk – directly from Mama. Not a problem for me, until possibly now. My boss wanted me to come to Northern California at the end of Feb for two nights for a meeting. I didn’t say no exactly, but kind of let it be known that I might have difficulty attending. She wrote me back and said I don’t have to come (her exact words were, “I won’t hold it against you,” which felt a little… weird) and can call in to the meetings. Now, all of my (male) peers (including one who lives on the East coast) will be attending and I kind of feel like I’m blowing it by not going. I just think both the MM and I would be in misery (not to mention Mommy). I worry about him not taking the bottle or food, crying all night (we co-sleep and he still wakes a few times in the night to nurse), causing an early end to nursing, and my supply taking a hit.

So do you think I have reason for concern or should I throw caution to the wind and go? Have any of you had to travel without baby while nursing during the first year? How did it go (for you and for baby)? At what point should I be able to travel without him? I’m thinking once he’s a year, but of course that means night weaning. I always said I’d be night weaning at a year anyway after years of night nursing Monkey, but now that it’s almost here, I’m kind of softening my stance : / Tell me your stories of travels and nurslings and outcomes (oh my!), Mamas!

PS: Remember how we were going to Dis.ney.land to celebrate Monkey’s 4th birthday today – Friday? Cancelled due to 3 of us being sick as dogs (both boys and me) and MiL breaking her arm and needing assistance. Oy! Will try to reschedule for late Feb. When it rains…

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interview process complete

I don’t know if any of you have been through an all-day interview dealie, but let me tell you: it is BRUTAL! I was so happy to have that 30 minute pumping break just to relax and breathe for a minute. If I hadn’t scheduled that, there would have been no break at all. I met with 6 people in 6.5 hours. I was asked every “Tell me about a time…” question that has ever existed in the history of ever. It makes the normal interview process look like a piece of cake, let me tell you. So how’d I do? I think it went okay? There were some where I knew I did great and really connected with the interviewer and others where I just had no idea. You know, different people, different communication styles. I should know whether I got it by the end of this week. OMG! I can say that after interviewing on-site, I do want it. It sounds like a super cool job, I loved the casual not-at-all-corporate-feeling environment, and think I’d learn a ton.

I barely saw Seattle as we flew in late Sunday and out early evening on Monday, but what I saw I liked. The people are super friendly – even when you are on a plane with a 5 month old 🙂 The Marshmallow was fantastic on his first flight and whirlwind trip. Both of my boys were awesome. Monkey got rave reviews from Grandma and seemed to have fun during his “slumber party.” The MM did so well without me for all those hours on Monday (he doesn’t take a bottle so we were worried). He would not take a bottle this time either, but he had some rice cereal with breastmilk and got through just fine.

Now we wait and see if 1.) I’m offered the job, and 2.) the $$ is right. If so? We are moving to Seattle, my friends. MEEP!

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and more new job thoughts

I went ahead and told the recruiter that I’d need one 20 minute break at the lunch hour and a place to pump. She congratulated me on the new baby and said they have Mother’s Rooms and she’d reserve one for me. So that’s done. Don’t know if it’ll be communicated to the team I’m interviewing with or how it will be received if it does, but I think it was a good call. It will relieve that bit of stress (and milk!) for me and I’m letting my possible future employer know I have a new baby and am serious about the work/life balance questions I’ve been asking. Besides, they came to me, not the other way around. I would never have been looking for a new job with a 5-month-old EBF infant, you know? So it’s up to them to make it work or not – and really, a 20 minute pumping break? So shouldn’t be a big deal. They don’t even know that I’m bringing DW and the Marshmallow with me – and I’m keeping it that way.

I’ve been having a bit of stress and am already quasi-mourning the full-time working at home setup I have currently. It’s been hitting me how much time I’m going to lose with the MM if this job goes through. I’ll go from being a WAH Mama, where I get tons of snuggle time and baby gets all the nursing time he wants/needs, to being out of the house for at least 8 hours every Mon-Fri. Of course, that’s the way most people in the workplace live – I’ve just been so very lucky with that aspect of my job.

It also hit me that we’ll have to somehow transport ourselves plus our 3 cats via plane to Seattle. Holy hell! How exactly does THAT work? We’ll need to find a new pre-school and someone we trust to be available to babysit the MM if needed (like when DW needs to see the dentist or doctor). We’ll have to find a place to live. Just all of the things moving entails with the added bonus of two kids under 4. I know, I know – people do it all the time. We’ll manage and it’ll be fine. Still, STRESSFUL!

Not to mention MiL will move up there at some point in the near future as well. We’ll have to somehow help her get her stuff up there (I’m thinking it’ll be in the form of $$), and she’ll likely have to stay with us for an extended amount of time while she finds a place. STRESSFUL!

But even with all of this, it still seems like an awesome opportunity in many ways. Now we’ll see if I actually get the job or if all of this stress has been for naught. Oh! And I just got a $10K/yr raise at my current job. So even if we don’t go, we have something nice if we end up staying 🙂 (Even with the bump, it’s not as much as I’d make at New Job, in case you’re wondering.)

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