Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Back to work

I went back to work when Pepper was 8 weeks old.  The first day was awful.  I could not think straight.  I did not want to be there.  I forgot words and made a mess of training the new office employee.  Things weren't much better at home with her dad.

I happened to have a follow up appointment at the birth clinic that day and I completely lost it as soon as the nurse (who was the attending nurse at Pepper's delivery) took me back to a room and asked me how I was doing.  Then the midwife came in and asked the same thing and I started bawling all over again.  I cried through most of the appointment.  Bless their hearts; they just hugged me and let me cry it out.

Pepper was at home with her dad while I was at work.  She was most determined to not eat from a bottle or take a pacifier, so when she wasn't sleeping she was crying and hungry except when my husband brought her to me at lunch to feed her.  He was pretty frazzled by the time I got home.  I was frazzled from holding back guilt tears from knowing she was hungry and upset all day.  Baby was frazzled from wondering why her routine was so jacked up when we'd had such a good thing going.

Thankfully, I am on a part time schedule, so I had the next day off where we were able to recover emotionally and physically.  The next two work days went much better.  Since my husband was in the middle of his last weeks of school, I took her with me to work those days so he could finish school projects.  Having her with me all day was wonderful.  She stayed happy and fed and I was way more productive knowing she was happy and fed.

The second week of work I had her with me half the time so my husband could take his finals.  She still wouldn't take a bottle so the time she did spend hanging out with Dad was still fraught with frustration, but we all managed to survive.

The next two weeks, school was finally over and his new internship hadn't started yet, so her daddy stayed with her all week but said heck with the bottle feeding attempts and brought her to me for every feeding.  Happiness reigned all around.  After that, his full time summer internship started and I took her to work every day.

Thankfully I work in a small office for an private employer who'd rather accommodate than lose me.  Everyone else is a parent too so they are understanding.  I've been back to work about three months now.  Pepper is getting bigger and more social so sometimes it's hard to give her the interaction she needs to stay content.  I'm learning to make myself step away from the paid work to give her my undivided attention when she starts acting out which helps her mood, and my coworkers will take her for me when she's fussy and I need to get on a phone call or finish an urgent email.  Or they take her just because.  Everyone likes to get in baby time with her every day.

I love having a part time schedule.  I don't choose to work for the sake of working, but since I do need to work for now it's lovely only working every other day.  Reduced hours, a smaller work load, and additional competent office employees have done wonders for bringing down my stress levels.  I'm not forgetting to eat and drink, I'm leaving on time at the end of the day, I'm getting in regular exercise on my off days, and overall I'm just feeling happier.

The tentative plan is to only work through the next semester when my husband can go back to full time work.  To that end, I'm busy training my replacements and teaching customers to do without me.  I've done good work at this job, but I'm ready to give all my attention to family life.

She likes to keep an eye on what's going on.

Improvising a way to keep baby sitting up while freeing both my hands to work

Tummy time is hard.

Office selfie

She found her thumbs.

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