Wednesday, January 31, 2007

The Great Milk Shake-Up

My travel to Phoenix is officially back on. And now I am finally starting to think about what this means for me, LP, and the husband (the hoos). Here are some things I have discovered:
  1. You can't carry breast milk on a plane unless you have an infant. So much for my idea of pumping and bringing it back with me.
  2. It is impossible to carry-on a laptop, a pump, and a suitcase.
  3. I have no idea how to use a hand pump.
  4. Most of my concerns have to do with nursing - should I introduce formula?
I hate the idea that traveling for work would force me to compromise LP's 100% breast milk liquid diet. Do other nursing moms wait until babies are weaned to travel without them? How bizarre that this is my biggest concern. Of course, I am absolutely not worried that LP will starve, or drive the hoos crazy; they both will survive and he is her daddy after all.

I used to love to travel for work. I got to see interesting place, try new food, and return home in short order. Sleeping away from home no longer means getting to sleep in the middle of the bed and take an extra long shower...It means I have to pump morning, noon and night before I go to make sure there is plenty of milk available for my little muffin while I am stinky is that?

Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Helpless, Hopeless, Sleepless

I don't want to harp on the lack of sleep thing, but it has a way of rearing its ugly head every weekend. This past weekend it wasn't even LP's fault. She has a cold. I feel awful for her - she was congested with snot the consistency of rubber cement. I probably sound like a horrible mom because my kid has crusty nostrils, but I swear LP has super human strength when it comes to pushing away a hand wielding either a tissue or an aspirator.

Anyway, at 12:30 am on Saturday the poor baby woke up screaming. In her own crib she was inconsolable, so at 1:15 she joined us in bed. Something about being next to her mommy and daddy lulled her into sleep. Even better, she decided to sleep snuggling her daddy; she usually ends up breathing in my face with her legs tucked into my stomach and me clinging on to the edge of the bed for dear life. Daddy is no longer jealous of this arrangement - he spent much of the night trying to get her to move over, only ending up with her our gorgeous little mouth breather blowing hot air onto his neck.

What do you do when your baby has a cold and humidifier, 'baby rub' and all the usual remedies fail?

Saturday, January 27, 2007

Post-Partum Hair Loss

I haven't had bangs since I was in 9th grade. I grew up on Long Island - I not only had bangs, I had bangs that were sprayed to stand straight up. Needless to say, it was not a bad thing for me - or the environment - when my bangs grew in. And then I got pregnant.

When I was pregnant with LP, I was probably one of the few women that hated the thicker hair that accompanies pregnancy. I already had thick hair, I was used to my hair, this bushy new look wasn't doing it for me. If only I had known then about post-partum hair loss (PPHL)- I wouldn't have complained.

When LP turned 3 months old - almost to the day - I started noticing my hair was falling out. When I say noticing, I mean the water in the shower was up around my ankles because so much hair was clogging the drain. I didn't get bald spots, and unless you really looked at my hairline, you wouldn't have noticed I was losing hair. Or unless you were my daughter and husband who were constantly finding long, brown hair all over the house.

Needlesss to say I was relieved when my hair stopped falling out in mass quantities right around the time LP turned 6 months old. However, now everyone is noticing that I lost my hair because I have these fabulous spiky bangs. And by fabulous, I mean they stink. Some lay flat, some stand up, some are interspersed with longer hairs; in general, I have NO IDEA WHAT TO DO WITH MY HEAD. Add this to the fact that LP has some need to yank my hair at all times so it it constantly in a ponytail.

Am I the only mom on the planet that was caught off-guard by PPHL? And, according to the JobMom blog Post Partum Dental problems are on the horizon as well.

Thursday, January 25, 2007

It's All Relative

Obviously having a child changes you forever. You are a parent for better or for worse but definitely for the long haul. You can't stay up late like you used to, run out of the house without at least one extra bag or travel for work with a day's notice. Will it be like this forever?

There is an interesting discussion on another blog, Working Moms Against Guilt, that asks if it gets any easier. The simple stuff has already gotten easier. It continues to get easier as I learn to better understand my daughter's cues, as she learns to communicate, as she figures out how to use a sippy cup and pick up finger food. However, even as I gain confidence in my mothering skills, I still question my decisions. And not only the small decisions (did I cut the avocado too big? is she constipated - is it time for some prune juice?) but the big decisions (when to have another child, buy a bigger house, reevaluate day care, stop nursing). Does this questioning ever go away? Or do you get to the point where you just go with the flow?

There is always something new to worry about, some new challenge to overcome. Like I said, motherhood is for the long-haul, thank goodness I have a fantastic co-pilot and a gorgeous giggly passenger, otherwise I think my head might explode.

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Working Mom Work Ethic

I am betting most working moms are like me - you have a constant sense of guilt hovering just above you. Like a rain cloud. Worried that you are not spending more time with your little angel, that you are not focusing on your work, that people think you are taking advantage when you work from home...

Let's face it, the working mom works harder. We don't want people thinking that we are relaxing and blowing off work when we are working from home, so we get up early, check our email constantly, and probably end up accomplishing the same amount that we would during a full day in the office plus doing the laundry, the grocery shopping, changing diapers, etc. Which makes me even more livid watching others take advantage.

My parents are both public school teachers who rarely took a sick day, brought home tests to grade, report cards to be filled out. They taught me the value of hard work and they also taught me that others depend on me.

Everyone has things that some up, everyone needs time to deal with the little things in life, but to see people using their children as an excuse to not work so hard or to miss a long planned, often rescheduled meeting, really gets me steamed. Do I need to lighten up or is there a trend out there?

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Whew! Danger Averted!

I came in to the office this morning fully expecting to have to travel for work next week. As soon as I learned of the potential trip, I started running through my mental checklist: do we have enough milk stored (no); does the timing coincide with anything major (yes, big project at Daddy's work); do we have a plan (no)...hmm...things didn't seem to be in our favor.

The good news is, the trip to warm Phoenix, AZ has been postponed. The bad news is - now I have to improve upon my long-term planning. What does happen if I have to travel for work? Oh, shoot, now the real work begins. LP is probably ready for mommy to travel, but mommy isn't!

Thursday, January 18, 2007

Who Needs Sleep?

My little LP was an angel in terms of sleeping for a grand total of 2.5 months. People would give us incredulous looks when we she said she slept through the night - from 9:30pm-8am. We would think "We are so lucky" and gloat in private. And then...things changed.

What happened? I wish we knew. We just keep guessing teething? belly hurt? growth spurt? Who the heck knows - but it stinks. When she was a newborn, waking up in the middle of the night was expected, it was tolerated, it was possible to go to work with only 4 solid hours of sleep. Now I crawl out of bed and whine after getting up at 4:30, 5:30 or 6:30.

I think she must know that the last 15 minutes before my alarm goes off (at 6:30) are the most precious, because at 6:15 this morning she decided to start talking to herself - loudly. As in turning off the monitor does no good - you can hear it anyway. It is a good thing she is cute.

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

The Desire to Be Perfect

One of the key reasons I am not a Stay at Home Mom (SAHM) is that I would constantly be worrying that I am not stimulating enough. I fear that by not giving her my undivided attention when I am at home with her that I am short-changing her. This is irrational. I know it is. Otherwise it would be impossible for SAHMs or working moms to get anything done in the house.

This craziness started from LP's birth. For the first weeks when we were home and couldn't leave the house much I would wonder - if I play music, should I sing along too? Then when we could go to the mall once she had her shots I would worry - she isn't getting one-on-one interaction - is watching the people walk by stimulating enough?

My daughter is already a leg up on the world. She is fortunate to have two parents who love her more than anything else, she has a loving extended family, she is better off than many others in the world. And yet...I put pressure on myself to be energetic, stimulating, attentive, etc. constantly.

I am not paralyzed with fear, but I do wonder about this a lot. I know I am not alone - what irrational fears do you have? How do you manage them?

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Somethings Gotta Give

What have you given up in order to have it all?

I have/had been working on my MBA at UCONN-Stamford. I started in the Fall of 2004 and have taken a couple of classes every semester. A whopping 19 classes are required to graduate - I have taken about 9. Most classes are from 7-10pm on weeknights. Since I had LP: 1. Work stopped paying for the classes since I am not an FTE. 2. I can't take the evening class because my husband would have to be home by 6 one night a week every week and that ain't happening. Last semester I took an online course, which worked out fine, but there are no online courses this semester and so essentially, I have put my MBA on hold.

I am not really upset about putting school on the back burner (honestly!) but it does reinforce how difficult it is to try to balance the full plate of life.

An Introduction

Frustrated by the lack of resources for working moms in CT, I made a plea on craigslist looking for other women in the same situation. I have been thrilled with the response - well, by the fact that I got any response at all really.

It seems to me that most of the support groups and activities for infants are for stay at home moms. Believe me, I know I would need a lot of support if I stayed at home f/t but it would be nice to have some options for moms like myself that like to think we can have it all.

Anyway, I am a first-time mom with a 7.5 month old daughter, LP. She is truly the most fantastic thing that ever happened to me - and my husband would agree. Learning from her and watching her grow is just amazing. I work 30 hours a week: 3 days f/t in the office and 3 hours from home two days a week. When I am in the office, LP goes to day care at Tumblebugs. I am still nursing and plan on continuing until LP is transitioned to whole milk when she is a year old.