I went back to work six weeks after M was born. Of course, that was the week he decided he’d like to eat every hour, on the hour — and he’s still going strong at 15 weeks! (He starting to sleep 10-11 hours most nights though, so I get a good break.)
Learning to do things while seated, or with a baby strapped to my chest, or even one-handed — and in a few cases, not at all (goodbye, daily showers) — has been a challenge. I think this is what they leave out of the Mommy Manual. It’s not the sleepless nights, or the constant nursing, or the dirty diapers, or the mountains of laundry (how can something so tiny generate so much dirty clothing? I still don’t know.) that will do you in: it’s the immobility. If you’re a nursing mom, and especially if you believe in attachment parenting, then you’ll be tied to your baby during his every waking hour — and many sleeping ones, too.
Working from home, I find M’s self-set routine particularly difficult to manage. I love being with him, and snuggling him, and taking care of him — sometimes to the exclusion of work. There were days that I didn’t start working until after M was in bed for the night. There were nights that his 2 a.m. feeding signaled the beginning of my workday. There were days that I just couldn’t work at all. And there were plenty of tears and screams — and not just from the baby.
I’m happy to report that things are better everyday. F, my husband, is a great husband and father, and gives me time to myself everyday. M loves his Ergo carrier, and I can get some cooking and other tasks done with him on my chest. He’s taking more consistent naps, and loves playing with F while I finish work in the afternoons. And I can type 30 words per minute, one-handed. Boo-yah.
Just as soon as I’m ready to add another ball to my juggling act, I’ll get back on a blogging schedule. Yeah, right.