Update: 1 month post return to work

Hiya!  As promised, here’s an update on life after returning to work.  It’s been over a month since I last posted.  So sorry for being MIA!!  I don’t like making excuses, but I do have a couple.  😉  Firstly, we’ve been sick as dogs for over a month thanks to the super bug my daughter bought home from daycare.  Only in the last two weeks or so have we been feeling human again.  Scratch that.  Since starting this post, we had a stomach bug and baby is sick again.  🙁   Secondly, since returning to work,

I am just plain tired all the time and have less free time to blog.  Well, just in case you were wondering, I thought I would fill you in on how things are going….

close up thermometer on schedule with pills

Photo by Daphoto

Daycare

Before I went back to work, I was very concerned that my daughter would not adjust to being in daycare.  This is because she was very unhappy, by unhappy I mean cried A LOT, during gradual entry.  Even during the first couple of weeks after gradual entry, she cried quite a bit, but that could’ve been partly because she was extra cranky from being sick.  Luckily, my husband does the pick up and drop off so I don’t have to see her being upset.  In the last three weeks, though, things have changed.  She now willingly goes to the daycare teachers, when before it required some coaxing and distractions.  She doesn’t cry when my husband leaves.  She just waves good-bye.  They tell us that she doesn’t cry anymore while she’s there.  She’s doing well, eats a lot and sleeps well.  In fact she naps longer when she’s in daycare than at home.  When my husband picks her up, he finds her happily playing.  She waves at him when she sees him and doesn’t whine or cry for him to pick her up.  This change is bittersweet for my husband and I.  We are happy that she is finally comfortable in the care of others, but we are also a bit sad that she doesn’t need us all the time anymore.  My baby is growing up… 🙁

cute little girl drawing with pencil in kindergarten

Photo by Olesiabilkei

Work

Work has been okay.   I’ve been pretty good at going home on time and not working crazy hours.  I’ve only had two long days thus far.  But then again, I’ve just started two new projects and the work load hasn’t gotten too heavy yet.  Pre-baby days, I used to work minimum 10 hour days and also worked on the weekends often.  Hopefully, those days are long gone as my priorities have now changed.

Pipette with drop of liquid and lab equipment on the seascape (collage)

Collage by Zakiroff

Home Life

Having a child certainly changes things.  We are no longer on our own schedule.  We cannot come and go as we please.  After rushing home from work, we try to get dinner on the table as soon as possible so that we can all have dinner together and spend a little time together before baby’s 7:30pm bedtime.  Cooking dinner or doing anything for that matter is a challenge these days.  Baby has yet to outgrow her separation anxiety.  In order to get anything done, one of us stays with her while the other cooks or cleans.  Either that or we get our chores done while she’s napping or after she’s down for the night.  Because of this, we try to make quick and easy meals, like Charlie’s lemongrass pork (also tastes great with boneless chicken thighs).  We try to plan out our meals for the week so that we know exactly what we’re going to eat.  Weekends are left for the fun stuff: laundry, cleaning and grocery shopping.  Why does it seem like there are always endless piles of dishes and laundry to do? 🙁

orange in the grocery store

Photo by voronin76

Tired all the time

You guessed it.  I am tired all the time!  Doesn’t help that for the past month, baby has decided 5:30am is a good time to wake up. 😛  Doesn’t matter that I get at least 6 hours of sleep each night.  By mid-week, I am ready to conk out pretty much right after baby goes to bed.  Maybe my low energy is from all the rushing around I do all day.  Rushing to get out of the house in the morning to beat traffic and get to work early.  Rushing at work to get all my stuff done.  Rushing home to make dinner.  Rush, rush, rush.  I signed up for yoga to slow down, to relax and for some “me time”.  Even though class is only once a week, I’ve managed to miss half of them due to either being sick, coming home late from work and just wanting to spend more time with baby.  There are not enough hours in the day!

alarm clock and book on bed

Photo by Rita Blue

That’s all for now, folks.

How do you find balance between family and work?  How do you find time to do everything?  Please share!

First week back at work

Good morning!  How is everyone’s Monday going?  Last week was my first week back at work after being on maternity leave for a year.  On top of that the whole house was and is still, as I type, sick.  Well the dog isn’t.  Lucky guy.  Since it started with baby, I blame it on daycare.  She must have caught something during her gradual entry.  Sigh….daycare, can’t live without it, can’t live with it.  Anyhoo, needless to say, having a sick, extra clingy baby did not make the week easier.  I had a lot of anxiety about going back to work.  Here are a few reasons why:

Leaving my baby

This wasn’t as difficult as I thought it would be.  I think it was because I knew she was in good hands.  Since she was sick, she was only able to go to daycare one day.  The other days, my husband and mom took care of her, whom I trusted would care for her to the best of their abilities.  Even so, I checked in with my husband multiple times a day, but did restrict myself to calling my mom only once.  While she was in daycare, I left it to my husband to check in on her.  The first day back at work was a little tough because everyone asked how I was feeling about being back and how my baby was.  This made me think about her, how she was sick and I wasn’t with her.  So, I was fine, if I didn’t think or talk about her.  Easy, right?  The transition was definitely easier for her than for me.  She would wave goodbye to me in the mornings and when I returned at night, she would look up from whatever she was doing and just smile.  She did not cling to me as I left the house or cry for me to hold her when I got home.  I am a bit sadden by this, that she does not need me so much anymore.  But I suppose this is a good thing.

Going back to work

Office

Photo by Mantinov

While on maternity leave, I kept in touch with a few co-workers and had also been checking work email, so I knew what was going on.  In the past year, the company and my department has grown substantially.  There have been a bunch of new hires and our department has expanded both in manpower and space.  What I was anxious about was going back and being the “new” person, even though I had already worked there longer than the people who were hired while I was away.  I was worried that I would have to rebuild old relationships and not be “in the know” anymore.  I was worried for nothing.  All my co-workers were so happy to see me come back.  I had the same rapport with everyone as I had before I left.  I was able to jump right into the lab since I didn’t have to be trained and get started with experiments (this helped with keeping my mind off baby).

Lab Experiments

Photo by jk1991

It was like I never left.  I was new, but aside from not knowing the names connected to a bunch of new faces and where my desk and the washroom were, a lot has remained the same.  I have to admit that going to work is like going on a mini vacation away from baby each day.  I get to get “dressed up”, put on some makeup,  have “adult” conversations and finish a meal.  Maybe going back to work is a good thing.  Maybe it’s good for me….

Driving

Shift Gears

Photo by Alex White

Even though I’ve had my license for years, I’ve never had my own car so I am a very inexperience driver.  I always just took transit everywhere.  When I was in university, it would sometimes take an hour to get to school by bus because of traffic, but I didn’t mind.  I was able to study or sleep on the bus.  No stress of being behind the wheel while sleep derived.  When I started working, I either lived really close to work or lived close to transit so driving to work was unnecessary.  Before baby was born, we moved into a new place, that is not so transit friendly.  It would take me about 50 minutes to get to work by bus, but that’s if I catch the bus at the right time.  If I didn’t, I would have to wait 20 to 30 minutes since the bus doesn’t come very often.  Even though I had started driving more while on maternity leave (to go yoga, to go buy groceries and yarn 😉 ), these trips were short.  I did not have to drive on the highway or cross a bridge, something I would have to do to go to work.  Up until the night before work I was still thinking about taking the bus.  When I told my husband this, he said, “I didn’t know you were a coward!”   Well, that made me a little mad.  So, I did a test run.  I got onto the highway and drove across the bridge and back.  It wasn’t so bad because it was after dinner on a Sunday.  There wasn’t a lot of cars on the road.  This gave me the confidence to take the car the next day.  Oh boy, I was nervous that first morning.  There were way more cars than the night before.  But that kind of made merging onto the highway easier.  The rest of the way to work was uneventful.  On the way home, however, I wasn’t very careful when changing lanes after getting on the highway, that I almost caused an accident.  Scared the #*$% out of me!   After a week of driving back and forth, I am still anxious and not very confident behind the wheel.  Hopefully, that will change with time.

So, that was my first week back at work.  It wasn’t so bad, after all.  We will see how the next weeks and months play out.

How did you deal with going back to work after having baby?