Friday, September 3, 2010

And Then Came Separation Anxiety...

Ohhhhh good old separation anxiety... you turn my happy independent baby into a blubbering mess when I leave the room, hand him off to grandma, give him to daddy, or even move to the side of the room where he can't see me.

Just when I got over my separation anxiety about going back to work, going away to teach a workshop for most of the day, or even book a cruise with my husband, my baby's anxiety kicks into overdrive. Part of me wonders if his anxiety growing is because mine is shrinking. Does he feel me pulling away?

I've read that he's finally realizing that when something goes out of view that its not gone forever. So when he can't see me he wants me back because he knows I'm not actually gone. He is also starting to develop preferences for people. One day he may prefer me and the next daddy. People tell me it goes in phases but its so sad to hear him cry when I leave the room to put on my makeup in the morning. But you can't calm the voices in my head telling me he knows I'm more comfortable leaving him. All I can do is give extra hugs and kisses before I leave and schedule more snuggle time at home.

On top of the separation anxiety he has also developed stranger anxiety. He used to smile and coo at anyone who held him. Now when I pass him off to someone "new" he cries of stiffens up! My social baby clams up and becomes a statue.

Its amazing to see not only the physical development of my baby but also the emotional. He has preferences, actual feelings, and shows his love in a smile or touch.

Saturday, July 31, 2010

The Art of Being Busy...

Pre baby times I always had something to do. A class to take, a workshop to teach, a full time job to go to, parties to attend, or deadline to meet. Now that we've tossed a baby in the mix I've learned to appreciate how my time is being spent.

I love the time I spend being a mom. It is so much more rewarding than I ever imagined. Most days I feel renewed at the end of the day instead of drained like I did before I was a mom. I started this blog with excitement to share my thoughts but its been put by the wayside while I've caught up on housework after teaching workshops over the last month.

I have gained some time back since my son has gained some of his own independence. At first there was a part of me that dreaded his growing independence from me over the last two months; we weaned him from breastfeeding, he started holding his own bottle, going to bed earlier and started sleeping through most nights, he sits on his own, entertains himself with his toys. I felt like he was already growing up and moving away. That feeling soon passed when I found his independence allows me to slowly return to a life that somewhat mirrors my pre baby days. The extra two hours I have at the end of the day because he goes to bed between 8 and 8:30 are a blessing. I have time to read, reconnect with the energy around me, get some housework done, reconnect with my husband or go to bed if I feel like it.

The last month was filled with teaching workshops on my weekends. I felt guilty at first for leaving my baby on the few days that we can spend all day together. By the end of month I realized how important it was for me to get out and still have time doing non-mom stuff. It opened my eyes and showed me that my baby's world won't fall apart if I'm not available. It also gave me the courage to book a cruise in November and go away with my husband baby free. I would have never thought four months ago that going on a cruise without a baby possible.

I took two days off work last week and had a four day weekend. I caught up on some much needed mommy and Connor time. It's amazing how your heart grows when its already so full of love.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Super Mom - My rambling thoughts

I've determined if you're a mom you're Super in my book.

I'm a member of the January 2010 Birth Board on I was commenting on a post today about being a Super Mom. I got to thinking about how many other Super Moms there are in my life after reading other peoples posts about why they thought they were a Super Mom.

Of course there is my two mothers in my life. My mom did everything that she could for my sister and I as a single mother for most of our young lives. Being a mother now has me appreciating everything she did ten times more than ever. My step mother never had a desire to be a mom until she met my dad. She always treated us as her own giving us her love, advice, time, money and energy when needed.

The Super Moms that have recently come into my life are my close girlfriends. I have a close relationship with at least five to six other women who have had babies within six months of me. I am amazed at ourselves and what we have learned and accomplished in such a short time.

My Ramblings...
We are all Super Moms. Some of us are first time moms, some of us have been there done that and have been a mom for years, some us went back to work, some us are now running and managing our homes, some us are "Mom" 24-7 because dad is overseas, some of us are making homemade baby food, some of us breastfed, some us are still breastfeeding, some of us are lugging her breast pump back and forth from work, some of us are cruising Farmers Markets to provide her family with the best food possible, some of us have changed to an organic diet for her family and baby, some of us find apps on our smart phone that create white noise to help our babies sleep, some of us not only have babies to take care of but cats and dogs running under her feet too, and some of us have many children pulling her in all directions and still can find time for each child. Our Super list is never ending. Some how some way we do it... we accomplish what we desire for our family and we strive for whatever is best for our children.

We should all have a Super glass of wine!

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Don't cry over spilled milk

Whoever coined the phrase, "Don't cry over spilled milk" was obviously not a breastfeeding/pumping working mother.

I have come to a crossroad about whether or not I should continue breastfeeding and pumping. My original goal for breastfeeding was until I went back to work. Then we bought a pump and my goal became 6 months, and then later, after I realized how easy it was for us, it became a year. In the last month my supply has dropped and we have encountered some bumps in our smooth sailing path of breastfeeding. It has me questioning whether to keep at it or throw in the towel.

Now that Connor is eating solid foods and on an evening schedule it makes it difficult for me to want to spend chunks of my evening pumping. In a given day I spend at least 5-6 hours pumping, cleaning my pump parts, planning out my supply, and packing up my pump for the next day.

I feel that if I could spend that time with Connor he would be getting more out the quality mommy time than the antibodies from the breast milk. I would be happier spending time with my son than stressing about how many ounces I've pumped for the day. A person in one of my online groups said it best, "A happy mommy equals a happy baby".

I will be sad to let go of breastfeeding. Breastfeeding is the one thing I am very glad we were able to do. I know there are many women who are not able to produce enough milk or the baby can't latch. We are very fortunate that Connor was born a pro and didn't have any issues. We are very fortunate that my milk came in the second day after birth. I will have the memories of us bonding and spending that special time together.

The sadness in my heart about letting go of all of this will be replaced by my excitement in the horizon. I'll be able to run errands after work without having to come home to pump first. I'll be able to make it to my yoga class at the gym after work because pumping won't be holding me up. I'll be able to take care of dinner earlier so there will be extra time with Connor before bed. The list goes on and on.

So as Connor turns 6 months I'm hanging up the pump and nursing bras and looking forward to making some awesome wholesome baby food.

Friday, June 25, 2010

Today Show vs Playhouse Disney

Getting ready for work in the morning has changed drastically for me.

My husband leaves for work before daycare opens so that leaves me the person to myself ready for work and the baby ready for daycare. Let me say I am NOT a morning person.

The Today Show used to on the television in the morning when I got ready for work. I never really paid attention to it because I was usually running around like a crazy maniac trying get out the door on time. I would catch the weather, traffic and then out the door I went. Now when I'm getting ready and packing up everything for me and the baby for the day I keep him in his walker, sitting on the floor or when he was really little in the bouncy seat.

About a month ago I was running around and looked over at my baby sitting on the couch staring at the TV. This was the first time he actually looked like he was paying attention and taking in what was on the screen. Before this you could tell he was just fascinated by the lights and the noise. I realized my Today Show mornings were over. Yes I love catching the latest on world events, knowing the weather for the day and which route I should take to work, BUT I don't need my baby being 3 years old and up to date on the latest oil spill crisis, the war in Iraq and the status of our economy.

I'm not a fan of sitting a baby in front of the television but it is helpful in the morning. Now Playhouse Disney is on in the morning, starting with Handy Manny and then Mickey Mouse Clubhouse. I actually find myself enjoying the morning even more. Partly because the baby is laughing and enjoying cartoons and partly because I'm not being hit the negativity of the morning news.

Now if there is anyway for me to turn into a morning person and remember everything necessary for the day.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Who Am I?

Before getting pregnant I had a pretty good idea of who I was. Stepping into the role of being a "Mom" has blurred lines and views of who I am.

I was a wife.

I was a friend to many wonderful girlfriends.

I enjoyed working outside the home.

I was a holistic practitioner/educator.

I am still all of these things. Now I am "Mom" first and foremost. Then my role as wife, friend, employee, holistic health practitioner/educator follows.

I am married to my best friend and look forward to waking up every morning knowing we are working towards the same goals and building a life together. It amazes me that we created life and have this little replica of our genes.

I have some of the best girlfriends a woman could ask for. I feel I see them few and far between these days but stepping into my new role as "Mom" some how makes it ok. I know they are an email/phone call away.

I spent four years going to college and worked hard to have the job that I have now. At first it was really hard to want to work and leave Connor at daycare. Each day got easier and easier. Now I know my little one is in safe hands growing, socializing and learning a schedule while I am contributing to supporting our household.

Since the birth of Connor, I have started to be more selective of how many clients I am seeing and how many classes I am teaching. My weekend and evening time is sacred to me because I'm spending as much time as I can with the Connor.

Being a "Mom" now means timing feedings between running errands, keeping my fingers crossed that he sleeps through the night, engaging his mind to help him grow, trying to catch every smile possible, spending my lunch break pumping breast milk so I can provide him the best nutrients possible, monitoring how regular he is because he's started solids, making him laugh so my heart skips a beat, worrying that maybe I'm not doing something right, surfing the web to find out what his next steps are, and soothing him anytime he's cranky.

I am a "Mom" who still enjoys her wine but schedules around breastfeeding. I am a "Mom" who still loves to snuggle with her husband every night but has to wait until Connor's last feeding. I am a "Mom" who misses lunch with her girlfriends on Saturday afternoons but needs to catch up on housework from the week before. I am a "Mom" who tries to take time and meditate but falls asleep after a long day.

I am a "Mom" who's heart has been filled with to the top with love in the last six months and it grows every morning I see him smiling at me from in his crib. I know I'm only getting a glimpse of the love that is to come.