Working moms - How do you do it?

  1. You have chosen to ignore posts from luckinlife. Show luckinlife's posts

    Re: Working moms - How do you do it?

    Hi Soxy-
    Sorry you are having a tough time.  I think it is super hard to juggle work, a long commute (I am right there with you) and to spend quality time.

    I, of course, echo Stefani about the sleep training . Saved me completely.

    Both DH and I took a pay cut.  I am working 4 days and he is too.  So Monday and Tuesday are really tough and I really only get to see DD in the morning and for about one hour after daycare b/c she goes to bed at 6:20-6:30.  Then DH is off one day and I am off one day.  This has been a lifesaver because there is always a couple of days of relief.

    There is a big part of me that wishes that DD stayed up longer but she just can't.  She is tired at 6:30 and I certainly am not going to force the issue.  That being said, I essentially have the whole night free to prepare.  What do you think about an earlier bedtime?  She has to get up at 5:40 for daycare so we all have to be in bed early.

    I am not sure if you could cut down your hours or days but particularly with a long commute it might help tremendously.

    I also cook for six so that we have leftovers at least for Monday and maybe even Tuesday. 

    I have a great career and get lots of positive feedback at my job.  However, I will tell you that if I didn't like my job I think I would feel more defeated and frustrated. 
     
  2. You have chosen to ignore posts from soxy-lady. Show soxy-lady's posts

    Re: Working moms - How do you do it?

    luckinlife - That is exactly my plan!  I asked for part time before I went out and was denied.  I've since asked again and my managers was at least open - it is up to HR now.  He is back from vaca next week so here is hoping.

    We did do sleep training, but it was a nightmare and after 1 month I decided I was going to wait until he was a bit older so now is maybe the time.  The nighlty bath was suggested by the sleep consultant I talked to as Isis.  It did help with at least getting him to get into his crib which he wouldn't do before. 
     
  3. You have chosen to ignore posts from kargiver. Show kargiver's posts

    Re: Working moms - How do you do it?

    Sometimes in a vent there are clues to a possibility of depression, and like Daisy said, if that's present it has to be dealt with for anything else to be effective.

    Despite the possible red flags (crying daily and feeling like she can't go on like this), no one said or even implied that she is depressed.  We said she might want to investigate the mental health aspect of what she's going through because if she does have an underlying hinderance to her feeling like she can cope with daily life post-baby it would be a positive thing to discover it.

    ETA:  clc, great idea about the bloodwork.  If a simple vitamin deficiency is making a difficult situation unbearable, how sad would it be to not find out?
     
  4. You have chosen to ignore posts from soxy-lady. Show soxy-lady's posts

    Re: Working moms - How do you do it?

    Again thanks everyone.  I just made an appt to see my PCP to get some blood tests and talk about depression.  Thanks.
     
  5. You have chosen to ignore posts from kargiver. Show kargiver's posts

    Re: Working moms - How do you do it?

    Blessings to you and your family as you get through (and, you will!) this intense time.
     
  6. You have chosen to ignore posts from CT-DC. Show CT-DC's posts

    Re: Working moms - How do you do it?

    Soxylady,

    You might stop pumping, but don't assume you'll have to also give up nursing - you will of course need to give formula, but you could stlil nurse every morning or every night, or whatever you want for comfort (you or his!), bonding, or just 'cuz you like to nurse!
     
  7. You have chosen to ignore posts from betty7. Show betty7's posts

    Re: Working moms - How do you do it?

    I know every baby is different, but just to give you some hope... I was still nursing my DD at night once or twice at 6 months.  She is 9 months now and sleeping through the night, and we didn't sleep train.  We did try to stretch out her feedings though, I read "the sleep lady" book for tips.

    Also, about the food - we moved on from purees to finger food pretty quickly and it seems to help the time situation.  I can put a bunch of food on her tray and can do some things in the kitchen while she eats (empty the dishwasher, etc).  I never leave her unattended while she eats, I still pay attention to her and interact with her, but I don't have to be spooning food into her mouth. 

    Good luck. You're not alone, it's very hard! I feel like I'm doing ok, but it's remarkable how bad my memory is now, I feel like I have early dementia at times! 

     
  8. You have chosen to ignore posts from winter09wedding. Show winter09wedding's posts

    Re: Working moms - How do you do it?

    Soxy- I echo everything else here- I would also ask for a thyroid test at the doctors. It is not uncommon to have issues after pregnancy, and unfortunately the symptoms look a lot like being a new mom (tired, irritable, forgetful, hair loss, etc).

    Regarding the other stuff- I have done a lot of the other things that people reported. I do a lot of "weekly planning" on the weekends. For example, since DS is in daycare, all the yogurts I buy on Sunday get labeled on Sunday so I don't have to do it every night.  Food for the next day at day care is all prepped while working on his dinner, etc. and in the fridge. And I literally line everything up at the door. 

    As for the mom stuff- I did what others have also reported- stockpiling  extras (pump parts and shoes live at work), refusing to iron (I just cleaned out Talbotts sweater sale), and understanding that I could no longer do everything. I wear makeup but don’t fix my hair.  My DS sits in his high chair while I work on dinner- I sing and interact with him and he loves it.  I wish I could just play with him every night, but it doesn’t always happen. We also bathe DS nightly, it is one of the few things that we all do together and it allows us a little play time (DS is 12 months- and likes to rub food in his hair.)  But then DH and I divide and conquer all the rests of the tasks.
     

    I too was formerly one of those organized and planful, think-of-everything-in-advance type people with a demanding professional job. I – honestly- think that made me more sensitive to having someone who is completely disorganized and nearly impossible to plan for (e.g., baby with multiple ear infections) enter my life. Around 8 months, I realized that in order to be a good mom, I had to take care of myself, which included some emotional “breaks” (e.g., stop being so hard on myself) and personal forgiveness. For example, just planned awesome party for DS, hosted family from out of town… and then found a cable bill I “tucked away” that is two weeks late.  The old me would have freaked- the new me was surprised we still had cable. I have a few mantras: (1) There is only 24 hours in the day, and at least 6 should be sleep; 8 if you are only getting small chunks. (2) I am allowed at least 2 hours per weekend day to just play with DS. Even if there is laundry, etc. to be done. (3) Perfection was often my standard, but not the requirement. (4) And I try to have a semi-regular date (even if only once a month) with DH to just be a woman, not a breast feeding mommy or breadwinner or whatever. Girls night out would count as well.
    I hope this helps-
     
  9. You have chosen to ignore posts from misslily. Show misslily's posts

    Re: Working moms - How do you do it?

    Winter - I was going to suggest the thyroid test too.  I have hypothyroid and the symptoms are the same thing new moms experience. Fatigue, weight gain (or inability to lose), hair falling out, and, for me, always feeling cold.
    Once I got on the medication my life improved dramatically!

    Oh - and finding bills.  I have set up everything I can to auto pay out of our joint checking. Cable, Phone, gas, electric, homeowners and auto insurance, etc.  We put everything else on one credit card. They send me an email alert 5 days before it's due and I pay that off everymonth online.  No checks to mail, no bills to keep track of.
    It's a real time saver once you get it set up.
     
  10. You have chosen to ignore posts from Novembride. Show Novembride's posts

    Re: Working moms - How do you do it?

    I am amazed by all of you working moms making it work however you can!  If I can offer one time-saving tip, re clothes:  a clothes steamer!  I got one three years ago and haven't ironed since!  It heats up in less than a minute and takes just a minute or two to run the wand over your clothes and all the wrinkles fall out.  If I am really productive and do it the night before, I just leave the clothes to hang on the steamer and they are waiting there ready to go in the AM.

     
  11. You have chosen to ignore posts from KAM2007. Show KAM2007's posts

    Re: Working moms - How do you do it?

    You've gotten a lot of great advice as to how to manage time better. And good advice to go see your PCP.

    Just wanted to offer a glimmer of hope. It really does get better/easier. It will take time, and just as you feel you have this stage figured out, it changes. And don't forget to be easy on yourself, everyone drops the ball sometimes.
     
  12. You have chosen to ignore posts from framerican51008. Show framerican51008's posts

    Re: Working moms - How do you do it?

    I'm sorry for the tangent, but hoping this will lead to even more helpful advice...
    I've been struggling with getting out of the house with DD.  To be quite frank, I feel like such a failure because I never want to make any plans.  I feel like everyone else goes out on weekends with their LOs, but I get so overwhelmed.  We just got back from a week's vacation and we barely did anything the entire time we were in San Diego.  We went to the zoo on Monday and I actually felt better afterwards because the baby took naps in her stroller and BFing in public was no problem... yet we barely left the house for the rest of the week, besides one trip to the beach.  (DH was sick on the one day we made plans!)  I don't even know what my question is... Part of the problem is that if we go out on weekends, I feel like I didn't get to spend any quality time with DD.  Are other people struggling with similar things?
     
  13. You have chosen to ignore posts from poppy609. Show poppy609's posts

    Re: Working moms - How do you do it?

    Oh soxy!  Your post described me to a T when I first went back to work.  I feel for you!  I have not had time to read any of the responses yet (but will throughout the day/night), but I wanted to ask (and I apologize if someone's asked this and you've answered it): are you a single parent?  If not, I would say enlist the help of your significant other. That's the only way I'm able to get everything done.  For example, DD only seems to want me to put her to bed each night (plus it's together-time for us), so while I'm doing that, DH prepares and cooks dinner.  Otherwise we wouldn't eat until 9pm, if at all, since we start the bedtime routine at 7pm.  I've also asked DH to help me pack a lunch/get my coffee ready to take to work the following morning, and if he was ANY good at ironing I'd ask him to iron my clothes for the following day.  As it is, he gets up with me to watch DD while I get ready for work in the mornings.  (And if it makes you feel any better, I come to work every day in the summer with wet hair.  Don't know WHAT I'm going to do when the cold weather hits!)

    Don't despair - it DOES get easier.  I'm sure the folks on this site have given you excellent advice.  I went back to work right around the 4 month mark and it took me until DD was about 8 months old to not feel entirely overwhelmed.

    ETA: forgot to say - if you ARE a single parent, do you have a friend or family member who could come over for a few hours each week (either all on one day, or spread out) to help?  Either by watching your baby, or by helping you with ironing, laundry, food prep, etc?
     
  14. You have chosen to ignore posts from BsBride. Show BsBride's posts

    Re: Working moms - How do you do it?

    Fram- when you go out on weekends, do you use a stroller most of the time or a baby carrier? Wearing the baby may make you feel like you're spending that 'quality time' with her. I know I felt the same way when my son is in his stroller, like he was way down there and I'm way up here and we're not interacting enough. He's almost 16 months now and I still end up carrying him a lot when we're out because it feels like we're hanging out more that way. But remember, getting out and doing different activities, seeing different places, hearing new sounds, all those things are great for babies and it is still spending quality time with them.
     
  15. You have chosen to ignore posts from nene72. Show nene72's posts

    Re: Working moms - How do you do it?

    I'm chiming in from vacation while DD is napping so forgive me if I repeat something that has already been said (I scanned the responses).

    It does get easier as the LO gets older and also when you are able to get continuous hours of sleep.  I gradually sleep trained my daughter but she was waking up one time per night until 10 months.  At 10 months, I realized I couldn't take it anymore and it took us about 3 days to break up the pattern of the last night waking.  FWIW, most babies can go without feedings by 9 months and I know many people who sleep trained as early as 6 months. 

    What helped us the most is that DH helps me out in the morning and I try to pack everything the night before.  I also have gotten to the point similar to Winter where I realize that I can not do everything and sometimes I have to appreciate what I was able to accomplish.  I was also fortunate to have some job flexibility so I changed my schedule to arrive a half hour later and stay a half hour later. 

    I can't remember if you are also overwhelmed by pumping.  My decreasing supply was a huge stressor and when I truly accepted that I had to supplement, I felt much better. DD is almost 13 months and I still BF on demand and give her milk for her bottles so it is possible to continue to BF as well as supplement. 

    Fram-getting out of the house gets easier as well.  I know it is hard because you feel as if you are not spending 1:1 time with DD but its nice to interact with them while you're out and watch them absorb the new experiences.
     
  16. You have chosen to ignore posts from ALF72. Show ALF72's posts

    Re: Working moms - How do you do it?

    Fra, if it helps at all, DH and I don't go out on the weekend if we don't have to and we don't have a baby.  The best part of the weekend for us is not having to leave the house. There's no shame in being a homebody!  If there is nothing you particularly want to do, stay home and play w/ the baby in the yard. Enjoy it guilt free!  :-)
     
  17. You have chosen to ignore posts from winter09wedding. Show winter09wedding's posts

    Re: Working moms - How do you do it?

    Re leaving the house. I couldn't tell from the post which part was the overwhelming part? We bought one of thesehttp://www.toysrus.com/product/index.jsp?productId=2756998 for each of our cars- it has diapers and wipes, I always shove a target bag or two in it as well (for big messes). it made a world of difference leaving the house because I always have some diapers with me.  when he was small, I also always had a change of clothes in the trunk for blowouts... and now have a big bag of toys, books, blanket, lovie (extra one), snack bin, and binks in the car at all times.  When I remember my diaper bag, that has a feeding bib, food, spoons, etc. plus diapers and clothes and more toys. having all the stuff in the car makes it so much easier to leave the house. If i need to just go, I don't have to pack first. I also always have an unbrella stroller (and a carrier when my kid was carry-able) in my trunk.

    however, if organization is not the issue, the other thing that I gave up really early was makeup/hair styling on the weekends, particularly at the grocery store and such. 

    I also totally understand the feelings of needing to be home to play - but I love taking DS to the grocery store. When he was little, he was in a carrier, but once he could sit he went in the cart. I have one of those soft cart things- we talk, i have figured out how to push the cart with my elbows and have my hands on him (sounds weird), I feed him snacks... He likes to shake boxes of things, hold vegtables and my coupon box, and be my helper (he is now 12 months, but started this around 6/7 months). it is great quality time. I love stop and shop because they have that gun, and you can sack as you go, which means no long lines at check out.

    however, i understand the not making it out of the house issue- that happens. and i still haven't made it to the zoo. :) 
     
  18. You have chosen to ignore posts from momofatoddler. Show momofatoddler's posts

    Re: Working moms - How do you do it?

    Clearly you've hit a nerve with the number of thoughtful responses this post has generated!  I think all of the suggestions here are good, as is the perspective that everyone else doesn't have it together all the time.  My added piece of advice is to take time to catch your breath and enjoy your baby. IT doesn't  have to be a playdate or a trip to the park. Just capturign a great smile on your camera phone or laughing with your mom about something cute he did will remind you what all the work is for.
     
  19. You have chosen to ignore posts from poppy609. Show poppy609's posts

    Re: Working moms - How do you do it?

    Fram - I agree with Winter09: I LOVE taking DD grocery shopping.  Now that she can sit up in the carriage, it is so much fun!  She is *amazed* by everything I show her.  She oohs and aahs over everything I put in the carriage.  It's very funny.  And she waves to anyone she sees so by the time we are leaving I feel like I am personally connected to everyone in the store.  I do always have a snack on hand (like Mum-Mums) in case she gets irritable. 

    Anyway, it makes me feel like we've gotten out and had an adventure.  Then I can spend the rest of the day at home. 

    Of course, putting the groceries away is a different story.

    ETA: something happened to my post - a bunch of words are missing!  I put them back.
     
  20. You have chosen to ignore posts from misslily. Show misslily's posts

    Re: Working moms - How do you do it?

    Hi fra - I have to say we don't go out much on weekends either and our twins are two.  When they were little it seemed like by the time we got out we had to come home for naps.  Then DD started getting car sick.
    We have some friends who think we are crazy. They take their 2 and 4 year olds somewhere every weekend.  But maybe that's because they live in an apt. in Cambridge and we have a nice big back yard and a roomy house.  We enjoy staying at home and spending them with them without all the distractions.
    I'm just starting to get the hang of taking them places alone.  I go to the store for a quick shop - only what I can get under the stroller since no one ever has a carriage for two when you need one.
    And we've just started to get the hang of eating out with 2 toddlers - the best part is no clean up - but frankly, they hardly eat and I spend most of my time rescuing crayons off the floor!
    Don't feel bad if you havent been to Drumlin Farm "30 times at least" like my Cambridge friends - it will still be there when you feel ready!
     
  21. You have chosen to ignore posts from ml2620-2. Show ml2620-2's posts

    Re: Working moms - How do you do it?

    I love staying home with DD, a perfect weekend for me involves staying home all weekend and never putting shoes on!

    Just chiming in from my vaca to say I am sorry if anyone got all wound up about my post on laying off on the depression labels. You were totally right about everything, getting checked out by her PCP for thyroid, vitamin D deficiencies - etc. You all gave me the same advice, and I was one of the people with the depression symptoms linked to the Vitamin D deficiency!

    I just saw that she was a new poster, didn't have a post history and so I didn't want to jump to a label, like when you vent about your DH, and someone immediately says "divorce him." It can be off putting, I was just trying to counter balance it with sympathy. 

    No shame in depression at all! Definitely don't wait to get it checked out! When I posted my message (search "Is this working motherhood, or PPD?" it was a Tuesday. With your advice and support I was sitting in my doctors office by Wednesday afternoon and had a diagnosis and horse sized Vitamin D tablets that same day. I felt better within days and four months later I feel great! Without all of you, I think i would have suffered silently for months. So thank you again, and Soxy, these ladies are right on!

     
  22. You have chosen to ignore posts from luckinlife. Show luckinlife's posts

    Re: Working moms - How do you do it?

    Fram - When DD was younger I KNEW that when I went out of the house it was for me.  So I felt selfish because she didn't get much out of it and it usually interrupted one of her naps.  But I think your DD is about 6 months now, right?  So I think that increasingly you will find that she really enjoys going out so it is now more mutually beneficial.  DD pretty much loves going to grocery shop, target (Lord help us with the $150s spend everytime) and going to restaurants.  I also walk with her in a backpack and she loves that too.  Increasingly you will find that DD is lower maintenance i.e. DD never needs a change of clothes anymore, almost never poops outside of the house (for some reason).  I remain very respectful of her naps so usually save our major excursions for after her 2 naps but now that she is older she doesn't fall asleep in the car so we can still have quality naps at home.

    Of course, you shouldn't feel pressured to go out but also don't feel guilty. 
     
  23. You have chosen to ignore posts from kargiver. Show kargiver's posts

    Re: Working moms - How do you do it?

    ml, your comment got even better discussion about the risk of there being a possible underlying coping issue on the table.  I understand what you were trying to say - everyone does need to vent about whatever is stressing them out without being "labeled as depressed," I totally agree.  But, if there are specific warning signs of possible depression in the vent, those signs shouldn't be dismissed even if we are mistaken about what might be behind those particular comments.

    I've never had kids, but I have had major depression.  I would vent about being very stressed with my career, but thank God my friends took it seriously when my vent included, "I sat in the parking lot and cried when I got here because I didn't have a major wreck on the way forcing me to take time off with a broken pelvis or something."

    I'm glad you got your Vitamin D deficiency taken care of.  I know what it's like to try to function with a debilitating underlying issue dragging you down to terrible, unbearable depths.  And, I know what remedying it feels like!  The boulder that had been sitting on my chest for months was lifted and the molasses in my lungs was drained when I got on anti-depressant medication.  My job still stunk and was as stressful as ever, but I didn't actually want a car to flip the median and land on me every morning. :)

    Don't worry about your "labeling" comment (as far as I'm concerned, anyway - I don't want to speak for everyone), and enjoy your vaca!!  Thanks for checking back and saying what you did about it, though; very nice.
     
  24. You have chosen to ignore posts from poppy609. Show poppy609's posts

    Re: Working moms - How do you do it?

    something odd happened to my post.  i just fixed it.
     
  25. You have chosen to ignore posts from framerican51008. Show framerican51008's posts

    Re: Working moms - How do you do it?

    Thanks for your input, as always.  It's nice to hear that I'm not the only one who often doesn't want to leave the house on weekends!  I was starting to worry that I am a recluse :o)  I think my concerns are mostly irrational.  I feel like if we have to leave the house even just for an errand, the whole day is ruined.  She's only awake for 2-2 1/2 hours at a time, so there goes a whole chunk of my precious time with her.  I guess I just worry that I'm not doing well enough... but I try to remind myself that I don't have to be super mom.  DD's diaper bag is usually packed, so I just have to double check it before we go out the door.  That is going to get tougher now that we're starting food!  The only real major issue at this point is getting out the door between her naps.  Though she doesn't usually fall asleep in her car seat or stroller unless it's nap time, so that's good.
     

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