April 06, 2010

New Mommy Realities

As you all know, my colleague has been away on maternity leave. Her first day back was yesterday and I've had a few chuckles in listening to her change in story.

Prior to her sweet baby being born, I heard a lot of, "My life won't change all that much." And, "If I don't want to breastfeed, I won't breastfeed." Let's not forget, "I don't anticipate sleep issues." That one is my favorite.

Now that she is back to being a full-time working mama, I'm chuckling a little more.

Firstly, I asked her how breastfeeding was going as she was well aware of my issues and my choice to quit early on. She replied, "Time consuming. My husband is adamant about me doing it though, so I don't have a choice." HUH??? My husband told me the same argument about how it is best for baby and in my early postpartum rage, I basically told my husband to take a flying leap off the nearest and highest bridge. I think these men often forget that they aren't the ones who have to do it! In retrospect, I often wonder if it is my fault in lack of breastfeeding that he is so prone to picking up every damn illness on the planet. I guess we'll see this week if her perfect baby picks up as many colds and crap from daycare as mine did. Don't get me wrong here- I have nothing against women who breastfeed. I was unable to do it so maybe I am a hair bitter.

My next chuckle came in her sudden change of hours. She went from a workaholic to wanting to be home with her daughter (and of course because of her intricate breastfeeding schedule). Gee. Imagine that. Wanting to leave at a reasonable time to be able to spend time with your family. THIS is what I've been begging for since I had my son! How interesting that the shoe is on the other foot now.

My last chuckle is more of a first time mommy chuckle story. I encouraged buying the Diaper Champ (which she described as the "cheap" Diaper Genie... no... it is a just as good version that doesn't require you to buy their stupid special bags to put in the thing). Well... she asked me the other day, "What kind of bags do you use for your Diaper Champ?" With a confused look, I responded, "Basic tall kitchen garbage bags- I recommend ones that have a scent guard. Why?" Turning red, she said, "So the paper Target bags won't work, huh?" I laughed and kinda gagged a little thinking of the smell.

It is nice to finally have another woman on the other side. One who understands the trials and tribulations of being a working mama. It isn't always easy and no matter how much you like your job, you still miss your baby every single day. I tell Jack every day when I pick him up. "I MISSED you and thought of you all day today!" And that, is not a lie.

This brings me to talk about my Gen Y'er colleague. She's a young, 23 year-old newlywed (good god... at 23 I certainly wasn't thinking about being married to anyone). Babies are about the furthest thing from her mind. With that, we can't exactly tell her that she can't leave early to go to her own doctor appointments or take care of other business, but at the same time... does she really have a reason NOT to work until 5pm? I changed my hours from 7:15-4:15 so I could pick up Jack and get home at a reasonable time, sit down for dinner as a family and have more than one hour with my son before he has to go to bed at 7pm. I love that he goes to bed early, but that doesn't leave much quality time left for us. I REFUSE to go back to working until 5p. Period. I've been the childless employee. Sure, it always annoyed me that people with kids seemed to work their own hours with their own agenda, but I never tried to work the system either. I never realized what it was really like until I had one of my own.

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