She Says… Pause

People often ask me how I’m feeling about going back to work in January. And the truth of the matter is that I go back and forth. Some days I’m looking forward to a little time talking with other adults and thinking about things other than naptimes and diapers and laundry. I think about how it will be nice to have some time to myself. And then other days I feel like I’ve finally hit my stride as a mom. We have playtimes filled with smiles and belly laughs and long cuddles after restful naps. We take walks and thank strangers who stop me to tell me how adorable Owen is. We cook dinner and the house smells delicious. Those are the days I wish I could just hit pause and stay there for awhile longer. Those are the days that make me dread January 3rd, when I put on heels and head into the office again.

I know there will be fabulous things about Owen starting daycare, and challenging things. There will be moments when I doubt my decision to return to work, and there will be people who will make me feel like a bad mother for deciding to do so. I imagine there will also be days when Owen will come home all smiles and showing off new tricks and new words that he learned from his friends and teachers. He will make friends and engage with others in a way he probably never would if I were around.

I think Owen has his first cold. He’s been sneezing and coughing a little and is a bit congested. Nothing serious, but his first run-in with germs. Since he’s starting daycare in a few short weeks, I know it won’t be his last. I’ve been using a humidifier in his room when he sleeps and it’s helping with the stuffy nose, but sometimes the clogged nose still wakes him up. He just woke up crying from his nap and I could hear the congestion in his nose. I rocked him back to sleep in my arms and then snuggled down in our rocking chair and let him sleep on my chest for awhile. I almost never do that. It was just another one of those moments that I wanted to pause. Another one of those moments that I will miss once he starts daycare.

I feel like I’m over the hump. I’ve made it through the incredibly challenging, overwhelming and difficult early days. And while I know there are hard parts about every stage of having a child, I feel like we’re in such a good place right now. And I kind of just want to hit pause and stay here awhile longer.

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9 responses to “She Says… Pause

  1. I always thought that was the most cruel part about maternity leave: you have to go back just as things are getting less hard and more fun! It’ll be a big transition, for sure, but I have no doubt it’s the decision that’s right for you and your family. And hey, if you find any part of it isn’t quite working out for you, nothing’s set in stone, right?

    I hope you are able to enjoy your last full-time month at home!

  2. awwwwwwwwwwwwww. so sweetly written.

  3. I start back January 3rd also. I’m right there with you on the mixed feelings! 😦 I get a lot of guidance and comfort from reading your experiences and relating them to me own.

  4. Hi, Kate! First of all, let me just say that I really enjoy your blog. I’m not exactly sure how I found it, but I’ve been a loyal (but quiet) reader ever since I found it. Owen is such a cutie!

    My comment isn’t in response to this particular post (although I can definitely understand your feelings even though I stay home with my little one). My comment is in response to your Twitter post about your off smelling breastmilk. I don’t have Twitter myself, so I’m commenting here.

    I was never able to successfully freeze my milk or keep it in the fridge longer than two days. After doing some research, I found that my milk is high in lipase which is an enzyme that breaks down fat. The result is breastmilk that smells and tastes off when frozen or stored in the fridge past a certain point (I still cringe when I think about tasting when it “turned”!). Some people have described it as having a soapy or metallic taste/odor. Anyway, here is some information about lipase from the Kelly Mom website. It’s apparently not all that common, so hopefully your issue is just a storage issue or something. I just thought I’d send this information to you just in case. Oh, and all of the information I’ve read states that there is NOTHING wrong with the milk so don’t worry about it being bad if it’s a lipase issue and Owen drank it.

    Lipase information:
    http://www.kellymom.com/bf/pumping/lipase-expressedmilk.html

  5. Leslie, Thank you for that link! I have read about lipase before, but I’ve used other frozen milk with no issue, so I am undecided as to if that is the problem. Our freezer gets opened a lot, and I lay the bags on the floor of the freezer (which I know you’re not supposed to do) to get them to freeze flat, so I’m not sure if it’s an issue with being frozen/unfrozen or improper storage, plus the fact that it’s right about the three month mark (the limit for frozen milk stored in my type of freezer). That said, Owen DID drink the milk, so perhaps it IS lipase and it just took awhile for my milk to “turn”.

    I actually tasted the milk before I gave it to him (since it smelled so strange) and it tasted ok. A little salty (???) but certainly not spoiled. I imagine that if I tasted spoiled milk I’d KNOW it. So lipase is a possible cause, I guess. I’m going to defrost a few more bags from that time period and see if the smell is still there.

    Thanks again for the info! Something else to Google 🙂

  6. It goes so fast! Seems like almost every day I want to hit pause! My boy is already three months old and it went in a blink of an eye.

    I’m SO lucky to be able to stay at home with my son, it’s truly a blessing. I know it’s not for everyone but I’ll be showing my son those new things by letting him go to nursery at church and hanging out with other stay at home moms and their children.

    I think this is why mom’s have more than one kid. It’s so precious at every age of a baby but it goes to fast….waaay too fast.

  7. No advice and I usually don’t say this to people… but I know *exactly* how you feel.

  8. I agree with wanting to “pause” moments. They are too precious!
    Going back to work is hard (not going to sugar coat it) BUT it gets easier and becomes routine. I do miss Ava EVERY SINGLE DAY, but i do love the adult interaction each day. Plus it helps to know that my mom and dad are taking care of her while we are at work and spoiling her rotten. =)

  9. Because I got a cyst and for some reason could pump milk out (I had more luck SQUEEZING it out, but I would bruise) and after a long and painful fight I gave up breasfeeding at 4 months. And, I tell you, it still depresses me (he’ll be 11 months in a few short weeks). So, if you do decide to stop, be prepared. 😦

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