Monday, May 16, 2016

Maternity Leave Diaries

I have only two sweet days remaining in my maternity leave. My heart is so heavy as I think about returning to work and leaving my sweet girl. In the last week, there have been extra cuddles, lots of napping in my arms instead of the crib, and just taking extra time to take in that sweet newborn baby smell.

Since Madeline came early, I'm having to go back a little earlier than planned. I extended my leave to the very last day my contract allowed and the grandmothers are taking turns providing daycare. Luckily, there will only be a few short weeks left in the school year when I return and I will be home again with my girl. But, she'll be almost four months old and more interactive and mobile by then. Things will be different, which is both exciting because hopefully we'll have more of a routine down but also so sad because she won't be a newborn ever again. Part of me has been wishing this newborn stage away because we are so exhausted. Yet, part of me wants to savor the sweet baby smell and snuggles and a time when only I can comfort her when she is upset. 

Right now, no two days really look the same. Some moments that frustrates me to no end. Being a teacher, I am so accustomed to my day being scheduled to the minute and being held accountable for following that schedule. Now, I have a sweet baby girl whose heart's desire dictates my every move. For example, she cares not that we are in the middle of Target or that she only nursed 45 minutes ago. The baby is hungry so we go out to the car and nurse in the parking lot. 

Our schedule is constantly changing but here's a little snippet of what it's looked like most recently. The pictures aren't perfect because it's easy to capture the moments on my phone instead of missing them to set up the big camera. 

6:30 - 7 Madeline wakes up. She sleeps in her own room in her crib so I go in and change her diaper, dress her, and nurse her. Then we head downstairs and she does tummy time and we play on her playmat while I have my coffee and Shakeology. Then, she either relaxes in her swing or cuddles with me on the couch for about ten minutes before we go back upstairs for a nap.

8:00 Madeline naps for about 45 minutes. She still has to be swaddled or her naps look like this.
I do a number of different things during this nap. Sometimes I work out. Sometimes I shower. Sometimes I straighten up or clean something. I always get me dressed, usually in yoga pants unless we have somewhere to go with friends and make the bed.

8:45 She is awake! That was fast. We are hoping naps start to become longer soon but right now she is a solid 45 minute to 1 hour napper. 

We do tummy time on the changing table for a minute or two and then change her diaper. Madeline HATES tummy time so we try to get it in one or two minutes at a time all day long. Then, we usually head out for a stroller walk with some friends or just Riley. 

Disclaimer: I snapped this in my kitchen for my mom because she bought her that outfit. I always buckle her in before we head anywhere! 

9:45 Time to eat. I nurse her and then we head upstairs to look at a book and get ready to nap again. 

11:00ish Madeline will wake up. While she was napping, I probably cleaned the kitchen, pumped, and took a shower if I didn't already. Since our house is on the market I do lots of cleaning and straightening whenever I have a minute. And laundry. Laundry is endless and I really try not to let I pile up as I did before we listed our house. 

While she is awake, we usually play with some sensory toys or sit in the Boopy and make faces at each other or relax in the swing for a little bit. 

12:30 Usually my girl is ready to eat by now and I feed her with a bottle. She had her first bottle in a Comotomo when she was 4 or 5 days old so she has no problem taking one. I'm still trying to make sure she takes a couple every day so she is used to it when I return to work.

After she eats, we run an errand if I have any to do or head to Target just for the hell of it or to watch my checking account deteriorate. She will nap in her car seat. If we don't have anything to do its back up to the crib. This nap is usually about an hour and a half long. 

3:00 Madeline is awake, if not a little before now, and it is time to eat again. Afterwards, we either play or take another short walk if it isn't too hot.

4:30 Time for our last nap. She is usually pretty fussy around this naptime so it can be really tough to get her down. But necessary. 

5:15-5:30 Madeline is awake and ready to eat again. Around 6:00, Corey will come home from client meetings or emerge from his office if he is in town so he can spend time with her and this gives me a break for a few minutes. I'm not even going to pretend I use it to cook. We've eaten a grilled meat and roasted veggie, coldcut sandwhich, or Thai or tacos takeout every night since she was born. Just telling it like it is.  

6:30 Bath time! This is her favorite time of day! So fun! Corey usually runs bath time and I get some house work done, wash bottles, or take a few minutes to put on my pajamas (Yes, at 6:30) and take off my makeup.

6:45 Bottle and snuggles in the nursery before bed. We do a formula bottle at night. My pediatrician recommended it and it did get our girl up from sleeping just two hours at a time to six. 

Corey deals with dinner while I put Madeline to bed. If he is traveling, I eat a peanut butter and jelly sandwhich and an apple because I am too exhausted to cook. Experienced mamas, tell me that gets better?!

Then I try to relax for a little bit and am always teeth brushed and in bed by 9:00 because come 1:30 (and 3:15 and 5:30 and 7:00), our girl will be up to eat. 

The days are long but the weeks are short. How have 13 of them already passed and it is time for me to go back to work?!


  1. Hang in there it will get better. I know everyone tells you that but it does. I also started to add a little cereal to her night bottle when I went back to work to get her to one less night feeding. It will be heard to leave her but she will be ok.

  2. Any advice on getting her to nap on her own so frequently? My 6 week old still only naps in my arms, solly wrap or car seat. I have gotten lucky with a few rock n play naps but they're few and far between!

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