motherhood · postpartum

Dog Days of Summer

The last few weeks have been challenging. Baby J has been in the midst of a leap that I think we are maybe finally (don’t jinx it) past. It has been hot as all get out so playing outside is limited to 10-20 minute increments just before sunset and if there’s a breeze. The porch is like a sauna so sitting out there is a think of the fading past. And work has been incredibly challenging.

Lately, I find myself having the constant urge to just go back to bed every day. I am emotionally and mentally exhausted. And many days, physically too but that’s besides the point as the mom to a very mobile 10-month-old. It is not as bad as the depression I was feeling a few months ago. But it’s a constant that I’m not really used to. My doctor is checking my thyroid and vitamin levels though to make sure those haven’t dipped more and I need higher dosages. Starting thyroid 3 months ago did GREATLY increase my postpartum issues- the anxiety is less frequent and the depression was all but gone until the last few weeks.

I just hate that there are so many days that leave me questioning the decisions I made to leave my former career and become a work-from-home mom. This month, we got ourselves into some financial issues by mismanaging and overextending in areas that we just lost track of (life is busy, it’s hard to keep track of our spending and eating habits) so dealing with that makes me feel even worse about the situation. I am oddly making more now than in my previous position, which means that I feel so much more burden to continue to provide more for my family and it means that we sometimes lose sight of the budget and feel flexibility when we really shouldn’t because we have debt and a baby. Thanks, student loans. And life.

I left a job and career that I absolutely loved for a gamble on an industry that I wasn’t familiar with and had very little working knowledge of. I have learned a lot and grown a ton, but it has not been easy. And those growing pains and moments of not instantly knowing the answers make me want to throw my hands in the air and walk away. I get frustrated by the feeling of being stuck because I have made a financial and emotional choice for my family to be home while also working.

Being a work-from-home mom is not easy. There are days where I feel completely ineffective and like I am 10 steps behind where I should be. There are days where I accidentally take myself off mute on an important call and the sit-to-stand walker comes pouring over my speakers (true story, last Thursday). There are days where I would much rather hang out with the kiddo, do the laundry or dishes, and just lay in bed than actually work. But the days where I actually want to just work and focus on being employee me and not mom me are the hardest probably. Because that is impossible. Even when he is at daycare or with the nanny, I am constantly playing both sides. Thinking about what time I need to pump, did he eat okay at daycare, is he happy, and when I need to leave to pick him up. There is no off switch on mom me.

The guilt that I feel for not wanting to be home with him 24/7 and for being kind of jealous of my friends who wake up and drop their babies at daycare by 8am and don’t pick them up until after 5pm breaks my heart. Because there is a reason why he is home with me- I could not bear putting him in daycare and I was lucky to get this opportunity. I do know this. I never forget this. But it isn’t easy. I know daycare 40 hours a week and an outside-the-house working mom isn’t easy either, but the grass is always greener, right?

I know that it will get easier. He will be less dependent on me. Eventually, he will sleep through the night, nap on his own all the time, and wean. But these weeks of demanding child, demanding work, and the feeling of failure make me want to curl in bed and just cry. Maybe with a good chick flick and a bottle of wine or a pan of brownies.

Working from home has been a sacrifice similar to the sacrifice of staying at home with him, except for that bi-weekly paycheck which makes life so much easier. It’s a catch to stay in this moment though and not want to surrender it all to what the future looked like before work-from-home was an option. Going back, would I do it again? Yes, as hard as it has been, yes. Because something in me told me that he wasn’t going to thrive in daycare. Something bad was going to happen. To either me or him, I couldn’t tell you. Either way- here we are.

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