I went back to work about two weeks ago and it was the hardest thing I ever had to do! Don't get me wrong, I love my job, but it is so hard leaving my kids with other people. Luckily, my mom came out for the first two days and stayed with both of the kids. This turned out to be a good thing as Mattaya ended up sick. The rest of the week went really smoothly. We had a great weekend and then back to work on Monday. This transition was so much easier then after I had Mattaya. I think that I learned a lot from going back to work after her and was more prepared this time. Kellen is going to a friend of mine who is a stay at home mom, so he is getting a lot of love and since I work 4 days a week, I get a lot of extra time with both kids on Fridays.
Here are a few lessons that I learned with both kids that has helped me a ton:
1. If you are breastfeeding start pumping and freezing your milk as soon after you give birth as possible. It takes a while for your body to adapt to pumping so starting early makes it easier once you go back to work. I pump more then Kellen needs, so when he starts eating more, I will still be providing enough. Also, I have about 400 ounces of breast milk frozen, so if I start to dry up, he will get break milk for a longer period of time. I had a hard time pumping with my daughter and she was supplemented with formula from the first day I returned to work. I didn't want that to happen with Kellen, so I really prepared to pump and the work has paid off!
2. Find care that you are comfortable with. I was not comfortable with putting my baby in a daycare. I am grateful that I have such good friends that can watch my babies for me. Mattaya goes to daycare now and she thrives but she needs the structure and interaction that daycare provides. However, she did not go to daycare until she was 1 year old . I had a friend watch her too and it gave me a piece of mind.
3. Get your priorities right. The first thing that I do when I get home is give love to both kids. My husband is my priority, but he understands that the kid's needs are immediate and he can wait a bit. My daughter has had a harder time with me going back to work than my son even though she was in daycare the whole time. I acknowledge her first, give her hugs, then I feed Kellen. Also, house work, dinner, etc., are not as important to me as my kids, so often dinner will be late, or the house will be messy, but my kids are happy.
When I do have to do things, I include my daughter so she gets the time with me she needs. She has helped me cook dinner every night of the last two weeks!
4. Remember that you are always going to be Mommy. This was hard for me to accept after my daughter was born, but now that she is older I have realized that no matter who watches her, she always wants me! The look of joy on her face when I get home from work is priceless. I know I will always be #1 in her life.
5. Put your husband first. This is hard to do with young kids, but it is God's expectation for us. A child should never replace your husband. Children will eventually grow up and move away. Your husband will be with you until you are old and gray. Children will find their own lives but your husband should be yours. As I stated above, I acknowledge and spend time with the kids right when I get home, but my husband always comes first. I will never put my kids ahead of him. This makes not only my marriage strong, but it also makes my kids happy.
These are just a few things that have helped me. I know there will be more in the months to come!