I had the most amazing time being with our daughter during my maternity leave. I loved getting to know her and being there for her. She let me kiss her every minute and marvel at her beautiful features and unique sounds. I know some people get really bored being at home and want to go back but that just wasn’t me. I wanted to revel in my baby instead. With that in mind, I can honestly say that the worst part of my maternity leave was the night before my first day back. All I could think about was the fact that I had to leave her in the morning and I hated it. I cried myself to sleep that night and then again in the morning when I said good bye. I didn’t want to leave my baby; and that hasn’t changed. Everyday I change her at 3:30am (give or take a few hours), feed her, then get ready for work at 5am. I kiss her goodbye and then I kiss Amanda goodbye. The best part of me going back to work is that I know that Greenly is in good hands. I was lucky to have Greenly at home with me for the past three months and now she runs Bona Fide with Amanda. They are a great team. Just look at how cute they are!?
What I’ve learned so far is that I will always want to stay with my baby; and that’s okay. For now though; I will keep working hard at my job and do my best not to take for granted the time I do have with Greenly. Here are a few things that I have found helpful.
- Ask your other half/caregiver to send you pictures of your baby. This was a suggestion made by my wife. It seems like something small; but it really does help you get through the day. Picture of Greenly smiling throughout her day remind me that she’s still having a great day, even if I’m not there.
- If you are breastfeeding, get down a pumping routine. When I was home during my maternity leave I struggled to find a feeding and pumping routine. I truly believe in the feed on demand method; but that was easier for me being at home. Greenly helps Amanda run our store and feeding in that manner is a little bit harder. Amanda still reads Greenly’s cues and feeds her when she is hungry; but she seems to have things a bit more scheduled than I originally had.
- Nipple Pads! Don’t leave home without em’! We have washable ones at Bona Fide (in store only at the moment).
In the past, pumping did not always end up with a lot of milk. It frustrated me and I always felt like I was lacking. Now that I pump at work regularly; I get about 12-15 ounces every day; which is pretty good for me and works well for Greenly the next day. I only provide enough milk for her to have until I pick her up; given that I breastfeed her for the remainder of the day. Here is how our routine works on any given day (give or take changes as they come). I know this may not work for everyone; but this is what’s working for us at the moment and I hope it may help someone else who will be starting back to work soon.
- Wake up with Greenly at 3:30am, change & feed her for about 30 minutes, while pumping the other side, then she goes back to bed.
- Get ready for work and arrive there for 5am.
- At 7/7:30am I clock out to pump for 20-30 minutes.
- Scheduled lunch at 9/9:30am-eat lunch and pump at same time.
- Clock out at 1pm and pump immediately after while still at work. * This was a genius idea of one of my managers which has allowed me three pumping sessions without having to lose as many hours.
I usually pick up Greens immediately after work, or I will go home first and cleanup a little bit before I walk down to get her. The truth is that I am not really sure how to survive. I take it day by day and do my best to remain grateful. Going back to work can be really hard and emotional. Just remember that you are doing your best. I remind myself that everything I do is for the well being of Greenly and our family. This is how I get through those sad moments.
If you have any tips that you have found helpful for going back to work; please share them! Check us out next time for a follow up on how our Cloth Diapering has been going. We are loving it and are excited to share how it’s changed for us and what’s coming up in the future.
Greenly says Don’t Forget to Go Green!
All you need is a suitcase and a playlist.
A & M