Returning to work

After almost a year and a half, I am returning to work!

Well, technically I returned in January in a 30-hr/week position, but next week, I start back full time. And I’m excited!

I have been amazed with the subtle (or sometimes not so subtle) opposition I’ve faced from other mom-friends about returning to work. Many of the women I know are stay-at-home-moms or moms who work but wish they could stay home. I actually don’t know any career-driven moms at all. I know they’re out there.

My heart breaks for the moms who work because they have to. I know several women who would kill to be in my shoes–able to stay home. And my heart is delighted for women who LOVE being at home all the time with their kids.

But we have to be cautious not to judge one another. 1) Because the Bible says not to and 2) because what’s right for my family may not be right for yours.

When I had Corbin, I knew I wanted to breastfeed. It wasn’t just because research said it was the best for him. I wanted to do it. And I did. For a year. And honestly? I hated almost all of it.

Corbin was a biter and had trouble from the beginning. He also spit up a whole lot, so we spent the majority of our first year together wet. Additionally, his little tummy didn’t really process animal protein well, so I was a vegetarian/vegan for 4 months or so. But it was worth it for me because it was a decision I had chosen for him.

I had friends who didn’t breastfeed. Some of them couldn’t because of medical issues or work. Some of them could and chose not to. If they ever asked me my opinion on the benefits of breastfeeding (which they didn’t), I would’ve told them. But the point is: it’s their decision, not mine. There were days when I was breastfeeding Corbin and I needed a break from it. I had no problem making up a bottle, handing it to my husband, and heading to sonic for a much needed Vanilla Coke. No judgement.

Jay and I sacrificed a lot for me to stay home with C for the last year. We sold a vehicle to pay off the other car, allowing us to be completely debt free. Financially, one vehicle was the only way for me to stay home. So we did it. And it was hard some days, but it was worth it.

Now the time has come for me to go back to work. I always knew I would return (or really thought so, at least). I love to work. I have also returned to school to get my Master’s degree, which has been a long-time goal of mine. It’s finally happening, and I’m excited about it, too.

All that to say:

Working moms…be sensitive to stay-at-home-moms. What they do is work…maybe not in the sense that many people think, but it is hard and stressful and 24/7. There are very little breaks for the SAHM.

Stay-at-home-moms…be sensitive to working moms. They love their careers, and can love their children at the same time. Maybe they have to work…maybe they choose to. Either way, many of them are doing what they’re doing because they know it’s best for their family.

For now, I will do my happy dance regarding my new job. Cover me in prayer March 11.

This weekend when flooded with guilt, I rest in this verse from Colossians 3:

“Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for men.”

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It’ll Wash

Earlier today I lost my child in a pile if leaves in our backyard. Yes, that’s how large the piles are. Don’t judge lest your leaves be judged.

Sickness and the busyness of the holiday season have prevented leaf raking. Therefore, colossal leaf piles.

Today I’ve been thinking a lot about whether or not I baby Corbin. I asked his BSF class to move him to the next room. He was still in the birth-one year old class even though he’s almost 14 months. He’s in there with little bitty babes, and the other class has kids his age. He’s smaller compared to most kids his size, so sometimes I wonder if they try to protect him by keeping him away from bigger kids. Not a bad thought, but not how I’d like it to be.

So I wondered if I do the same. Do I protect him too much? Am I allowing him to fall a little so he can learn how to navigate the world around him? Do I guide him on the easiest path or let him choose a harder one?

If you ever want to see what kind of parent you are, let your child play in a yard full of leaves. It’ll reveal some ugly truths.

As soon as he stepped off the porch into a giant leaf blob, I felt myself tense up. He’ll be dirty. What if he eats a leaf? Or dirt? What if he smacks his head on the concrete pavers below? He’s scuffing his shoes by crawling through leaf and concrete steps!

Tension.

We have a split level backyard, with one section dropping off about 3.5-4 feet. It’s a sizable drop for a kid…any kid. So there’s some room for caution.

But I really never let him play out there because of all those nagging thoughts. How sad is that?

He had a blast by the way. 30 minutes of un-mom-interrupted leaf time. They were everywhere. And he did try to eat one.

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My child is teaching me so much about The Lord. And I’m thankful.

Loving us enough to want to protect us but also enough to let us choose our own way.

Beyond Breastfeeding

If you had told me last October I would breastfeed Corbin for a year, I would’ve slapped you and called you crazy. Seriously, the hormones were raging. There’s a synopsis of that here.

We didn’t really get off to a good start with the feedings. In fact the problem really started day 2 of Corbin’s sweet little life. When Corbin had trouble feeding that day, a nurse offered a breastfeeding shield that was supposed to help. With very little knowledge on feeding (I thought it was supposed to be super easy!), I accepted it, and Corbin fed just fine!

I didn’t know the shield can cut your milk supply by 50%. I also didn’t know babies have trouble nursing after you try to take away the shield. Lesson learned.

My mom and I tried everything to get Corbin to nurse without that little plastic devil. But the shield’s evil powers were too much for us. We eventually named her Nellie (the Nipple Shield) because Corbin loved her so. It was a fight, but in the end (many weeks later), I was finally able to throw Nellie away…after I cut her into little pieces.

From the beginning, nursing was very painful. I cried. A lot. Corbin cried. Jay cried….maybe. I’m not sure now.

But I made it! A year of nursing. I feel like I should get a medal.

As I was sitting in the glider in his room feeding him for the last time, I was almost a little sad. Not sad like, “Man, I’d love to continue this.” More like, “It’s crazy that he’s so grown.” This is a new stage for us. He doesn’t need me the way he used to, which sounds upsetting. But really, he’s growing up. He’s becoming more independent.

And I like that. 🙂

Go Rangers!

In our house, there are two favorite teams: the Cowboys and the Rangers. Jay bleeds their team colors during the appropriate seasons, and because of his obsession love for them, we too love them!

Tonight we took C to his first Rangers game. (Baseball for those of you happy souls who get to shrug your shoulders when people mention sports teams.) Not me. Not anymore. I can tell you so much about so many people I don’t even care about, it’s shocking. But I care about Jay, so I have learned and learned information so I can have an intelligent conversation about the other loves of his life.

Here are some highlights 🙂

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There was some crying in the beginning when the clapping was intense (multiple home runs). But he eventually enjoyed it with the help of some Cheerios and Puffs. Life is better with snacks.

Product Review: Maya Wrap

Ah the Maya Wrap. For real, this is one of those products I really couldn’t do without!

When I was trying to research wraps and slings, a friend of mine told me about the Maya Wrap. She’s had three babies and really loves the wrap! She let me borrow hers when I had my son, and once I figured out how to work it, I was so excited! All of the sudden, I had full use of both hands. WHAT?! I could carry my baby and brush my teeth, or fix dinner, or clean something. Sigh…freedom. That’s what the Maya Wrap brings.

Pros

  • Style. The wrap comes in tons of cute colors and patterns. Mix and match with your wardrobe!
  • Fully adjustable. Some other wraps are fit to a certain size, but the Maya wrap (because of its design and metal ring) adjusts completely. Make it ooh-la-la comfy.
  • Doubles as a nursing cover. Important because the scientific law regarding diaper bags is that there’s never enough room for everything! A two-in-one deal is a must.
  • Works for newborns and older children! You’re able to wear this with newborns (make sure you read about baby safety here!) as well as older children. Boo to the yah.
  • Can be adjusted with one hand. This part is pretty great as well! You can hold your baby in the wrap with one hand and tighten it with the other. Some other slings or wraps require both hands to tie/manipulate the wrap. I found it pretty easy to work this one once I got the hang of it.

Cons

  • Price. The wrap is a bit on the expensive side (running about $60-70 a pop). I will tell you it’s totally worth it!
  • More complicated than other wraps. Many wraps are pretty self explanatory. You stick the baby in and you’re done. This one is a little more complicated. My friend showed me how to use mine, but you could also watch the DVD that comes with the wrap. (That’s right…it’s high-tech.) Or you could go to the website and see instructions. It’s important to read some sort of manual so you know how to wear the wrap safely.

All this to say…Corbin loves the wrap! When he’s fussy and I know it’s because he’s tired, I swaddle him up all nice and cuddly, and he goes right to sleep. Life. Saver.

Anyone else have a wrap or sling they love? Let me know!