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Monday, March 26, 2012

Bittersweet

I go back to work tomorrow.

I'm really excited about getting back to the office, for a number of reasons, but mostly I'm just looking forward to being a part of a group again, a part of a team.  I think that's the hardest part about being at home with kids, it tends to make you feel sort of isolated.  I don't know why this is, but you feel like everyone else (whomever that even refers to) is out there busy being a part of things, running here and there, participating in and contributing to society as a whole.

And you're home with small children, who constantly NEED something from you, and it can be a tedious, thankless job.  Arguably, one of the most important jobs out there, but yeah, the "lows" are certainly unlike any other paid job.

I think if I was going to do this thing, like really full time, no joke, stay home with my children... I'd definitely have to do the mom group thing, at least one or two days a week, and also maybe join a gym.  Because it's that sense of adult camaraderie I'd miss so much, the "office gossip", that sense of we're in this together.

Anyway, so tomorrow is the day.  And it's bittersweet because these past twelve weeks have been such an incredible trip.  In the beginning it felt like I was living someone else's life, and now here at the end, well it's the opposite. The idea of setting my alarm and dressing in something other than a nursing tank and jeans, dropping my kids off at grandma's and picking up coffee on the way to the office where I'll spend hours in meetings with engineers... well that sounds like someone else's life.  (Parts of it do sound just heavenly though, I have to admit.)

I'm going to miss the boys like crazy, particularly I'm a little heartbroken about leaving Louie.  Even though I have the perspective of having done this before, so I know that he will do just fine without his mama and that he and his grandmas will figure each other out and find their own rhythm, (really it's probably a good thing for both of us to spend a little time apart), it still just breaks my heart.  He's so little, and all he has to go on in life so far is what he knows from the last 12 weeks, and pretty much, well, that's me.  Me and his dad and Gus, but mostly, me, his mama.  I've always been there and now I'm not going to be, and he's not going to understand at first, and that makes me so unbelievably sad.  I know.  Ridiculous.  I remember feeling EXACTLY the same way when I went back to work after having Gus, he did just fine and even if he did, he never let on that he felt abandoned by his mother.

Oh gracious me.

Well I could not have lucked out more to have the most incredible weather during the last month of my maternity leave.  Here's a little of what we've been up to.  


Louie taking a good nap on his great-grandma at James's birthday party.
 

We have taken many walks to many different parks over the last few weeks, and I feel like I'm getting double the workout by carrying Louie in the Moby or BabyHawk.  At least my back is, good lor-ed.

Louie and mom at the park.


Louie loves lounging on the blanket, looking up at the sky and smiling at his mama while Gus runs around on the playground. 


Daddy teaching Gus the appropriate way to swing a bat in our back yard.  Meh.  He went back to doing it his way (one-handed) shortly after this.  He does what he wants.


This girl, our first baby, sometimes gets forgotten.  She needs to be groomed really really badly, even though I've had a whole three months to make an appointment and get her in.  Poor forgotten little sheltie. 




Tummy time isn't so bad, as long as he can manage to get his hand to his mouth. 


Putting together our new double stroller, Gus was SO EXCITED, and of course had to lay down on the floor and get a good look at the wheels and see how it works.  (Future engineer like his dad?)

I suppose I can give some details about why we went with the stroller we did for anyone in the market for something similar.  Warning: Really Boring Stroller Talk coming up...

We went with the Schwinn Turismo, after a lot of debate and research and hours reading a ridiculous number of finicky reviews about various double strollers on Amazon.  So far so good, it's the perfect stroller for us at the right price.  We were looking for something strictly for walks around the neighborhood or hikes of the more adventurous variety.  Walking is pretty much the only way I get exercise these days, and while I'd like for that to change at some point, we are all about the long walks to neighborhood parks, (usually 3 miles plus), and have trained Gus to love them as well.  So we needed something that handles well on both grass and jacked up city streets, with seats and canopies that could be adjusted independent of each other.  The Schwinn is also is one of the only walking/jogging strollers with a pivoting front wheel that has a height-adjustable handle, which is nice for Dan.  At 6'3" he often has a problem with kicking the back of strollers while he walks, but that doesn't happen with this one.  Storage was also something we considered, because the storage on our BOB sucks, it has undoubtedly been our number one complaint with that fancy pants stroller.  So yeah, the storage on this thing is AWESOME.  You can actually get a diaper bag under there while kids are sitting in the stroller.  Amazing.  As an extra bonus, it came with cup holders for us and trays for the kids, no extra add-on accessory costs. 

This thing definitely isn't for the faint of heart.  It's pretty massive and not the kind of thing you'd want to drag all over the place, or have to load in and out of the car very often.  We still want a sit-and-stand of some sort, for less "athletic" outings (i.e. the mall, zoo, vacations, etc.), but when we priced it out, we realized we could get the Schwinn and one of those smaller, lighter tandem strollers for less than the price of one of the really high-end double strollers, like the Double BOB or the City Mini Double.

Phew.  Boring stroller talk over.    


We discovered our new favorite neighborhood park, it's tucked away in a part of our city that we don't usually walk, and it is lovely and quiet in an off-the-beaten-path kind of way.




These two did not purposely dress the same that day.  :)  Goodness they are cute.


Finally, here's the little guy that is causing me a bit of heartbreak today.  Sweetheart, I know you are in good hands with your grandmas and all of your aunts and uncles who dote on you so sweetly.  Thank you for being such a funny, laid back guy.  I've had such a great time hanging out with you and loving on you these past months.  Tomorrow begins our whole new normal, again!  But really, that's just how it is with a little baby, in three months you'll be sitting up and eating cheerios and laughing at your brother at breakfast from your high chair.  It all just goes so crazy fast, and I am just holding on for the ride.  So excited to see what's next for all of us! 

5 comments:

Erin said...

Right now, I'm kind of jealous :) I know in 9 weeks, I probably won't be, though! I so remember feeling really sad that Annie would have such a huge adjustment and felt that way for a few MONTHS last time (but didn't have the benefit of family watching her). I am glad that this time, at least Annie will be there with him... I'm guessing I'll still be pretty anxious those first few weeks - any change seems to take that long to adjust to! (which is what I'm trying to remind myself about now... that we're definitely all still in the adjustment period over here!)

Freckles said...

Best of luck tomorrow! Such a hard thing, leaving your little one with someone else. I'm glad you're excited to return to work; you've got a good balance...4 days with the kids, 3 days at work. That's pretty sweet. I'll be thinking of you tomorrow!!!

Julia said...

Wow, already? That went fast (for me!). Best of luck---I do love part time work schedules and think it's really the best of both worlds. :)

val said...

Tomorrow we begin.

Kari was down here telling me she's getting up at 8 tomorrow.

Okay, that's like four hours early for her, lol.

Maria's on spring break.

My mother has scheduled us for afternoons next week.

Everyone wants this to go well, for your sweet baby to be content while you are gone, and Abby and Gus to have a good time.

You know what?

Family is a beautiful thing.

I'm so very, very glad you are part of mine.

Tomorrow we're going to hug babies and fetch milk and if it's warm enough, go outside.

Love is as good as it gets.

love you so, Val

Betsy said...

I hope work went well, buddy! That's got to be tough, but it will be nice to get back to your new "normal". Plus I have to say that I am slightly envious of your part time job. Best of both worlds.

Oh, and I loved the stroller review. I have convinced Andy we need a double jogger...now the research begins!