The One Where I Put on My Big Girl Pants

9.24.2015

Serious question: how long can you blame random bouts of crying on pregnancy hormones? I'm asking for a friend.

On Monday, I cried on and off all day. It was mostly just every time I looked at R or every time my mom texted to ask how I was doing or every time I read another comment one of you left on Monday's blog post. So yeah, okay basically every ten minutes all day long. I am a hot mess.

Monday night before bed, I said to myself, "Self, put on your big girl pants and get a grip for crying out loud. No one is dying. You don't live in a box on the street. You have all of your limbs." Nothing like some self-talk to keep things in perspective.

Tuesday, I woke up ready to conquer the day. R and I got up, ate, and I squeezed into a pair of jeans. (Holler!) Then we headed downtown because I needed to meet with some people and do final proofing on the current month's issue of the magazine.
R was a hit around the office, because of course, and she did so great! When someone wasn't holding her, she just chilled in her car seat or stretched out on the floor at my feet like an angel. (Okay, full disclosure: we did have some minor fussing that was for the most part easily solved by a diaper change or pacifier.) Around 10:00 we snuck out to the parking lot so I could feed her. I have now breastfed my baby in a doctor's office, at the park, and in my car and have only lost 50% of my body weight in sweat. *pats self on back* 

Note: it's not awkward at all to breastfeed a baby in the parking lot of your office building in a car that doesn't have tinted windows. Not. At. All. And there was definitely not a crazy downtown homeless person wandering the streets shouting out random things who walked right by me. And I did not quickly hunch down and lock the doors. Nope.
I left the office to go home at noon and was feeling pretty good about life in general. Getting out of the house and out of your pajamas will do that to you. Next time I'll get crazy and put on makeup! Maybe.

Before we left, I got R in a bathroom selfie for old time's sake. Remember these? RIP, pregnant bathroom selfie. It was fun while it lasted.
While in the bathroom taking this picture, R said her first words! Direct quote: "No pictures, Mom. Please." I swear to you she said it.

My plan is to head into the office at least once a week. It will be good to show my makeup-less face around there so they don't forget about me and so they know I'm working and not just galavanting around eating donuts all day (don't I wish!). I'm treasuring this time working from home until January, when I will have to return to the office, at which point you can expect another depressing post about how I cried all day long about leaving R. But I'll save that for later. (Side note: We don't yet have anywhere to take her! Anyone want to be our nanny?)

People say that quitting your job and leaving the corporate life is brave, but I think sometimes keeping your job and going to work every day is the brave thing to do. Or maybe I'm just saying that because that's what I'm doing. But someone has to pay bills and health insurance and put money in the retirement fund.

I've already realized that being a working mom is going to be hard. So, so hard.

It will be hard, but it won't kill me. Each day will get easier, and I just need to pull up my big girl pants and do what I have to do. I appreciate your comments and emails more than I can say. If I've learned one thing in the past 6 weeks it's that community is so important. Texting someone to say you're thinking about them may seem like a small thing, but it can make someone's day, just like it made mine!

So that's where we're at right now, less than a week in. We're doing okay. We'll make it.
Because it really is true what they say. She's so worth it.

p.s. I wanted to remind you guys that I have my "Ask Anything" form open still, so if you have a question or a post topic suggestion, feel free to ask! I didn't get to all the questions that were asked initially, but I do plan on going back through those soon and picking out a few. Feel free to enter something below if you have anything you'd like to see me write about!

33 comments:

  1. I'm glad you're feeling better! Sometimes I put makeup on to cheer myself up and it usually works! Just not if I'm in cry-mode. That'd be too dangerous with eye makeup and all. I love that you continued the picture series! She's super cute, even when she's hiding from the camera. :D

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  2. Love the bathroom photo with her hiding her face. "Mom! This is so embarrassing!" I know the feeling, R.
    I have always hoped to be able to stay home when we have kids--but who knows where and what life will bring us? Some things are hard/impossible to plan.

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  3. As per usual, yes, yes, and more yes.

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  4. Girl...you look fantastic! And I love the way R is hiding her face. If I was in OK instead of WI, I'd totally be your nanny. If you have any nanny/childcare related questions, I'm your girl. I nannied in CT for 12 years and have spent the last 7 years owning an in home daycare. The biggest thing I can say is just trust your intuition and if you take her somewhere, make sure they have an open door policy where you stop by anytime you feel like it to check up on things.

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  5. The picture of her covering her face...precious. No paparazzi, please.

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  6. R can come play at my house! The commute is not a big deal at all! ;)

    I have friends that have had luck with care.com, but that would mean someone coming to your house instead of bringing her somewhere. I'm sure the right person/place will come along!

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  7. 1) I cried SO. MUCH. After both kids were born. So much crying. If you knew Curby and you asked him he'd say "well, she cried some I guess" but he would just be being nice because when I ask him he'll say "well, yeah you cry a lot"... Still. 5 months later. lol but it DOES get better - I cry much less now.
    2) Being a parent is brave however you do it - as you are learning. I am currently the breadwinner for our house while my hubs stays home with our two kids and today I cried as I left. I HATE leaving them, I feel so guilty like I should be the one staying home while he works because I'm a woman, I'm jealous for the time he gets to spend with them while simultaneously thrilled that he gets this special time with them, I'm torn about working the "2nd shift" when I get home and feeling like I have to do all the cleaning, laundry, house stuff to make up for being gone all day and to give him a break.... so many emotions. I totally feel like our decision to let me take a great job and have him at home (for now) was super brave. But I also feel that if he was working a great job and I left academia to stay home that it would be brave too. Being a parent is hard, being a spouse is hard. It takes bravery to do any of it well (or even attempt to do it well). You are doing a great job, woman!
    3) I could not get work done at all when my kids were home. I'm impressed with you.
    4) Pro tip: nurse on the passenger side. Its WAY more roomy than the driver's side (no steering wheel).

    xo T

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  8. Look at her covering her face :) I wonder if she knows she already has a fan club in all of us bloggers :)

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  9. Being a working mom is hard, but I think it is also healthy. For both you and R. She will get socialization through daycare, you will get to talk to adults (real live ones, face to face!), and I think it sets a great example for her down the road. Plus, there's nothing better than when I pick Emily up from daycare and she screams "Mama!" and comes running at me for a hug. I know she forgot about missing me until just that minute though, because she always talks about what a great day she had playing & learning with her friends & teachers.

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    1. Not to say that staying home isn't hard as well. I always tell my SAHM friends that I couldn't do what they do. Yes, I love my daughter, but 24/7 would drive us both crazy. For real.

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  10. I'm so glad you get a few more months at home with her (although that whole working thing might cramp your style a bit). I would totally volunteer to add her cute self to my daily routine of changing diapers and stroller walks! I will say again and again that working mamas are my new heroes! I wasn't a wreck at all that last month and a half of the school year when I returned to teaching...wait. You are going to do great! Give yourself lots of grace as you all adjust and there's no shame in ordering a pizza or Chinese take out here and there (yeah, I totally couldn't hack the making dinner thing at all). Thoughts and prayers!!! You got this!

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  11. The last bathroom selfie is my favorite! Little R is all about not participating in that picture :)

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  12. The bathroom selfie is amazing! She's so little! And so are you! Lookin great momma! ;) you're doing great. I can't imagine how awkward it is to breastfeed in your office parking lot without tinted windows haha! But you survived!

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  13. The last bathroom picture is so great!! And I totally buy that she spoke her first words - no pictures - at that moment...I mean, her body language says it all.

    You're doing great, mama.

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  14. Sometimes just getting out of your PJ's makes all the difference. It's also okay to cry it out sometimes. You are looking great, even if you don't feel it.

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  15. <3 <3 <3 hugs sweet friend!
    i can only imagine how hard this is/will be for you.

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  16. I want to be her nanny! Fact: I was a nanny in college and for two years after college. References available upon request.

    You are doing awesome by the way. You got this.

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  17. I love the bathroom picture with BABY! So cute! And wow her first words...you have a baby genius on your hands my friend. Being a working mama is hard (whether you work from home or from the office...I do a little of both), but that's great you have some extended time at home with your girl.

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  18. I think that being a working mom vs a SAHM is all relative. They are both hard things to do. But the thing that matters is that you do what is right for your family and for you.

    Also I'm new to your blog and your baby is adorable! Congratulations.

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    1. I'll share what I replied to someone else earlier, because I don't know if my comment about bravery came across how I meant it :) I wasn't at all trying to say that being a SAHM isn't deserving of respect. The bravery thing really wasnt about being a working parent at all but a 9-5 worker. I get annoyed about people always acting like quitting your job to either stay at home or work for yourself is so brave and staying at an office job is catering to The Man and being a cog in the machine. It's kind of a pet peeve of mine. And specifically when it comes to kids, not everyone can afford to be a SAHM and I sometimes I don't feel like other people get that. Not that you don't at all! But just people in general sometimes. For me it feels brave to leave my daughter with someone else all day long while I go to work. So that's all I meant. Anyway, sorry for all that. More than you probably wanted. Thanks for stopping by! :)

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  19. Love that you added her to your lineup of bathroom selfies! I'm so glad that you get to spend some more time with her while working from home! Although I'm sure that has it's own difficulties as well!

    I think being a parent in general requires a lot of bravery, although I'm not sure I would use the word when it comes to being either a working mom or a stay at home mom specifically. I think each path has it's own challenges and rewards, and both deserve major respect! As women, I think we all probably have needs/personalities, etc. that might make us better suited for one path over the other, and my heart really goes out to the mamas that don't feel like they are where they "belong."

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  20. i'm almost 18 weeks along and I thought I used to cry a lot before I got pregnant. HA, funny one. i'm like a freakin' waterfall. haha. so I say, the excuse stands for as long as you have kids because there is always going to be something to cry about, haha! Your sweet baby girl is precious and so little! how sweet! btw, stopping by from the coffee date link up :) -Katie

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  21. Oh, I love the bathroom selfie continuation with R out in the world! :)

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  22. I'm glad you are doing better.

    Also, some times in order to feel better we just need a day of 'crying it out'. It's weird how it works but then you just gotta keep going. When Alisha came to visit at our 6 month mark I wept and wept when she left for hours on end! but then I kept going the next day. I think it is just being a girl and sometimes God gives us tears to just get it all out.

    Yay for staying home until January! I'm sure that will be good for all involved.

    You are brave for going back to work! I know brave looks different for every person but I know God will equip you and help you through it.

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  23. Aww the bathroom selfie! :)

    You are in uncharted waters as far as I'm concerned because I haven't been there before, but I think you are doing great with this whole mom thing. The tears and emotions seem normal to me considering everything that has happened in the past year and especially knowing all the changes that January will bring. You got this. :)

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  24. Aw, I love the belly photos all lined up next to each other and now--baby girl! Whoo hoo. Such a cool series of photos. You can do this, Amanda! I'm so happy for you and proud of your positive attitude!

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  26. the picture of you holding R made me say "awwww!" out loud! also your shoes are super cute!

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  27. R is adorable. I love the selfie in the bathroom. She looks so tiny! And she needs to learn to love the camera! :) I hope you find the perfect childcare situation for January, it can't be easy to leave her but I'm sure she will be in the best hands possible!

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  28. I could write a book of places I've breastfed & pumped and I'm sure it would surprise people! I went back to work at 6 weeks and it was hard but I wasn't as sad as I thought I'd be. It was nice to have a routine and I knew my son was in good hands (he goes to someone's house). You're doing a great job!

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  29. I think being a working mom is brave and quitting your job is brave. Just in different ways. I totally understand what you're saying. I'm praying your find the perfect childcare situation. The thought of trying to figure that out makes me feel frantic, so I think your emotions are totally justified. And don't feel bad about the crying...I had so many random crying spells for MONTHS. Post-partum hormones are a treat :)

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  30. Here I to tell you your not alone! Your probably staring to wonder if I'm full of crap... Haha! But seriously...I think as long as your breast feeding you have the right to blame those hormones... or at least that's what I did! ;) No joke, I cried every day or 8 weeks straight. Then I cried every few days for 4 weeks straight. Then I went back to work and went back to crying every day. Your exactly right, being a working mom is harder than being a mom that leaves the corporate world. I admire the working moms in this world! It is so so hard! But Amanda, you are so strong and I know you will be amazing once you have to start working back in the office! Now it's too bad you couldn't just take that sweet pea to the office with you and take bathroom selfies every day! Now that is adorable! :)

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