Readjusting to the Working Mother Life

“How are you doing?” is a question I’m asked multiple times a day, usually with the person’s head cocked to the side in empathy or concern because most people know life is unbelievably chaotic right now. I never quite know how to answer that question.

I am thankful for my babies.

I am more exhausted than I could ever put into words. So exhausted that lately I’ve been falling asleep during Jaclyn’s bedtime routine, sometimes as early as 7:30pm. I woke up one morning and asked Seth if I read Jac her Bible story the night before. He said yes, but I had no memory of it.

I both love and dread the weekends. I love that I get to be home with everyone for two full days. I hate that I’m trying to recover from the exhaustion of the week. And let’s be real, we’re home with all three littles, so there’s very little rest.

I am thankful for my babies.

I am tired of broken sleep. Thankfully, I’m mostly only getting up once in the night to pump, but that’s also because I wake up between 4:30am – 5:00am every day and that’s still a stretch for me to get to work on time. I wake up the boys and Seth whenever I pump (if they don’t wake me first) so we knock it all out that one time. We usually turn on a show on Hulu to help us stay awake and pass the time.

I feel like a cow. Exclusively pumping is a whole different experience now that I’m back to work. First of all, I’m so thankful that my supply hasn’t decreased! I was not prepared for how much hungrier I could be, so I literally eat all day long to try to sustain some energy. My work days are packed, so I have to be strategic about my pumping. I pump at least 3 times while at work- sometimes on the drive to work and/or while coming home. Sometimes during meetings depending on who it is; I cover up of course. Definitely during Zoom meetings. Then there’s the matter of carrying my milk and flanges through the halls to the staff lounge where I transfer them to storage bottles, clean up and prepare for the next time. Then when I get home, I have to figure out how much to keep out for the next 24 hours and how much I can freeze. And the washing of all the bottles (Seth often does this for me). I’m proud to say that after the first 2 weeks of being back to work, I was still able to freeze almost 450 ounces on top of feeding the boys each day.

I am thankful for my babies.

I’m emotional. From hormones, from the exhaustion. Last week I went to Sam’s with my parents and almost cried just because I was tired. They even asked me several times if it was safe for me to drive home.

I am sad to be back to work and away from my family. Seth just left to go climb during nap time and showed me what helps Luke relax before a nap. It devastates my soul that I don’t know that because I’m not home with them and when I am, I’m grumpy from exhaustion and pretty incoherent. 

I’m happy to be back to work. I’ve always loved my job, and I’m pretty good at what I do.

I’m mentally drained by being back to work. My role often requires 100% of my brain power for the full 8 hours I’m there each day for problem solving, building processes, supporting staff, and a million other little things.

I am thankful for my babies.

I’m at peace knowing that Seth and GG have my babes every day. The kids are on a rotation so each morning I have to think which day is it and who am I dropping off where. It often feels like a circus, and I carry no less than 5 bags every day for all of us. And yet, I know how lucky we are to not have to find or pay for childcare.

I’m so proud of the man I married. Seth has always been the best husband I could ask for. But goodness, he has blown me away watching him stay at home with our children and take care of our home. He does the laundry, washes the dishes, helps me cook, gives the kids their baths, cleans up the clutter, and then goes above and beyond to have a candle burning when I get home so the house smells nice. Last week, he googled toddler crafts with a pinecone and made this with Jaclyn after they took a walk. Seriously, Husband and Dad of the Year… of all the years.

I am forgetful/not as observant as I once was. I’m going to a baby shower this weekend. I stopped at the store and got to check out with 2 blue gift bags and a card and remembered that my friend is having a girl. So I gave the cashier one of the bags back; the other is for big brother. But then on my way home, I remember that I picked out an “Oh Boy” baby shower card… for a baby girl. I’m still gonna give it to her with some sort of silly note lol. But this is just so unlike me.

I am thankful for my babies.

I’m frustrated that I still have so many home projects and tasks that I couldn’t finish while on maternity leave. I want to keep up with the boys baby books better. I need to make their shadow boxes. There are children’s clothes of various sizes everywhere that need to be organized, labeled, and stored. I have no idea when that will happen. And I know it’s not the end of the world, but it’s still in the back of my mind.

I’m more mindful of spending money than I’ve ever been. We’re a family of 5 now and our financial situation has changed significantly. I’m trying to drive Seth’s car more because it’s a hybrid and gets better mileage. We eat out maybe once a week now. We’re doing much much better with cooking and eating at home and not wasting leftovers. I’m eating healthier because I’m starving from pumping and want the most bang for my buck with snacks, so we don’t have much junk in the house. Amazon doesn’t frequent our house as much anymore. The primary reason I’m adamant about pumping is because I don’t think we can afford formula for 2 babes.

I am blessed to have wonderful people in my life who are still so practically supportive. One of the ESL instructors on our team brought me dinner this week. It was so thoughtful and helpful. My mom just offered to have a slumber party with all 3 kids sometime soon. Praise. The. Lord.

I don’t know what I’m going to wear each day. My body is so different now and I know it will never be the same. I’m still mostly wearing maternity clothes, which are a little too big now. I’m rocking this sort of sporty mom look most days, which isn’t the most professional for work, but oh well. I still haven’t made time to try on my pre-twins clothes yet because that’s gonna be quite the task, and I’m likely going to be discouraged at what does or doesn’t fit.

And I’m thankful for my babies.

When the New Year came and went, I said that my only resolution is to survive this year. I know it’s temporary. We’ve worked really hard to have this family. And regardless of the tone of this blog, I am ever so thankful and enjoy the small moments. And it is HARD. How am I doing? I’m making it. I’m adapting. I’m learning. I’m surviving. And I’m thankful for my babies.

One thought on “Readjusting to the Working Mother Life”

  1. “And He said to me, My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.”

    God is so faithful Ashley! I’m so thankful for your babies too!❤️
    Love You,
    Mrs Ashby😊

    Liked by 1 person

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