Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Back to Work and Life Lately

Life lately has been nothing short of chaos. We're in a season of survival as we try to figure out a new rhythm now that I'm back at work. Honestly, it's really hard. But there are some long-term goals at play, and we're hoping this tough part will be well worth it eventually.

I headed back to work and into a new job on January 17, after our trip to DC. I knew that starting a completely new position would cause some extra stress, but I couldn't pass up the opportunity. Now, several weeks in, I can share how things are going. 

On the work front, things are great. I absolutely love my new role, the people I work with, and the department. It's a huge challenge and some completely new territory (read: I'm totally in over my head as I learn everything!), but the days fly and I like being busy to keep my mind off missing my babies. So far, I think it's a great fit for me! Bonus: my boss and closest coworker both have young kids and have been there with the whole baby thing, so I'm in good company. 

Outside of the actual work, returning to work has been one of the hardest challenges I've ever faced. I cried a lot the first week and still get sad thinking about how little time I get with Declan and Marshall. It amounts to about an hour in the morning and two or three hours at night on weekdays. Even writing that out makes my heart ache a little. Being able to count the hours I spend with my kids (on one hand, no less) isn't something I was able to do when Marshall was tiny, but here we are.

The adjustment was tough for Marshall at first. He's acted out a bit, thrown a few extra tantrums, struggled to understand what's going on. I've missed bedtime a couple times already due to work events, and I'm not sure who was more sad--me or the toddler. Declan seems to be doing well, though. He gets lots of time with Daddy, has been eating well and sleeping (mostly) well, and he still smiles and laughs a ton. 

Overall, since we're only a few weeks in, I'm trying to give myself a break and plenty of time to adjust to everything. It feels like there's nowhere near enough time for everything--quality time with the family, individual time with each kid, working, basic housekeeping and meals...a lot of plates are spinning! The guilt is insane, and I feel like I'm constantly letting someone down. But Terry has helped tremendously with reminding me that it'll get better. And I'm lucky to have several friends in my same position who have been a wonderful source of comfort and support.

I hope that someday I'll have a few pieces of advice or some wise words to share about making it all work as a working mom of two, but for now, here's what I've got:

- Leaving my kids sucks. Every single day. I don't think that part will ever get easier.
- When Marshall tells us about fun projects at school and/or I see how much his teachers love him, I remember how great this experience is for him and how great it will be for Declan too. 
- Having a job I love is key to survival. Otherwise I would have quit by now! But the job is something that I really enjoy and challenges me in a new, exciting way. It doesn't make leaving my kids any easier, but it makes those hours away feel more worthwhile and gratifying.
- My friend mentioned to me that when she misses mom moments (putting her kids to bed, helping around the house, etc.), she reminds herself that work is the way she contributes to the family sometimes. 

I'm still learning about being a working mom of two, and you know I'll share more insight as I gain it! Ultimately, the best part is always coming home at the end of the day to these three:

And now for millions of photos from recently...

Declan learned to roll a few weeks ago, which interrupted his sleep a bit. Now he's starting to sleep on his belly, which makes me nervous but seems comfy for him. 

Check out these twins! Except Declan (left) is only four months in the same outfit as Marshall at NINE months!

Getting used to eating lunches at work, including this tasty kale salad with chicken, walnuts, and cheese.

Chunky boy!

When I (rarely) squeeze in a workout, Scout refuses to miss his cuddle time.

This is a twelve-month onesie.

Terry is truly an amazing dad. Recently he took the Metro to pick up Marshall from school (with Declan in the Ergo!) - such a fun treat for this little boy!

Marshall has shown a lot of interest in letters lately, so I got him some magnetic letters for the kitchen.

We've traveled up north no fewer than THREE times in the last two months, which is insane. Two weeks ago we headed up for my mom's 60th(!) birthday, and I made her a big collage similar to ones she has made for many of us in the past.

We also figured out who Declan looks like--ME! 

Eiger and Declan became more acquainted.

As did Declan and Diane--who is about to become a first-time grandma any minute!!!

 And got to see more of our favorites!

And one more random fun photo: Trader Joe's allowing Marshall to help ring up groceries. :-)

Okay, tons more photos coming in tomorrow's post!


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