Having two kids is not the same as having one. It's a lot harder. I guess I missed the memo on this, because I am having some trouble adjusting to being a working (pumping) mom of not one but two children. I used to think working part time was some sort of cop out, but now I totally get that a new mother might like to spend some time with her kids. I am lucky enough to have kids that sleep well and go to bed at a decent hour. But this means I hardly see them at all at the end of the work day! One night they were both asleep before 7:00. Seven! I am part proud and part appalled. That is not the norm, but LJ is pretty consistent with a 7/7:30 bedtime now. At his age Junior was still staying up until 11 every night. This is nice and yet difficult. I also thought that the assumption that a woman would not come back to work after having her second child was sexist BS. But again, I totally get it. I see how you can get to the end of the your second maternity leave, however long or short, and say it is just not worth it because you need more time to be with your newborn and there are a host of things you could also be doing with your older child.
I've only been back to work seven days, which I would call well within a reasonable adjustment period, but I am struggling with all that has to get done in a day before 7/7:30 each night and everything that doesn't get done after 7/7:30 each night. Like everything that does not involve eating or sleeping. Remember exercise? I think just last week I went to a yoga class and right now it feels like "never again." I thought tonight as I left work about I would do if I didn't have kids. Because leaving work at 5:40 like I did would seem quite early rather than too late to get another nursing session with LJ. I would definitely have gone to the gym or maybe a 6:00 cardio or yoga class, then afterward run an errand or met someone for a drink or dinner, come home and relaxed for a bit with something enjoyable to read.
I guess in a way I have done this because I ran circles around the house
playing "chase" with Junior for 5 minutes and did one 10-second
downward dog (cardio AND yoga), then met LJ for a drink (i.e. nursed him to sleep), had dinner with Senior (i.e. put
some frozen perogies and chicken nuggets on a baking sheet and ate
them standing up well after they cooled down because Sprout screamed his
head off about going to bed and we were stuck in another room upstairs so
as not to disturb him further by walking past his room), then read
something enjoyable by fucking around on Facebook for a while. Actually I
poked around on the New York Times which I do find actually enjoyable,
in addition to Facebook time which I find pseudo enjoyable.
Overall, being back at work continues to be not as bad as I might have thought
but I am realizing just how much another kid changes your life and how
selfish I would really like to be. I received some advice today that
"the world favors a 4-person family." If we decide to "go for the girl"
we will have to go for another vehicle as well because my Mazda3 definitely does
not accommodate3 car seats, and kids are in car seats these days until they
are twelve. How much would another kid change my life and work life (and exercise ability)? If I go back to work after a third kid will I pump even less than I am pumping with the second? Teaser for my next post--we're going to start talking about my boobs again.