Family

Mommy + Mind Update: 4 Months

June 23, 2015

BW_Madison and Ainsley

I’ve talked a little bit about going back to work after having a baby, but I realized that for the most part I’ve been pretty quiet about my return back to the working world and how our family has been adjusting to the change. Truth be told, before I became a mom I couldn’t have ever pictured myself even entertaining the idea of staying home with my baby. “Not for me! No way!” I would boldly proclaim. I was raised by a working momma and always assumed I would follow in her footsteps with my own family someday. Plus, that work I do? Well, it’s pretty darn great most of the time.

During maternity leave I found myself feeling a little lost and confused. I was all wrapped up in new-momma things like feeding schedules, naps, finding a way to get more sleep and working around the clock to nurture and care for my little person that was so helpless, cute and, let’s admit it, demanding.

As the days and weeks ticked by I felt conflicted about going back to work. On the one hand I was enjoying my days with Ainsley immensely. It was bliss to cuddle with her, grab lunch or coffee with friends, and take long walks outside as the weather transitioned into spring. Sure, the days were sometimes long, exhausting and certainly hard, but I really did love being home with my favorite girl. And then other days I felt, if I’m being honest, like a shell of the person I once was. My mind felt hazy and under-utilized and many days I felt like the passion I once had for work, food and life outside of baby-land was as dry as a dessert because I hadn’t been cultivating those passions. The old me who dressed up in “real-people” clothes every day and interacted with co-workers and spent time without a baby attached to her 24/7? I missed that person.

The first couple days after returning to work were extremely difficult. I missed my little buddy and the routine we had created over the 13 weeks I was home. And then, day by day, things started to get easier. Instead of feeling relieved by that, I was overwhelmed with guilt. Should I enjoy time away from my baby? Did this undercut the type of mother I was because I didn’t find total fulfillment in staying at home with Ainsley? Would Ainsley not love me as much because I wasn’t home with her every day?

As the weeks have passed, I’ve come to a much more peaceful place about work and motherhood and finding a balance in it all. I’m blessed to have a work schedule that allows me to be flexible and find balance between work and parenthood, which has made the transition easier.

I’m sure some would look at it and say that I’m selfish. After all, I get to manage my day the way I want, drink a full cup a coffee without interruption in the morning, dress up and have adult conversations while taking home a paycheck. Some would probably argue that it’s a noble choice: I’m providing for my daughter’s future, saving for her college and family vacations and experiences, setting an example that women can work outside the home and pursue both a family and a career.

It’s amazing how you can take the same situation and spin it in two entirely different ways, isn’t it? Before I was a mom I looked at things in black and white when it came to parenting. And then I became a parent and started to realize that the world is much more gray than I even realized.

Four months in, I couldn’t care less whether a mom decides to stay home with her kiddos or return to work. What’s right for one family? It might be totally wrong for another. I’m just thankful we all have the opportunity to blaze our own path and make decisions that are right for us, as different as that may look from family to family.

Madison

Food & Recipes

Chocolate Chia Mousse

June 22, 2015

Chocolate Chia Mousse (2)When Ainsley was first born I realized very quickly that if I was going to be sleep-deprived, overwhelmed with new experiences and exhausted, then I better focus on eating well. I mean food is, at its core, all about fuel, so what better way to care for my body than to be mindful about what I was eating. A lot of people talk about the 80/20 rule when it comes to eating healthfully; I strive for that, too, but I’m working on getting back in the game after a season where I gave myself a little more permission to indulge than when I wasn’t pregnant.

Sweets have always, always been my nemesis. Sugar doesn’t make me feel good. In fact sugar makes me feel really crummy and sluggish most every time I eat it. So to satisfy my craving for a little something sweet at the end of the day without the crash, I’ve been trying to get a little more creative.  Continue Reading…

Food & Recipes

Coffee & Cream Pops

June 19, 2015

Coffe and Cream Pops (2)

Living in Minnesota, the summer months are treasured more than in most areas of the country. I mean, we only get a few truly beautiful months each year so not taking full advantage would be a tragedy. Sure, Minnesota can be awfully cold, but when it’s beautiful? It’s pretty much the best of the best. And perhaps my favorite part about summer is the food.

Frozen pops have always been a favorite sweet treat, and I love that people have been getting more creative with their flavor combinations in the last few years. They can swing anywhere from totally diet-conscious to downright sinful. These Coffee & Cream Pops I made? Well, they’re in the “sinful” category for sure. Hardly an every-day indulgence but worth every single cool, creamy, coffee-laden calorie when you’re looking to splurge on something truly tasty.  Continue Reading…

Food & Recipes

GoMacro MacoBar Review & Giveaway

June 18, 2015

photo (5)

Lately I’ve been on a snacking kick. Okay, let’s back-up. I’ve been on a snacking kick since little Miss Ainsley arrived on the scene. I’m in this terrible habit of eating super fast when I do get the chance to put something in my mouth and most of the time that’s not a full meal. A little snack here, a little bite of something there; it works for my busy schedule.

So when the GoMacro team asked if I would be interested in sampling a box of their GoMacro MacroBar Minis, I was totally game. I’ve been pickier about what I’m willing to take the time to sample these days, but I’ve been seeing the GoMacro MacroBars on the shelf at the grocery store and was super curious about them. Continue Reading…

Family

Trust me, new momma. It gets better!

June 17, 2015

New Momma

Man, oh man. Those first few weeks and months of motherhood? Let’s be honest, they’re pretty dang hard. I was really discouraged by everyone who told me about the difficulties of new motherhood, but guess what? They were right.

When I think about how my baby is getting older and bigger by the day? I think I’m supposed to be super sad about the whole thing. Sometimes when I look at those tiny little clothes I’m packing away I do get a little (okay, a lot) sad. But more often than not, I’m just thrilled with this older, more interactive, adorable little baby that’s joined our family and I’m pretty happy those first few weeks are in the book.

So, if you’re a new mom or a mom-to-be, let’s get a few things straight: Continue Reading…

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