Mom Guilt

The last two weeks has been crazy for me at work. It was my first and second time to go home late ever since I came back from my maternity leave. I really can’t divulge details since it is confidential and work related, just that I had to stay to fix some stuff or present some stuff. I felt super guilty when I went home late two weeks in a row (if it is life-balance related like attending events E and I are okay with it, it is my way of coping up with life and releasing stress) and both times Bunny waited for me before sleeping straight. This definitely hit the guilt trip button for me.

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In my mind, I started thinking of how bad I am as a mum to not stay at home and be with her. I felt bad that I went home late just to take care of work. I tried a bunch of times to tell myself that it is okay, as E said it happens even if I plan out everything to the last minute detail, it happens. I knew that she would not remember, but I will. I will remember how she would wait up for me before sleeping, or how she would wake in the middle of the night to have milky and I am not there. It’s really hard to be a working mum, I mean nobody said that it will be easy. I did think of leaving work and just being a full time mum for her, but I know as well that this would not work. Psychologically speaking, my brain farts a lot and I need an avenue to release it. I also know that I thrive being in places where I can mingle and create meaningful and lasting relationships. I know that if I stay at home I would not be the happy-chirpy mum that I am to Bunny, and I needed to be the happy-chirpy mum that I am to keep her happy to. Why? Because a happy mom fosters an environment that will help raise a happy baby.

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This doesn’t mean though that I don’t want to be with Bunny, I just want to achieve happiness so that I can take care of her better. There are days though that I want to stay at home, curl up, wait for her to lie down next to me, and just be with her. Like this morning, she was still sleeping at 6:00 am. Usually she is up by 5.30 AM and we play after I take a bath. I feed her, and dress her up before I leave. Earlier, she just slept, damn you cold bed weather! So I picked her up and hugged her as tight as she hugs her Monkey. I whispered to her ear that I needed to go before 7 AM and that she should wake up so we could play. She still slept, so I just carried her and kissed her multiple times. It then hit me that if I wasn’t a full time working mum, I would probably be sleeping next to her as well, that I would probably be hugging her waiting for her to wake up. Reality is that I had work and I had to leave my little girl at home with her lolo and my aunt. I had to leave her for 12 hours (which should really just be 10 – 11 but traffic is super bad) and she will be well taken care of by my aunt and my dad. I have to believe that she will understand why I do what I do, that she will not forget my face, my smell, my warmth when I am away. I have to let her learn things from other people, even if I am supposed to be her first and only teacher.

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Today was harder versus other days because she clinged on to me longer than usual, because she held on tight to my arms even if her lolo is asking her to come out with her and check her plants, because when she was outside and I was saying goodbye she didn’t meet my eye. But, just before I left I tried again to get her attention and ask for a kiss, she kissed me multiple times just how I kissed her when she was fast asleep. She flashed her 8 teeth so cute and tiny. She waved bye-bye and blew kisses my way. She kept on looking at me even if I was a bit far off along the road. It was if she was saying that she will be okay and that she understands.

It is hard, but E and I make it work. I think what makes it easier for me to continue working is because E supports my decision. He also sends me snaps of Bunny when he gets home from work (he’s usually at home by 2 PM). I think what makes it easier is the fact that I get updates from my dad and mom when they post photos of Bunny. It is also easier for me because I know that I leave her in the arms of people who love her as much as I love her (but I know that I love her the most). It is easier because when I get home I am welcomed by a running baby, smiling with arms wide open for a big welcome home hug for mommy. What makes it easier are nights when I get to cuddle with her, kiss her, read to her, and play with her.

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I honestly believe that it is not in the amount of time that I spend with her that matters, but on the quality of time that I spend with her. I may not be present during weekdays but when I get home my phone is away and would usually get noticed only after she is sleeping. I give her my 101% attention always taking note of things she likes and things she doesn’t. I think this is why I know her best even if our time together is limited. Again, it is for me in the quality of time that I spend with her, because for a day sometime before I was present the whole day but glued to my phone that I wasn’t able to give her even fifty percent of my attention. I felt guilty after this and have sworn off using phones when she is looking.

I also make up for time during weekends,when I cook for her and for her dada. When we go out and take her around Alabang after her check ups, and when we go to our min travels/staycations when she gets all of our attention.

So now, I cope up with unlimited hugs and kisses, with sweet prayers, with photos and videos sent, and updates from my parents. I know that even if time passes by it will still be hard for me to leave her, but I know that we are doing this for her.

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Back to Work

Last Monday was my first day back to work. I thought that I was going to be a mess at the office, surprisingly I wasn’t. I think this is because I love what I do and I availed of the afternoon nursing mom schedule that allows me to go home an hour earlier than my schedule (so I get to go home at 4:30 pm everyday because I go to work at 8:30 AM).

The first day was actually a breeze but it was my little bunny who struggled. She cried a lot the whole time I was away and wouldn’t take the bottle. They had to squeeze the milk out of the bottle just for her to feed. 🙁 No after five days she is slowly learning to latch but she still waits for me to come home and feed.

I know that we will soon get there and that she will learn to latch soon. I still give her breastmilk and my tandem to help keep my supply up is moringana and the yummy mommy treats!

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I was afraid that once I go back to work my milk supply for bunny will go down, but it actually increased after 4 days of eating the lactation treats. So my plan is to always have a stash at work to keep my supply up because I plan to breastfeed bunny until I can. To help me also store my milk properly and safely after each pump I use Honeysuckle’s milk bags. I tried the first year’s milk bags and I feel it is not as sturdy as the milk bags of Honeysuckle.

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I usually go home with 2-4 bags, depending on the time I get to the office and if I have a meeting. My usual output is anywhere between 11-13 oz while I’m away from Bunny. The way I store the bags is that I freeze the ice packs I got from babymama (the anti-bacterial ones) and stash the milk first at the office ref. When it is time for me to go home, I use an insulated lunch bag and put the frozen ice packs + milk bags. So far, it has helped keep my stash super cold even if I had to attend a meeting. It was able to keep my milk stash cold for almost 6 hours!

Again, my aim is to breastfeed her as much as I can, it is hard especially I am working. But I think all it needs is dedication from my end + lactation treats + storage milk bags and I will be able to do it! I just think that everything I do is for her.

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Returning to Work

I will soon go back to the office. This fact saddens me because I want to stay at home and take care of bunny. However, I know that I really have to go back to work so we can start saving up for her future. To be honest, I have considered being a WAHM, a work at home mom. I know that it is possible because I have been doing it since January, but for now I will try working full time first.

Look ma, I can lift my head up on my own!

Look ma, I can lift my head up on my own!

One of my worries in returning to a full-time job is missing special moments of bunny. Her first word, first time she crawls, first time of everything. Perhaps this is the reason why I have been taking lots of photos of bunny and lots of videos as well. I even told E that I want to purchase an extra camera or tablet for my godmother who will take care of bunny. To this he said that we can buy an extra tablet.

Bunny discovering her hands!

Bunny discovering her hands!

I’m even afraid that she will not recognize me when I get home, to this E just told me that bunny knows who I am and shouldn’t worry that much about it.

I know to some it may sound selfish, but I also want to go back to work for myself. Not because I don’t want to be with bunny, but because I want to be happy as I pursue my passion and have my family with me as I do so. If in the case that I will find it hard to not be with bunny 24/7, I will try to talk to my superiors and see if it is possible for me to work at home for a few days and be at the office some days. If not, I probably will consider being a full time WAHM. I mean, who can resist the urge to be with this cutie everyday?

all smiles for momma

all smiles for momma