Wednesday, 10 April 2013

Embracing motherhood

I'll say it straight out, I'm somewhat apprehensive about going back to fulltime PhD work on 1st May, but I'm doing some marking this week, so it's on my mind. Miss A will only be 3 months old and, unlike when I first became a mother four and a half years ago, I'm actually enjoying it and wanting to be with my baby.

With Miss S it was somewhat a relief to return to fulltime study when she was 6 months old. She had really bad silent reflux which was only just coming right after diet changes for me, and had long hated lying down as it made her uncomfortable and so therefore we didn't get much sleep. And I had No Idea what I was doing. I'm not really a natural baby or kid person. I had (pre- and) postnatal depression and really struggled with anxiety. So despite having to then express milk every break I got at uni, it was nice to get some semblance of normality and time to myself, and to have space to think about new things.

This time around I am much more confident in what I am doing. We've changed my diet straight away to help with the reflux (and the fact that we knew what to look for with reflux, or what reflux even was certainly helped!) and she's usually only waking once in the night for a feed. Daytime I'm much happier to go adventuring with baby (it helps that I can feed her Not Lying Down, like I still was with Miss S at this stage), and we invested in a good baby carrier to help things. She'll only catnap most days and want milk more often than I might like, which can lead to us all being rather tired by mid-afternoon when Miss S (who is endlessly busy and chatty) comes home from kindy. But she's usually good at getting herself off to sleep, which is such a relief after Miss S who would only sleep when upright.

I'm planning to work as much as I can from home, especially during kindy hours ;) but I'm really finding myself actually embracing motherhood, rather than just being a mother, this time around. So I'd like to somehow manage a more working-from-home style balance to things. I mean, I'm happy to express milk, but it takes large amounts of time and really hurts my wrists doing it constantly, so if I can do this less (or at least delay it) I'll be better able to do other things, like crafting which also kills my wrists but is so emotionally rewarding that it is worth the pain and then some, at least to a point.

At the moment the only problem with going back to fulltime work is, well, umm, the work, fitting it in during sleeps (which are far too short at the mo) and around cuddles. There's always things that need doing (or are maybe just preferable) at home. I might end up spreading my "40hr working week" over into evenings and weekends a little.

Speaking (typing?) of doing work, I should get back to my marking.


Anonymous said...

I'm glad being a Mum is better this time around. I've been impressed by how much you've been out and about.

As someone who has just spent a year with a napping on Mum only baby you might find you have less time to work than it looks at the moment. Though having extra hands around will be helpful. It's definitely worth a try though.

I suspect an electric pump is not in the cards but looking for a second hand one might be worth considering.

khhast said...

I know I'll have even less time than I think, but I have a wonderful invention called a stay-home-dad who will be around to help and be slept on if necessary. The only thing he can't do is the breastfeeding ;)

I'm so pleased with how Miss A and I are managing to go adventuring so much. With Miss S it just seemed so impossible, I used to try to time the grocery shop with her being just fed and leaving her home with her dad, and that was my outing for the week.

We'll try me being at home at least during the mornings while Miss S is at kindy and see how we go. I can always go to uni more if I need to.

Anonymous said...

Yes uni is flexible in that way and having a stay at home dad as well will be a big help. Though hobbit declined to sleep on her Dad after the first couple of months :( hopefully Miss A will be more cooperative!