Summer's Ending, Work Is Near
The day before returning back to work from maternity leave, Winter and I visited Meek Vintage and sat on their couch for an hour while I held my sleeping then three-month-old baby. Tears filled my eyes at the thought of leaving her. I am actually getting teary-eyed typing this because I remember the raw emotion so well. I don't know if that memory will ever leave me.
The first few weeks back to work were trying. I cried everyday on my commute. I couldn't believe that the United States had such terrible family and maternity leave policies. I was angered that these policies would allow employers to no longer provide health insurance, nor payment, after just three months home with a newborn. I was one of the many mothers who had no choice but to return back to work, which to me, meant that I would be away from my baby for 9+ hours a day.
Somehow I got through it. My family got through it. It wasn't easy. I suffered from postpartum issues that I still, many months later, can't seem to fully wrap my head around. But none the less, we survived. Because I am an educator, I am blessed with ten weeks off during the summer. So here I am again, just days before returning to work,and visiting another one of my favorite stores, Ironwood, with Winter in tow in her new Ergo Baby Adapt carrier.
Ironwood is one of the stores that propel you into another world, a magical one if you will. There are plants everywhere. My five-year-old self would have believed that fairies live here. It is truly a gem. Ironwood is located in Baker in Denver, the same neighborhood where Perry and I lived when we moved in together after getting engaged. This part of the city holds a very special place in my heart.
Winter was amazed by the all of the plants. She wanted to touch everything and kept looking back at Brittany taking photos as if she was thinking, "Do you see this!?" While I was walking around the store, I kept thinking how much I have changed since that day on the couch at Meek, how big Winter has grown and what I am going try to do differently to protect myself from the potential emotional ramifications that the stress of my job can create. So far here's what I‘ve come up with:
- Hire a Nanny: Last time I went back to work, Perry watched Winter during the day while I worked and then we switched when I came home. It was tag team parenting,which worked great for us for financial reasons. It was also and more importantly amazing for Winter to have so much time with her parents, but left little room for "me" or "us" time. This school year we have the most darling nanny coming to watch Winter a few times a week so Perry can get his hours in while I’m at work.
- Wake Up 30 minutes Earlier: This one is hard for me because I loveeeee to sleep and typically wait until the very last possible minute to get out of bed. Not this year. I am set on waking up, stretching for 10 minutes, making tea and breakfast and having some quiet time before I rush out the door. Winter sleeps in until 7:30 to 8:00 so there is no excuse why I can't wake up earlier than her before work, right?!
- Work Out: I am picking one day a week where I am going to go straight to the gym from work. I know that my body, my mind and my soul reset when I work out, and I have been terrible about being active lately. Why is it so hard to find even one hour in the day to work out when you become a mother?
- Power Ring: This may sound silly, but it helps me. I wear the same ring ONLY while I am working. I call it my “power ring.” At the end of the day, I take it off and say to myself "I am leaving work here. All the negativity has been absorbed by this ring. Overnight it will cleanse itself so that I can start fresh again the next day." *I've been told to wear a jewel that allows light in so that the energy can pass through it and not become obstructed. (Sorry if this a bit too hippy for you! Wink).
- Consult With A Colleague: I am dedicating 30 minutes a week to debrief about stressful situations or events that take place with another psychologist from my district. While Perry is my person, I don't want to unload on him. I want my house to be sacred. I want Winter to get the refreshed me every time I come home, not the "I just got home from a really hard day at work and now I am irritable me."
And finally, if time allows it, I plan to stop off at stores like Ironwood from time to time to buy myself a new plant baby, because let's face it, you can NEVER have too many!
A huge thank you to Ergo Baby for sponsoring this post. The new Ergo Baby Adapt Carrier is really something else. You can use it from infancy on without the use of a infant insert. It really is the most comfortable one I own from them and I would HIGHLY recommend it to anyone! As always, all thoughts and opinions are my own.
Dress c/o Arden
Here are a few "power rings" to ponder:
Photography by Brittany Renee'