Ten Things Thankful: Newly Working Mama Edition

May 6, 2011 at 4:58 am (Gratitude)

The end of Day 4, Two Parents Working.

Some parts Hard, some parts okay.  Here, the positives. 

Ten things I’m thankful for this week:

1. Prep work Part A: the emotional part.  We spent A LOT of time talking about going to all-day preschool/daycare with Greta.  Talking up the new school, explaining how her days would go.  Saying good-bye to her old preschool.  Her old teacher was SO supportive to her and me, giving her a special good-bye that gave her* “closure”.  At times I wondered if I went over it all TOO much.  But so far, I’m thinking it worked.  She doesn’t seem traumatized at all by seven hours with almost strangers.  Kind trustworthy strangers, but strangers nonetheless.

I can almost see her processing the change.  She spent time over the weekend jumping on our small trampoline, and chanting with each jump.  Bye Abby, Bye ‘Lena, Bye…… all the names of her old preschool friends.  Over and over.  It was like she was trying to put it firmly into her brain, adding the physical part to it.  On Monday she still called her old school “my REAL school”, by Thursday she was calling it “my old school”. 

Prep work Part B: the preschool choice.  After I accepted a job, I didn’t agree to start until three weeks later.  In that time, I toured four in-home daycares, and three daycare centers.  I was starting to wonder what my problem was, rejecting all these places.  Finally I found a place that 1) treated the kids respectfully at their level, 2) had what I thought was an appropriate curriculum (aka no flash cards or cookie cutter art projects.  Plenty of room to create and play and imagine.), and 3) didn’t cost an arm and a leg.  And bonus: meals are included.  Though I did NOT feel like taking my girls anywhere this morning, I did feel (a little) better after I left Greta playing homemade playdough 1:1 with a teacher she likes.  All in all, it was SO WORTH not settling for the first six places.

2. My GG girl.  She has been trying so hard.  Trying to be a big girl.  Trying to stay dry all day.  Trying to make friends.  She comes home just wiped.

3. Greta’s been SUPER cuddly when I get home.  And Lord knows I love a good cuddle.  And I tell myself it’s just because she misses me, not that she’s traumatized by her new experiences.

4. Willa.  Whether she’d be herself no matter her birth order, or whether her 4th kid status has already left her resigned to the dregs of parental attention, she seems fine with hanging out all day with some other babies and a nice lady.  She’s happy to see me, but she doesn’t cry when I go.  She’s not taking a bottle well, and she’s nursing extra at night, but at least she’s getting the nutrition she needs.

5. The Lactation Room at work.  NOT easy to figure out where it is, not pretty, but a private room with a locking door and an outlet.  The lactivist in me is not terribly impressed, but it’s a start.  The first step in increasing awareness about the need for lactation rooms is somebody who actually utilizes it.

6. The twenty or so old colleagues from my last job that I’ve run into at my new job. (They were hired after we all got laid off from our last company.)   They all seem pleased to see me, and have made me feel welcome.

7. Leanne, the lady Willa’s staying with.  (She’ll move to Greta’s preschool once she’s walking.)  I appreciate she’s accommodating taking her for only a few months, and she loves babies.

8. That it seems (for now) that it really will be fine to never be available to come in before 9am.  I explored the option of before-school care for A&P, and it would be an extra $8000 a year.  Not an expense I need right now.

9. That my boys are (sometimes) trying to help the “girls” (including me) with this transition.  Unfortunately Greta is not always willing to receive that help.

10. Last but not least, my wonderful husband, who works eight to ten hours, handles the kids’ pick-ups, makes dinner, and even still reads bedtime stories.

*I first typed this “me closure”.  I guess I needed it too.

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