The work of motherhood: Bekah.

I’m excited for Bekah to share today in our working motherhood series, because on one hand, she and I are on opposite ends of the parenting spectrum, just as we live on opposite coasts. She is the crunchy, baby-wearing, co-sleeping, elimination communicating organic sort of mom, while I sleep-train, can’t stomach kombucha, and had to google what elimination communication was (but then thankfully, Bekah wrote about it here!). We have babies close in age and when we were describing our ideal birth experiences to each other – they were direct opposites. But Bekah is a great mom, and the way that she talks with confidence and joy about her parenting decisions reminds me of the beauty to be found in households that look different than my own. I admire her intentionality in creating a home environment that is counter-cultural and I was so pleased that she agreed to share about the choices she has made to make it happen.IMG_3084Hi all, I’m Bekah. Wife to Jeremy for almost four years, Mom to Harrison who recently turned one, cat-mom to three kitties who are varying degrees of crazy. We all live in a one-bedroom apartment close to Venice Beach in Los Angeles. I often chuckle about ending up in Los Angeles, because I am a very quiet and practical person- two words not commonly used to describe LA and its assumed lifestyle. The culture Jeremy and I have been focusing on in our family has a sort of gentleness and slowness to it. As we have made parenting and family decisions over the past year, the deciding factor has been finding ways to keep our family very close together and growing an attachment-style household in the way we are raising Harrison. Bed-sharing, baby-wearing, nursing on demand, elimination communication, etc- it is with the mindset of these ideals and more that Jeremy and I knew we didn’t want to seek outside care for our children. Even before we had Harrison, it has always been very important to us that one of us would stay home as the primary caregiver.

Jeremy has a consistent full-time job in a company he’s been with for over five years; I am a birth and post-partum doula with a work history of nannying and babysitting for many, many families. When we were first expecting, our loose idea was that I would stay home for a few months, and then build up a small post-partum doula business and find a babysitter who could watch Harrison a few hours a week, and potentially be on call if I was to do birth doula work. This was partly due to my passion for being a working doula, but mostly because we could not afford to live off of one salary. I ended up exclusively staying home with Harrison for seven months- being a stay-at-home Mom is something I find immense value in, and a role I have always wanted to fill. But Jeremy was at one point working three jobs so that I could stay home, and that was not sustainable.IMG_3390The more I have grown into motherhood, the idea of having someone else care for Harrison, whether it be a few hours a week or full-time, has become more difficult in my heart. He is my little buddy and we have rarely been separate over this past year. When the necessity arose for me to contribute to our household income, it made more sense to find babysitting jobs- and so for the past five months now, Harrison has been coming to work with me! I am very thankful to have found a few different families open to me simultaneously caring for their children and Harrison. I have been working very part-time, just two or three hours each weekday, Jeremy is back to just one full-time job, and our family has fallen into a very nice work-life balance. We will be changing things up again come July, when I will be going back to work full-time with Harrison, nannying for a family that I worked for when Jeremy and I were first married.

Given the choice, I will always choose to stay at home with Harrison and any future children. During this season of our life, however, making that choice is not financially feasible, and I am beyond grateful that we have been able to find the next best scenario for our family. Taking Harrison to work with me has had its fair share of difficulties; earlier this year especially it was often incredibly stressful because I was constantly having to wake Harrison up to get to work on time, or he was missing a crucial nap because we were in an unfamiliar place, and by the end of the day or the end of the week he would be a disaster due to lack of sleep. I felt very guilty that he was acting out as a direct reaction of my life getting in the way of his needs. I also initially felt guilty that Harrison needed to share my attention with other children- it is something we both have been learning together. But we are five months in now, and with that time everything has become a bit easier. Harrison and the different kids I am watching have become much more self-sufficient, and many of my babysitting hours are now spent observing them playing together, and finding delight in watching them make each other laugh, or chase each other around the house, and forming a special bond. Starting the full-time position in July will have its own set of initial difficulties, especially because there is a 10-month age difference, but I am looking forward to watching Harrison grow over the next year and form a brother/sister relationship with this new baby. IMG_3143

These jobs have all been a blessing- in a concrete way they are helping us pay off debt, but it’s been more than just practical. I have thoroughly enjoyed watching Harrison learn what life is outside of our little apartment. Whether he’s tearing through toys at a friend’s home, or sharing a swing with a friend at the park, or passed out in my lap because he’s now truly learned how to sleep anywhere- he’s experiencing life differently than he would if we had no obligations during the day, and we are experiencing it together.

That togetherness is everything I hoped for while pregnant and dreaming of what life would be like once Harrison was born. It looks different than I expected, but there is a beauty to it that suits our family well, and I’m sure it will continue to evolve over time. So for now, I am essentially a work-at-home Mom, because that is what we have found to be the best for our family.IMG_2992

 

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This & That

Friiiiidddaayyyyy. Get excited. As excited as Henry before he smashes food in his chubby paws.Spring2017-148I am pretty excited because James and I are headed to dinner and the theater tonight! If you have talked with me in person this past year, there is a high likelihood that I have tried to pressure you into becoming season ticket holders of the Shakespeare Theatre Company. I always assumed season tickets were for fancy (read: rich) people, but the STC is trying to build up a following among younger people, so they offer a deal if you are under 35 where you get tickets to all 6 plays for only a tad more than the price of 6 movies. This meant that I got an email in September that gave me the dates for an entire year of bi-monthly fancy date nights. It has been fun to try out different restaurants downtown and take in some great plays. But most of all, it has been so valuable to have found an easy way to make time with James a priority in the midst of an otherwise crazy time of life.  It’s easy to forget the person you loved first when you have a new little love who is so very demanding and all encompassing. How do you all make time for spouses in the midst of those young children years? We are lucky to have a sizeable pool of siblings and friends who make evening babysitting easy, but even then – just deciding to go and making it happen can be tough.

Speaking of theatre, this looks amazing! It isn’t included in our tickets, but I really want to go.

I ordered some onesies from here and they are the softest cotton ever. So many kids clothes get scratchy after a couple washes, but these just become more buttery. I’m thinking I might get some PJ’s from there too, as Henry’s crawling has ripped the knees in most of his. I’m pretty intense about keeping his capsule wardrobe at a minimum… but he seems less inclined to do his part and keep his clothes in pristine condition.

These pants make everyone look awful, but everyone keeps on wearing them.

J.Crew has gone downhill. “Over time, however, J. Crew’s designs grew overpriced, eccentric, and even downright ugly.

Agreed- don’t offer me red velvet cake and pretend it has anything on the myriad of other cakes that should be consumed.

In case you were just dying to know, I did commit to a mom shoe.

As good Americans, there is nothing we love more than young royals dishing on getting takeout and watching Homeland, and it was also exciting to actually hear Kate’s voice.

In light of the series I have been doing on working motherhood, I really appreciated this article about how there is just no biblical mandate for men-as-sole-breadwinnners and these posts that Kate has been sharing.

One of my top summer goals (And it is officially SUMMER for me, since my semester ended this week! Which just means dissertating in shorts instead of sweats, but still!) is to actually get a library card, because I am not all about those little libraries that are all over Capitol Hill.

Later this summer we are doing some lengthy travels, and the hand-me-down purse I have used as a diaper bag is disintegrating. I would love a cute bag or backpack that is big enough to function as a diaperbag/camera bag/ hold-all. Any ideas? And don’t even bother suggesting this beauty unless you have one to sell for way cheaper, because I’m not paying that.

Happy weekend friends. Spring2017-145

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The work of motherhood: Ellie.

I would be lying if I didn’t admit that just a tad of this series about working and motherhood was born out of my desire to get Ellie to write this post. She and her husband Charlie started as my older brother’s friends, but became some of the people that James and I enjoy and respect most. They have dealt with more difficulties than most young families our age, and done it all with a grace and humor that I can only hope I would have in similar circumstances. Plus, Henry and Ellie’s youngest Moss share the distinction of almost ruining my brother’s wedding, since both babies arrived early almost preventing me from coming and causing Charlie to drive all night following the reception to make it to the hospital in time for Ellie to deliver. IMG_2050It was the quintessential new-mom-just-back-to-work breakdown. One of my coworkers had been Skype-fighting with me about a policy we disagreed on. After she had pointedly disregarded my counter points and bulldozed over my perspective, she followed up with some trite nicety about how “we’re all on the same team.” At the same moment, a warm and thoughtful colleague approached my desk and asked me about my adjustment back to work. With that slight opening of an emotional door, I broke down into a mess of ugly sobbing. Aghast, she attempted to comfort me with an empathetic, “Oh, I remember how hard the adjustment back is…don’t worry; I understand.”

But, in spite of the calm and soothing spirit she meant to bring, I felt an underlying anger at the reality of my situation and how it made me feel isolated from well-intentioned offerings of empathy. On that day, not only was I grappling with being a new mom back in the office, but my brother was beginning to exhibit the symptoms of schizophrenia, and I was continuing to provide daily care to my mother, who has early-onset Alzheimer’s.McBrooms2015Fall003(1)

Fast forward to the present – I’m mom to Asher (2 ½) and Moss (11 months), caregiver to my own mother and brother, wife to my husband, and full-time employee at an international relief and development non-profit. I’ve been balancing the demands from these roles for years, and right before my second child arrived, I was approached by a senior manager for an exciting new position that required ‘slightly more’ travel and a switch back from part-time to full-time work. I took the job.

I’ve been vocal to my supervisors about what I’ve needed to be both effective in the office and resilient in the face of family challenges. For a period after my first son was born and my brother became ill, that meant shifting down to part-time work. Initially my supervisor was skeptical, so I had to advocate for myself and demonstrate my ability to be effective at my job in a part time role. And I had to clearly convey that I would be a better employee if I was positioned to care for my family, maintain a sustainable balance, and remain involved in the project I’d been overseeing.

When I was approached for the new job, I had to push my supervisor to allow me to maintain a flexible work schedule, in which I work early for an hour from home each morning before my boys rise and take off many Fridays to fit in all of our various doctor’s appointments. Pressing for this schedule allowed me to continue affording our superhuman, wonderful caregiver, Selena, who watches my two boys and my mother while my partner and I work. Additionally, it enables me to attend to the seemingly endless caregiving tasks – scheduling volunteer activities and get-togethers with friends for Mom, attending frequent doctor’s visits when she was in a clinical trial, plus doctor’s appointments and social services appointments for my brother.IMG_2052Additionally, because of the magnitude of my caregiving demands, at each week’s end, I often feel as though I am underperforming. My husband, Charlie, and I often talk about how even when we have a week where we really crush it at parenting or at work, we are still inevitably failing to give our best care to my mom or brother. Many of our days are sharp contrasts of failure and success. In one moment, we’re missing an appointment or miscommunicating with our family caregiver, but in the next moment, we’re given relief –self-care that we can provide to ourselves, or the generous act of understanding and forgiveness from a friend or acquaintance.

I face daily challenges which include regularly re-calibrating work-life balance, continuing to seek support and time needed for critical self-care, and the knowledge of the missed moments with family when I’m away at the office. But I feel confident in my choice to work hard to keep working. My mom is adventurous and fearless – she spent her career mentoring middle-school youth, and in our free time growing up, we’d trek out on a familiar local hike or load up in the camp in a national park. As a teenager I was jealous of the independence she asserted by maintaining her career, and questioned why she invested in mentoring other youth alongside raising her own children.

But now I understand the value in her commitment to sustaining an independent and important vocation, and how she planted seeds of individuality and opportunity in mine and my brother’s life through her example. Following in her footsteps has given me an opportunity to teach my boys about the energy and excitement I derive from my work. When I travel for work and meet people from across the globe who are committed to working alongside and on behalf of vulnerable children, I try to bring my boys with me or share lessons I have learned. During the week of the 2016 election, I took pride in planning a workshop for over ten of my colleagues from around the world and brought my five-month old with me to Connecticut and DC for the two weeks of training. My son got to meet my coworkers from Myanmar, Indonesia, the Philippines, DRC, Malawi, Mali, and Zambia. Plus, I got to spend my work-evenings having invaluable one-on-one travel time with him. IMG_2054I’ve also been able to build an amazing partnership with my husband. The internet abounds with articles highlighting that among working couples, women still perform the greater share of domestic work. However, because of the character of my husband and nature and scale of our demands, Charlie has come alongside me in every facet of maintaining and managing our home. He takes my brother to doctor’s appointments, spoils the boys with dinners of sloppy joes and jambalaya when I travel, and dances with me in the kitchen or gives my mom a huge up-in-the-air bear hug when we’re at our wit’s end.

And lastly, I’ve developed a level of vulnerability and empathy that I never knew before. Years ago I wrote about the vulnerability of our caregiving experience, prior to the arrival of either of our boys. I’ve had to maintain openness when I engage in conversations at work that allude to my family situation, or with strangers with whom I decide to delve a bit deeper to provide an honest reply to “how are you?” And this has pushed me to expose parts of myself I would have otherwise kept private.IMG_2056Additionally, when a friend or coworker expresses frustration about flexible work arrangements, I strive to acknowledge that there may be an unknown personal circumstance that justifies the needed accommodation. The conversation often leads us to consider questions such as – why do we sometimes perceive that working from home will result in a coworker being less productive? Why are men or women instantly disqualified from growth opportunities or seen as uncommitted to their career if they need to step back into a part time role for a season?

While I will never forget the breakdown at my desk, I cling to that memory and the sentiments I felt in that moment to build a foundation of empathy for other parents and caregivers. It’s the groundwork for the advice I give to new mothers, and to those trying to balance work and caregiving. I always try to remember there could be unseen dynamics within each of our stories.IMG_2057So I always seek to listen more, to ask more questions, and to give grace and encouragement to friends who are in the thick of hard choices. I advocate for other coworkers and friends if they push for a flexible work schedule or decide to shift to part-time work or be at home to better care for their families and themselves. I consider myself a relentless advocate for women in the workplace – and that means being vocal about using technology to allow us to have flexible work schedules, and to raise the need for leave policies to allow for both men and women to take time for caregiving responsibilities.

The threads of my story have been understanding and compassion, and they have bound me to an amazing community of parents and families – whose stories, and trenches, may differ from my own. But all of them are important and unique, built on our universal desires to find meaning from our chosen vocation while also being our best selves and caregivers to our children, our parents, and our friends.IMG_2049

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The work of motherhood: Anna.

Anna has been on this blog a lot, as she is in the circle of amazing mom friends that I am blessed to have here in DC, as well as the official letter-er for our annual donut-making party. I was excited that she agreed to share her thoughts for this series on working and motherhood, and tell about the loss and love in her decision.View More: http://theartinlife.pass.us/liviaI became a stay-at-home mom because I was afraid.

I had always known that motherhood was my vocation, but when I became pregnant with our first child, my immediate thought was to try to figure out how to continue working part-time, or from home. This may have been because of the culture in our area (we live in DC, where the first question you’re asked is always “what do you do?”, and it’s most common for mothers to continue working in some way), but in any event, the first four months of my pregnancy involved discussions with my husband and employer about how to navigate the soon-to-change work/life balance.

But after four months, negotiations about job descriptions didn’t matter. We lost our sweet son, Joseph, at almost 17 weeks.

My doctors diagnosed me with cervical incompetence (not a flattering name, but I try to use it in the hope that it could help other moms), which makes all of my pregnancies “high risk.” So when I became pregnant again, I was put on strict bed rest, and wasn’t able to work anymore. The stressful, nuanced decision about leaving the work force was just made for me. And honestly, I didn’t care. I was so afraid that all I cared about was trying to make it through the pregnancy and have a healthy baby.

When Mollie was born (huge and healthy at 39 weeks, praise the Lord), I felt a love that I didn’t know was possible. The girl was amazing and intense from day one. And while I had never been happier or more confident in my vocation, the fear that something could happen to her was always present as well. I think all moms feel some version of it – it’s what makes us tiptoe into their rooms to check that they’re breathing, and makes us hold our own breath as they climb higher and higher on the playground. But the memory of her brother made me never want Mollie out of my sight; I couldn’t imagine having to go back to work and leave her. And I couldn’t just will the fear to go away. The only thing that’s eased this fear is the simple passage of time, and the slow, steady influence of love: God’s love for us, and our love for each other.

We’ve since added Livia to our family, and the girls (now 3 and 1) keep me busy and distracted and happy! I don’t take it for granted that I’m able to do the job I’ve always wanted in being their mom. When we’re in phases that lend themselves to more free time, I’ve filled it with various work: an Etsy shop that lets me use my creative side, or freelance writing that lets me exercise my academic side again. But I’m lucky that I can scale back both of these jobs when the girls need my complete attention, and that I get to do those things for enjoyment instead of necessity.

The thing about motherhood is that it is inescapably sanctifying. No matter how hard it is on a given day, or how much I feel like I’m failing during a certain phase, my girls are making me a better person every day. They’re driving away the fear that first made me hold on to them so desperately, and replacing it with a love that lets me hold them more tenderly. We’ve been told that “perfect love casts out fear,” and while my love is by no means perfect, theirs is. So while fear first made me stay at home, love has kept me here, and I thank God every day for that.EDA190AB-1745-4838-A609-DC99647805D1

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The work of motherhood: Amanda.

Amanda and I taught high school together 7 years ago, and it has been a joy watching her as a mother, especially the delight she has in working alongside mothering. I wanted her to share in this series about working and motherhood because I have gotten to hear her thoughts on this from the beginning, in a career similar to my own. Teaching and academia can be trying with little children, but they ultimately offer a freedom of time spent with family that many other professions don’t allow. fam jam(1)I’m Amanda, married to Ben, mom to two loud little ladies, Emerson (4) and Evangeline (almost 2).

I have the most ideal work situation in the entire world, and its matchless qualities are not lost on me. I’m a part-time high school teacher. I teach morning classes five days a week at a classical Christian school that I LOVE. My girls attend morning Mother’s Day Out at the school, so there is just one destination on my commute. (Our youngest has a babysitter on days when her class does not meet, but she will go to “school” five days a week next year.)

When I was pregnant with my oldest, I was really sure that I wanted to return to work after the baby was born, but I was anxious about what that would mean for our family. I’d never had my very own baby before, and the I was very aware that I was stepping into unfamiliar territory. We decided that I would ask my principal to reduce my classes to a part-time load, and she agreed. Since my baby was due in November and we had planned to move the following May, I would essentially have one semester to try balancing a career and motherhood. It worked out nicely, and after we moved, I was able to get a similar position at the school where I’m currently teaching.

I consider my circumstances to be nearly perfect. I absolutely love my job and my students, and my co-workers are some of my dearest friends. My commute to work is incredibly efficient since there is only one destination. I drop my children off and then go up a flight of stairs to teach in the high school wing of the building. My children’s teachers are my colleagues, and they are brilliant educators who love my girls very well. I don’t have to coordinate childcare often since we are all on the same school calendar-when my kids are out of school, I am off work. In general, we have weekends, most holidays, and summers together.

However, every situation has its challenges. Our days start early, and we are on a pretty strict schedule so that everyone is adequately rested. Teaching is a job that follows you home, and some class prep work and grading happens in the early morning hours or late at night. I spend an hour or two on the weekends prepping lunches, laying out clothes, and getting ready for the week. And like any other parent, I (sometimes) miss my children when we’re not together. These are relatively minuscule difficulties, but they do make life a bit more complicated.

For us, however, the benefits far outweigh the challenges. My job is a source of joy for me-I truly love being with my students and colleagues. Additionally, some minor limitations on my time with my children help me to appreciate them more. I’m a better mom when I’m not actively momming 24/7.

We’ve seen the benefits of having our children regularly cared for by other adults. They are learning that there are consistent values among their caregivers, even if we differ in our caregiving styles. They practice social skills with their peers, learn to advocate for themselves, and do all kinds of crafts I wouldn’t do with them, because this mom doesn’t craft. 🙂 But the best part of having them is school is watching them develop independence and confidence. My girls have a space where they are known for who they are, not for who their mom or dad is. In those short hours away from me, they are discovering their personalities, strengths, and gifts. As much as I love these years with littles, my ultimate goal is to raise them for release, and it helps to see them taking tiny steps toward self-reliance.

There are all kinds of ways to be a good parent, and we don’t cast judgement on parents who make decisions that are different from ours. But we are very thankful that we have such a clear vision for how to structure our work/life balance, and for a work situation that accommodates our family so well. And, of course, we are especially grateful for the little people who complete our team.

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The Work of Motherhood.

Processed with VSCO with a6 presetProcessed with VSCO with a6 presetShe used to tell me that someday I would understand, when I had kids. And of course, she was right. My mom is always right, her extreme aversion to avocados and goat cheese notwithstanding. The past year of motherhood has provoked in me an empathy and understanding for so much of the crazy and wonderful things that my mom has done over the years, that all mothers have done and continue to do. Loving my child has ripped open so many parts of me and forced growth in painful and beautiful ways. It has showed me a type of love that, while I am not going to play the one-love-is-superior game, is so visceral, is so overwhelming and powerful, that there is no way I could have ever understood it until I too stood over my own child and thought, I could kill someone with my bare hands if they tried to hurt this kid.

On this Mother’s Day, I am thankful for the sacrifices my mom made to raise me and my brothers. I am aware of them in a whole new way this year, Not just the sacrifices of time and sleep, but the past year has shown me the painful work of learning the work of motherhood.

I don’t just mean learning about keeping kids alive, loving and caring for them, teaching them, and doing all these vitally important parts of parenthood. I mean navigating the daunting waters of  motherhood, career, work, home, dreams, and responsibilities. Whether you have always known you wanted to stay at home when you had kids, or whether there was never a thought of abandoning your career, every single mom I know has moments of doubt, frustration, and joy mingled into their response to the simple question: what do you do?Processed with VSCO with a6 presetProcessed with VSCO with a6 presetThe problem is that this is a taboo conversation among moms who fall on opposite divides of the great working mom vs. stay-at-home-mom divide. I was discussing this with my sister-in-law lately, and we were bemoaning that conversations between moms often go like this:

What the SAHM says: So what made you decide to stay at your job?

What the working mom hears: Why do you hate your kids and neglect your role as homemaker and caregiver?

What the working mom says: So what made you decide to stay home?

What the SAHM hears: When did you realize you had no ambition for your life?

Because, as a general rule for humanity, most of us are insecure much of the time. And the decision to leave our children part of the time, or be at home and perhaps feel like we leave some part of ourselves elsewhere, is a hard decision.

So I asked. I asked some moms that I respect to write about how they fill their days, to be candid about the difficulties and forthcoming about the blessings. I asked them to share their unique circumstances without casting any judgement on the decisions of others. Each family is so different. The women who share over the next weeks are all across the parenting spectrum, not to the mention the country. They are West Coast co-sleepers and East Coast sleep-trainers. They are parents of babies, parents waiting for adoptings to go through, parents who have found themselves taking care of babies alongside their own parents. They are complicated and loving and diverse and so happy with their decisions.

I can’t wait to share them with you, can’t wait to let this blog become a space for us to all applaud each other in the work of motherhood over the next couple weeks. Processed with VSCO with a6 preset

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Proof of life.

Spring2017-116Spring2017-118Spring2017-119Spring2017-122Spring2017-125Spring2017-129Spring2017-136

Well hello there.

The past couple weeks have been the homestretch of my semester, and things have been a little bananas over here. Juggling grading and course prep, trying to advance in writing my dissertation, and managing the everyday details of our lives in general meant that blogging just couldn’t happen. But in the meantime, here are some things that did happen:

We (finally! After 6 years of living here!) made it to the National Arboretum and I am already trying to find a time to go back. These pictures are from a sunny morning we spent with some other moms and babes. Flowers! Open spaces to run and frolic! Picnics! Friends with babies! All a few of my favorite things.

Henry is all over and into everything. No walking yet, but he spends most of every day gathering precious treasures from all over the house and then rolling around in them on his cherished rug. No walking yet, but that kid is on the move and eager to destroy. I swore I wouldn’t be one of those parents who clutters up the house with baby gates, and that instead I would just be firm and teach my kid boundaries. And I do. Every time he climbs in the fireplace or wreaks havoc on my office nook, he is reprimanded, receives a little hand flick, and is pulled away. But y’all- that kid is DETERMINED to explore and conquer all spaces, and I definitely used a coffee table to wall off some danger zones yesterday.

He also eats like a linebacker. Chili, quiche, scrambled eggs, roasted potatoes, broccoli, pasta, Lara bars, blueberries, limes- this kid wants it all. And he subsequently wants much less of me. He is going on three days of only being interested in nursing right when he wakes up, and even though I know that is good and normal and that a year is a perfect age to wean, I feel just a bit of loss. It was such a long road for me to get to the point of enjoying nursing, and now I am sad to see it end.  (I am not, however, the least bit sad to say goodbye to pumping. I had the all the pump stuff cleaned, sanitized, and packed away within hours of having pumped for the last time. HALLELUJAH.)

I have always had sleep issues, and I recently had a pretty tough run of insomnia and sleepless nights. These were coupled with three weeks of Henry waking up an hour or more early, and ultimately led to the feeling that I was about to shatter into a million sleep deprived pieces. BUT, I’m sleeping better now, and thanks to some blackout curtains (ok, actually it is a blanket nailed to the window, but it will be curtains when I get around to buying them), Henry is not only back to his 7am wake-up time, but pushing 7:30. This is everything.

Happy weekend friends. I have some guest posts that I am sharing next week that I am pretty excited about, so see you then!

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