Well, 12 weeks came and went and on August 8 I went back to work. They weren't lying. The transition back into "normal" life wasn't easy.
Here's what I learned:
Start daycare early. This is the best thing I decided to do during the transition back to work. As much as I didn't want to, the week before I had planned to returned is the week I started to put TJ in daycare. This allowed me to cry as hard as I wanted those first couple of days, pick him up if I needed to, take things to him if I needed to (because who knows how many bottles you should send with an exclusively, on demand breastfed baby?), and to get myself physically and emotionally ready to get back to work.
Ask questions. There's a lot that I didn't (and still don't!) know about this whole working-mom thing. Like mentioned earlier, I had no idea what to send with TJ. So, I asked. And I keep asking. If you're like me and you searched high and low for the perfect daycare, then remember the reason you chose them and trust what they have to say. But also remember to trust your mommy instincts.
Lean on moms who have been there. Thank God for all the moms that I work with. They have given me amazing hand-me-downs, awesome advice and encouragement, and just simply make me feel better about being back at work and having TJ at daycare.
Pumping is hard. Yea, yea, yea. Everyone said that. I was prepared for it to be hard. But holy moly, it's hard. Be prepared for the well-meaning, non-moms saying, "Well, can't you supplement with formula?" Yes. Yes, you can. And I'm not against it! But I'm trying not to. (This could honestly be a blog post on its own.) Breathe. Vent to your mom tribe. One day at a time.
Your priorities have changed. I've always put work first, almost to a fault. Sweet Charles has even come second a few times and was still patient and understanding. But now that TJ's in the picture, nothing comes before him. And the world gets it. Or at least my world does, so far. It's humbling and wonderful and I wouldn't have it any other way.
We survived this big transition and there are many, many, many more to come. Life is good!
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