The skinny on Maternity Leave

For pretty much the entirety of my pregnancy, I kept fondly visualizing maternity leave coming. I remember anxiously awaiting it, thinking “oh my gosh, I need a break from my job” or “I‘m really looking forward to 7 weeks of vacation.” You see, I rarely took days off at work. I always feel guilty or like I’m going to get behind.  The last actual vacation I took? My honeymoon. And that was almost 5 years ago. I was going crazy and needed some time to not have to worry about going to the office or waking up to an alarm every day. Hurry up Grayson, this mama needs a vacation!

Then Grayson came. Early. I quickly was thrown into understanding what maternity leave is really like, and let me tell you, the last thing I would consider the past 7 weeks is a vacation. I would consider it more like mommy boot camp and my orders were coming from an adorable tiny terrorist. Since I have so many friends who are expecting, I thought I would share a “day in the life of my maternity leave” segment today. This is being written as if I’m talking to myself, because I want to share the 18,000 thoughts that go through my head each and every day now! Let’s begin..and I’m starting the day at midnight, as if Grayson is waking up for his first bottle of the new day {which he usually was}.

Oh shoot, is that Grayson crying? Can I shush him back to sleep? Come on Grayson, 5 more minutes. Rockabye Graaayson. No? Not working. Okay. Let’s get up and change your diaper. Hey, stop screaming at mommy, I didn’t mess up in my diaper. Alright, all changed. Let’s go make your bottle. Well this is a fun task one handed. Man, formula smells disgusting when it’s warm. Okay Grayson, I get it, you want a bottle, I’m making it, stop screaming at me. Okay, back in bed, let’s give you this bottle. I wonder if I can shut my eyes for a few seconds while you eat…..oh shoot, dropped the bottle. Okay I better just stay awake. My GOD will he ever finish this bottle? There we go. Let’s lay on mommies chest and burp. Crap, I can’t reach the burp cloth. Okay, got it, NOW let’s burp. He’s whimpering at me, why is he whimpering at me? There we go G, good one! Alright, burp cloth down. I’m going to snuggle him now and get him to sleep. Wow, he’s so adorable. Oh. My. Gosh. You WOULD spit up the second I take the burp cloth off. Alllll down my shirt. What the legitimate heck. You never spit up on daddy. Why me..He better not be smiling at this, he looks pleased. Yesssssss, I think I finally got him to sleep.

….Oh shoot, he’s crying again. Is it 3 already? Okay let’s skip trying to get you to bed this time, straight to your nursery to change your diaper. Kid, we’ve been through this, I’m not trying to hurt you by changing your diaper. You’re so louuuud. Oh here comes Cholla to help, I guess the dogs didn’t care for the crying. Bottle making time again. Grayson, I swear I’m trying, just chill out. Here you go, let’s give you the bottle. I promise I won’t fall asleep on you this time. Man, you really like to take your time with these bottles. Oh LOOK Grayson! Your daddy is next to us. Look at how peaceful he looks sleeping. I could strangle him, Will I ever look that peaceful sleeping again? Maybe I should hit him and see if he wakes up and offers to feed you. Okay okay, I won’t. Back to bed, finally. Let’s get comfy. Oh SHOOT, now I have to pee. But he just fell asleep on my chest…to pee or not to pee..ok, nope, I’m just gonna have to hold it. Think dry thoughts. I kind of wish I had my own diaper right now, you’ve got it made, Grayson.

He’s crying again..it can’t be 6am already. Oh it’s not. It’s 445. It isn’t feeding time, why is he crying? He’s not smelly, he doesn’t need a diaper change, why are you cryyyiiing? HOW is daddy not waking up? He HAS to be pretending to not hear this. Let’s walk around. Okay, not working. Let’s go sit outside in the heat. Ahhh, it worked. Let’s countdown the minutes until 6. Bottle time again, and I swear you’re going to daddy after this so mama can get the happy coffee and maybe a nap. Well, looks like a nap is out of the question, look at all of these BOTTLES to wash. Let’s go ahead and clean them while I have two hands. And these counters are nasty, let’s wipe them down. Come to think of it, I need to start a load of laundry. And your clothes need to be picked out for the day. How has an hour already passed? Now I missed my chance for a nap and daddy has to leave for work. Let’s go get Grayson from daddy. Ok, pick him up and…no. freakin. way. You just spit up on me again. Is this a conspiracy?? Must be. You were JUST with daddy for an hour! No spit up on him. Now daddy is laughing at me.

Daddy has now left for work. It’s you and me kid, let’s make today great. Where’s your boppy? Okay, there it is. Let’s sit down and get calm. I’ve got the remote, my phone, your paci, your blanket. Let’s relax. Well crap, just dropped the remote…can’t reach. I don’t want to wake you up…I’ll just sit here. In silence. So. Bored. Thank goodness I at least have my phone. Man I’m so tired. Maybe I’ll slowly drift asleep…

Aaaand there’s the crying again. Wet diaper? Let’s check. Blue line on the Pampers, yep, we have a wet situation. WHY haven’t you pooped today, child? I can see you trying. Should I research special drops? Target has them! Okay, mental note, go to Target. Oh who am I kidding, there’s no way in hell I’ll remember a mental note. I’m setting a reminder in my phone.

Okay let’s try to make lunch. Will he let me set him down? Aaaand, negative. Okay, one handed it is. Wow, look at me, rocking I just made a sandwich with one hand. Hashtag goals. Charles would be proud. Man I can’t wait until this kid can lift his head on his own. Okay, now let’s make his next bottle and let him eat. Thank goodness sandwiches can’t get cold while I’m feeding him.

Wow, that afternoon nap felt nice. Must have been like two hours..Oh, twenty minutes. Well twenty minutes of sleep FEELS like two hours to this tired mama. Let’s watch some tv and rock Grayson to hold him off from his next bottle..rock, rock, wait. Wait a second. Why is my shirt warm? Why..ah man, this child just peed through his diaper, his onesie, AND MY SHIRT. Now I have to change his clothes. Good thing he loves that. HA, I kid. He hates that.

Dinnertime already? Thank goodness I made all of those crockpot meals, dinner is SERVED and I barely lifted a finger. Where the h e double hockey sticks is YOUR FATHER. That’s it, don’t care, I’m eating without him. One handed eating is a new skill. I should add that to my resume.

Daddy is home! I get two hands back again! I feel liberated. Oh thank you, he’s holding Grayson. What should I do with all of this free time? Shower? Nap? Wash my face? Brush my hair? Yep, on it. Oh wait, all the bottles are dirty. Gotta wash those. Okay NOW I’ll go to the shower. Wait, hold on, dinner dishes. Let’s get those out of the way. And here’s some laundry, I’ll fold those up real quick. Okay, headed to the..oh no, it’s time to start his bedtime routine, let me run set out his pjs and get his bath ready. I wish I knew how this bath temperature duck was supposed to work…

Bedtime routine = done. Maybe I’m getting the hang of this parent thing. Oh wait, bottle time. When did he have his last bottle? I forgot to chart it..uhh..yeah I think now is good. Yes. Now will be good, he’s screaming again. Okay G, let’s get into bed and have your bottle. Oh shoot, I forgot to shower..when even was the last time I showered? Yesterday? Ha, no. I have no idea but judging from the amount of hair on my legs, proooobbably at least a few days. Maybe tomorrow? Okay, he’s finished his bottle, let’s burp and rock to sleep, then I’ll go wash my face.

He’s crying again! Bottle time. I must have fallen asleep..

So there you have it. My days in a nutshell. Don’t get me wrong, I love my son, I’ve loved this time. But it’s hard work. Mamas, you’re amazing. Your job is hard. And maternity leave can be lonely! Let’s just keep it real, okay? Don’t feel like you’re failing if some days you feel like you have the baby blues. I’ve been there. I still have those days. I’m not going to lie about it. But it’s all worth it. 

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20 week bump date – Happy Halfway!

Being pregnant can pose a few challenges. There’s rules to follow, there’s a child to make preparations for, there’s doctors appointments, there’s that whole “too tired to function” segment, there’s random aches and a rapidly increasing belly, and wait – what else? Oh yeah, there’s everything that you normally do. Maneuvering can be a a struggle at times, but one that I’m so happy about!

Take this weekend for example. For the past five days, I’ve had a pretty awful cold {don’t worry, it’s not the flu, I went to the doctor and confirmed that I’m flu negative. Let’s just say that was one test I was happy to fail.} Friday night, Charles was having guys night, so I planned to happily take this opportunity to clean the house and catch up on some much needed chores. Combine congestion, an awful headache, a sore throat, an aching back, a glorious thunderstorm, and pregnancy exhaustion {by the way..hello to all of you big fat fakers who told me second trimester bursts of energy were a thing. I mean, I’m not falling asleep at 6pm anymore, but still, so tired..} and take your best educated guess to see if you think I accomplished anything I intended to. If your answer was no, congratulations! You’re a winner. No, there’s no prize or anything, but nice deduction skills. I ended up taking a tylenol, slathered on Vicks, sat with my beloved heating pad, and turned on my humidified filled with eucalyptus essential oil as well as my diffuser, and I caught up on rest. I did nothing. My body was begging me for this rest, yet I ignored it all week. I mean, Grayson is already taking a lot of my energy {and food…and nutrients} and the told was zapping up the littler I had left, so I should have realized sooner I needed to stay in bed all night in order to get well.

Enter Saturday morning. I woke up feeling refreshed after sleeping in {woohoo, I slept until 7am! If you know me at all, this is a victory for me!} and I knew I had wifey duties to tend to. The house was a disaster{remember aforementioned thunderstorm? Well, we have our two dogs as well as my mother in laws two dogs this weekend. Combine wet grass, mud, and the paws of four dogs and you get an idea on how messy the house was when I woke up Saturday} I had also volunteered to watch my nephew Liam for a few hours, and I needed to address and mail invitations for a couples shower we are co-hosting. Somehow, I managed to address + mail the invites, watch Liam, take a hot shower, make a grocery list, sweep + mop all of the floors,  cleaned the mirrors, had all of the humidifiers and diffusers cleansing the air, replace scentsy’s, wash all of the sheets {I had a cold, this had to be done}, clean the counters, scrub toilets, scrub the showers, and make a grocery list. And let me tell you – It. Felt. Incredible. 

enjoy my wife duties. I absolutely love being a wife, and these are just the kind of things you look forward to when you take on the role of someone’s wife. More than anything, I love how the house feels now that I’m finished! From the way clean sheets feel, to the way the house smells, to the calmness it brings. Take last night for example. I was so happy to be done with all of the cleaning and so exhausted from doing it, I was sitting in my clean sheets, with “sleepy pillow spray” on my pillow, my heating pad on my back, next to my humidifier, and the house felt wonderful. I felt calm, I felt peaceful, and I felt exhausted. But it can be a tad harder to achieve constant calm when you’re expecting a little one, especially if you’re sick.

I don’t feel like I always have to have it together, but I’m going to try my hardest to make sure I have it as close as I can possibly get. Today will be a Sunday well spent with coffee, grocery shopping, washing Grayson’s new crib sheet in newborn detergent, putting together his crib, and meal prepping for the week to come. This is the life that I love. This is my best life. Taking care of my husband and soon to be son makes me feel fulfilled.

Quick “20 week bumpdate” – HOORAY we are HALFWAY to meeting you, sweet Grayson Lowrey! Your mommy has been feeling great, just tired. The only thing she has been craving is beer, so daddy got her some O’Douls {non alcoholic beer} and that seems to keep mommy satisfied. Daddy has painted your room and put together your crib. He is so excited to meet you! He also goes around showing EVERYONE the pictures of your gender ultrasound, saying “THAT’S MY BOY!!” He talks to you every night and has to “hold you” aka hold my belly every night before bed. Mommy keeps buying you clothes and knows she needs to stop, but she can’t help it, you’re going to be the best dressed boy on the block! Mommy was talking to a stranger the other day and said “my son…” and then started to cry. of happiness. Your fur sisters Cholla and Milli are excited to meet you, too! We can’t wait to get another sneak peek at you in a week, but until then, we are going to post a few pictures of your 16 week ultrasound to show everyone!