After almost a week at work, I can say it's HARD to be a working mom. I had no idea how draining it would be, physically and emotionally, to go back to work. I miss Joshua and feel like he spends all of his waking hours at daycare and that I have such a short amount of time to spend with him. He's going to bed so early, but I am happy that co-sleeping allows me to snuggle with him all night long.
I don't want to do any work at home to subtract from the time I have to spend with Joshua, not that I'd be able to concentrate if I tried. I rush around at work trying to get everything done, when I used to take a lot of my work home- both lesson planning and grading. I don't waste time talking to colleagues who ask about Joshua, answering instead "He's great, and I'm busy!" I find my preparation period at work is shortened because I'm expressing milk along with the time it takes to set up and clean up. I'm also missing lunch with my friends at work, instead eating alone while I pump or in the car on the way home. Overall, I have a lot less time to get my work done, both at home and at school, but I have become much more efficient out of necessity.
The biggest shock to me has been how complicated it is to get us organized and out the door in the morning. I took breastfeeding for granted and had no idea how much easier it is than to have to wash bottles, nipples, caps and pump parts. I make sure everything's clean, packed and ready to go the night before, but still it's a mad dash in the morning to make sure we remember to get the bottles out of the fridge and be out the door by 6:45 a.m. I am truly looking forward to our first weekend at home and will not be fixing a bottle the whole time!
On the bright side, I have found a good place to express milk at work: a seldom-used storage room that's close to my classroom. After discovering the nurse's office only had curtains separating the pumping area from the area where sick students rest and wait to be picked up by their parents, I checked out the second-floor room and discovered it had no locking door. The idea of a colleague or student inadvertently walking in on me pumping was enough to send me to the bathroom. I spent two days pumping in the bathroom before deciding to commandeer the storage room and tell my colleagues (my dozen department members who also have keys) to knock before entering. I even hung a cow sign on the door, figuring the image would be enough to remind them to knock before entering. I set up a comfortable chair and desk, and I'm so happy that this is resolved!
The whole transition is eased by the fact that Joshua's had a great couple of days. He spent Monday with my mom, Tuesday with my mother-in-law, and the remainder of the week at daycare. He was happy and drank the expressed breast milk from bottles without a hitch. Each morning before work, afternoon, evening, and what seems like all night, he nurses and I enjoy the time to sit and relax with him. Though I'm not happy to be away from Josh and I'm struggling to keep up with the demands of motherhood and teaching (and don't even ask about housework!), the transition has surprisingly gone better than I expected!