The Dawleys

Saturday, June 12, 2010

More Thoughts on Returning to Work

I found the following text on an internet article I stumbled across. I copied the text and pasted it in a blank document so I could remember it and now I can't find the website so I can't cite it. Anyways, it is something I needed to read as I have been having a lot of anxiety and guilt over having to go back to work. I know that I am the best person to care for my daughter, but I'm certainly not the only one. I seem to have a hard time remembering that so when I stumbled across this article, it helped me put things in perspective:

"I have learned: a real mom opens her hands. A real mom opens her hands to let go. She lets go of her expectations so her child can have independence. She lets go of the idea that she alone can meet all her child’s needs in order to give room for others' love. She lets go of the desire to control what her child thinks of her. A real mom opens her hands to receive. She accepts help, because no child can be raised by just one person. She is open to learning from others, including her child. She welcomes validation however it comes. She receives so she can give in turn."

I know that it will be hard for both of us at first when I go back to work...most likely harder on me than it is on her. But ultimately I know that Ella will benefit and grow from having lots of wonderful caregivers in her life. And if I allow it, I can grow from this too.

Monday, June 7, 2010

2 Months Old

Ella is two months old! She has changed so much in the past month! She has now outgrown all of her newborn clothes and most of her 0-3 month clothes! She loves to cuddle, she loves to play on her floor mat, she loves listening to music, and she loves staring at the butterflies in her swing. She is gaining much better control of her head and when placed on the floor on her back, she wiggles from side to side like she wants to turn over. Her favorite thing, however, is to smile and coo at people. Just recently she has started cooing at us when we coo at her. We can carry on a whole cooing conversation with her and she seems to think it's so much fun. She will fight sleep just so she can socialize with us. When she gets up in the middle of the night (we are typically down to one night waking around 3 or 4 in the morning), I have to make sure not to make too much eye contact with her or she will start smiling and cooing and wanting to stay up. The cooing doesn't stop with people though. Nope this little girl loves to "talk" to the dogs, her mobile, the butterflies on her swing, and pictures on the wall! Ella is such a happy baby despite some tummy troubles she's had this past month. She was diagnosed with acid reflux and a milk protein intolerance.
Ella received her 2-month shots last week. She weighs 9 lbs and is 22 inches long. She is in the 10th percentile for weight and 50th percentile for height. She is small for her age, but she is still gaining weight which doesn't always happen for babies with reflux or protein intolerances so she's doing well. She was so good during her appointment. The pediatrician even commented on how happy and alert she was and said that most babies with these issues hardly even smile. Thankfully smiling has never been a problem for Ella though. She even started "chatting" happily with the nurse, who thought she was adorable, but who still stuck her with needles anyways. Ella went from smiling to a look of "What the heck was that for?" to screaming in a matter of seconds. She cried most of the way home, but was good after a dose of Tylenol and a nice long nap.
I have 3 weeks left of my maternity leave and am dreading going back to work so much! I have had so much fun spending every day with Ella and I wish it could always be that way. She is so much fun and brings so much joy to Dave and I. I still can't get over how wonderful it is to be a mom and how no matter what, her sweet smile always melts my heart!
As much as it kills me to send her to daycare, I know that she is in good hands. The center is NAEYC accredited (which is a big deal in the daycare world---only 5 centers in Omaha are accredited, 2 being related to the universities in town). There are also cameras in every room so I can see her any time I want. The ladies I've met are all well-educated and love what they do. It is just a very warm environment and I've even received hugs from the ladies after getting teary talking about Ella's first day there. While I hate to pay someone to spend time with Ella, I know that she will ultimately benefit from this good daycare environment. She seems sociable already so I think she will enjoy being around other babies and people. I also think it will be beneficial for her to be in the care of other people and know that she can trust others. I worry about her teachers not knowing the "right" things to do when comforting her, feeding her, etc., but I know she will be taken care of and will hopefully be able to adapt to things easily in the future because she's had to adapt to things so young. My heart is telling me it's not right for her to be away from me all day, but my head is trying to remind myself of all the kids I know that have been in daycare and thrived there and loved it. I also have to remind myself that right now it will be hard, but in the long term, it doesn't make sense for me to not work. My job offers amazing health insurance compared to Dave's and if I wasn't bringing in an income, we wouldn't be able to do things like save money for Ella to go to college, take trips to different places (most importantly visiting family), and we wouldn't be able to save money for emergencies such as having to replace things in the house or with the cars. We would be cooped up in the house living paycheck to paycheck and I think that would be very stressful for me and boring for Ella. I'm sure I will have to reread this post several times the day I go back to work because I know I will be a mess!! I am so glad that I will be able to leave at 2:30 every day.
Anyways, sorry to bore you with my ramblings. Now for some pictures of Ella. :)

Talking to her butterflies: