Tuesday, December 8, 2015


 Everly is wailing in the back seat as I start driving home from my last, glorious day of maternity leave.  I look in the rear view mirror to see my little 12 week old, her face all scrunched up and red with anger and left eye matted partially shut with gunk that builds up when she cries.  That's when my tears start flowing and before I know it, we're both ugly crying in the car as "Have a Holly Jolly Christmas" plays on the radio.

Everly calms down as the car gains speed and she's lulled to sleep by the motion.  I, on the other hand, keep crying.  Only now, I'm trying to muffle my sobs so as not to wake her.  The day I had been dreading had arrived.  It was like for the past 12 weeks I had clicked the pause button on any responsibilities outside of keeping this little human alive (which seemed daunting enough).  And I liked it this way.  I didn't want to unclick the pause button and have to resume my normal work activities.

Maybe I didn't get tired of staying at home because there was an end date, so I knew I needed to soak up all the precious time we had together during the week.  I really think, though, that I could stay at home full time.  In fact, I would love to.  Lazy mornings in our pjs and afternoon outings with my mom.  Sounds way better than trying to cram in quality time for a few hours at night.  I did not understand the guilt and sadness working moms experience until I had to kiss Everly goodbye last week after I nursed her and she had already drifted back off to sleep.

Instead of taking a nap myself, I threw on the one pair of pants that fit me and rushed off to work since I was already running late.  My mind was fuzzy as I tried to remember my computer password and worried about where I would pump.  That first day, I pumped in a large conference room and sat at the head of the 12 person table, feeling like anything but a powerful career woman.

Today is Everly's 3 month birthday.  I opened the app that tells me what my baby should be doing week by week, and it happily announced that my baby was no longer a newborn.  The tears started flowing again, because my little squishy baby was entering infantdom and I suddenly felt my pictures and videos of her so tiny were lacking.  Enter more mom guilt.

Wade brought her to me over lunch today, and I nursed her in the car of a Walmart parking lot.  We ate Subway sandwiches, and I watched her big cheeks seem to get impossibly bigger and cuter as she ate.  (Sidenote: she seems so satisfied when I nurse her, but I don't get as much milk when I pump.  Any advice for pumping?  Have you tried any of the Fenugreek products?)  We watched as a woman parked her 1992 Nissan minivan across the way from us and proceeded to put a club on her steering wheel.  She still nervously looked back at her car as she walked towards the store.  Wade laughed harder than I've heard him laugh in weeks.  Must have been some pretty precious cargo in there.

It's not all bad.  The people I work with are nice and understanding.  It just seems strange that we undergo this huge life change by bringing another tiny human into our family and then are expected to go back to "normal" after a few months.  That reality doesn't exist anymore.  Now, there is this new world that is so much better and more challenging because she is here.  I still struggle with how much weight is placed upon women's shoulders.  We're expected to nurture the babies, be a cutthroat career woman, fit back into our pre-pregnancy jeans, and also fit in time for date nights.  We're expected to be all things to everybody, and it's exhausting.  I don't think it would be that different if I stayed at home, though.  Stay at home moms have just as much on their plate, and I'm sure I would have added pressure to become a great cook.  Wade has been staying home with Everly the past week, and he agrees that staying home is its own job.  Except the boss is tiny and unreasonable.

I know that there is no perfect solution and that it will get easier.  Life keeps rolling along, and there is so much to look forward to.  I may be late posting her 2 and 3 month updates, but they will get done eventually.  She is changing every day, and I don't want to miss capturing how she is right now.

I guess the one bright spot is that I may get out of changing so many dirty diapers.  Even though I think her poop smells like popcorn.  Must be a mother hormone so that I don't get disgusted by my baby:)  Who could not love everything about this sweet face?


  1. My baby turns 3 months tomorrow, I can't even imagine how you feel going back to work, but I wanted to wish you well, you are a brave mama, and you are doing the best you can for your daughter, and that is all that can be expected of you, motherhood is hard, no mater what form is takes. x

  2. My baby turns 3 months tomorrow, I can't even imagine how you feel going back to work, but I wanted to wish you well, you are a brave mama, and you are doing the best you can for your daughter, and that is all that can be expected of you, motherhood is hard, no mater what form is takes. x

  3. Oh she's so gorgeous. You're doing so well Kari, and being so strong. I know how much it must hurt to go back to work, but I think you have got through the worst bit. Sending you a big cyber hug, CJ xx

  4. Kari, you are an amazing, amazing mom and Everly will know that her whole life. I've nannied for a number of families with working mothers and I can assure you, there is nothing like the bond a child has with his or her mother even if they can't stay home full time. Also, I just had dinner with the last family I worked for last month and the mother was telling me that getting childcare when her kids were young was an awesome choice for their family, not only because they needed to work, but because the kids didn't remember those years of their life anyways (so much for me ;). They remember the memories they are making with their mom and dad now after school and on the weekends. Plus, think how much Everly will respect you for being such a hard worker for your family. Scott talks about this respect for his mom to no end. Being a parent is the hardest job, no doubt, but you are doing so great!

    p.s. Fenugreek-yes I have taken it. I actually still take it now and drink the "Mother's Milk" tea. You can get both a Whole Foods (and probably other places). I can text you the picture of the brand I have. At first I wasn't sure about it as I thought it was causing me to have too much foremilk, so I stopped, but now I've been taking it again for at least a month or two and I think it works.

    pps lol about the Walmart parking lot story! :)

  5. I can't even imagine what you must be feeling, but know that you're amazing and never alone! So glad Wade and E could brighten your day in a Walmart parking lot even while being stared down by a crazy woman. Haha! Hugs friend - you are so brave!


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