Our little Sprout turned 3 months old on Monday. She really seems to be coming out of the “4th trimester” and seems more “here”, if that makes any sense. She continues to be more solemn than smiley, but when she does smile it’s awesome. She stares intently into our eyes, and has long conversations with us (“oooooh” “aaahgoooo” “strange-gargling-noise”). Last night she had a long chat with an invisible friend as she was falling asleep, which was adorable. She has discovered that these things at the end of her arms seem to be attached to her, and she can get them into her mouth regularly. It’s fun to watch her get closer each day to being able to grab for things.
Sprout continues to be a fairly mellow baby. She’s usually awake for 1 1/2 hours at a time and then naps for about an hour. She falls asleep relatively easily, and wakes up in the middle of the night only once most nights. I was cleaning up yesterday and came across a paper from December on which I had been recording her feeding times. It has notes like “slept 2 hours!” There are still plenty of challenging moments, but that time of chaos and crazy sleep deprivation already seems so far away. I’m not really sure how we got through it, but I’m glad that we won’t have to do it again!
It seems unfair that the time when the baby is finally easier to spend time with is also the time when I have to go back to work. I ended up accepting the 40-hour-a-week job, and I start in 2 1/2 weeks. I’m sad about not having found something part time, but am starting to get excited about this job. I interviewed for several other positions (all full-time), and this one seemed like the best fit. While I wouldn’t choose the 5-day-a-week schedule, I think it was helpful to see what else was out there, and to choose this over several other possibilities. This job is quite different from most work I have done before–it’s with adults rather than kids, and is more connected to somatic health than mental health. But I think it will be really interesting. And Roo and I are both excited about what we’ll be able to do with more income.
My new boss has been very flexible, and has let me push my start date back to March 17th. It will make money tight to be on unemployment for a few more weeks, but it will also let me wait to start work until Sprout is 16 weeks old, which feels quite decadent (not compared to civlilzed places like Canada, but a pretty good deal for here). Plus, the week that I start work is Roo’s spring break, which means that I have a week to settle into things before we have to start getting all four of us out of the house in the mornings.
From March until June, Sprout will be going to daycare at Roo’s work three days a week, and will be with Roo’s mom (who recently retired) for two days a week. And then Sprout will be home with Roo over the summer. Tadpole went to the same daycare and loved it, and I love that Roo can visit her during the day. I know that Sprout and her grandmother will have a fabulous time hanging out together on Mondays and Fridays. And then it will be great for Roo and Sprout to spend some quality time together over the summer. In terms of childcare arrangements, we have it pretty good. My sadness about going back to work is less for Sprout (since I know she’ll be well cared for in all of the above situations) than for me (since I will be missing out on time with her). But I’m also excited about getting back a work identity, meeting new co-workers, and using a different part of my brain.
My big worries about going back to work have to do with feeding Sprout. First of all, she has been refusing to take a bottle lately. Early on we were doing a really good job of offering her bottles from time to time. But then Roo went back to work, and Sprout started sleeping longer at night, so it seemed easier for me to just feed her whenever she needed to be fed. The last few times that we have tried to give her a bottle, she has screamed and refused to eat. Fortunately, we have 2 1/2 more weeks to work on this, and she has been doing a little better with it in the last few days.
Related to this, I’m nervous about figuring out pumping at a brand-new workplace. I emailed my new boss about the office arrangements, and she initially said that I would be in a shared office space. Since a lot of the job involves working in teams to help clients, this makes sense. But it’s not exactly conducive to pumping. But when I asked about pumping arrangements, my new boss said she would try hard to make something work, and that (worst-case-scenario), I could use her office. I’m not thrilled with that idea–it seems pretty awkward to come knocking on my boss’ door three times a day in order to kick her out of her office. But it was nice of her to offer. And a more recent email said that she was working on finding me a good space and thought she had something. That seems promising, but I’m still nervous about figuring it all out. When I went back to work after having Tadpole, he was already mostly on formula anyway. Plus I was at a familiar place with familiar co-workers, and I worked mostly independently and had my own office. This time around, I don’t really know what my schedule will look like during the day, and I’m worried that it will be awkward to explain my pumping needs to a brand-new group of colleagues, most of whom I’ll be working with very closely. I’m glad that my boss seems supportive, but am still not sure how it will all go.
Aside from these worries and my mixed feelings about going back to work, things are going well. I’m excited about all that this spring will bring–new challenges at work, new adventures with both kids, decisions about Tad’s school for next year (more on that soon), and maybe even some warmer weather.