Five Things Every Working Mom NEEDS During the Week

Going back to work after the second child was one of the hardest things I’ve had to do. Not only are you grappling with the fact that you are leaving your three month old with a stranger (and paying a lot of money for it), but you are scared to jump back into your job and give it 100%. 

I have been back at it for a little over a month now and here are a couple of the things that have saved me.

Kroger Clicklist (or any other drive-up/at home service)

We would never eat if it wasn’t for these services. We drop the kids off at daycare, work eight hours, pick the kids up and go home. We are out of the house from about 7:30 until 5:30. This does not leave a ton of time to grocery shop.

I have only used clicklist and although my order isn’t always perfect, I love it. It allows me to leave the kids in the car. I don’t have to take the three year old and infant into the store. This is a miracle. 

Organization/Planning

I love planning vacations. I love planning fun weekends with the kids. I do not like planning the day to day schedule. Between work, pumping (yes, pumping), appointments and somewhat of a social life, our day to day needs to be planned and organized. 

A few things that have helped me is that I have literally every single thing ready the night before. This includes all my pumping equipment, my daughters bottles, my sons clothes (and mine) all ready the night before. This allows me to just get up and get ready to get out the door.

I keep a large weekly calendar in the kitchen by the door. This way my husband can’t miss it and can see what we have going for the week. 

I also plan and schedule every single pumping session at work. I try and time this with the time that her daycare will be feeding her the bottles. This works for me. 

 

Support System

No joke. This is the most important of them all. My husband and I are SO incredibly lucky to have such wonderful parents. They have made this transition a lot easier on us. 

My parents watch my daughter on Tuesdays and along with that have been picking up my son from daycare that day. My mother in law has been picking up my son on Mondays and this is a huge help. 

Both kids go to two different daycares so I am in the car after work for about an hour and a half. By them picking up my son it saves me so much time. It’s so wonderful. 

Another important part of my support system is the texts and calls from friends. I know I have cried, complained and gone out of my mind. I appreciate you all listening.

Having a positive mindset

I know many of you might think this sounds lame, but this is SO key to having a good week. If you start your week without this your entire week will be ruined. I know. I’ve gone into Monday morning with an awful attitude and it changed my whole week.

I get it. Sometimes it’s really hard to stay positive in the AM. You have been up with your baby, your toddler and dog (just me?). 

Time to yourself

This one actually took me a good long while to actually understand. Not until recently was I giving myself any time after the kids went to bed. Once they went to bed I was instantly in as well. Sometimes this is still the case, but you quickly realize that this is your only alone time. Period. 

I have been staying up and watching some TV or reading or, honestly, just doing nothing at all. 

My house is not always clean and clutter free. I am not always put together like I was before kids. Being a working mom is HARD. You are constantly thinking about your kids during work and work when you’re with your kids. It’s hard to turn either off. 

I am so very lucky to have a husband, family and friends that help and support me. Also, this mom community in which we started. It gives both Erin and I an outlet to learn, discuss, complain and relish in the joys of motherhood. 

Let me know if you have any great tips or tricks to make the work week a little easier!

To My Friends…Thank You for Making This Easier!

When I first learned that my son, Ryan, has Down syndrome there were so many different thoughts going through my head. *Will he be okay?*, *Will he have friends?*, *Will he be included?*, *Will he be happy?*

After we found out that he was otherwise healthy, one of the biggest concerns I had was about the support we’d receive. I have a great group of friends but this is something we had never experienced before so I didn’t know how everyone would handle it, including me. It’s a lot to deal with when you find out your child has special needs; you definitely need your support system to help you through it. Don’t get me wrong, he’s the best thing that has ever happened to me and I wouldn’t change a thing about him, but having friends that love and support us makes it so much easier. 

So to my friends (and family)…thank you for:

Loving and including Ryan

One of my biggest fears was that Ryan wouldn’t have meaningful relationships with my friends’ kids because he was different than them. This couldn’t be farther from the truth. My friends are amazing at loving and including Ryan. He is invited to every play date and party and while he is there they make sure he is treated just like everybody else (if not better!) Everybody comes over and makes sure Ryan is doing okay and if he can’t participate in something (because he hasn’t reached the milestone yet) they make sure he has something else that he can do. He loves being around people and it is so fun to see him interact with the kiddos and other adults.

Always asking about him and his development

Along with Ryan’s diagnosis comes weekly therapies (occupational and physical) and extra doctor’s appointments. My friends always seem to remember to ask about how he is doing in them and what he has accomplished during them and it really means a lot. Sometimes I don’t feel like having OT and PT every week. I feel like the house always has to be clean and some days it just really disrupts his schedule. I know he needs it and he is thriving because of it, but it can honestly get really frustrating. When my friends ask how it’s going or cheer because Ryan met a new milestone, though, it really reminds me of my priorities and eases my frustration.

Still sharing your kids’ accomplishments

Another one of my fears was that my friends would feel bad bragging about their kiddos to me. I didn’t want the fact that Ryan was reaching milestones later deter them from telling me all the cool things that their children were doing. Luckily, my friends are very open and let me know when a new milestone has been reached. And just like they celebrate with us when Ryan succeeds, I love to celebrate with them!

Going to fundraisers

One of the most generous ways my friends have found to support us is to donate to the Down Syndrome Guild. Whenever there are events that we invite them to, they show up without question. Our first event was for World Down Syndrome Day last year. I invited everyone on a Monday (when it was on Wednesday) and somehow we had over 30 people show up just to support Ryan. It was so amazing to see and really made us realize how lucky we are to have these people in our life.

Having the difficult conversations

Most of my friends’ kids are under 5 so I’m not sure we have crossed this bridge yet, but it is definitely coming. Eventually (probably sooner rather than later) their kiddos are going to realize that Ryan is different. They’re going to ask why he looks different or why he acts different than other kids his age. I know this isn’t going to be the easiest conversation for them to have and I want to thank them in advance for having it. And I know their kids will be just as supportive and kind as they all have been because they’re all amazing moms (and dads) and are raising amazing kids.

Ryan is one lucky little boy to have you all in his life and I am one lucky woman to have you all as friends.

So…thank you from the bottom of my heart!