How to survive a marathon... - West & Rose Farm

How to survive a marathon...

Maternity leave, for a full-time working mother, is like a marathon.  It is one big race that pushes you to your absolute limits emotionally, physically and spiritually.  This is my last week before I return to work full-time.  It is bittersweet for me.  I miss my co-workers and my students desperately, but I am sad to have to leave Vivian.  It has been a fun, sweet, tiring, maddening, cuddly and hard 12 weeks of leave.  When I first gave birth to Viv, I remember thinking to myself "How am I going to do this all over again?"  The baby world had become so foreign to me, as Bubba is 5 years old and has always been about 3 years older than he actually is.  As the weeks began to pass, things became second nature again and I feel confident in my abilities to keep her alive...for the most part!

I have been doing a lot of reflection on the last 12 weeks and I thought about the things that have helped me survive maternity leave with a baby and a 5 year old son is school.  To name a few...

Jesus loves this hot mess:
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Jesus. Lawd Jesus!  When you go from one kid to two, you better make sure Jesus is your homeboy or you are not going to make it.  I am the least religious person I know and am extremely apprehensive of organized religion in general...but there is no denying that this mama has needed jesus.

Coffee...all the coffee. There just is not enough.  Granted most of what I drink is iced coffee...I have a very intense and artisan brewing method for my iced coffee that requires many steps...see below:

1. Brew coffee
2. Pour coffee in cup
3. Splash some cream in there
4. Sit it on counter
5. Get baby from crib
6. Change poopy/wet diapers
7. Wash your face because you somehow managed to wipe baby poo on your face
8. Feed and burp baby
9. Change shirt and rinse hair because baby spit up on you
10. Change diaper
11. Help baby with her stretches and tummy time
12. Let the dog out
13. Play with baby
14. Change poopy/wet diaper
15. Feed baby
16. Put baby down for nap

17. 1-3 hours later...drink coffee

Oh, we're going out somewhere? Let me change into my newer, nicer yoga pants first.:
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Yoga pants.  I have made a point to get up at my normal time, as if I was going to work, so that I would already be used to our morning routine when I started back.  I shower, put on make-up, fix my hair...then I put on yoga pants...which almost negates the whole getting ready process...I know. Yoga pants are mythical.  They are comfortable and the right pair will also make your butt look good...even right after birth!

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iPhone. I do not know how people did it before smart phones and TV.  How they got themselves to stay awake during night feedings is beyond me.  As much as I love staring at my babe while she suckles on a big ol' bottle, I just can't after a while.  I have to have something else to watch, look at or read. #instagramjunkie

Concealer...My anemia reached a new low after giving birth and it has stayed pretty low ever since. This has caused me to have dark purple circles under my eyes...well that and sleep deprivation.  I feel like I go through a pound of concealer a week!

A Planner. I use my planner for everything.  From doctor's appointments and Bubba's school functions to meal planning and baseball games it all goes in the planner. Heck, these days I should just start penciling in time to go pee every now and then too!  I would die without a planner of some kind.  I can't depend on an electronic planner, I have to write down things down in order to remember it.

My husband. He is the number one reason I have survived.  There are no words that can adequately describe how loving and supportive that man is.   He is as steady and strong as an oak tree.  He gets up with Viv during the night as much, if not MORE, than I do...someone who gives me sleep is speaking my love language, y'all! He is the true reason I have survived, and enjoyed, my 12 weeks of maternity leave.  Babies are the most fun roommates, but they are also so, unbelievably, hard...I am so thankful to have someone, like my husband, to go through all of this with.  He keeps me laughing through the colicky nights and keeps me sane on those nights our children are possessed.  He is just my favorite and I will always make a point to sing his praises to anyone who will listen.

Next week comes the real hard part...balancing a full-time job along with two kids.  When I think about it, staying at home has been pretty easy in comparison to everything I am about to have to juggle next week.  There will not be enough hours in my day to get everything done...and I should just get used to that for the next couple of years.

Happy Pre-Friday, y'all!  We are one day away from a long weekend!
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