Before I had Trey people would tell me all the time that Bella was going to take a back seat in my life once he was born. That used to make me so mad! I wrote this post saying how it was not going to happen.
A quick recap for those of you who don’t know but Bella was a rescue dog. The second time I was pregnant Keith and I had gone in for our 10 week appointment and there was no heartbeat. I couldn’t believe this was happening to me again. I was literally at the lowest of lows in my life. The next day I looked at Keith and told him I needed a dog. I needed something to mother. So the day before my D&C we went to the animal shelter and picked Bella. She was perfect.
She saved me. She gave me new hope and meaning. I mothered her. I loved her. She became my little savior. I know I would have eventually been okay but she helped me to heal. Helped me to grieve and helped me to see that life, although sometimes unfair, was still beautiful.
So when I got pregnant the third time and we made it past the first trimester everyone started commenting on how Bella was going to be second in my life. I could not fathom it. So here’s my update on life with Trey and Bella.
First, it makes my heart sing that Bella is going to be Trey’s first best friend. I can’t wait for them to start playing with each other. Right now they are both still very curious. Bella is more interested in any leftover formula Trey has on his body so she can lick it up and Trey just lets her. Neither is scared of the other and I’m so glad that Trey will grow up around dogs. And a big dog at that! (Bella is 80 pound of love!)
Before Trey, Bella would sleep in our bed every night, get a least 2 walks a day (one for over an hour each night), go to daycare 3-4 days a week while we were at work, and go to the dog park every weekend! She had a sweet life! Now, her life has definitely changed. She doesn’t sleep in our bed anymore (but that’s because she would rather sleep in Trey’s room…my heart explodes just typing that sentence), she only goes to day care 1-2 days a week, and her evening walk has shortened from an hour to more like 30 minutes. She still goes to the dog park on the weekends although we don’t stay for hours like we did before. In short she’s not our only child anymore. ha!
The adjustment has been hard on her. Those first few months she was definitely depressed. I also was so focused on Trey and being a new mommy that she got very little attention from me. It was obviously unintentional but it happened nonetheless. Now I try very hard to still make her feel special. I try to love on her as often as I can. I try to let her know that there is room in my heart for her and Trey both. But it’s been an adjustment for us all. She definitely is not the only one in our lives anymore.
I don’t think all those people were right per say. I don’t think Bella is less important to me now. I think my friend, Belle, hit the nail on the head when she told me that the love I feel for Bella and Trey would be different. She was right. They both have very special yet very different places in my heart. They mean different things to me. Obviously Trey is my child and Bella is my pet…so things did change. Bella is not my number one focus anymore. But I don’t love her any less. I am not any less grateful for the role she plays in my life. She’s my Bella and I will always love her to pieces. And I squeal just thinking about her and Trey being BFF’s.
Being a new mom changes your routine. Being a working mom changes your routine. I frequently ask myself how did I think I was so busy before? Now that Trey is 4 months old I can say that Keith and I have fallen into a fairly predictable routine. I thought I would give you guys a peek into my life as a working mom and how I manage to fit it all in.
Monday through Friday my schedule pretty much looks like this every day:
- 4:20: Wake Up
- 4:30-5:15: Work Out (here is where having a home gym is a LIFE SAVER!)
- 5:15-6:10: Get ready for work and eat breakfast (take care of Bella: take her out, feed her, etc.)
- 6:15: Leave for work
- 6:30-3:30: Working (Our nanny comes at 8:15 each morning)
- 3:45 – 6:15: Mama and Trey time!!
- 6:15: Keith gets home from work, we eat dinner and Keith plays with Trey
- 7:00: Trey’s bedtime routine starts (let him play naked on his changing pad for about 15 minutes, he gets a bath and then he eats his nighttime bottle before going to bed between 7:45-8:00)
- 8:00-9:30: Hang with Keith, take a shower, get my lunch ready for the next day. I’m usually asleep by 9:30.
A few things to point out. First, I am incredibly lucky that we have a home gym. I am one of those people that isn’t going to work out at night so I have to do it in the morning. If I had to actually drive to a gym I don’t think I would so this is ideal for me. Second, I am also incredibly lucky that Keith doesn’t have to go to work until 9:00a.m so he does Trey duty every morning. Plus we have a nanny that comes to our house so we don’t have to worry about adding in a “getting ready for daycare routine” in there. Third, I am incredibly lucky that Trey sleeps through the night. He typically doesn’t wake up until 6:30/7:00 in the morning. But on the mornings when he does wake up while I am still home Keith takes care of it. In case you haven’t gotten it I feel incredibly lucky. I definitely could not fit everything in without Keith. He is like the daddy/husband of the year! I will say the hardest part is not seeing Trey before I go to work since he is typically still asleep but Keith Face Times me and that helps a ton.
I know I start my days SUPER early but I am a morning person. Always have been. In fact before Trey was born I used to work out at 4:30 before work too. So this is my normal. I get that most people think I am insane but I function really well in the morning. I am not a night owl. If I am ever up past 9:30 (even on the weekends) you should probably assume hell froze over. Ha! I am not a night person and really never have been. Ask my college roommates and they will tell you I was always the first one to call it a night.
On the weekends it’s different. Saturday mornings I go to the gym for Body Pump class at 9:00 and on Sundays I don’t workout at all so I typically sleep until Trey wakes up and I do the morning feedings on Saturday and Sunday and let Keith sleep in. It’s what works for us. And until Trey switches things up on us (which is bound to happen although I am DREADING it) this is how we will roll.
And just because I think this picture is awesome: Keith was working on our taxes this weekend and Trey was “helping”…ha! I wanted to say, “trust me buddy, my eyes get that big when working on taxes too.”
So there you have it…my working mom schedule. If you are a mom (SAHM or Working) what’s your schedule? I love knowing how others fit it all in too!
For those of you who don’t know (hi new readers!!!) I’m an elementary school teacher. 2nd grade. I feel that I’m lucky because I can honestly say that I am one of those people who goes to work everyday and really enjoys her job. Some days more than others (ha) but as a whole I truly love what I do.
Let me tell you for one stinkin minute what drives me crazy about my job. SCHOOL LUNCHES! For real, if you saw what comes out of the cafeteria and is passed off as a healthy balanced meal you would die. Or at least be very appalled. Here is what is listed on our school menu (written just as it is given to parents):
- Chicken Fried Steak w/ Roll (WG)
- Cheese Quesadilla (V)
- Southwest Chicken Salad w/Crackers
- Mashed Potatoes w/ Country Gravy
- Mixed Peas & Carrots
- Fresh Fruit & Vegetable Bar
Any guesses on what WG stands for? Um…it says the roll is Whole Grain and that V? Vegetarian. Let’s just say that if Trey is a vegetarian I sure hope he eats something better than a tortilla with a microwaved kraft cheese slice stuck between it.
Also, gone are the days where a cafeteria lady hands you a tray. No, now it’s about allowing the child to choose. Need I remind anyone that these children are 7. SEVEN!!!! They don’t need to be making those choices. Because let’s be real…what 7 year old chooses to put the peas and carrots on their plate. The “rule” is that the child can’t leave the lunch line without a main entree, a fruit, and vegetable on their plate. But they have a fruit and vegetable bar to choose from. So I’ve seen children walk out of line with a piece of chicken fried steak with gravy, a roll, 2 cucumber slices and an apple juice. The apple juice counts as the fruit and those 2 cucumber slices count as the vegetable.
Wait, Wait it gets even better!
We also now have something called snack privileges. Which means if your parents give you extra money in your lunch account you can buy snacks with your lunch. These include: full size ice cream treats (bomb pops, ice cream sandwiches, drumsticks, etc.), bags of chips, cookies, cinnamon rolls, fig newtons, etc. There is also no limit to how many snacks you can buy as long as you have the necessary funds.
So remember that lunch above? Now add a bag of Cheetos and an ice cream sandwich to it.
Disgusted yet? You should be.
It is awful what the kids eat for lunch every day. It makes me so angry. I feel like we have a responsibility to teach children good eating habits at a young age. Look at our society?! Does anyone really think the obesity crisis in this country is getting any better? We should be starting at the youngest of ages. Teaching it from the ground up when habits aren’t yet set in stone and hard to break. We aren’t doing these kids any favors by allowing them to choose their own nutritional needs at the age of 7. They aren’t mature enough to do that. We need to do it FOR them and that’s okay. These kids aren’t going to be scarred because they didn’t get to choose their own lunch in elementary school.
I know Michelle Obama has put a lot of effort into her Let’s Move Campaign and attacking childhood obesity has been a huge priority for her. But until we get the ridiculousness of school lunches under control and people really start taking the obesity crisis seriously in this country nothing is going to change.
Seriously I had the best weekend. THE BEST. I hung out all weekend with my two boys and we also got to see lots of grandparents this weekend. (Mine and Keith’s side) The weather was great, I got in some great workouts, spent some one-on-one time with Bella (poor thing has been great about losing her number one ranking in the household but I feel guilty sometimes!), and spent a lot of time outdoors. I am still smiling just thinking about how amazing the past two days were.
Trey is such a good baby and I love that God gave him to us. He is absolutely perfect and I am quite literally humbled on a daily basis that I get to hold him every day. Keith and I are definitely smitten.
I hope you guys had a great weekend and are starting the work week off in a good mood. I am armed with coffee in hand. Bring it on my little second graders; Mrs. Bruneman is ready to go!
Let’s talk about breast-feeding for a minute. Excited? Wait, Wait don’t leave. Hear me out.
Before I got pregnant I believed two things to be true:
- I would breastfeed Trey for at least 6 months-1 year
- I thought the whole judgement to breast feed vs. formula feed I heard about from other mothers was a little over dramatic.
Let’s just say those were two big assumptions that made a big old ASS OUT OF ME! Trey was not into the boob. He just could not figure out what to do, bless his heart. I ended up having to pump in the hospital so he could eat. I met with a lactation consultant several times and Trey and I both cried a lot of tears of over trying to get him to latch. I’m really not sure who cried more: me or him? So I settled into the routine of exclusively pumping and giving Trey bottles.
THAT WAS TORTURE. I hated it more than anything I have ever had to do in my life. I felt like I was missing out on bonding time with Trey, it hurt, it was time consuming and it required a lot of cleaning of parts, bottles, nipples, etc. and did I mention time consuming? I cried a lot and started resenting the fact that Trey had to eat!
Keith started talking about switching to formula and my first knee jerk reaction was NO! I felt like people would judge me and I also felt guilty. I felt guilty because I had a HUGE milk supply and was freezing milk by the bagful in addition to feeding Trey everyday. I felt like I would be quitting out of convenience and not giving the best to my son. Plus everyone and I mean EVERYONE asked me if I was breast feeding…which I quickly decided was a personal question that you don’t really have the right to ask.
Finally when Trey was 9 weeks old I couldn’t take it anymore. I started weaning. I was able to use half breast milk half formula for 2 weeks (thanks to what I had frozen) and then when he was 11 weeks old he went to straight formula. We’ve had to change formulas three times. We started on Similac Organic but that gave him a rash, we then switched to Earth’s Best Organic but that made him super constipated, and we are currently using Baby’s Only Organic (please cross your fingers this works for us!)
Trey has been trooper. He never once fussed about the change. He has always just willingly eaten whatever we’ve given him and I love him for being so easy and malleable with formula. I know that isn’t always the case. And me? I am so much better. I had to stop feeling guilty because I am a much better mom now that Trey’s on formula. My hormones don’t seem as out of whack and I am not resenting his need to eat and feeding Trey is no longer a stressful event. Switching to formula was the best and right decision for my family. 100%.
Should Keith and I have more children then I will absolutely try nursing first but if for some reason it doesn’t work out then I will make the switch to formula with much less anguish than I did this time.
So here’s my advice: Don’t ask a woman if she is breastfeeding because really it isn’t any of your business. That’s a personal family decision that is between a woman, her child, and her family. That’s it. I feel like there is so much judgement out there from moms and really it doesn’t matter what another mom does or doesn’t do because everyone’s journey is their own.
So regardless if you are breast feeding or formula feeding it doesn’t really matter. We are all just trying to do our best and be the greatest moms we can be.