Real Mom Sh!t – Part 4

#RealMomShit: A laid-back, working mom who believes in an equal partnership between her and her husband when it comes to family responsibilities.

How many kids do you have and what ages?

One boy who is two and a half and one more on the way! 

How many months or years did you breastfeed for and did you enjoy it? Did you ever feel guilty or judged about the length of time you breastfed for?

I breastfed for 2 years. The first few weeks after our son was born were super challenging and probably the hardest thing I have ever gone through as a mom. I had trouble with latching and major chapped nipples. Between trying to get him to latch, pumping to keep up my supply, barely sleeping and worrying about anything and everything, I was a total mess. I worked really hard at it and after about a month it got much easier. It is very convenient when the baby is hungry and you can just pop them on the boob wherever you are, haha. After the first year, I think some people were surprised to hear I was still breastfeeding but I never really felt judged. For the last 8 months, we did it at night before bed, so not around anybody who would be judgmental. I actually felt really guilty for cutting him off at 2 years (crazy I know), but after a week or so he had forgotten all about it.

Do you breastfeed after having a few adult beverages? Or do you “pump and dump”?

I definitely breastfed after having a couple of drinks. For the first three months or so I was a bit more careful. I would feed him and then have a drink right after I finished. But soon enough I just drank whenever I wanted and breastfed whenever he wanted. In my opinion, the positives of having breast milk and a happy, relaxed mom far outweigh the negatives of a touch of alcohol in the milk :).

At what age did you start feeding your child solids and how did it go?

I tried starting around 6 months and it was a disaster! He had no real interest. It was so much work to make all these tiny portions and then have him reject pretty much all of it. He finally started eating a bit around 8 months, but only when we spoon fed or hand fed him like a baby bird. Meanwhile it felt like all the other babies around us were all eating so well! Around 10 months or so he finally started to pick little pieces up and feed himself. Full disclosure, we still spoon feed him way more than we probably should because he likes it, it is faster and not as messy.

When did you go back to work after having your baby and what would you say was the hardest part of going back? 

 I went back after around 11 months. The hardest part was probably the lead up to going back. I was really worried about sending our little guy to daycare because he wasn’t walking or crawling yet (not even close). I was also anxious about returning to work after so much time away. Would everyone have forgotten about me? Would I have work to do? Would my clients return to me? Once I started back at work, life got so busy and all those fears went away!

Do you enjoy being a working mom? If so, what do you enjoy most about it?

Yes, I definitely enjoy it! It is hard sometimes to juggle it all, but I am not built to be a stay at home mom. Sometimes I look forward to Monday when I can sit in my office in silence, reading emails and drinking my coffee in peace, haha. I enjoy having a career and a little guy to come home to at the end of the day :).

Do you have any advice to future moms who are going back to work after their first child?

Don’t worry too much beforehand! You will get into a routine after a while and it will all fall into place. Also, if your child is going to daycare, be prepared to take a lot of time off at the start due to sickness. For the first six months, our little guy was constantly sick (fevers, pink eye and soooo many colds). However, eventually it levels off.

What happens when your child is sick and can’t go to daycare? Who stays home?

If our little guy is sick, whoever has less going on at work at the moment will stay home. I have more work flexibility so I probably stay at home a bit more.

How do you split family/household tasks between you and your partner when you both are working? Are you the primary caregiver?

We split tasks pretty evenly I would say. I do mornings and daycare drop offs. My husband picks him up. He makes dinner and I feed the little guy. We both do dishes, he does bath time, and I do bedtime. I do most of the laundry. My husband does most of the food shopping. We have a cleaning lady every two weeks so that helps a lot. On occasion, I have to work late so my husband will take care of the routine. We still bicker about who should do what sometimes, especially after a long day of work, but overall it is an equal partnership when it comes to family responsibilities, and I can’t imagine how I would function otherwise. If both spouses are working full time then it makes sense to me that they would both share in household tasks and child rearing, after all this is 2020 not 1950!