Well, it is day 5 of week 1 back at work, which means we’ve made it!
Ellen was a star at school, for the most part, napping and playing like an angel. Her weak spot remained taking bottles, but towards the end of the week she started to show some improvements there.
The teachers tried a bunch of tricks to get Ellen to eat. Everything from sticking the bottle in their armpits so it was in a similar position to a breast, to varying the temperatures of the bottles, to spacing the feedings out differently, to holding her different ways, and beyond! But the only trick they tried that seemed to help was holding one of my dirty shirts while they fed her so she could smell me.
We know she knows how to take the bottles, because she will take them from me, so stinky, dirty laundry introduced me back into the equation even when I wasn’t there. Good thing the teachers are so open-minded and didn’t seem weirded out by snuggling a dirty shirt!
Ellen was still a bit inconsistent even with the stinky shirt, so at her teacher’s request, I did order a bunch of different bottles to try (like…12 of them), just in case a different nipple might make her happier. She has been trending in a positive direction, so we’re going to keep at it with the same bottles a while longer, and I am keeping the new bottles in reserve. But I have a feeling I’ll get to return all of them because Ellen will figure this eating thing out if we let time work its magic.
As for me, I’m settling into being a working mom-of-two pretty quickly. I’m pleasantly surprised by my mind’s ability to adapt, and somehow I’ve gotten through this week without any major blunders or breakdowns on either the home-front or at the office.
Ellen is sleeping decently most nights, which certainly helps with my ability to cope. As does my survival instinct, which I think kicked in because of my anxiety over how I would manage. But I think the best thing has been my two work-from-home days.
Yes, they’re filled with working. But I am able to get laundry and dishes done, I can prepare dinner (in the crockpot, for example) during the day, and I even ran to the store during my lunch break on Wednesday and picked up groceries. Without my two work-from-home days, I don’t know how we would have ended up clothed, fed, and stocked up! We probably would have ended the week naked, surviving on water and DumDums (I have a surplus after Halloween) eaten off of paper plates.
Knowing how little time I have, and how much I need to do, every second is precious. Gone are the days of lounging around in the evenings. Also gone are the at-home lunch-breaks where I catch up on a TV show. I have to use all my available time to get things done and keep the house running. Actually, I should say “we”, because Kyle is in the same boat. He’s amazing and has been cooking dinners, doing chores, and wrangling kids right alongside me.
Maybe someday Kyle and I won’t be living parallel to each other, and we’ll actually get to spend some time together… maybe…
I have never felt more productive. And honestly, the high and the adrenaline are preventing me from slowing down and feeling exhausted. I’m like an Energizer Bunny this week! I’m sure the fatigue will hit me someday, but for now I’m just grateful that I’ve not only survived the first week, but absolutely nailed it. No blowout, tantrum, after-hours work call, traffic jam, or pantry supply shortage can get me down. Not this week!