We have survived my first week back to work (along with all the comments about the apparent "vacation" I was on.)
We survived, but just barely. This has been one of the longest, most exhausting weeks I can remember. And it was only a four day week.
I knew it would be tough.
Hubster and the boys have to be up an hour earlier than they are used to, in order get three boys dressed and ready, get Duck to his daycare, Bug and Monkey to the before school program, and Hubster to class on time. I have to wake up earlier, so that I have extra time to nurse Duck before I'm out the door.
At work, every moment I'm not working in the operating room, I'm pumping. Pumping sucks. I now have absolutely no free time, no down time. I had a friend who used to talk about pumping and breast feeding all the time. Now I totally understand why: it's because other than work, that's all I do.
The evenings are more hectic. There seems to be even less time between 6 pm and 9 pm. Trying to get homework, dinner, baths, laundry, dishes, nursing, pajamas, story time, all crammed in there is exhausting. Hubster and I knew that we would have to give up our evening television watching (we usually watch a show off the DVR together after the boys are in bed.). Turns out, I really miss it. I just want the down time, the unwinding time. But I have to get to bed, so I can get enough sleep, since Duck still wakes up frequently.
Tuesday evening, I was stressed. Wednesday evening, I yelled at the boys and then had a good cry. And that was only day 2.
Despite the stress, there have been small graces, little miracles.
Duck is well taken care of at the wonderful in-home daycare. Bug and Monkey are coping better than I have.
Duck went from waking up every 2 hours a week ago, to sleeping 6 hours last night. It may be a fluke, but right now, I'll take it!
This week has been a reminder to be patient with myself, to allow myself to not be perfect. I know that sounds a little ridiculous. But I have a tendency to be very hard on myself, to expect a lot from me. The fact that I'm not back to my pre-pregnancy body, that all our family dinners aren't homecooked and amazing, that I let the boys play extra video games so I could get extra sleep, that I can't find time to exercise, study, and clean, that the laundry and dishes and dustbunnies are piling up: I feel bad about myself for all those things. But I'm working on it. I'm going to be more patient with myself, to not freak out about the clothes that don't fit and the dinners served on paper plates.
Everyone gets fed every day. We read every night. There are clean clothes, even if they aren't put away.
It's been a tough week. But it's done. It will continue to get easier as we move towards a new normal. I'm just glad I don't ever to have to go through last week again.