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That Was a Hard Day

Well, my maternity leave is over.

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Last Friday was my first day back in the office. All week I was dreading it. I was anxious, I was sad, I had nightmares several nights about pumping at work. I bawled my eyes out for a few days leading up to. I snuggled Logan until he was like “mom, give it a rest!” I just couldn’t believe our time was up. 🙁

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Friday came. My alarm on my phone didn’t go off for some reason but thankfully I had a built in alarm clock for 6am — Logan! But it was not a good start to the day. Nothing seemed to be going right but I finally got out of the door and made it to work on time. Carrying a crap ton of stuff.

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A coworker left me a card and a little gift that was really sweet. Everyone was really supportive and understanding. I was able to hold it together (for the most part) and honestly I was so busy it was a good distraction and the only time I started to feel sad was when I was pumping and had quiet time to myself. Michael sent me a photo:

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I thought he looked sad. Then he sent me another photo:

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All better! Back to his sweet self.

So in a lot of ways it was easy to be back in the office. I was busy enough, but not overwhelmed, and could be distracted. It was nice to be working again and using my brain for something other than baby talk and changing diapers 🙂 — as much as I love doing that with Logan. Just knowing myself, I know that being home full time wouldn’t be best for me. As much as I want it to be.

When I first talked to my boss about maternity leave and options she brought up the idea of working from home part time and working in the office part time. She told me a story about someone she worked with years ago at a different office who came back from maternity leave and cried in her office all day for a week and then finally just packed her shit up and left, no notice, just quit. She couldn’t handle it. I remember hearing this story (when I was 8.5 months pregnant) feeling awful for that woman and then thinking that while I’d be sad, I didn’t think that would be me…

Fast forward to last week. Crying for a week! Instead of relishing every single second with Logan during our last week home I kept focusing on the sadness. And I got it. I understood what my boss was telling me.

My boss has been amazing in her support for family bonding, for breastfeeding, everything. These are issues that she feels strongly about and I am so grateful for that.

So the downside to work? Pumping at work kind of sucks. I was in a room that unfortunately didn’t lock and twice people attempted to come in. Then my boss saved the day and told me to use her office when I needed to pump. It really is a stressful, anxiety-inducing thing to be pumping at work (at least for me). I felt really vulnerable and not having a truly private room stressed me out! But, using my boss’s office I was able to pump the rest of the day with no issues.

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I was able to drink a lot of water throughout the day. I pumped three times while at work. I didn’t eat enough and was really hungry but too busy to eat. That’s not good, I need to work on that!

Despite the rocky start to the day, it was actually okay and I did alright. I remember my job!! It was like a muscle memory thing. Once I started doing it again it all came back to me and I was able to do it without thinking about it. So that’s good. I got everything ready for working from home and (crossing my fingers that technology works at home) am ready to get started!

Friday afternoon I got a little surprise delivery:

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Flowers delivered to my office from Michael! It was so incredibly sweet and thoughtful and it really made my day (and made me tear up a little bit at the thoughtfulness). It was so wonderful!

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I was supposed to be off work at 4:30 but stayed late to get my laptop up and running (it took all day unfortunately). I raced home, anxious and excited to see my little guy! And kiss my other guy. 🙂

I asked Logan if he forgot about me and if he missed me and he giggled. We nursed and I smothered him in kisses and then Michael made the evening even better than it already could be and got take out sushi!!

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Love me some spicy tuna! I’ve been craving sushi lately, too. Opened a bottle of wine and I cuddled with my little guy. So all in all, it was a pretty good day, despite the bumps in the road and the heartache of leaving Logan all day for the first time.

I feel prepared to go back to the office. I think it will be okay. I’m almost looking forward to it in a weird way. Having a schedule, structure and routine is basically my entire life. 🙂 So going forward I will be in the office two days a week and home three days a week for the summer. Michael will be working from home those two days, so that’s awesome. I feel so incredibly lucky and fortunate that we have this opportunity for our family!

Season Changes

It’s getting darker. And colder. The leaves are changing and falling from the trees; pumpkin everything is around us; and it’s almost time to drag out those sweaters. The seasonal changes can be a challenge for some people. I know that I definitely notice a change with the seasons.

My fitness changes a fair amount with the time of year. During the late spring through early fall, I don’t go to the gym very much. My focus changes to cycling or hiking, or running outside. The weather is too nice to be stuck in a smelly, stuffy gym and I’m usually training for an event.

Once October comes around, it’s too dark and cold for me to bike to work anymore so I hang up my cycling clothes and stow my bike for weekend rides only. I also head back into the gym to resume consistent weight lifting and swimming.

I definitely suffer from Seasonal Affective Disorder. Some years it’s milder than others, it really just depends. Here in Portland, the constant gray and relentless rain can often last from December through May. That sucks. The rain is what gets me the worst. I try my best to avoid the winter blues. Exercise definitely helps!

And of course, there’s also the problems of the holidays. Surviving Halloween season is always a challenge, even years later. The temptations of Halloween and Christmas candies everywhere you turn is enough to derail anyone trying to lose weight! Did I mention Thanksgiving? PIE!! One of the things that has helped me keep off 100 pounds–year in and year out–even during the holidays is that I don’t quit what works. I keep exercising on a regular basis. While my activities may change with nasty weather, my consistent routine does not.

Lately I’ve been craving comfort foods: casseroles, mac n’ cheese, pasta, soup and grilled cheese sandwiches…basically carby things! I’ve been resisting thus far, or making a lighter version of the things I crave. I had a bowl of tomato soup with a piece of toast with cream cheese on it for dinner one night instead of the grilled cheese sandwich. It satisfied the craving (temporarily at least). Making “skinny” versions of the things I crave is what helps the most. One of the websites I’ve used a lot is SkinnyTaste. She has a ton of “lightened up” recipes for things like casseroles.

So do you struggle to stay on track during the darker months?

Is it harder to get up in the morning and get yourself to the gym?

Are you less motivated to workout after work when it’s dark and cold?

How do you change that? For me, what works is forcing myself to keep the normal fitness routine. It helps stave off the winter blues, it makes me feel better and keeps me healthy. I know how much better I will feel if I do it, so I do it!

It seems overly simplified, but it works. I wrote a post about how I track my food and exercise. Using something as simple as Google Calenders to track my and plan my workouts keeps me motivated, makes me feel accomplished and it makes it hard to BAIL on it. It’s on my calender. I’m going to do it!

This is not to say it’s always easy, but putter along taking the exercise and food one day at a time.

QUESTION: How do you deal with the changing seasons? What is the hardest struggle? Food or exercise?