27 Weeks & Life as A Working Mom

 

I just thought I’d check in with a bump date. I’m 27 weeks. I’ve finally given up on wearing scrub tops at work, and resorted to stretchy long-sleeved shirts, and loose fitted tops. I also caved and bought a belly band, for the back pain. The baby moves nonstop and that’s my favorite part. At night in bed  when everyone is sound asleep I like to keep my hand on my belly and just feel the movement. It has become our special time that I look forward to every time I lay down.

 

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I recently had to start sticking myself and document my glucose levels, along with what I eat. It’s a pain, but I remind myself that it’s all for the baby. I had a scare when my youngest was born his blood sugar kept dropping and he almost had to be sent to the nicu. So I’ve been habitually checking myself and setting my timer for 1hr after each meal.

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My husband put the crib together and bought some curtains for the nursery. We finally picked a paint color together. I want a really airy light gray, that doesn’t look blue. The other color of the decor will be a specific color that we will reveal later. I’m just really excited to see it all come together. The kids are getting more and more excited to meet the baby, and asking lots of questions on how much longer. I’m starting to feel the nausea again and have to take phenergan a lot. My eating is still sporadic because sometimes I’m just not able to eat anything.

At my appointment last Friday they did another ultrasound and growth check. Baby Martin is 2lbs and 3oz all heart issues have resolved miraculously, which is a huge answered prayer. And for the first time I’m hearing, “Everything is measuring right on track!”

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Seeing that precious face really puts things in perspective for me. It reminds me that it’s all worth it even through the nausea and vomiting. It’s amazing how technology works, and I’m so grateful for this image they were able to get. I printed it out and tucked it in my Bible to remind me of how far I’ve come with this sweet baby. I remember the er visits in the early weeks, getting iv fluids, weak and weary. I would lay in the hospital bed imagining what this baby would look like. So seeing this image pushes me to fight through even harder.

My 12hr shifts in the er are hard some days, but I work at a desk and am able to bring a heating pad with me. There are just some days where I guilt myself and really miss the kids. But for us in this season having both my husband and myself working is what’s best for our family. His job allows him to work around my schedule. I have one long work week and then one short week. And I’m seasonal so I get all summer off while still having a paycheck so it definitely has its perks. It’s just exhausting between work, pregnancy, and home. On my off days I try to pour in a lot of time with the kids and be intentional, but you know how that goes sometimes…chaos!

On my off days my husband still gets the three older kids dressed and ready for school and packs their lunches. Depending on if I have worked the night before or not I will get up and help and see them off + help with the girl’s hair. Once he gets them on the school bus he then takes our four-year old to preschool on the other side of town. Luckily her school is on his way to his job which makes it easier for him. Maybe an hour or so later my youngest wakes up eager and ready to start the day. He gets the dog bowls for me while I let our dog Sadie outside. I then put her food and water out and make breakfast and some coffee.

After breakfast we usually just lounge around together. He will play while I sit and read some in my Bible or write. But on most days he’s right by me pulling out all my pens and trying to “help.”  He will climb all over me, or accidentally spill coffee. I’m just learning to embrace that because no matter what I want him to see me continuously trying to read my Bible and not to make him feel like a distraction to that. Sometimes my prayer time may look like reading small chunks of a devotional. I usually keep some devotionals in the magazine rack I have hanging in the living room for easy access. He’s in that stage where he wants to be independent but he can’t do everything and gets frustrated. He’s very hands on and climbs all over me, so my reading and writing time varies.

On days that I need to get stuff done like grocery shopping we will go and then head out to pick my daughter up from preschool. It just makes it easier and a lot faster doing grocery shopping with the two of us, and I go to the store that’s less than two minutes from the preschool so it’s all on the same side of town.

Once we are back home we usually have about an hour until time to walk up to the bus stop. In this time I make lunch for our youngest and a snack for my  daughter. I talk to her about her day and I try to be intentional with that time. My favorite part of my off days is being able to walk up to the bus stop and greet them. They run up and hug me and greet their two younger siblings, and we walk back the house which isn’t far at all. But I just take in the view of them with their backpacks jogging together with a two-year old wobbling in the middle excited to see his siblings and I just feel really grateful.

When we get in they hang their coats and back packs up and of course immediately ask for snacks. After settling in we talk about their day, and then they all run to play in the playroom. In that time I do some light cleaning, disinfectiing, reading, or check over things in my planner. I may do a load of laundry or have them do some of their chores like; checking the bathroom trash cans to see if the bags need to be emptied and replaced with a new bag (we use grocery bags). Sometimes they will go out in the back yard and swing while I sit on the deck. But if it’s a day that I’m really feeling sick and take my nausea meds I will rest on the couch and they all gather around and we just watch tv.

It’s all about grace.

There are days when I have to split them up because the bickering gets to be too much. And by the time my husband gets off he starts working on dinner, because he enjoys cooking. Some days I do surprise him and have a meal already ready, but cooking isn’t one of my strong points. We have dinner together then it’s time to go over school stuff. It’s easier to go over my son’s reading log with him when my husband is home because he can be with the other 3 while I can listen to him read and then log it on his paper. We all then get together and check through folders for any other info, and sometimes my kindergartener will have some extra work she has to finish.

There’s usually extra time to just be together with no plans just simply being together on the couch. The kids tell us stories about their friends and school. They get loud and try to talk over one another so we have to remind them to be respectful and speak one at a time. Baths are started, while my son takes a shower. After pjs, and hair is conditioned it’s time for bedtime. They clean up the playroom and then settled into bed. Once they are in bed I will catch up on things,  spend time with my husband, or watch some TV. But right now most nights I try to read some and just end up falling asleep too exhasuted to do much of anything else.

This is just the gist of our days. Weekends that I’m off are a lot more unstructured, because my husband doesn’t have to work at all. We can all go out together and do bulk shopping at Sam’s, a fun outing somewhere, run errands, or really just whatever as a family. I’m also off every Friday which is also another day for us that’s unstructured where we can just go with the flow.

Every other Sunday that I don’t work is my favortie too, because after church we sometimes do brunch or come home eat, and just hang out. It’s a day of rest for us, but also for our bigger laundry loads. I then lay out school clothes for them, because it’s just easier for my husband to have outfits laid out for them.

I do want to add that not every day goes like this. There are times when my husband gets off and I’m just so touched out, and exhausted that I run straight for the bedroom just to breathe or out the door.  I’m human and sometimes I just get overwhelmed. There are tears shed(sometimes by me or the kids). Especially when the kids start arguing, messes, yelling, whining, tantrums, etc. The daily mundane stuff can really wear you down if you let it. Some days are just plain hard, like hard to the point where I have my own meltdown.  Not everyday goes as planned, and you need to know that I’m a normal mom that needs grace constantly.

There are some days when my husband has to stay over and on those days his mom comes over. Or on some days she comes over on her off day just to hang out with the kids while I rest. And there are some Fridays where she comes to take two of the kids home with her to spend the night. It really just varies. But I’m truly grateful for her and my mother, having them both close and very active in the kid’s lives is a blessing to us.

I also schedule my OB appointments for early morning off days. I take little man with me and he’s usually really good in the stroller for the most part. His favorite part is the ultrasounds, he doesn’t quite understand but seeing the baby and all the movement holds his attention. Afterwards we grab lunch and then head to pick up my preschooler.

Now my work days are different.

My day starts off the same, but I don’t see the other three only my youngest (unless I get up at 6:30 to see them off to school). I try to rest more on these days before work. But getting ready for work is like a marathon between my youngest and the dog. They are all over the place and I try to keep them in the bedroom with me while I’m getting ready. Shower, work clothes, makeup, while trying to keep my two-year old out of my stuff. Once he got my foundation all over his face, and dumped out my makeup powder while I was trying to get dressed.

He then of course poops in this whole process every time it never fails. So in between changing him, finishing getting ready, the dog manages to get into something or run off with his dirty diaper. Or she sneaks into the playroom and brings down the kids toys to chew on. It’s a hot mess on my work days, and I haven’t figured out yet how to make things run smoother, maybe lowering my expectations would help a lot. Once my husband gets there I barely get to see him before it’s time for me to head straight to work for the whole day.

I absolutely love the people I get to work with in the emergency department, but the job itself can be really exhausting some days as any job really. I’ve had people on my Instagram message me thinking I’m a nurse, and I thought I’d clarify what I am here. Nurses are truly amazing, but I am not one. I am a health unit coordinator. I started this job fresh out of high school only by having taken medical terminology in hs. I’ve only been in the er for 3 years at the most now, and let me tell you it’s like a whole new world. I think I love the atmosphere the most, but there are really sad days, days where I go home and just have to peak in on my kids watching them sleep and just cry with gratitude. It really puts things in perspective for you.

I answer a lot of phone calls, like a lot! But there’s usually always two of us so we work as a team so I’m not the only one doing all of this stuff we help each other.

But here’s a more in-depth description of what I do, click here .

It’s really constant and fast paced, and some days I do fall into the guilt tripping when I see other moms home with their kids. I don’t think I’ll ever find a balance but I think that’s the thing about motherhood. It’s more like a dance. One we all do so differently. Some days we two-step through gracefully to the beat. While some days we stumble out of rhythm with all the moves. But everyday it’s still a dance nonetheless. 

On my long work week by the end I find myself really exhausted, and cranky. Some days can just feel so busy and nonstop, I can barely catch my breath.

In the midst of all this I am thankful for my husband. I do not do all of this alone. On my work days he does all that I listed above on his own. I know it can be frustrating sometimes when he’s trying to go over reading with one while the others are running around. But we are a team and he helps so much. Oftentimes, I get asked, “Who will watch the new baby when you work?” And I tell them that my husband will, along with our other kids. He doesn’t “babysit” them, they are his kids too and he understands that. He helps with the laundry, dishes, etc.

I want our kids to see that it takes teamwork. Is it easy? No! Do we disagree and have arguments? Yes! Sometimes he forgets to sign off on folders when I work, or forgets other things. But so do I! He gets them up every morning, and when I’m too sick to help he brushes the girl’s hair back in pony tails and sends them off for the day.

Raising little ones and pouring so much time into them, sometimes means that we  don’t make time to just be together as a couple. But this year I do want to be more intentional with that. And I do want to do a huge shout out to single moms doing it all alone, or moms that have partners that have to travel, military, etc. I see you!

It looks different for everyone, but we are all just doing our best.

 

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