A Letter To My Baby Girl

Sweet Taylor,

This time next week I’ll be back at work, and our sweet time of being together all day, every day will have ended for now. It went by way too fast.

These have been the 15 best weeks of my entire life, and I don’t want them to end; If I could freeze time, or put it on a loop so that I could continue experiencing the joy and wonder of getting to know you these last few months, I would. We spent mostly simple days together, learning how to be a mama and baby, but they were absolutely perfect. I will treasure every minute of this precious quarter of a year forever.

Figuring out how to meet your needs has been the most challenging job I’ve ever had, but the one that has given me my greatest sense of purpose. I had the privilege to change hundreds of your diapers, nurse you whenever you felt hungry, and comfort you when you [and sometimes I] cried because we were both getting used to everything being so new/disorienting. I spent countless hours just watching you in awe, and sometimes disbelief, that I really get to be YOUR mama. I haven’t been perfect, but I have tried my very best to take care of and love you well.

IMG_0494
It has been amazing to watch you literally grow and change every day. I loved “chatting” with your 8 pound little self after reading stories on the big bed in your room. I was so thankful to you for the gift of rest when you slept through the night at only six weeks old! I felt as if my heart would explode when you unexpectedly giggled for the first time on our walk to Starbucks downtown – I’m waiting to hear that again. Even when I knew I had things to get done, I chose to nap with you in my arms in the middle of the day – I would let them go numb because I didn’t want to move and wake you.  I was so proud of you when you discovered your hands and the things they could begin to do – you’re so smart!
IMG_3417
When your cute little side smiles turned into big, whole body grins I absolutely melted.
IMG_2888
I felt so excited when one day I rolled you over and you pushed up from your tummy and happily looked around at your toys after screaming for 12 weeks every time we tried…I can’t wait for you to figure out how to translate your crazy hip thrusts into a roll or something – please save that for a day I’m home, okay? Every day it’s something new and exciting with you, and my heart swells with pride.
IMG_3145
In a week I go back to work, though thankfully part time so that I have more time to be with you. It’s going to be tough on both of us at first, but I also know that you’ll love having special time with Grammy, your Daddy is working at home and can play with you during the day, and that you’ll meet new friends at your daycare. I hope you’re inspired by and proud of me someday for being strong, independent and successful; when you grow up I want you to take advantage of opportunities and pursue your dreams, education, goals and passions just like I have. But the most important thing you should know is that I love you to the moon and back; Thankfully, I do like my job, but I LOVE being your mama more than anything in this world.
IMG_2658
Since your birth I have spent almost every hour of every day by your side, and never once did I wish to be anywhere else. Know that when I’m not with you, each second I’ll wish I were.
Every day of maternity leave my full time job has been to make you feel like you are the most loved baby in the world. I PROMISE you that job will not end because I go back to work – that’s for life!
I love you with all of my heart, and I can’t wait to continue getting to know you every day and being your mom. It is such an honor.
Love Always,
Mama
P.S. I’m so thankful to your daddy for making it possible for me to take this time off to be with you, and learn how to be your mom. He supported me every day in many ways [filling my water bottles, giving me a yummy glass of adult grape juice, playing with you in the middle of the day so I could take a shower, etc.]. He loves you so much, and I know he would do anything for you. When you smile, his faces lights up with happiness. I’m so glad he is your daddy and my husband. We both love you so much.
Mamas, I would love to know how your transitions from maternity leave back to work went. What helped with the adjustment? Leave me a comment – I would really appreciate your advice : )

Working Mama’s Workday Routine – Pumping & Breastfeeding

A sample schedule of a working mom who pumps at work in order to maintain a breastfeeding relationship with her baby.

I’ll say up front that I’m pretty much OCD when it comes to organization  [e.g. I make crazy timelines and spreadsheets for things that don’t require them]. Organization is a large part of what makes me good at my job, and most of what drives me crazy about myself because my wheels never stop turning…. So, naturally, I’ve outlined a routine for work days in order to feel more confident about returning in a week [waaaaaa!] and making sure Taylor is set up for success when I’m away from her.

Figuring out how to pump & breastfeed while working is going to be a challenge, but it’s something that I really want to continue to do for my daughter. I’m incredibly fortunate to have the opportunity to go back to work on a part time basis for this first year as a transition, have a hubby who works from home, and also to have the help of my Mom {Grammy} who will watch Taylor two days of the week. Anyway, I hope my OCD-ness can help my fellow working mamas navigate your returns to work, whether you are pumping/breastfeeding or using formula to feed your babe.

I utilized the sample “Baby Sleep and Feeding Schedules” from Baby Center. There are schedules for 1-12-month-olds with stay-at-home or working moms who either exclusively breastfeed, exclusively pump or formula feed. If you’re looking for something like I made below, this is a great resource!

IMG_4982
My pumping bag, believe it or not.

Here is the approximate schedule we’ll keep for workdays:

Workday Routine: Breast-feeding + Pumping Mama of a 3.5 Month Old

4:00 a.m.: Nurse, put the baby back down to sleep, leave the monitor with hubby, pump, then get ready for the gym.

4:30 a.m.: Mama gets in her workout at the gym or out in the garage. Or, work on blog stuff.

6:00 a.m.: Mama starts a load of laundry, showers and gets ready for work.

6:30 a.m.: Baby girl wakes up and watches her mobile until Mama is finished getting dressed and readying bottles for daycare or Grammy.

A sample schedule of a working mom who pumps at work in order to maintain a breastfeeding relationship with her baby.

7:00 a.m.: Nurse.

7:20 a.m.: Out the door to drop baby off at daycare by 7:30 and/or head to work if Grammy is coming.

8:30 to 9:45 a.m.: Baby [hopefully] naps.

9:45 a.m.: Baby eats 4-5 ounces breast milk. Mama pumps at work around this time.

IMG_4717
Comotomo – a great bottle for breastfed babes

11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.: Baby [hopefully] naps.

12:30  p.m.:  Baby nurses or eats 4-5 ounces breast milk. Mama pumps at work during lunch or goes to daycare/home to nurse.

2:00 to 3:00 p.m: Baby [hopefully] naps.

3:00 p.m.: Baby eats 4-5 ounces breast milk. Mama pumps at work, if possible.

If I could go back and do it again, I’d snag this tote for my pumping bag/purse. Click on image to shop!

5:30 p.m.: Mama picks up baby at daycare or returns home if Daddy got her earlier.

5:45 p.m.: Home, nurse.

6:00 p.m.: Put pumped milk in fridge, freeze any extra milk. Baby takes a catnap or has playtime with Daddy.

6:45 p.m.: Start bedtime routine – bath, change into overnight diaper & pj’s, read a book, swaddle, sing Good Night song.

7:00 p.m.: Nurse. Baby falls asleep nursing or needs bouncing on the yoga ball [unless we decide on some type of sleep training, at which point we would put her down drowsy but awake to fall asleep on her own, I think!]

7:30 p.m.: Baby [hopefully] asleep by this time.

7:30 to  9:30 p.m.: Mama prepares pump bag/daycare bag/bottles and lunch for the next day, lays out workout & work clothes, and folds dry laundry [thanks Hubby!]. Reheat prepped food [Sunday/Tuesday], order in or crockpot for dinner. QT with Hubby.

10:00 p.m.: Bedtime

4:00 a.m.: Wake, nurse, baby goes right back to bed. Start all over again : )

You can see exactly what I pack in my pumping bag and how I pack it in this post.

Working Mamas, I want to know – how do you structure your week days? How do you get in your “me time” and maintain balance?

xo, Ashley (1)

Other Ta[y]lor-made Mama posts you may be interested in:


A sample schedule of a working mom who pumps at work in order to maintain a breastfeeding relationship with her baby.