The last few months have flown by! Tommy is now TEN months old! He’s come to work with me full-time until the past few weeks. Now, he spends 1-2 days a week with Grandma. It’s good for us both as he gets used to being with other people and I have some more time to really focus on my work. I think it’s a great transition. Going cold turkey would be really hard!
As Baby Grows, Things Change
Things that have changed since my last post:
- He’s becoming more mobile.
- He’s dropped his third nap.
- Cleaning up after lunch is messy!
All of these things mean it takes a little more of my time to care for him at work. Newborns are a lot easier to just strap in a carrier and go.
I’m going to be frank here. On days he’s especially clingy, it does get difficult. At times, it’s frustrating when he wants my attention, but a spreadsheet does as well. It’s conflicting. I want to be a good mom, and I want to be a good employee, too. I understand why the policy is 1 year old or walking. The older he gets, the harder it’s becoming.
With my daughter (who was a preemie), I celebrated every milestone and looked forward to the next. With Tommy (who will be my last baby), I almost dread them. Obviously, I want him to grow and progress and be the best he can be, but I know with every milestone, our days at work together are numbered. It’s starting to feel how I felt at the end of my maternity leave with my daughter. I am really going to miss having him with me all the time, but it’s just not possible to sustain caring for a toddler in the office.
What I Love About Babies at Work
On the positive side, I have been fortunate to be present for many of his firsts. Overall, there’s a lot less crying on my part. I remember holding my daughter, Jane, at the end of a long day and crying because I missed her so very much. I hated pumping and the fear of not producing enough milk for the next day. Fortunately, I love the daycare my daughter attends, and I know they will take great care of Tommy, too.
I really feel blessed to have the best of both worlds. I’ve been able to work and spend time with my baby. Soon, he will be ready to socialize with more babies and learn so many new things.
Even on a tough day, it’s 100% worth it.
Making Babies at Work, Work
Here are a few things that have made bringing Tommy to work easier for me.
Most afternoons, you will find me sitting on the floor in my office working on my laptop while Tommy plays with toys. He’s happier if I’m right next to him.
It takes a village.
Luckily, people who work at Cotton Babies love babies. He spends time with a lot of different people in the office and has since he was itty bitty. He knows them and happily goes to them. Sometimes, mama needs a break. Don’t be afraid to ask for help!
Change the scenery.
Some days, babies get fussy. I usually blame teething as the culprit. Figure out what makes baby happy. A happy baby means mama can get some work done. If he’s just not having it, I’ll pack up his blanket of toys and move to another department. It’s amazing how a new view can change his outlook.
Babywearing for the Win.
Babywearing helps so much. It keeps him close and I can get work done. Whether he’s snuggled up for a quick snooze or we’re walking around the building getting stuff done, baby carriers are a must. My co-workers tease me because I have a bit of an obsession with baby carriers. My favorites are my Tula, XOXO Buckle Wrap, and my ring sling.
Naptime is necessary.
For my kids, it seems there is a direct correlation between happy bellies + enough sleep and their mood. If they are hungry (read: hangry) or tired, their moods quickly deteriorate. Getting good, quality sleep is a must, especially if babies at work will become part of your daily routine. I keep a playpen in my office and when it’s time for sleep, I turn off the overhead lights but leave a dimly lit lamp on. Tommy gets his Wubbanub pacifier and I turn on some white noise. I use a free app for naps at the office, but at home we use a Dohm sound machine. Creating an environment that allows baby to get good rest is incredibly important.
Why I advocate for babies at work
As I near the end of my journey of bringing my baby to work, I’d highly recommend other companies allow their employees to do the same. It’s an amazing benefit that I wish every new working parent had the chance to take advantage of if they desired to do so. Going back to work after having a baby is a big adjustment, and taking my baby with me made the transition easier for the both of us. It appears we’re easily going to meet and exceed my goal of breastfeeding for his first year. In the beginning, I had 2 children in cloth diapers, and I happy to report it is possible to use cloth diapers for both kids while working fulltime. Besides the emotional benefits, I’ve literally saved thousands of dollars by having him with me instead of sending him to daycare. I am so thankful I found a job a company that values families and supports working mothers, and I plan to work here for a long time.