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Mom to Summer

Office Manager & Boutique Owner

Maternity Leave: 5 months

Childcare: Family

What did you struggle with most about returning to work after having your kids?

I found it extremely intimidating feeling like I needed to teach myself quickly how to pump while at work because I knew I needed my nursing relationship with my baby to stay as strong as it did while I was home with her for 5 months! I was SO anxious! I read blogs, medical journals, you name it in preparation for figuring out how many times I needed to pump so that I had enough milk to leave for her to drink while I was gone the next day. There were so many trials and errors....many times I realized I was completely out of milk storage bags halfway through my pumping session, I would sometimes on occasion forget my actual pump at home. I would feel so frustrated.

Pumping became a job and I began to feel that my coworkers almost saw it as a "break" when in reality it was a constant game of "will I have enough milk for Summer tomorrow?" "Why am I only pumping one or two ounces today when I should have at least 6!?" Many times I wanted to just quit because the anxiety of providing enough milk while working to a 100% nursing baby who never has had to drink formula was beyond stressful.

What do you find difficult about being a working parent?

I find it extremely difficult and very sad for me to feel like I am not present for many of the milestones or new developments my baby girl is reaching because I am busy being an extremely hard working mama for her. I feel slightly heartbroken that her first word was not mama. I feel crushed when my mother tells me about all these amazing new things she does and sometimes I already knew about them, and other times I pretend I have seen them and they are old news when they are not. :( I work 40 hours a week as an office manager Monday-Friday. I have been there for almost 10 years! However, on the month of her first birthday in July, I decided to launch my online baby girl boutique (Blush + Oak Baby Co.) which was such a nerve wracking experience in itself taking that leap of faith that this is something I wanted to do, but could make the TIME to do. I felt so torn because I already felt SO busy. I felt like I was cheating my baby girl of the little time I already felt I was able to spend with her after working all day and getting to see her when she was already slowly winding herself down to go to bed for the night and is not in the greatest of moods as she is getting tired. Many times I have prayed, cried, and asked God to stop me from keeping myself too busy because I don't have the guts to say no and stop myself from attempting to be an over achiever. I guess I have both of my parents to thank in that department as they have worked ridiculously hard their entire lives to show us an amazing work ethic and I will always be proud of them for that.

What do you enjoy about being a working parent?

Our little shop has been slowly growing and my baby is one of the models I use for the outfits we sell and it has been such a beautiful experience that aside from photographing her for our business, I also get to photograph her for just ME, as her mama and I love making her smile and know that one day she will see these photos and realize how much love we surrounded her with at all times.

Aside from that, one of the biggest things is providing our baby girl with stability in every aspect of her life. Whether that be financial, relationship stability, or anything else in these areas. Being a working mama allows me to leave the house and come back home ready to love on her because I have missed her endlessly throughout the day. I also absolutely love connecting with other moms of adorable baby girls via our Instagram platform and feeling like we are all in this together when it comes to raising our gorgeous babes to be beautiful young ladies one day, even it is baby girl fashion bringing us all together. I truly feel like I have made some great friends so far by owning this business and I am so grateful for this opportunity I have been given.

After being back at work for some time, have your views about career and family changed?

I am realizing slowly that being present is the best gift I can give my baby girl and that has meant sacrifice on many other levels for me that I would have not considered before.

What did you choose for childcare, and how has it been for your family?

My mom retired a few years early from the school district to care for our baby full time!

The PROS: My mom adores our baby girl as if she was the only grandchild in her life. She cares for her as well, if not even better than she cared for me and my two siblings growing up. She allows Summer to be in her complete element at home and let's her play with everything she could possibly think of that is baby friendly till her heart's content. Being Summer's caregiver gives her a sense of comfort and I absolutely feel at peace that my baby girl is being raised by someone who loves her with all her heart.

Now for the CONS: My mom and I have VERY similar personalities. We can the best of friends but we can also butt heads at times as has happened many times when our baby girl Summer has been in the middle of it all. This being my first baby and having to work so much, I feel that the least I deserve is to be able to make certain calls in regards to what she is allowed to eat most importantly. Many times we have gotten in big arguments because

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