Hey y’all! So I’ve literally started this post in my head for over a month now. The way my life has been set up the months of May and June, I just couldn’t get done. Between work, Karter in daycare and traveling twice, ya girl is TIRED. I wish I never used the word tired before having a baby. This is a whole different type of tired. I could go on and on, but I won’t bore you all with my fatigue.
During that period of “writing my blog post in my head,” I also went through about five different post topics. It’s like every time I was sure I knew what I wanted to write about, something else happened, and in my head (where I live) I was like oh this would be cool to talk about. Since my last post, I’ve experienced my first Mother’s Day, Karter’s first day of daycare, my first weekend away without hubby and baby, KD’s first flight and Rob’s first Father’s day. That’s a lot of firsts! So having experienced all of that, there’s one obvious and clear theme...first experiences. I won’t go into detail about all of these experiences, because y’all don’t have time to read all of that. Instead, I’ll focus on how I felt over these last few weeks of first.
I’ve always been a pretty grounded person when it comes to doing what I need to do to have a clear mind and keeping my energy positive. Lately, I’ve found myself not taking care of that. When it comes to self-care on the physical, I’ve maintained that. Bi-weekly nail appointments, wax appointments, eyebrows taken care of, even making time for massages and facials. That’s cool and all, but my spiritual and internal self-care has lacked. I was waking up in the morning and the first thing I would do is grab my phone, chime in on my group chats and scroll through my social media apps. On my commute to work, which is an hour, I replaced my podcasts and gospel music with the Breakfast Club (which I absolutely love), but I need a healthy balance and I’m usually good at balancing that. What I listen to and what I do sets the tone for my day. My diet...let’s just say it doesn’t exist. I’ve been eating every and any thing I want. I know last post I told y’all I would do better, but I haven’t. Now I’m sitting here nurturing a break out on my face. Oh and not to mention I got my first period post-baby. Damn it felt good NOT to get one for so long. On the other hand, it also feels good to know I’m not knocked up again lol.
About two weeks ago, I finally had a come to Jesus moment. I couldn’t keep making the choices I was making. I made the adjustments I needed to make to my morning routine, and I instantly noticed myself becoming more productive and my days becoming more intentional. No, I haven’t written down all of my goals for the rest of the year, all of my laundry is not complete, my e-mail inboxes are not at zero, but I’ve been able to actually complete one task daily. It’s a small win, but what I’ve learned as a new mom is that you have to celebrate all of the small wins. Everyday isn’t going to be nowhere near perfect, but if you even get yourself and the kids out of the door on time, you’re WINNING. And from that lesson, I also learned that when you can celebrate all of the small wins, you’re able to live in the moment and actually enjoy it. I’ve always been one to live in the future, which hindered me from enjoying the present. Everything for me was like a never ending check list, completing things and quickly moving to the next.
With all of these first experiences over the last few weeks, I realized I haven’t really STOPPED to take it all in. Time is moving fast and we don’t get those moments back. I’ve made a promise to myself to truly live in the moment, enjoy it, and forget about all of the things on my to do list. The list will always be there, things will always need to be done...and it will get done when it gets done. Dishes are done every night (thanks to the dishwasher) and my bathroom is clean. Those are my must do’s! The time I’m saving from worrying about all of the things I need to do, is now time I’m spending with my family and creating memorable moments. Before I know it, Karter will be walking, talking and then going to school. I don’t want to look back years from now and think “where the hell did my baby go?”
I hope that explains why I haven’t posted in so long and I will do my best to make sure it doesn’t happen again! I am unapologetically living in the NOW and I’m doing the things I need to do, to start my day on a good foot. There will be some days I succeed, and some days I’m sure I’ll fail...and that’s ok. Every morning we wake up, is another chance to get it right. More importantly, when my kid looks up at me, he assures me that I’m doing everything just right and meeting all of his needs (including still nursing at night through teething). Y’all pray for your girl!
So I’ve been back to work for a month now, and I must say I’m back into the swing of things. My transition back has been fairly smooth and my workload has been bearable. I even attended a few after work client events. Look at me, living and shit
The first two Monday’s back were an adjustment for KD, and I think the weekends threw him off. Now, he’s totally on board and on schedule. Every day, I run out of the office to catch the 5:00 bus back to Jersey. We have a large bay window in the family room, so I can usually see him in the window waiting for me as I’m walking from the bus stop. It makes my heart melt. As soon as I come through the door, we have an all out kiss fest. I have to steal all the kisses I want now, because in a few years I’m sure he won’t allow me to kiss him, especially in public.
He’s six months now and I’m still going strong with nursing. Pumping during the day is getting a little harder as work picks up. I literally have a recurring “meeting” set up on my calendar to remind me to pump twice throughout the day. Karter and I are still co-sleeping...as in he thinks our bed is his. We’d hoped to be done by now, but with nursing it makes my life SO much easier (I can literally roll over and pop my boob in his mouth during the night). He’s eating more solids now and I’ve recently started supplementing with formula to reduce the stress of having to pump a certain amount of milk each day. He’s still drinking 4-5 oz. at a time, so I spilt it with half breast milk and half formula. I’m not ready to give up nursing yet. It’s our thing, and I just love having him so close to me in my arms. As many benefits as it provides for him, it’s beneficial for me as well. It’s been my cardio LOL. I haven’t started working out yet, and I’ve been able to maintain my weight loss. I’m 15 lbs. lighter than my pre-pregnancy weight. My eating has been TRASH. I’m always hungry and I eat every and anything I want. I do understand that it’s time to get my life and that I won’t be nursing forever, so I really need to buckle down.
The other reason I began supplementing, was because Rob and I were going to Washington D.C. for a night, and I wanted to make sure KD didn’t starve while we were gone. It was our first night away from home since having him. While in D.C., we attended the Broccoli City Festival. Personally, I was uber excited to see Cardi B. perform. When I think about women killing it, Cardi B. makes my heart smile. I appreciate her always being her genuine self and not portraying to be someone she’s not. I’m not going to lie, when speculations first started about her pregnancy, I didn’t believe it. I was like “Damn Cardi is KILLING it right now, this isn’t the ideal time to get pregnant when your career is taking off.” But after those speculations were confirmed and I saw how happy she was, my thinking changed. Like why the hell not now. As women, we’re always waiting for that “right time” to have a child, or for anything in our lives for that matter. There’s never going to be a right time. We’re always going to want to have a better body, make more money, have a bigger home and the list goes on. Men don’t have those pressures. They can have a child at any point in their career and nothing changes. I’m sure post baby, Cardi is going to continue to work and excel in her career. That’s what being a Millennial Mamma is all about! Screw what society says, we can do whatever the hell we want and still take care of home.
As nervous as I was to leave my baby overnight, I felt good knowing that his grandmother’s were with him. They spilt the shift and he actually did well! Aside from waking up every three hours at night in search of boobs (rolls eyes). As soon as we hit the road to D.C., we were totally at ease. Mamma even started drinking on the road (no, I was not driving). It felt great! Especially to know that I didn’t need to save any milk I pumped that day, because I had enough breast milk pumped already and formula. Although we were only gone for a short time, it was like the good ol days before we had a baby. Riding in the car with loud music, singing along to every obnoxious lyric and taking trips down memory lane.
All in all, we had a good time day drinking, watching some good performances, hanging with friends and visiting one of our favorite D.C. restaurants, Lauriol Plaza. We were in bed before midnight, and it was heavenly. I enjoyed my first night of eight hours of sleep since God knows when. What I didn’t enjoy was being woken up super early because of engorgement. For those that don’t know what that means, it’s when you go a long period of time without nursing or pumping and your breasts are filled to the max with milk. Talk about PAINFUL! It literally feels like rocks are in your breasts and they are tender to the touch. If you do this to often, you can end up with clogged milk ducts or mastitis, which you do NOT want to experience.
The ride home seemed long as hell, but when we finally arrived we were so happy. Karter was excited as well, but after attacking my shirt to get to my boobs, he knocked out early. He’s usually asleep by 8:30pm, but he was asleep by 6:30 that day. I was fine with that, it gave me an opportunity to relax before heading back to work on Monday.
We’re going to San Diego next month, and KD is coming with us. We used to travel a lot, so we can’t wait to get him started. That’s a six hour flight...keep us lifted in prayer! It’s a night flight going, so I’m sure he’ll be fine. We’re already planning for two other vacations with him before the year ends. Can you tell we’re trying to take advantage of the fact that he flys for free until the age of 2? I haven’t had to travel for work yet, which is a good thing but I’m sure something will come up soon. That will be a whole other first time fear to conquer. I will be attending the SUMMIT21 Conference in Atlanta the weekend before we go to San Diego. It’s a quick 48 hour trip, and he’ll be home with Rob so I’m not really feeling any anxiety about it. I’m excited to hear from so many women entrepreneurs and meet some new people. I’m going to make it my business to attend at least one event each quarter to help build this Millennial Mamma brand. In the spirit of balancing work and play, a few of my sisters (yes, my really close friends are considered sisters), will also be in town attending, so I’m looking forward to catching up and spending time with them as well.
Rob is a little nervous that I’m leaving for the weekend, but he’ll be fine and so will KD. He’s done a fantastic job as the Manny (lol) these last few weeks. I always tell him that he’s aggy (aggravating), but I’m so grateful he made a sacrifice to take a break from work to care for our child for six weeks. There aren’t many men willing to do so, especially since Family Leave Insurance in New Jersey does not pay 100%. He hasn’t complained once, and although he goes back to work for a few weeks next month, he’ll also be home with KD part-time during the summer. That means we don’t have to worry about a full-time daycare bill until September. At that point, KD will be 10 months. We don’t always have things figured out, but we make it work. He supports all of my endeavors and he’s an awesome dad.
It’s finally warming up in NYC and the weather is great! I was pregnant last spring/summer so I’m having a hard time finding clothes that fit right now. I’ve also been so busy, I haven’t had time go shopping. I’m finding pieces in my closet here and there, but I need to grab a few staple pieces. I swear every time we’re in the mall, Karter is the only one who has a successful shopping experience. I seriously had to have a pep talk with myself to not buy him any more clothes. He doesn’t even go anywhere during the week LOL. I’m looking forward to enjoying the weather though, and getting him outside on the weekends. I feel like we don’t get enough time during the week, so the weekends are really important to me. I’ll also be finding time for date nights and girls nights throughout the summer. Both are important to my sanity. Speaking of the weekends, I’ll be on my first panel this weekend. Ironically, the topic is about millennials and moms! I’m a little nervous, but I think I’ll be fine. I’ll share my experience in my next post.
Next weekend is Mother’s Day. My FIRST ever, O-M-G. I’m not really planning to do much, besides chill at home and schedule some time for a massage and facial. Self-care is really important, and I try my best to maintain myself, even with a busy schedule. I get my nails and toes done on lunch at work, still make time to wax, and although I don’t get a facial every month as I’d like to, I find time to squeeze them in. We really have to take care of ourselves, in order to take care of our families. Making time is hard, but your mind and body will thank you later. As nurturers by nature, we sometimes feel guilty for putting ourselves before the ones we love. It’s ok, it HAS to be ok!
September 29, 2017. That was my last physical day in the office. After reviewing my company’s maternity leave policy in its entirety, I had it all figured out. I would work from home for three weeks and use my two weeks of unused sick leave to prepare for my November 3rd due date. In true Ebony fashion, the nursery wasn’t complete and my hospital bag was not packed, but in my mind I had two weeks to get all of that together. That plan ultimately FAILED! I had prepped all of my colleagues on the coverage plan I put in place, and on October 20th, I set my out of office on my work email address. By October 26th, I was in labor. The only thing I’d accomplished in those five short days was getting my hair braided and I put away all of my son’s freshly washed clothes. I actually had to stop at the local Kmart on the way to the hospital, for slippers. I didn’t want my husband to pick them out (because I had SO many options in Kmart lol), so we walked in together in between full blown contractions. 24 hours later, my baby arrived. Karter King Dilworth made his way into the world, via Caesarean section. Loopy and completely OUT OF IT, I took a first look at my baby, smiled, and closed my eyes. In that moment, I knew my life would never be the same again.