Academic Leigh Speaking

A professor, four kids, and a crash course in work/life balance

How I Hate Forgetting Stuff January 5, 2010

Filed under: Family Life — leighj @ 9:46 pm
Tags: , , ,

I love being home. I even enjoy going back to work, but as happened in the fall, I’m not as good about getting everything together before leaving the house. For instance, today, I made a mental list of things to tell Sarah before she arrived. I needed to warn her, for instance, of exactly how fast Seamus can get from Point A to dangerous, scary Point B when you’re not looking. I also needed to brief her on new eating habits, etc. As I left the house, I thought, Wallet? Check. Breast pump? Check. Coffee mug? Check. Phone? Check. Etc. I even went through all the COMPONENTS of the pump before leaving the house. And sure enough, at 11:30 today, I realized I had forgotten the tubes that connect the pump to me. So I’m still not home and this is the major reason I’ve decided to severely limit my pumping when I return to work full time in a couple of weeks.

Seamus will be starting University daycare: we’re so happy about having the time to do some work, get in a run, and not be quite so stressed. However, a major source of stress for me in the fall was how frequently the daycare wasted my breastmilk. After much hand wringing and waffling, I’ve decided to quit pumping in the afternoon. If that means they give him a bottle of formula, well, I’ll just live with it. To be clear, I’m not quitting all together, just that mid-afternoon feeding. But, I tell you, I’ve felt like a bad mother over it, but I think now, that it’s for the best for all of us.

What I’ll be doing instead! I’ll be writing Chapters Two and Five of my dissertation. I’ll be taking what I hope is a super awesome rock climbing class on Tuesday afternoons. I’ll be going for a run with Patrick on Thursdays. We’ll be picking Seamus up on the bikes at least once a week. I’ll be napping occasionally (since someone still wakes up a couple of times a night). It’s a decent trade.

What Seamus will be doing! Playing with other children. Exploring toys that we don’t have at home. Being in a completely child centered environment. Playing on grass weather permitting (if you’ve seen our yard, you know that this is a big deal).

So I guess this post is misnamed. I really mean to tell you how I have to keep remembering that decisions that seem tough or uncomfortable really are the best decisions for our family. And that’s stuff I like remembering.

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4 Responses to “How I Hate Forgetting Stuff”

  1. John T. Says:

    Are you going to teach him what to do when another kid pushes him? Or what if he gets “framed” for pushing someone else? All the joys of starting school…

    • leighj Says:

      We’re going to teach him to not be a doormat, but not to be aggressive either. Hmm…striking another balance. Aargh. (And I know you might disagree about him not being aggressive, based on earlier behavior with X.)

  2. With my first, I was working full time and trying to pump in the bathroom on breaks. It was not an ideal situation, so he was only breastfed until 5 months old. He is also by far my smartest and healthiest child. So there, people-who-insist-you-have-to-breastfeed-if-you-want-smart-healthy-kids. He does have allergies, though.

    And for the record, my other two were breastfed 10 months and 12 months respectively, and I loved every minute of it.

    • leighj Says:

      Thanks, Erin, for you words of encouragement. Pumping for extended periods of time is really difficult. Break has been so nice, because I haven’t had to!


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