We got through my first full week back at work and I can honestly say it went a lot better than I thought! We had a lot of changes this week, including our schedule, Johanna starting new foods, Cookies routine changing dramatically, etc. Naturally, the first day was the hardest but knowing that Johanna is safe and being cared for is what I kept reminding myself. I had it in my mind that this was going to be sad but I proved myself wrong this week. It was a true reminder of how strong and hard working I am. Leaving your baby for any amount of time is always hard but reminding yourself of why you are leaving them (for work and a bright future) makes it easier to get through the day. I'd say the next thing I was worried about most was our routine in the mornings. Now that I have 3 people to take care of including Cookie I have to make sure I give myself enough time to get snuggles in and get us out the door on time. Most of the preparing is done the night before. It takes me back to my childhood when we would set our clothes out for school the night before. That's exactly what I've been doing. If your like me, you change your outfit 10 times before you leave the house. I have no time for that anymore so I have to make sure these kinds of things are done before we go to bed. I set out my clothes, Johanna's clothes, make all her bottles and pack her bag, pack my lunch and set the coffee the night before. This cuts the morning time down a lot, giving me more time to snuggle with her before I leave. I'm truly amazed at how great this morning routine is actually going. I thought maybe the sleeping thing would get in the way. Johanna consistently wakes up at 5:30 am and while I thought this was so annoying, it's worked out to my benefit. I get up early enough to pump milk, have some breakfast, shower, get myself together, feed Cookie, let her out and snuggle with her a bit before Johanna wakes up. By this time, all my attention is on her instead of rushing to get myself together. By the time she wakes up we still have time to feed her, dress her, snuggle her, etc. I will admit one day this week I attempted to sleep 10 more minutes but I learned that was a huge mistake. We weren't late but it did cause a hiccup in our routine. I'd say this is probably the most important thing for going back to work, at least for me. I'm kind of a routine snob and I need things to go the same way everyday or else I'll forget something or leave something behind. When you have a baby, leaving something behind is awful! During the day, I get lots of pictures and videos from the daycare or her Grandma (whichever one is watching her). This really helps relieve anxiety and helps me focus on work and not if Johanna is okay or not. Both are extremely understanding of my “first time mom syndrome.” In my head I seem crazy but they have been great about this. I can imagine as time goes on and things get easier, I won't be so adamant about the pictures, videos and text updates about her all day long. For now, this is what motivates me. By the end of the work day, I'm ready for my girls! This week I didn't plan anything for the evenings. Sometimes our schedule can be jammed packed but I wanted to make sure we had nothing to do except go home and get an evening routine down. Remember, I'm a routine snob sometimes. Luckily, my job isn't too far away but the traffic this week drove me insane. I kept in mind the fact that it was Thanksgiving week so the traffic was worse than it normally would be. I felt the anxiety as I drove to go get her. All I wanted was to hold Johanna. As I got closer to her daycare, I got super excited like a kid on Christmas morning. Seeing her confirmed that she was okay and that smile she gives when she sees me really is a game changer. It just reminds me of how much we love each other and how grateful I am for the past 6 months of bonding time with her. Our evening routine has been working just as well as our morning routine. We eat, play, Johanna gets a bath and story time, we snuggle and she goes to sleep much earlier than she normally would. I'm assuming because she is so entertained throughout the day, she's exhausted by evening time. She has even been sleeping through the night. There was only one night this week that she had a tough time sleeping, which I found out the next day was because she was getting a cold. Not fun at all! As you can imagine, this put a damper in my week. Not only was I leaving her but now I was leaving her sick! Luckily, the next day she was with her Grandparents which was a lot easier for me than her being at daycare sick. I knew she would he cuddled all day which reassured me that going to work while she was sick was okay. Calling out the first week is not a great idea so this worked out great for me and for her! It was also Thanksgiving day which bothered me a bit. I felt like I was going to be missing Johanna's first Thanksgiving. Not that she would even know the difference. I was off early enough to have a little bit of time with her and family for Thanksgiving and take pictures of her in her cute little Thanksgiving dress. Because of the type of work I do, our schedule will change a lot. All I can do is keep things as routine as possible even with the changes. When I say keep them routine, I mean for Johanna. My routine will be a lot different but I will try as hard as possible to keep things consistent for her. I don't think she will mind at all as long as she keeps a full belly and sleep time, she's a happy girl. Every day on the way to daycare we pray in the car. And every night we pray before we go to bed. This helps with all the changes and getting through them as they come. Prayer is powerful and this is how we have managed to get through all the new things thrown our way! I'd love to hear your stories about changes in your routine and going back to work! Also, we are so excited that Mama has Christmas Eve and Christmas Day off of work! Cheers to that!