In June we welcomed our baby girl with open arms, warm tears, and lots of smiles and cuddles. The last couple months have been a whirlwind of sleepless nights, feedings, diaper changes, and naps all on repeat. But the most incredible part is how beautiful she is, how smitten we are, and how much learning we are doing daily.
When I last wrote you it was in preparation and the Propel team was ready. My assistant Sarah was about to take the helm of my inbox, processes and systems were being put into motion, and our little world was eagerly awaiting this precious soul.
We thought we were ready… but what *IS* “ready” when it comes to first time parenting and a brand new life?
It’s a thing. The way we’ve been learning lately is full force with no breaks and barely enough time to come up for air for survival. In my life I haven’t spent much time around babies. Ok, let’s be honest. I’ve never been around babies. In fact, I’m pretty sure the only diaper I ever changed before our little girl arrived was ONE of my niece’s diapers some 8 or 9 years ago.
So, everything has been an uphill lesson in patience (mostly with ourselves), researching all the things, and learning her specific needs.
For example: I never knew a baby didn’t just “take” a pacifier or a bottle. Oh no, you must teach them how to take it – and that could take 10 weeks. Do the math on what THAT means. Or that babies don’t just fall asleep for naps, you have to actively put them down on regular rotations depending on their age and sleep cues. Sleep cues? Had no idea. Or that sometimes you have to teach babies how to like a car seat or bath time. Yeah. Lessons learned.
And there are at least 50 other things I had no clue about and which no one told me going into this journey. Our society and system prepares you for pregnancy and giving birth, but what about coming home with a new human who is trying to adapt to life outside their wonderfully warm and constantly nurturing womb? We were ill prepared, but thankfully Kevin and I were learning together.
According to Strengths Finder my third highest strength is being a Maximizer, and that has certainly shown itself during these precious first months. Yes, I’m learning how to be flexible, but I’m also head of the consistency department, and I must also be productive (hello dishes, laundry, pumping, showers for mama, or just snuggling baby). AND I have also found SO MANY suggestions for these baby product creators! Let me tell you, I have feedback for you!
Such as: the Boppy is a brilliant nursing pillow, but who hasn’t thought of putting a handle on the covers? Or, why would Hatch put controls for their sound machine on the BOTTOM of the unit when you’re cradling baby (aka no hands) and it’s supposed to be pitch black in the room when putting baby down?
I tell you what, I’ve got so many letters to write to so many companies. But instead of spending my time doing that, I’ve been savoring every single divine moment with this little bundle of joy, wonder, sass, and love. She is the most precious gift we’ve ever been given and I wouldn’t trade a single cry session for one email or hour in the office.
GEARING UP FOR MY RETURN…
(& what that looks like now)
This amazing new role of motherhood I’m embracing isn’t a full time job. No, it’s a 24 hour a day, 7 day per week commission. A responsibility not to be taken lightly. I marvel at women who somehow manage to go back to work weeks or even days after their baby arrives in the world. Maybe it’s my age or the fact that we have waited so very long, but I just couldn’t do it which is why I’m so glad we planned a four month leave.
When Kevin went back to work at 5 weeks I realized just how 24/7 hands on I needed to be. Day and night, it is two hands, eyes, feet and ears on deck. And trying to coordinate a quick phone call around her nap ‘schedule’ is a joke. I never know if she will sleep for 20 minutes or 55, so good luck planning a conversation. Heck, I started this letter 6 weeks ago and am just now finishing it.
All this in mind, a few weeks after Kevin went back to work we began looking ahead to my return to work and we realized I can’t come back to work in the same capacity I was in before. That’s because it is more important to us that our gift is raised and cared for by me rather than a nanny.
Now, that doesn’t mean I’m not here for the clients I was serving prior to June and I’m certainly NOT closing Propel down. It just means we’re going to extend my maternity leave through the end of 2022 and not take any new projects or clients besides those already in process. Come 2023 we will reassess and see where our daytime and nighttime routines have landed and go from there.
For now, I’m coming back slowly, getting caught up and maneuvering work around naps, feedings, play time and required snuggles. And when we catch-up again it’ll be with a baby on my hip.
It is with an incredibly grateful heart that I publish this letter today. Without my team, clients, referral partners, and friends like you this amazing adventure we are now on wouldn’t be possible. So THANK YOU!!! I’m humbled and overjoyed to be doing what I love and now with a new twist.
Thanks too, for following the continuing journey!
To the next “free” minute,
(Business Advocate, Bosslady, CEO, & now Mama)
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