Browsing Tag

daycare

working mom

3 people you need to boost your friend count

June 30, 2016

When we were younger we were told to ‘use the buddy system!’ The same is true for when you become an adult and especially when you become a parent.

There are three distinct friends every working mom needs to cultivate…

  1. A friend at work
    1. Fact – you’re at work A LOT. So find someone who shares a kid around the same age or similar child rearing philosophies. Grab lunch and talk about struggles around work/life balance or preparing for/returning from maternity leave. Share great deals you’ve found, talk about your favorite products or how weird it is when co-workers ask you about your bottle sanitation bag in the microwave like it’s a cool new meal that they’ve not yet discovered. You will always have a willing listener for your stories and viewer of your pictures.
  2. A friend at daycare
    1. Your kid knows their kid, and more importantly LIKES their kid. Strike-up a conversation at drop-off or pick-up, or do what I did and leave a note for the teacher to pass along. You’ll be glad you hooked-up. Not only is it great for the kids to continue their relationship outside of daycare (they usually know how to play together which is an added bonus!). But you will also have someone else to talk about the happenings at daycare – why a director left, get the skinny on specific rooms and teachers, learn which kids are teaching yours potty humor, etc.
  3. A friend in your current circle
    1. One great thing about longtime friend who also has a kid is that you have a history that predates your offspring. You can talk kids, or talk work, or talk relationship, or talk about weird shit you wouldn’t dare mention to anyone else, or NOT TALK AT ALL because you just get each other. Your relationship endures even though you now sometimes have little people in tow.

I’m the first one to say ‘ugh I have enough friends’ but trust me, you’ll be glad you reached out.

working mom

it’s not a threat, it’s a promise

May 28, 2015

Our little guy has had a rough go of it lately. He’s been a little off. I think he maybe picked up a bug going around school (aka daycare) which has made him a bit more irritable. He’s also waking up WAY TOO EARLY and we’re trying to get him back down for the extra sleep he needs. (Easier said than done). He may also be going through a bit more of an attachment phase. All of which has created the perfect storm in an approaching 2 year-old which has lead to a boy that will cry at the drop of a hat. (Dad puts a shirt on – he sobs. We put yogurt in a bowl instead of giving him the GIANT container – he sobs. You get the idea…)

That said, leaving the house and being dropped-off at daycare has been on the list of unpleasant activities as of late. The kid that enthusiastically kissed me goodbye and went with Dad into the car, then popped out of Dad’s arms at daycare to play with his friends before even getting his coat off is replaced by a crying clinging little boy.

You know it’s bad when my husband basically passes off duty on me for a day, and by ‘pass’ I mean ‘forces duty upon me’ by all but refusing to take V to daycare. So I, by default, got drop-off duty. (To be fair, my husband does literally 98% of both drop-off and pick-up, it’s VERY RARE for daycare to see me – likeever – so I figured I could step-up this one time).

Let me preface this by saying that I’m pregnant and hormonal (a card I typically do not play but when you read about my display and subsequent response you’ll understand why).

Getting out of the house was not a problem. Got in the car and drove to daycare without a hitch. Walked through the door and into his classroom… this is where the problems started. He didn’t want me to go and was jumping for me to pick him ‘up! up! up!’ when I set him down to pull off his coat. I decided to sit with him and figured that would get him acclimated to the room and he’d be good for me to go. He was not good to go. Every time I even mentioned getting ready to leave he started sobbing. I say sob because most of the time V doesn’t just cry he full on sobs – very dramatic this one. It was heartbreaking. I could feel tears welling in my eyes. Finally I had to rip the band-aid off and place him in the arms of the teacher and head out the door. I cried the entire way down the hall, out the door and in my car for a good portion of my commute. I literally couldn’t talk about it when I was at work because it would cause me to cry. It was the worst. No wonder my husband didn’t want to drop him off!

Then again it doesn’t help matters that work is particularly challenging which piles onto my stress level and really was not an attractive activity to have to leave a sobbing toddler for. I would have much rather been hanging with him than dealing with things at the office. After this particularly trying day both on home and work front I was spent. Later that night when my husband returned home we were chatting about the day. (I use the word ‘chatting’ loosely it was more like me venting intensely and him patiently listening to me). I told him, in no uncertain terms, that if he wanted me to be on drop-off duty for V again I would literally walk into work and put in my notice. This was not a threat, this was a promise. I literally can. not. do. it. A bit dramatic? Yes. Far fetched? Not so much.

routine

morning routine 12/14 months

December 9, 2014

Quite honestly one of the best things about little Dan V getting older is that he’s becoming more predictable. Yes, things fluctuate and change here and there but as a whole we’re figuring out more regularly what makes this guy tick. Our nights and mornings are so much better for it.

We made the switch from formula to milk around the 12 month mark and anticipated a fight. V seemed to be none-the-wiser. Formula, milk, whatever – he’s on board to drink it. We also began to go down to two bottles a day. One in the morning and one in the evening before fully getting V off of bottles altogether.

I was terrified that V was going to throw a fit in outrage. But we removed the evening and morning bottle between 12-13 months from our routine and he didn’t balk at all. He also seamlessly switched to sippy-cups and hasn’t looked back since.

So now for our morning routine, it goes a little something like this…

  • 5:30 – I could get up and go for a run (the operative word is could)
  • 6:15 – Dan IV gets up for his run
  • 6:15 – I make a cup of coffee then jump in the shower and put on my make-up
  • 7:00 – IV finishes his run, brings breakfast for Baby V upstairs and jumps in the shower
  • 7:00 –  I open the door to V’s room and say ‘Good Morning!’
    • He’s normally stirring and opening his door is just the kick he needs to get up and start his day
  • 7-7:10 – We cuddle in the rocking chair in his room to wake-up
  • 7:10/15 – Diaper change, get dressed for the day
  • 7:15-7:30 – Play and have a sippy-cup of milk and cup of blueberries in the bedroom/bathroom while IV and I finish getting ready
  • 7:30 – IV and V say ‘buh-bye’ to me as they head downstairs for socks, shoes and coats then out the door to daycare

There you have it, our typical morning routine to get the boys out the door and to daycare on time. As our routine shifts, I’ll be sure to post the different nuances. Personally, hearing routines of other parents has really helped us employ different things and determine what works for our family.

– JLVR

P. S. In case you missed it, check-out this post for morning routine 8/9 months.

routine

prepping for daycare

November 4, 2014

As this picture demonstrates, having a tiny human and attempting to get out the door with said tiny human each morning can be an interesting exercise. For any working parent time management is a constant struggle, especially in the beginning when mornings feel particularly unpredictable. One of the best things we did was get into an evening routine to prep for daycare because the last thing we wanted to do in the morning is give up any precious minutes of sleep! Plus, prepping at night takes the pressure off of the morning routine. This was especially important when baby Dan V was little-little, the more time we had with him in the morning the better.

Our routine wouldn’t be complete without the products we used on the reg. Below is a breakdown of the gear you’ll need to make your mornings run smoothly…

Bottles

Bottles stressed me out. There’s entirely too many choices claiming to be superior – it’s all so overwhelming! Before Dan V was born I was obsessed with getting different types of bottles, fearful that he’d reject each and every one of them and go on a hunger strike. Little did I know that my V was motivated by food in general and didn’t so much care which bottle/nipple combination it came from. I ended up spending a ton of time returning all of the different types I purchased.

Whatever bottles you settle on you’ll want to be sure you have enough for daycare and some to spare. That way you can get a nice rotation going without having to wash/dry/reuse the same bottles over and over. If you at least have a two-day supply you can get in a nice flow between washing/drying overnight and those you’re prepping for the next day.

LV – Since the Medela Breastmilk Storage Solution items were the ones I actually opened and washed I felt committed to using them not only with my pump but to feed Dan V. Quite honestly I think V would have eaten from anything I gave him. These just happened to be first so we went with it. I’m glad we did, we had a constant flow of ready to fill bottles. No need to wash, dry and fill the same ones we used for that day.

 LEAVE – In theory this Calma® nipple from Medela sounds awesome, in practice it’s the most ridiculous thing I’ve ever seen and have NO IDEA how this could be an elite design exclusively for breastmilk feeding.

Labeling

Avery Easy Peel Clear Address Labels

Avery Easy Peel Clear Address Labels

Letting my freak flag fly on this one. I’m obsessed with organization and loved using Avery Easy Peel Clear Address Labels to name and date bottles and food for V. Print off some clear labels with your little one’s name and the date to save time labeling multiple bottles by hand. It’s a small thing but can have a big impact.

Cooler Bag

Cooler Bag

Cooler Bag

Honestly most accommodating cooler bag we use on a daily basis is one we received for free as a promotional item. It doesn’t have to be fancy, it just has to work. Something like this is great – it holds bottles and baby food perfectly and can be prepped and kept in the refrigerator the night before.

Bringing it All Together

Disney Reusable Shopping Bags - Mickey, Goofy, Daffy

Disney Shopping Bags

You’ll need an easy way to transport your baby’s things to and from daycare. We use a reusable shopping bag featuring Goofy that we received as wrapping for a shower gift. It’s the perfect catch-all for V’s needs. We can throw his bed sheet and blanket in there along with a change of clothes* and cooler bag.

* Don’t forget to have both an extra sheet/blanket and an additional set of clothing on hand at daycare, in the beginning especially. Our little guy was a came home a few times in daycare clothing – let’s just say they’re not the most fashion forward. 

Honorable Mentions

 

You’re going to be washing and drying a ton of bottles. We loved The First Years Spinning Drying Rack because it holds a lot and takes up very little space. We also loved the Playtex SmartBrush Baby Bottle Brush. It’s no scratch and the nipple brush screws into the handle ensuring that you always have easy access.

There’s no hard or fast rule on what products will work for you and your routine, but those listed above really made our lives easier. They don’t have to be fancy, they just have to work!

working mom

hand-off fail

September 10, 2014

IV is usually both drop-off and pick-up duty for V. It’s rare that I have to do either, and I am so grateful for it. The other day, IV had a golf outing so I dropped off V on my way to work and picked him up in the evening as well. He’s been a little more attached to me lately which is a swing from what was happening a few months ago when it was all Daddy all the time. This makes hand-off to anyone a little more difficult, let alone to daycare.

I tried to get down on the floor and play with him a little, get him into some toys as a distraction. He wasn’t having any of it so I gave him a hug and kiss and told him I’d be back later as he was already wailing. It was full on scream-cry with tears, and it was horrible. Leaving him like that is rough. The only thing that makes it better is having a busy and productive work day so I can feel like my leaving him was for a purpose. Days like these are tough.

working mom

my baby is making me sick

September 4, 2014

Can you remember the last time you had Strep Throat? I can, and it was not once but TWICE THREE TIMES in the last 9 months. The one thing I’ve learned from Little V being at daycare is that germs travel fast and both their and your immune system will take a hit. When five first went to daycare my husband and I came down with all kinds of little sniffles here and there. In addition, I was taken down by Strep within the first month of him being in daycare. I remember clearly being in a client meeting shivering and barely able to talk, thinking to myself “Wow, my throat is really sore! I don’t remember the last time I had a sore throat!” I powered through the meeting and ended up taking the remaining few hours of the day off of work to head to doctor to get checked-out. Mind you, I’ve not taken a sick day in the three years I’ve been with my agency and in countless years at my prior employer. The doctor confirmed what was my suspicion that I FOR SURE had Strep. It was the worst. My husband graciously offered to get my medication that evening and came home with the wrong prescription, I literally cried. Illness sidelined me for a few days, and because of it I not only could not be a functioning member of our household but on the work front I missed a new business pitch. It sucked. Recently a girlfriend of mine missed a get-together because the same thing happened to her. Baby’s first month in daycare = Strep for Mama. Be prepared to get at least to catch a little sniffles no matter how much you try to avoid it with hand washing, vitamin C, etc. Those darling kissable babies are covered in germs waiting to make their way into your system.