The Oregon Tale » Our Adventure Journal

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This post has been in my heart for quite awhile. Part of me feels selfish for writing it, because even with our struggles, we are still so blessed. With that said, we are all feeling our feelings from our individual point of perspective, right?

Lately, life has been kind of shitty.

Before getting pregnant, I was confident that having a baby would fit perfectly into our life. With me working from home, we’d have a gentle transition into being working parents, and Alba would be comfortable at home. I thought I’d be able to work during her naps, and be able to maintain my level of concentration and care for my clients. Soon after returning to work, we decided to hire a nanny. Glory! It was wonderful to have some solid chunks of uninterrupted work time. At the end of each day, while I still had items on my to-do list, I was able to close it down, and return to mom life. As time has gone on, I’ve slowly realized that I’m losing control of the balance I so desperately hoped to have. I no longer eat dinner with my family every night of the week, because I’m eating at my computer. I miss my sweet Saturday morning cuddles, because I wake up at 5:30 to get some extra time with my projects. With this extra work time, I am losing my personal time. I am not making much progress with my projects. It’s a horrible feeling to always be behind. My business thrives on referrals from my past clients. When I make them wait way longer than anticipated, or don’t meet promised deadlines, I look like an asshole. Plain and simple. I am losing my joy.

This weekend, we made a really hard decision. We spontaneously decided to visit an open house for a new infant/toddler day school, and as soon as we walked in, I wanted to cry. I knew it was perfect. Each room is perfectly curated to give the babies and toddlers room to explore, learn, grow, and interact.

Starting the first week of March, Alba will be leaving the house four days a week. It breaks my heart, but I know that this is where my joy will be found. I will regain a full time schedule, and be able to dive back into the work I love. The decision was met with so many questions, like: Will she be sad? Will she think we’re leaving her? Will we be able to handle it? and Can we actually swing this? All of the answers are starting to become more clear. We can do this, and this is seriously an amazing opportunity for Al. She will have classmates that she’ll grow with. Plus, happy parents make a happy home. Our time together will now be pure joy … no carrying the guilt of unfinished work.

We’re still very much still figuring out how it’ll all work. I don’t know how to handle the first week. I’ve already had some feelings of inadequacy and abandonment (hello, crazy mom brain!). We had to give notice to our amazing nanny, which brought its own feelings of guilt. It’s all so hard. It’s hard going through change. It’s hard having to let other people down. It’s hard to know that my baby will no longer be at home all day. It’s hard wondering if we’re making the right choice.

I’m thinking a lot about the book “All Joy and No Fun” — That title truly sums up this experience. Parenting is a motherfucker. But hey, those sweet moments are just pure perfection.

I’ll take any good vibes and well wishes as we navigate through this next chapter of life. As the warmer weather is creeping in, I just want to feel happy and fulfilled. I want to be the best mom and wife I can be, and these hard decisions are part of my journey towards my goal.

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  • Brittany - You are doing such a good job! Honestly, even without a kid balancing working from home is hard. It’s weird to draw those boundaries and actively shut off that part of your brain.

    One of my favorite bloggers (Elise Joy) has written a lot about her decision to put her daughter into daycare. If you haven’t heard of her you should absolutely take a gander through her archives, this is a good place to start: http://eliseblaha.typepad.com/golden/2014/10/this-is-my-business-story-part-ten.html

    I have no doubts that Alba will flourish and that you guys will flourish and that it will all be good.ReplyCancel

    • The Oregon Tale - Thank you so much for the sweet words. AND, thank you so much for introducing me to Elise Joy’s blog. It’s amazing!!! I hope we find the same success with choosing daycare.ReplyCancel

  • Jessica Glynn - oh my gosh I can relate. I actually Googled “can a baby forget who it’s mom is?” before I went back to work after having Austin. Seriously. I was so worried. So your fears are valid, I’ve been through them.. and even though I don’t have an expertise other than having 2 kids in full time daycare.. I can say… it will be better than you thought. She will thrive, learn, make friends, learn amazing social skills, gain independence.. not saying she wouldn’t learn these things at home.. but these are just a few of the amazing benefits of group care. It is hard sometimes for sure. I still get sad on certain days.. days I don’t want to be away from my kids.. but you are very right in that Mommas need to find and have their joy too. Mine is having a career and “adult” time. I’m a better mother because of it, and you having your joy and yourself thriving will reflect on Alba positively. She will not only grow up with a happy Momma, but she will see you and know what an empowered working woman is.
    Email me anytime you need to talk or vent about being a working Mom with a little one in group care. :-)
    lots of love!!ReplyCancel

    • The Oregon Tale - Oh my goodness!! You rock it. You are a super-mama, and I look up to you. Thank you so much for the encouragement!!!ReplyCancel

  • Josh - Hey friend. I love you. Just want you to know.ReplyCancel

  • Heather - The transition will probably be harder on you than on little Al. You’re doing what’s best for you and your family, though, so after the first week, it’ll be so much easier. I am so grateful for a day care center that both of our children have thrived in. Being a SAHM was never an option for me, and to be honest, I really enjoy the time I have to just be away at work. The kids have friends and teachers that they love and they learn so much every day and do crafts that I probably would never think of. I think it makes the time we have together that much more special. Admittedly, though, there will always be days when I feel like I’m not with my kids enough, but in the long run I know it’s best. Your happiness is so important because it will make you a better mom, and what else can you ask for? Love and light!ReplyCancel

    • The Oregon Tale - That’s the key!! My sanity will make me a much better mom & wife. Hugs to you!ReplyCancel

  • Lindsey Carpenter - Wish I could just give you a big hug right now. I am sure it is a very hard decision, but it sounds like you guys are making the best one you can for your family. It sounds like a much better place than most babies get to go; a place in which will truly add enrichment to not only Alba, but you and Jim as well.

    You know you guys are great parents, and sometimes having a balance of work and play just helps people realize their true potential and making the most of the moments you have together. Just remember to breath and remember you are doing the best you can (which truly is more than enough for Alba).ReplyCancel

    • The Oregon Tale - Thank you so much!!! Come over soon. I miss you!ReplyCancel

  • Lisa Chow - Are you me? We have tentatively poked around a few part time school situations for Margot. All the guilt feelings are bubbling. I can see a future where she’s socializing with peers and loving it. I can see a future where I have dedicated chunks of time to work and do me. But…the guilt and the anxiety and the next step. Eeek.ReplyCancel

    • The Oregon Tale - I feel like I’ve been standing on a diving board. Baby in one arm, laptop in the other. There’s someone threatening to push me in … It’s overwhelming. I think this will be the best decision I’ve made for my business. Fingers crossed. I hope you can figure out what works best for you!!ReplyCancel

  • Alison Tunstall Murray - I’m proud of you, always. You are one of the most thoughtful people and parents I know. Al is going to thrive, and you and your business will again too. I love you three so so much!!ReplyCancel

    • The Oregon Tale - Love you!!! Thanks for supporting me.ReplyCancel

  • nonsequiturchica - Alba is going to do great! The first week is really hard but you just have to push through it. You can do this!! I was worried about Izzy but she LOVES her daycare and really flourishes. Plus she gets to socialize with other kids, she is more independent, etc.ReplyCancel

    • The Oregon Tale - I am so excited about the socialization piece. It’ll be huge!ReplyCancel

  • Julia - You all will do great with this transition. Definitely give yourself plenty of grace in the beginning because change is hard but worth it. Once you find a new routine and attempt to regain that precious balance, you’ll find your joy again. Big hugs, lady. Alba is going to do wonderfully.ReplyCancel

    • The Oregon Tale - Thank you for the encouragement. As we get closer to starting (Monday), I am just getting so excited!! You’re so encouraging!ReplyCancel

Week-4

Al got a block table for her birthday from Papaw Dale. When she’s not climbing on top of it, she’s obsessed with playing with the blocks. Her favorite game? Putting them into her mouth and passing them to us. It’s adorable, and hilarious, and only slightly unsanitary.

“A portrait of our daughter, once a week, every week, in 2015″ – A photo project …

See the other photos in this series.

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Week-3

After spending her actual birthday with the flu, we were so excited to celebrate one year with some of our best friends. We gathered in our home, and baby girl went ca-razy on this cupcake. We are far from our family, but our Oregon family was with us.

“A portrait of our daughter, once a week, every week, in 2015″ – A photo project …

See the other photos in this series.

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