Don’t Call it a Comeback

I’m no feminist we-can-have-it-all icon. Yet. But today marks the 12-week birthday of my baby no. four and the completion of my first workweek in, well, 11 weeks.

Monday marked the third time in this life I’ve packed up the breast pump and pad-folio and gone back to work. I don’t count the time I quit a Fortune 500 company to attend graduate school six weeks after baby no. two was born. The first semester of grad school didn’t quite feel like work. All the other semesters did. Anyway …

…Third time is not the charm, I don’t think. The emotions ran higher in the back-to-work countdown. My baby is younger than all his sibs were when they started full-time childcare. They were nine months, five months and more than a year. New Baby is 12 weeks. Today! Relations are strained between me and the breast pump. Getting up at 5 a.m. to express milk just sucks, and neither me nor black box are as young as we used to be. Wearing sweatpants for 77 consecutive days was awesome and all my pants with zippers got smaller. Jeez, why do things have to change?

But you’re not considering purchasing a subscription to the super-deluxe, ad-free version of my mom-blahg just to hear me warble the working-mom blues. In recognition of this, I will now share with you the modest successes of my first week back in the basement (yes, I do work in a basement).


Admitting defeat at 11 p.m. Damn you, daycare!

  1. I did not lose, forget or break any of my children.
  2. This includes the time (9:07 a.m. Friday) gale-force winds and a fierce pothole nearly capsized my Britax stroller, baby included.
  3. I ate out only 1.5 times. Friday’s 13-year anniversary dinner was the one time. Culver’s Thursday was the .5 time because I did not order a beverage and I did not have dessert so this counts as a half-meal.
  4. I worked out once and blogged twice.
  5. Despite this being the week of National Margarita Day I drank only once.
  6. I attended the school governance council meeting where I lobbied very politely for an additional gym period for the kiddoes next year if any surplus art-music-physed funds are available.
  7. I took a media interview on topics like how poorly we fund our public schools in urban America.
  8. I caught some typos.
  9. I cried only in front of my husband.
  10. I told my middle two kids in my best firm-but-loving mommy voice: “I don’t care about your Minecraft worlds. Please discuss this amongst yourselves.” Then I called it “Mindcrap” and cackled at my brilliance.

Now I feel strongly that Top Ten lists should stop at no. ten. Except for this this time.

11. After no. ten (who could forget that one: Mindcrap!) I put away my laptop, shelved my dreams of publishing a new post and admitted the sniffle-cough-chortle-fart thing that baby was doing is a first-week-at-daycare souvenir. We’re off to the doctor in a couple hours. Hopefully his illness/virus will be as moderate as my successes this week. Don’t worry momma-friends – he’s up-to-date on all vaccinations.

To those of you who read this, I hope it makes you smile, or laugh, or come to the wind-whipped Midwest for a visit. Really we are doing okay as I resume career alongside an additional child. Here’s someone I thought about all this week, myself, and it reminded me that every day I get up at 5 a.m. with breast pump and baby is a mothereffing do-not-return gift that I am blessed to receive. Please keep this family in your thoughts and send them a prayer, your most positive energy, a donation. Whatever you can do please just do that for Parker, Ellie, their new dad and their late momma.


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