One of my prayers lately has been to be more intentional with my relationships, especially the one with my son.
As a working mom sometimes I feel like my obligations take away from the time I should be spending with Omari. Something I feel like “wouldn’t it just be better if I stayed at home with him and gave him all my attention?”
The more I pray on it I can see this is clearly not the answer…. I’ll always work in some capacity so how can I be more intentional in being present while spending time with Omari (and everyone else in my life…)
I’ve seen that being intentional with my relationship with God is helping in every other relationship I have. It’s honestly amazing to watch him move and answer every prayer in his time.
I encourage you all to put your relationship with your creator first and watch everything else fall into place. ❤️
Whether you are going back to work or a stay at home parent that just needs a few hours to yourself, you may find yourself looking for some sort of childcare. It has recently come to my attention that there are many that do not know what to look for when choosing childcare so here is my list of top things to look for and think about when touring potential daycares.
When choosing a daycare
How secure is the facility?
When touring potential daycares pay attention to how easily you can access the building. At Omari’s daycare the parents need a key fob to access the building and you also have to use the key fob to to go past the lobby where the classrooms are.
When you tour also pay attention to if they ask for ID. I toured a few daycares and to my surprise some did not ask for ID when we went to the classrooms. (IDK that gave me an extra sense of security LOL)
Teacher to Student Ratio
Beware of “cattle heard” daycares that just throw a bunch of kids into a room and take as many children as possible.
Beware of daycares that have children of multiple ages in the same room. You do not want your 5 month old in the same room as a 2 year old.
Look for daycares that have 1 teacher for every 4 children, if you can find less even better but that ratio is pretty good. (Ratios may vary based on the age of the child; my ratio above is for infants)
At Omari’s daycare there are currently 4 children in the class and the class maxes out at 8.
Think about what they will be doing with your child besides just “watching them”
Do they teach the children sign language? Many reputable daycares do this and start in the infant stages
At our daycare they actually give you the curriculum they are working on all month at the beginning so you will know what to expect. My son is still an infant so I do not know what the other children have but I can give examples of the infant curriculum)
They have a sign they focus on each month (ex. the signs for hungry or sleepy)
They work with the babies on sitting up, grasping, clapping, crawling, different fine motor skills, etc
They do finger painting and different art activities (yes even babies)
Each month has a theme they focus on like traveling, reading, plants, fruits, etc
For each monthly theme they focus on certain books they read, a color of the month, a shape of the month, etc.
What are their protocols on cleaning?
How often to they wash the toys and mats in the rooms
How often do they wash the sheets in the cribs? (this is for infants)
Was there a smell when you walked in?
Personally I feel like if it stinks when you walk in, its a NO Lol
In the infant room or toddler room do they require you to remove your shoes?
Oh yes, someone needs to be able to watch the people who are watching your children
Some daycares have cameras that you can access from your phone to keep an eye on your child throughout the day
Some daycares have cameras that you cannot access from your phone but stream to monitors in the lobby of the facility to be looked at by parents coming in and out and the daycare directors.
In my opinion there needs to be some type of camera somewhere so there is footage if anything go wrong.
“There’s an app for that”
Does the daycare offer any kind of way for them to communicate your child’s daily activities with you?
The app we have is called “Show and Tell”
On this app they send you pictures of your child doing activities like finger painting, tummy time, outside stroller time, and also pictures of any developmental milestones you may be missing like grasping, clapping, crawling, pulling up, etc.
They also send every feeding, how much they ate, every diaper, what was in the diaper, and every time they fall asleep and wake up
Some daycares may offer a written log at the end of the day, but I believe the app is better.
Many daycares have reviews online you can look through
I would also ask parents at the daycare you are touring if you can catch a parent that is not in a rush.
When I toured our current daycare and asked a dad what he thought while he was picking up his daughter, his enthusiasm and what he had to say about the facility and teachers really played a part in my choice to choose that daycare.
I almost forgot this one! But a recent article about a child dying under a blanket at a home daycare made me remember.
What are their rules on sleep for babies?
Babies should always be placed to sleep on their backs until they can roll over
They should not allow blankets, pillows, or toys in the cribs
When your child is able to roll over there should be some indication on their crib to let the staff know…. after this the child can be placed to sleep on their stomach.
What are their rules about food?
Do they allow food with nuts?
Do they send all food not eaten and food containers back home at the end of the day?
Do they require the food you bring to be labeled and dated?
Trust me, its a chore but you want this
Do they allow food from parents to be served to the whole class?
This is kinda a no-no when children are young unless you know all allergies of children in the class
also food served to the whole class should be store bought, nothing home made.
**It should be noted that I do not recommend a home daycare because they do not seem to be regulated like regular daycares are. Most good daycares have rules they have to follow in regards to feedings, diaper changes, etc and corporate people who drop in to make sure those rules are being followed.
Remember these are not rules to follow just some things to think about when finding a daycare and I hope it helps!
Ok so I started writing this blog weeks ago when I returned to work after 10 weeks of maternity leave. …I did not plan on it being this long between my blog entries, but I did not anticipate just how hectic my life would be as a working mom.
Here’s how my work day usually goes
The time I wake up varies depending on what time Omari wakes up (or how many times I hit snooze) but it’s usually between 5-6 am
Pump and/or feed Omari
He is usually hungry around this time so if my boobs are full and I need to pump anyway I will breast feed him (oh yea somehow I’m able to breast feed normally again with no pain… we’ll thank his chiropractor sessions for that)
If its not time for him to eat yet I’ll pump so I don’t have to do it right when I get to work
Get ready for work
Get Omari ready for daycare
Put work bag and Omari’s bag in the car (hopefully these things are already packed the night before)
Put Omari in the car
Drop Omari at daycare
Head to work
During my work day I probably pump twice, otherwise my boobs will get hard as rocks
Work day ends
If I left work at a decent hour I go home first, shower, or do some kind of house cleaning
If I leave work late I go sit in traffic for an hour or so and go straight to the daycare to pick Omari up before they close at 6:30 pm.
After I pick Omari up who knows what happens…. you know what happens? Whatever Omari wants to do lol
My biggest challenge returning to work has to be getting out the house on time. Where I used to give myself about two hours to get up and get together, now I have to give myself at least 3 hours to get Omari and I together.
Tips on getting out of the house on time:
Pack your work bag the night before
Pack your child’s daycare bag the night before
Prepare all bottles for daycare the night before
at most daycares all bottles have to be prepared and labeled with their name, whether it’s breastmilk or formula, and the date
pack your breast pump and all breast pump accessories if you are breast feeding the night before
… see a trend here? THE NIGHT BEFORE!
Lay your work clothes out the night before
pick out your child’s clothes the night before
Basically the key is to be prepared because if you try to do all of these things in the morning before work you will either have to get up at 3 am or you will be extremely late for work.
I was honestly ready to return to work after being stuck in the house for 10 weeks (you start to go a little stir crazy, at least I did). There are challenges in being a working mom because at times it can feel like working two full time jobs but I love getting up in the morning and going to go focus on my career. I always thought that I would jump at the chance at being a stay at home mom, and while I don’t think I would mind it, after actually becoming a mom I see that being a stay at home mom is an incredibly hard job and my hat goes off to those who do it. I love my son, and I miss him all day while I am gone but what can I say, I need a break from him during the day to be just me, Christina.
The day I have been dreading is here,… Omari is sick. I started noticing his symptoms on Friday of last week (runny nose, sneezing), but Saturday night he started getting a little cough which made Omor and I worried. If you read my previous blog about breast feeding you know I rarely feed Omari with my actual breast, instead pumping it out and feeding him via bottle. Since Omari started feeling bad I decided that maybe fresh milk straight from the boob would help him feel better since breast milk has anti bodies that help babies build immunity, and fresh milk had to be better than what was already in the fridge that needed to be warmed up. I also hooked up my cool mist humidifier and started using a Nose Frida by Fridababy to suck the snot out of his nose. I noticed some improvements but his cough seemed to be getting a little worse just by the way it sounded. This morning I decided that we were just going to go up to the doctor even without an appointment just to make sure everything is ok because Omari is only 2 months old and any health issues really should not be taken lightly. They were able to get us in pretty quickly even though they were busy and we soon found out Omari has pneumonia. This word sounds so scary to me but his doctor assured me that it was better than him having a cold because he could actually cure this with medicine whereas with a cold we would just have to let it work itself out. He has to take an antibiotic, azithromycin, every day for 6 days and needs to stay home from daycare for 2 days. Omari’s parents are very worried but Omari seems to be in good spirits still smiling, laughing and eating normally.
The lesson here is go with your mommy instincts when it comes to your child’s health. A remedy you think will work usually will and when you think it’s not enough take them to your pediatrician immediately because that’s what they are there for. Also people say to stay off google when looking at symptoms but honestly google is my best friend, you just can’t rely solely on google, Lol.
Also… never thought I would use the nose Frida when someone bought it for me, and it’s literally one of the best things ever. You would never think you would suck snot out of someone’s nose but when it’s your child and they can’t breathe you will do anything
Mommies, get you one!
Omari’s medication given by mouth once a day. He did spit it up and I gave him a little more (which he spit up a little again), so I’m hoping he got some in his system because he doesn’t get the second dose until tomorrow.
Having some issues with breastfeeding? Join the club. I think its easy as a new mom to assume that breastfeeding will come naturally and be a blissful experience between you and your child and while this may be a reality for some it was not for me.
My personal experience is this…
My son Omari was born via emergency c section so not only was I not able to do skin to skin with him right after he was born, which can help with bonding, but I was not able to feed him until a few hours after he was born when I was released from the recovery room. When I finally arrived in my postpartum room at the hospital it was time to feed Omari, my nurse asked “breast milk or formula?” to which I replied quickly “breast” and they brought him over to me. I never received any instructions on how to breast feed but I assumed I didn’t need any thinking that he would naturally find the breast on his own and our blissful feeding experience would commence. WRONG! As I breastfed him over the few days I was in the hospital I experienced pain which I thought was normal (it’s not) and eventually my left breast began to bleed, this is when I knew something was definitely wrong. I called on the help of the head nurse who taught me about proper latching and how it should feel but it really did not help (for reasons I’ll reveal later) and I also asked for help from the hospital lactation consultant who honestly was a waste of space but she did at least teach me that a “football” hold would be the best position to nurse Omari in because it would not affect my surgical incision. So, nothing was really getting any better with my breast feeding experience but I was determined to keep at it through bleeding/cracked nipples and all because of course I wanted to give my son the best and we know “breast is best”. A few days after I was released from the hospital and Omari had his first visit to his pediatrician I decided to have a lactation consultant come to my room and help me out because Omari was gaining enough weight but I was still in a lot of pain and his nursing sessions were lasting almost an hour on one breast. My new lactation consultant was an angel sent from heaven and made the consultant at the hospital seem even more incompetent than I had already thought. First she weighed my son to get a baseline of if he was gaining weight based on his birth weight and to use at the end of our session to see how many ounces he would drink while she was there. She then examined my breasts and the inside of Omari’s mouth. She explained to me that not everyone’s breasts and nipples are ideal for breast feeding and sometimes the anatomy of the child’s mouth can hinder proper breast feeding techniques. Based on her exam on his mouth she said he had a tongue tie which makes it harder for him to lift his tongue high enough move milk to the back of his throat, and the roof of his mouth is higher than normal which makes it even harder for him. When she looked at my breasts she said that my nipples were flat (who knew? lol) and the shape of my breasts did not really fit his mouth to which I thought “how can mother and son not match?” but I guess thats how it goes sometimes. After her examinations she watched me nurse off each breast so she could correct what I was doing and give me better techniques. First thing I had to do differently was change my latch position to an asymmetrical latch where the nose is lifted away from the breast, his chin is hugging the breast tightly and you see the back of the jaw and ear moving instead of a lot of sucking sucking motion in the front of the mouth. We had to change it to this latch position because in another position he could not lift his tongue properly so he was overcompensating and sucking VERY VERY hard in order to get all the milk he wanted out of the breast (this was also why the nursing sessions were taking an hour, he was getting little sips at a time instead of big gulps). I continued to use the football hold position because it was the easiest based on my incision and shape of my breast and things seemed to be going uphill for us for a few days. What I did not anticipate was as Omari grew getting him in the right position to breast feed would start to be challenging, what worked the day before would not work the current day and it started to get very frustrating for both of us. It started to be that every feeding was a fight between Omari and I as I would try to get him to latch properly and avoid him slapping at me. My honest feelings every time it was time for him to eat was anger and frustration because I knew he had to eat but I also knew the pain I was about to be in. After about 2-3 weeks of feeding on the breast I decided that there had to be something I could do to take control of the situation because I was starting to get depressed about the whole situation on top of the “baby blues” I was already having. After his two week check up and discovering he was gaining plenty of weight I decided to order a breast pump (that I would need anyway when I went back to work) and pump all my milk out all day and feed it to him in a bottle. I did some research on “exclusive pumping” to make sure I knew what I was getting myself into and if I could handle the task because not only do you have to pump on the same feeding schedule as your baby but you still have to feed the baby (lol) so it’s very time consuming. However for me personally I will take losing a little more sleep to make sure I pump when I need to over the pain of severely cracked bleeding nipples any day (it wasn’t like I was getting much sleep anyway).
So my fellow new mommies… here is some advice while you are on your own breast feeding journey
Don’t compare yourself to your friends and family’s breast feeding journeys. You have to do what works for you and your child
Drop the mom guilt. If by chance you don’t make enough milk, don’t want to breast feed, etc, give that baby some formula and be happy in the fact that your child is full and happy
Get a session with a lactation consultant if you are having any problems, even if they aren’t severe. Most consultants are covered by insurance, you may just have to pay a travel fee if they come to you versus you visiting their office.
Get a quality breast pump. Also should be fully covered by insurance
If you are having trouble with your milk supply try some lactation teas or lactation treats. I personally use Milkmakers lactation cookies (which are actually pretty delicious)… oh and drink plenty of water, your body is using the water to make the milk.
Don’t stress and love on that precious baby! Stress can actually decrease your milk supply
. While you are pumping have your partner feed the baby sometimes, you don’t have to do everything mom! haha
Welcome! Since I started this journey into motherhood I have learned many lessons, some hard and some easy. I always find myself thinking “why didn’t anyone warn me about this?” or “why don’t people talk about this?” in regards to pregnancy and motherhood topics. So, I decided that I would write about my own experiences in an effort to clear my own mind and possibly be some sort of help to others. Feel free to share your experiences as well and welcome to Wiggy’s world as a new mommy!