Tips for Surviving the Sleepless Stage

One of those things about being a working mom is dealing with a lack of sleep.

While I was on maternity leave, if I didn’t get much sleep that night I’d grab a couple hours in the morning after my husband left for work. Ironically, that was the only time the Jack actually slept well… so I could snooze for enough time that I felt human for the rest of the day.

But what about when you go back to work?

sleepless stage

Your baby doesn’t really know or care that you’d really like some uninterrupted beauty sleep before going into the office. Case in point, even though Jack was doing really well and giving me a three hour stretch and a four hour stretch of sleep in between feedings, he decided this week that he wanted to be up every two hours.

Every. Two. Hours.

Do you know how much sleep you get when your baby wants to be fed every two hours? I’m going to go ahead and say that it was probably three hours TOTAL that night. And I had to wake up at 5:00 that morning to work a 12-hour day.

So, how do you do it?

Granted, I just started back at work last week but I’ve come up with a few tips that make my life without sleep go a bit smoother.

My Fabulous Tips to Survive without a Full Night of Sleep:

Look to the Future
Okay, last night sucked and you hardly slept at all. You’ve got a few more days of work left before finally getting to the weekend where you will be able to sleep in and/or take a much needed nap. It helps me to focus on the next time I WILL get to sleep, rather than complaining about the fact that I didn’t get any shut eye last night. So, if I have off the next day I just think, “Okay, I’ll get through today and sleep tomorrow.” Somehow it really does help!

Dress for Success
You just had a baby. Maybe your body immediately went back to its pre-pregnancy goodness, maybe not. Either way, you’ll probably need to put on some clothes that are a little nicer than what you’ve been wearing around the house for the last couple months. Go out and buy yourself a couple new things that make you feel pretty. On those mornings where you’re feeling like a zombie, somehow having something cute to wear makes it a little easier to drag your butt into the shower.

Caffeinate Yourself
Caffeine is your friend, use it. I’m talking about Starbucks goodness, Monster energy drinks, soda, etc. Anything that it takes to get you going! For me, it’s a grande caramel macchiato from Starbucks – I take a couple extra minutes in the morning to go through the Starbucks drive-through and it’s just the kick in the pants I need to stay awake on my hour-long drive into the office.

Like Where You Are Going
If you hated your job before you had a baby, going back to that same job after popping your little bambino into the world isn’t going to be any easier. Think back to your early 20’s about how hard it was to drag yourself into work or class after a Happy Hour that turned into an all-nighter. Um, okay maybe you might have to think back that far – but it really was painful, right? Except this time instead of having  a night of partying and making out with boys to make the hangover  worthwhile, you were up feeding a baby and doing that little bounce-sway-back-and-forth thing that all moms somehow know. If you actually like the job you’re going to and the people you’re working with, it really does make things a lot better to crawl into work with your baggy eyes.

Have a Support System
Okay, you did it. You survived your day and you’re about ready to collapse into a heap on the floor. Now is the time that you could really use that positive reinforcement from your spouse, friend, parent, significant other or dog. My husband is pretty great at telling me how awesome I am and how much he appreciates my hard work. If you don’t have someone to do the same, go find someone! You need a cheerleader if you’re going to get through this. Frankly, if you took care of your baby all night, worked all day, did your home stuff on top of that, and plan to do it all over again tomorrow – you’re Superwoman and don’t you forget it!

So what about you? Besides investing in a vat of under-eye concealer, do you have any tips to get through this period of not sleeping? Leave me a comment here or on my Facebook page!

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Returning to the World of Marketing

So, I put on my ‘grown up pants’ this week and went back to work. Well, maybe not my grown up pants – but actual dress pants instead of my typical maternity leave wardrobe of Under Armour comfy pants.

Anyways, back to the subject at hand…going back to work.

For the first couple months I’ll be working part-time while my maternity leave runs out, and then I’ll be back to full-time in mid-June.

I woke up super early Tuesday morning (partly my idea, partly my son’s idea…) and started my new routine of getting Jack ready and then getting myself ready. I loaded us and all our stuff into the car, stopped by Starbucks*, and went up the road to drop him off at my mother’s house.

I am very proud to say that at no point did I cry.

I feel like everyone cries when they first drop off their kid so that they can return to work, but I didn’t. Not even a little bit.

This is one of the pictures that my mom sent to me while watching Jack — LOVE it!

And it’s not because I’m a super heartless person who doesn’t care that I’m leaving my baby behind. Mostly it’s because I fully trust my mom to take just as good care of Jack as I do. She did a pretty awesome job with me, my brother and my sisters, so I really doubt she’s going to screw up my kid.

So, I returned to work on Tuesday and have to say that I LOVED being back. It was so great to see my coworkers and meet the new bossy boss** that started in my absence. I enjoyed my first staff meeting back and was able to add to the discussion – even with my mommy brain and lack of talking to adults for the past two months.

Now, I have to say I was exhausted after working two super long 13 hour days at work, but all in all it was great to be back. I’m really glad that I have the option of working part-time to ease my way back into the swing of things.

So for those of you who are sick to death of me writing about my baby and want me to return to posting on marketing and business practices – I promise I’ll do better!

Obviously I’m not going to fully omit my random thoughts about Jack or my adventures in being a mommy, but I will also be focusing on how I’m juggling being a working mother and still having a life.

I mean, I hope I’ll still have a life…

I guess I’ll figure that out as I go along.

* Dear Starbucks, I love your drive-through so much. The friendly ladies that work there and the massive amount of hot caffeinated deliciousness that I can get without even leaving the car makes my life so much better. Love, Julie

** Definition of “bossy boss”: the boss of my boss.

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Maternity Leave Superlatives

It has been exactly 8 weeks since my last day at work. Part of me feels like the time has gone by supersonically fast and the other part feels like it has been forever since I’ve been there.

I go back to work tomorrow and I’m surprisingly feeling pretty okay about it. But what in the heck have I actually done in the last 8 weeks?

In the style of my favorite blog, here are my Maternity Leave Superlatives:

Most Productive: Using the time that I was stuck at home without my baby to unpack the house do home improvement projects. One of my favorites is the den!

Most Repetitive and Annoying: All the calls I’ve had to make to various insurance companies. After having Jack I kept receiving bill after bill for things that should have been paid through my insurance. After literally dozens of calls, we finally figured out that although my doctor’s office updated my plan number, they did not update the claims address. Now, the bills are finally being paid and I no longer have to freak out when I get one in the mail for thousands of dollars.

This is my Nana from my wedding in 2008

Most Heartbreaking: The death of my grandmother.  She had fought back so many times before, and I really thought she was going to pull through again this time. I’m just thankful that she was able to meet Jack before she passed away.

Most Amazing: That I rock at being a mommy. Somehow I found this deep pit of patience that I’ve never had before. I can magically deal with the cries and screams and somehow know how to make it all better. I really thought I was going to be bored out of my mind at home for these last 8 weeks, but I’ve enjoyed every single minute of hanging out with Jack.

Winner of the “I said I’d never do that” Award: After years of saying that I was never going to be one of those people who posts a zillion pictures of their kid on Facebook, I can now say that my foot is firmly lodged in my mouth because I totally do it too. I try not to be too obnoxious about it, but with our family spread out all over the place it really is the easiest way to keep in touch with everyone.

Happy (Belated) Easter!

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