Practice Makes Postpartum Life EasierBy Ejiro Ogenyi
Published: August 4, 2015
Going back to work was going to be very emotional, and I knew the only way to make myself feel better was to start getting ready in advance. So first I planned a practice day.
It was a test run for work and I needed to get some dental work done. I had cracked a tooth during my pregnancy, so the timing worked out perfectly. If you’re pregnant right now, stay on your dental care regimen – floss once a day, brush at least twice, take your prenatal vitamins to supplement your calcium, and eat calcium-rich leafy greens and dairy because pregnancy can be hard on your teeth and taking care of yourself can help avoid a hefty dentist bill.
Back to my practice day: First I woke up with Riley’s first feeding, pumped milk with my manual pump, ate a pre-workout snack, got his bottle ready, worked out, showered, ate, and then was ready to hit the door at about 7:30 AM.
Within the first hour of my day, I noticed some tweaks that had to be made:
- I needed to sterilize all the gear and get the bottles ready the night before
- I needed to have my breakfast pre-made, so that I only had to worry about warming it up in the morning
I ran errands around town and went home to make my three pumping appointments. All the research I had done on pumping said to shoot for at least three times a day to maintain my milk supply, and I had chosen 8:15 am, 12:15 pm, and 4:15 pm as my pumping times to allow me to make my regularly scheduled meetings. I was able to get 16 oz from the pump on the practice day and that boosted my confidence that I would be able to pump enough milk for the lil’ guy to eat. By the end of the day there were more tweaks that I identified:
- Having extra pumping parts would make my life easier, so I bought enough parts to avoid washing parts between sessions
- There were a lot of bottles to wash at the end of the day. Between that and the breast pump parts, I spent an hour each evening washing and sterilizing baby stuff. So I decided to use milk storage bags instead of bottles
I can’t take credit for the idea for the practice day. It was my husband’s idea and I’ll say, next to moving to New Orleans, it’s the best one he’s had yet.
Going back to work felt so much easier than I had imagined. Continuing the spirit of practice, I stopped taking naps during the day about two weeks before I went back. I did this to prepare my body for the reality of being awake for 10+ hours at a time. I also stayed awake after Riley’s 4 am feeding, so that I could fit my workout into my morning routine.
Being back at the office was refreshing. I proudly showed off baby photos and I got to do productive non-mommy related work. It sucked (for the lack of a more eloquent term) to be away from Riley each day, but it just had to be done and this was why my routine outside of the office was so important to keeping me sane.
Life Away From Work
This was where the fun happened. My days were filled with working out, writing, and hanging with the family. I didn’t know it would take having a child to really teach me the importance of work/life balance, but it did. Each part of my routine had a purpose in “Goal Keep EJ Sane” and here’s what they were:
- Working Out: This is “me time.” At other times I’m a family woman, but this time is when I got to be selfish. I set the tone for myself and the time alone sets the tone for my day. There are times when I have to press pause when my lil’ guy gets fussy for food, but other than that it’s all about EJ.
- Writing: This serves two purposes in my life – service to my fellow women and a way to spread the word about my business. I know from experience that carrying extra weight can hold even the strongest woman from pursuing her dreams. When I was a kid, I wanted to write and read (edit books actually) for a living but didn’t feel confident enough to pursue this for the longest time. As the weight reduced, my confidence increased, so I decided to start the [TEAM] to help women that are where I was get so much further than I am today. It’s a nice bonus that I get to write as part of running the business.
- Family Time: This is the reason for everything and the icing on the cake. My family has made me such a stronger woman and a better person overall, so I prioritize family time.
Overall, going back to work wasn’t as difficult as I thought it would be and that was because I practiced. I took the time to go through the motions and smooth out the kinks in my routine so that I was ready when I needed to be. If you have a challenge coming up that has you thinking you can’t take it on or that you’re not capable, take some time today to list out the motions required to make it happen and practice. And I promise you that you’ll handle that challenge like the boss that you are.
If your challenge has to do with incorporating a consistent exercise program into your self care routine, do read about my Smash Boredom Fit Club program. It’s an online Fit Club where you get:
- A comprehensive assessment with a report that lays out the action plan that will give you the most direct route to your goal
- A personalized strength Workout video
- A weekly accountability report that focuses on how you’re progressing towards your goal
- And access to a Lifestyle Coach to guide you every step of the way
If this sounds like you, head over to the [TEAM] Shop to get your membership to the Fit Club. Make sure to say that Radiant sent you in the checkout notes as I have a special bonus for Radiant readers. Registration closes on the 15th of August, so register before then.
This is EJ’s chronicle of her first year of motherhood. You may also be interested in her pregnancy journey series. Find out what you’ve missed and catch up on the series here — Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4, Part 5, Part 6, Part 7, Part 8, Part 9,Part 10, Part 11, Part 12, Part 13, Part 14.
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