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Back to Work

Back to Work

Hi Friends,
Sorry I’ve been MIA on this blog recently. My 18 month parental leave has come to an end and I have returned to work.

I’ll share more about my return to work in an upcoming post, but I’m glad to be back because I really enjoy my career. I also love my kids, but I know they are in good hands at daycare.

I’d love to hear from you about how you felt returning to work.

See ya’,

Shelby ~ Mouse House Mom



10 Reasons It Will Be Easier With Baby #2

10 Reasons It Will Be Easier With Baby #2

Below are 10 reasons I’m telling myself it will be easier with baby #2. With only a few more months to go until baby #2 arrives, I’m getting nervous for how I’ll adapt to parenting two kiddos instead of one.

1. I’ve already seen every shade of poo.

I’ll never forget Googling baby poo colours and being really scared for what the results might yield. It wasn’t just the colour it was frequency, consistency, etc. Having seen it all before I think I won’t be such a worry wart.

2. After 2.5 years of breastfeeding I feel like I know how it works.

This was a major challenge as a first time mom, but I relied on our Public Health Unit nurses to help me through it and in the end I got the hang of it.

3. I’ve got mad diapering skills.

Before my daughter I had only changed 1 diaper and that was 1 diaper more than my husband’s record.

4. No need to watch YouTube videos to figure out how to swaddle.

Maternity ward nurses can swaddle like pros, but it took me and the hubby a bit longer to figure it out on our own. Now we can turn my daughter’s dolls into burritos with their blankets in a flash.

5. Sleep deprivation isn’t something new – that’s old hat the past 3 years.

I was a 10 hour per night sleeper before kids and the sudden reduction was probably the biggest shock to my system.

6. I now have Netflix installed in my bedroom.

This has nothing to do with baby #2 other than I can lounge in bed with a good show while baby #2 naps in the bassinet.

7. I can put my Ergo Baby Carrier on with my eyes closed.

Wearing your baby means freedom for you. While I won’t fry bacon in my Ergo (or in the nude), I will vacuum, grocery shop, and maneuver airports like a boss. It’s not just freedom, it’s a close intimate cuddle with your love bug!

8. As freak-out first time mom, I bought every 0-3 month style sleep sack so I’m ready with options.

My daughter ended up liking one sleep sack (free leg style), but that didn’t stop me from buying every style out there while we searched for the holy grail.

9. Car seats no longer scare me.

I’ve joined multiple Facebook groups on Car Seat Safety and consulted Car Seat Techs and manuals.  I know the do’s and don’ts and follow them religiously.

10. My toddler is happy and healthy.

 I didn’t totally screw up the first one so I must be doing something right and this is giving me confidence I never had the first time.
Mouse House Mom's 10 Reasons why it will be easier with Baby #2
Mouse House Mom’s 10 Reasons why it will be easier with Baby #2
Thanks friends for reading! Do you have any tips on how to balance a toddler and a baby? Please let me know in the comments below.
Going Back to My Career After Maternity Leave

Going Back to My Career After Maternity Leave

In the last week before the end of my maternity leave I took the Munchkin in to the day care for a couple hours each day to support her “gradual entry”. I wish I had a gradual re-entry to help ease into my career after maternity leave. Instead, I spent the Munchkin’s gradual entry time at day care at the mall updating my professional wardrobe. Taking the full year of maternity leave, I didn’t realize how long it had been since I wore my pre-pregnancy wardrobe. Due to seasonality and the need for stretchy maternity clothes, it had been two years since I wore spring clothes at work.

I remember my first day back after maternity leave being a Monday and I had to wake up before 5am to nurse the crying baby, put the baby back to sleep, and then start my morning routine. Many tears were shed that morning (mainly my own), but my little family survived the dreaded first day “after maternity leave”.

Shelby Hancock Going Back to Shelby Hancock documents going back to work after Maternity Leave
Back to work after Maternity Leave.

Day Care and the Mom Guilt

Our day care staff were all amazing and we didn’t have to worry about the Munchkin’s needs being met. After maternity leave ended, I needed to learn to manage all of the mom-guilt I was feeling.

In the first two months back at work, the Munchkin refused to nap at day care. This meant, as a one year old, she was awake from 7am to 5:30pm. On the drive home from day care she’d constantly be falling asleep. This lack of seriously required sleep caused mom-guilt.

When the Munchkin refused to nap at day care people kept telling me that “next time” I needed to start spending more time away from the baby closer to going back to work so that after maternity leave “next time” it will be better.  To me that sounds practical, but I also know that after maternity leave ends, my daily time allowance goes from spending all day with the baby to spending less than 2 hours of quality time with the baby.  I would go the “cold turkey” route again in a heartbeat. If there’s a choice between time with my child and time to myself, the decision is easy.

Post Maternity Leave Office Routine

After maternity leave, I had to still supply the Munchkin with milk for her time at day care.  This meant I had to pump at work and I alerted my manager of this a month or two before I returned so that I could have a place to pump in private. Pumping at work added another layer of complexity to determining my post-maternity leave office routine.  It was a stressful time, settling in to this new office routine of pumping milk instead of grabbing a coffee or fresh air.  I had also received a promotion so I was starting in a more advanced position and needed to catch up on all of the activities over the past year.

Mom Brain, the Good Kind

I think we’ve all heard someone say “pregnancy brain” but after I became a mom I heard “mom brain” a lot.  This is an extremely demeaning term that we need to banish from our vocabs.  This actually had me worried that maybe I’d have a lag and it would take my brain time to switch to analytical mood, but that wasn’t the case. In my opinion, society underestimates the work of parents in supporting and keeping an infant alive and thriving. When parenting, you are constantly making decisions and judgement calls, then immediately implementing those decisions and then moving to the next challenge. Now that I’ve been back at work a while I think I’m a more efficient employee and I second guess myself less, which I think is due to my other full-time job of being a parent.

Surviving and Thriving After Maternity Leave

I’ve now been back to work for over a year and my little family is surviving and thriving. I’m no longer pumping at work and I’m really enjoying being back in the office working. Having a career allows me to pursue my skills and passions and is a key piece of my identity.

Shelby Hancock after maternity leave settles into routine
Here’s a recent post work dinner with my munchkin. She sometimes eats before I get home, but she’s always happy to steal off my plate while we sit at the dinner table.

Thanks for reading!