The Executive Mom

Times are changing and so are moms. But do any of you have times where you wish that you could be a stay at home mom because you feel you are losing time with your baby (and we ever so wish they could stay teeny tiny)?

I’ll admit I’ve had that feeling. I tried staying home for a week and said, ok- this is not for me. I do believe, however,  that there needs to be a strong balance between both work and being a mother, as one or the other can easily consume. In my case, work was cosuming my life and I would bring it (and a crappy attitude) back home. I was not only managing two different products, but a very large group of people that reported directly to me. I had becomed accustomed to this as the Logistics and Customs Brokerage business can be pretty demanding and I managed like Sandra Bullock on The Proposal, but doing this with a new baby was a whole new dimension of crazy.

I missed my daughter and also hated the fact that I would come home tired, in a bad mood, and would only get to see for 30 minutes before she went to bed. I was also starting to thing, “Is this stress really worth it?” Suddenly two months ago and out of nowhere, a recruiter for a competitor reached out to me and asked if I was interested in an executive position as a subject matter expert for sales that focused on A level clients. She was looking for a hunter, but also mentioned that I could home office and plan my travel as I deemed necessary.

This sounded perfect. I bounced the idea off my family, friends, and also took a vast amount of time to contemplate the opportunity. I had been managing people, a regulatory environment, and a P&L for almost five years now and going back to sales and development (where I first started my career) was going to be a complete 180 degree turn. But the idea of having the mental space and time to organize my life and prioritize was extremely appealing. In short, I took the job and here I am. So far, this is my third day and I already feel a large weight has been lifted off. Not because the expectations are less (if anything, they are more), but because I can actually focus on the end goal and I am not being pulled in ten different directions.

So what is the point of this? If you are a new mom and have always been used to working, don’t stop for fear that you are going to miss out on your baby’s first couple of months. Yes, it does suck when you go back to work, but if you feel like you are spending more than you should in the office, do not immediately think you need to stop working. Go find something else that motivates you, makes you happy, and allows you to spend that time you want with baby and the family. There are opportunities out there, you just need to look (or maybe they will find you)!

Happy Hunting.

 

 

You & I (and our baby)

Couples with children often forget to separate some time for themselves to reconnect as partners.

Right on Livia’s six month birthday, we decided to take a little R&R at the beach in Puerto Escondido, Oaxaca to spend some quality time with each other, have some adult time with friends, and leave our little one in the care of my parents.

Let me tell you, I was so excited for this trip as I knew we could use some much needed time together, but I was also dreading leaving our baby for four days straight. I had just stopped breast feeding, so I was a little apprehensive about the whole situation and seriously felt she would forget who her mother was.

The moment we dropped her off with my parents I got teary eyed, but my hubby was super supportive and reassured me, as did my parents.

It is hard leaving something you love so much behind- but I also knew I had to take care of us as a relationship. Plus we weren’t going anywhere far and I knew my mom had been looking forward to taking care of her for some time now.

So now we returned from our travels and I can tell all new moms and dads one thing- rip the bandaid and take the trip. Yes, you’ll want to talk to your baby every day, but you’ll also get some much needed sleep and relaxation without having to worry about what time baby will be hungry or cranky. You’ll get to cuddle and sleep in, as well as have fun going out and getting pampered with a massage or two.

We had a great time together at the beach, spoke to Livia every day, and enjoyed ourselves.

One thing that I think is very important is that you need to put yourselves first as a couple in order to move forward as a family. Show your children how much you care, love, and respect each other so that they can learn to act the same way in the future. Strong together is better than strong alone because your messages and lessons will be more concrete and hold more stance in your kids’ eyes.

Yes, you’ll get occasional feelings of guilt for leaving your children behind, but it needs to happen for everyone’s sanity and to ensure that they are also used to being around different people. After all, who is going to stay around after you send your kids off to college? Your significant other.

(I will tell you, though, the moment I saw my daughter at the airport coming back from the beach, my heart exploded.)

A Different Set of Arms

Let’s face it. We’ve all been here pre-baby- you are sitting in a plane minding your own business, getting ready to sleep or work when suddenly a person toting a baby sits right next to you and you think FML.

I am now the person toting the baby and thankfully she has been a blessing as she is a great traveler, except for this last time. Livia is six months old and the hubby and I decided to take our first vacation sans baby to Puerto first Escondido, Oaxaca and had to drop her off in Mexico City with my parents.

Everything was going perfect at the airport, until we got on the plane and she just got a bout of instant fussiness. She switched from arm to arm back and forth between us, until all of a sudden a lady appeared out of nowhere and asked if she could hold her. Surprised, but in need of a much needed break, we said ok and she stood there rocking my daughter (who to everyone’s surprise, calmed down and started laughing). We were shocked.

I remember my mother telling me that sometimes babies need a different set of arms. We sat there on the plane talking to this lady for about 40 minutes and I remember thinking, god bless her. This different set of arms theory works! Babies do feel the parents’ energy and quite frankly, the hubby and I were feeling frazzled and exasperated. This lady approached us with good vibes and positive energy, and immediately turned my daughter’s mood around.

So my advise to those pre-baby travelers is, don’t be afraid to offer your help if you see parents struggling on your flight, smile, offer words of encouragement, and if you dare- offer to give them a break. You’ll probably get a polite, “no thank you,” but that will have an immediate impact on how the parents feel at that very moment in a pretty stressful situation.

Happy travels 🙂

5 of the Most Useless Baby Products

Of course everyone is entitled to their opinion on this subject, as some things work for some parents and some things don’t. I have, however, compiled a list of my top 5 most useless baby products that I have come across with hopes that this will at the very least keep you informed and save you some much needed cash for other, more useful things- like diapers, Desitin, and swaddles.

Looks can be deceiving, so no matter how cool an object looks, research it first!

So here we go…

1. Wipe Warmer– When I first found this on Amazon, I was flabbergasted. I don’t think any parents before 2010 used a wipey warmer. My baby will not be raised having her butt cleaned with warmed wipes only to become the most demanding child in the planet. I call this the “wipey warmer” syndrome. I could already see her asking me warm her towels in the drying machine.

2. Premium Bottle Warmer– unless you are willing to wait 20 minutes for the bottle to warm while your little one is throwing an ever loving fit, then go for it. You will but wait only once. I personally prefer the old stovetop method, especially if you have a gas stove.

3. Temperature bath ducky– seriously, just stick your elbow in the water.

4. Baby Knee Pads- is your baby rollerskating? Probably not, let them figure out the crawling thing on their own, which we’ve doing for thousands of years.

5. Pacifier Wipes– Seriously.

What have you found to be the most useless baby product?

The Day you were Born

An excerpt from the First 30 Days of Night… 

Day 1- September 21 The Day you were Born 

I remember getting the call at 6am on Wednesday from the labor and delivery ward at Texas Children’s Pavilion for Women letting me know that the bed was ready for your arrival.

I was so nervous that I told them I was going to be there in 20 minutes- yeah right. My mom, your father, and I rolled into the hospital at 7:30am, Starbucks in-hand. We let my uncle (the cardiologist) know, because he’s been at my side ever since I was born and when I diagnosed with Leukemia when I was 7, so of course he was going to be there.

We were actually supposed to be there the day before, but apparently there had been an emergency at the hospital, everyone decided to have a C-Section that night and there was a baby born in an elevator. Clearly, it was not time for you to come.

Once we got there, I was escorted into the waiting area with my mom while your father parked the car (he refused to valet, despite our several objections- more on this later). The nurses came in to receive me and noted that coffee in my right hand and told me I had about 15 minutes to down it. Apparently it is not every day a mother about to go into labor comes in with her Grande cup of Pike’s Place Roast.

I was escorted into the “laboring room,” which silently scared the hell out of me, but I never showed it. Especially when I saw a huge fitness ball on the corner and I remember thinking… “What the hell are they expecting me to do with this thing?” The nurse told me it was for laboring. I actually ended up bouncing on that ball and it felt pretty good when I felt the contractions at their strongest.

The two nurses that were assigned to me were wonderful and super sweet, in addition to being very patient the entire time. After running all the tests and diagnostics, it was time for me to be induced. The inducement process started at 9am and when that first contraction came, I thought I was going to keel over and die. Little did I know this was nothing, just the start, and it was about to go down. I was given some sedatives to minimize the pain, but you were extremely responsive and ready to get out.

Finally, my water broke at 1:30pm. I felt a pop inside me and I remember thinking, “I read about this in some Facebook feed.” I decided to make the announcement and sure enough, I was right. So there I was, laboring with pain medication and you were just reluctant to come out. Once I received the epidural, I felt nothing and decided to use my time to nap until you were ready.

I remember being woken up several times by the nurses to re-position the monitors on my stomach and several concerned whispers. In the midst of my nap, I remember my uncle telling my mom that you were going to end up being delivered a C-Section (which was not my plan). The doctor has told me at your 28 week appointment that only one person could be in the operating room if you resulted in a C-Section delivery. With my uncle having saved my life when he was the one who diagnosed me with Leukemia, and my fiancee, your father, who I love with my heart, both there- it was a heart-wrenching decision to make, which I had not even thought about making because I had decided to deliver you naturally due to this specific reason.

So I was completely shocked when the attending doctor came in and spoke to me in a serious, but friendly tone. You were going to be delivered via C-Section immediately.

It wasn’t even two minutes when an entire staff of nurses trotted in to prep me, I was told to call your father because he had gone to get something to eat, and my uncle was putting on his scrubs. I was on the verge of tears  as it was not even five minutes after I called your father and he told me was parking that I was being rolled into the O.R.

I remember bright blue and green overhead lights, the anesthesiologist behind me trying to coax me to relax, my uncle closely examining the incision being made so I wouldn’t get butchered, and my doctor rushing in because he had just left his shift (but returned, because he is the best), and me staring at the ceiling with a million thoughts running across my mind, tears in my eyes. I felt pressure from the other side of the curtain, some prodding, but no pain. This went on for about ten minutes.

Finally, you were pulled out of me, raised for two seconds atop of the curtain and taken to the neonatal station next to my bed. You were a tiny little baby at 5lbs and 15 ounces, 18 inches long born at 8:32pm. The neonatal team wanted to make sure you were healthy, and that is one I had your father called in. I remember him coming into the room with a surgical mask on, and thinking what pretty blue eyes the doctor had (keep in mind I was under a lot of sedation) and it took me a second to realize it was actually your father under that mask. He was teary eyed, but I could see his eyes smiling down on me.

I was so happy to see him and even more ecstatic when they handed you to us, all bundled up, after they had your screenings done. You were so small and born with a little bit of jaundice, so you had to be taken to the NICU for a couple of nights until it cleared up.

I was rolled out of the OR and back into the laboring room until my room was ready, in complete disbelief to what had happened, but so ready to have you in my arms again. That is when the breastfeeding pump was rolled my way. With all the wires and cups sticking out from the device, I had no idea how to use it (I never took a class, thinking I would just wing it), and the nurse said you needed to get my colostrum to help wash away your jaundice, so it would be better that I get to it.

Being the resilient woman that I am, I was determined to have you home by the time I was discharged so I hooked myself up to this strange looking machine and pumped away. I felt like a cow. I pumped out 15CC of colostrum and put the cap back on the little tube. When the nurse came back in, she was astonished as it was enough for three to four feedings. I recall feeling pride in my coma-induced state and giving myself a mental high-five.

I do not remember much of what happened after that as the anesthesiologist gave me some pretty strong stuff, but I do know I dreamed of you.

The Evil Eye

I was never hugely superstitious (but do come from a family that is) until Livia was born. Once she came into this world, there were red bracelets and ribbons all over the place- on her crib, in her car-seat, on her diaper bag, on her ankle. I was very guarded about who came near her and any time we would leave the house, she would have to wear a red ribbon. My house and her crib ended up looking like the love locks at Brooklyn Bridge, except these were ribbons.

For those of you that don’t know, Latina moms are very wary of the “Mal de Ojo” (the infamous Evil Eye). We learn from our mothers to protect our infants and children from over admiring glances and envious stares as this could lead to illness or bad luck. In order to guard against these maladies, babies are gifted “eye” or red colored bracelets, which the mothers very much appreciate as this is considered protection for the baby (I think I received over 10 bracelets, ribbons, and blessed strings).

Regardless, this leads me to a much greater point which is we would do anything to protect our children, even if it means tying twenty ribbons to each one of their tiny toes. As a previous sans baby adult, I would like at the “eye” or “hamsa” bracelets as something of fashion or to be work as a fad. As we become mothers, it is interesting to see to what degrees we will go to safeguard our children- from blessing the house, to getting them baptized, ensuring that no one steps into the nursery with shoes on, having them wear protective jewelry, or even signaling the sign of the cross on their forehead at night, we become fiercely protective creatures- not only in the way we act, but also come to embrace the things that we might have ridiculed our own mothers for. Why do we do this? Because you really don’t know what it is to love something more than yourself until you have created life.

We have no problem doing the things that harm ourselves as humans, but will do or believe anything in the world to ensure that our children stand safeguarded because we know the evils out there.

So more than anything, what are we really concerned about? Making sure our children are protected from jealous eyes or ensuring that they don’t make the same mistakes we make as adults?

Little by little, we all become our mothers.

As a note- my daughter still wears her eye bracelet. Not taking any chances here!

 

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International Women’s Day

I don’t think I could have picked a better time to start a blog, pursue my project, and make a life changing decision. Today is International Women’s Day and truly a good time to be alive. Before I had my daughter, I never really paid attention to true meaning of the day or its actual purpose- today is about empowerment, solidarity, and the hustle. Today is also the day I turned in my resignation from my current employer to take on a new challenge.

Going back to being a working woman and a new mother, I embrace the hustle, but now for a different purpose. The hustle is for my daughter, I am empowered to make decisions for our life to give her purpose and means to be a strong, independent woman for the future and make her proud.

Pretty soon I am going to be switching jobs again and unlike common thought, it is not for a higher paycheck or because I don’t like what I do. It is because I am pursuing an opportunity that will allow me to grow professionally and give me ground to do what I do best… hunt. Managing people and a P&L for the last five years has been a great and much welcomed experience as it is something that every person in management needs to have to truly understand the bottom line and the reason why we work towards what we do and why business decisions are made how they are.

But now it is time to go back to what got me started. I want to use what I have learned in the last five years, armed with the core understanding of what my industry is, to sell and develop large scale accounts. This is my next step and a venture that I truly embrace.

So I leave you with this nugget of information, do what you love and try everything once.

 

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