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Back to reality

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Friday, 4 July 2014: One Year and Ninety Five Days Old.

It was back to reality for my little family today, and Ayla didn’t want a bar of it.

When I dropped her at day care this morning, Ayla cried and clasped onto me and wouldn’t let me go. It was the first time Ayla had reacted like that since her first few weeks of day care and it was heartbreaking.

I knew that Ayla loved our week away, having the attention of both her Daddy and I for a whole seven days, but I didn’t realise how much it actually meant to her.

Ayla’s reaction shone a spotlight on the importance of family first, focusing on our own little nucleus instead of all the day-to-day living activities that often steal our attention.

Going back to work (and life) was also a bit of a downer for me. Not because I don’t love my job or because I’m not grateful for the wonderful life we have, but because with life comes distraction and I know what an impact this can have on Ayla.

I don’t know what the answer is… The answer to life-balance.

To keep a roof over our heads and food on the table, to have the money to afford a good education for Ayla, and still finding funds for the things we enjoy means both of us must work.

It also means we have to dedicate our spare time to renovating and property investing, goodness knows our superannuation won’t be much, and it takes time and commitment to continue building our skills so we can maintain our careers.

But, it all comes at such a cost!

Seeing Ayla in tears this morning brought back my desire to throw all our plans and goals and dreams away and head off on an extended family “holiday”; to not worry at all about the future, or Ayla’s future, and think only of the now.

But while it sounds like a wonderful idea and one that could even be achievable, it’s a risky whim that doesn’t address the real issue, it still doesn’t create balance.

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FORGOT

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Tuesday, 17 June 2014: One Year and Seventy Eight Days Old.

Oh my goodness I FORGOT Ayla today!

Although I’d been caught up late at work I still had to ring our designer to confirm a few things.

So, I made the call on my mobile on the way home and completely forgot to turn off toward Ayla’s day care.

It wasn’t until after the call had wrapped up and I was only a minute or so from home that I realised!

I think part of the reason I forgot was because in the back of my mind I knew Hubby was home earlier than usual, even though we’d discussed Ayla’s pick up just an hour earlier.

Anyway, I raced through the back streets and pulled up at day care, feeling guilty and a little but ashamed.

I felt guilty because I know most parents probably forget their kid at some point but I didn’t think it would happen to me so soon!

And I was ashamed because I let work take over my brain to the point I forgot to pick up my darling Baby Ayla.

It could have been worse I guess, I arrived before 5pm and Ayla was really none the wiser… If anything she was happier than usual to see me!

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Doctor Dad

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Monday, 3 June 3014: One Year and Eight Weeks Old.

Hubby got to play Doctor Dad all day today.

It was strange because I felt a little nervous leaving him at home with a sick Baby Ayla, even though I knew they’d both be ok.

I think it was because Hubby is so GOOD at being a Dad.

To me, it looks like parenthood is completely natural for him; he’s calm, confident, well-balanced and fun.

Of course there’s a little element of causality in there, but show me a grown up man anywhere who wouldn’t be considered “casual” or “relaxed”.

I tried my best not to fuss as I left my instructions and hurtled out the door, late because I’d spent too much time preparing the day to make it as easy as possible for my little family.

When I came home, Ayla was still sick and Hubby was still, almost a little disappointedly for me, unfrazzled.

It was a a great reminder to me that Hubby and I are undoubtedly a team, and today he stepped up to plate and delivered a home run.

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Late

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Friday, 16 May 2014; One Year and Forty Six Days Old.

Today is the first day since going back to work that I’ve been late to pick Ayla up.

I knew it was going to happen at some point and surprisingly I wasn’t as stressed out about as I thought I might be, but it definitely didn’t sit right.

As my 2.30 knock off became 3.00, then 3.30, the 4.00 I could feel my anxiety rising.

I just kept reminding myself that Ayla doesn’t get picked up til 5.15 on Tuesdays when I have uni, and I kept pushing to the back of my mind that at least on those days Ayla goes to day care with the extra milk she needs to see her through.

Thankfully though when I arrived to collect my baby girl she seemed unconcerned, playing in a corner with a big box of blocks.

I cuddled her and kissed her and apologised for my lateness to which Ayla responded with a big, loud kiss on my neck.

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Such a good day

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Friday, 9 May 2014: One Year and Thirty Eight Days Old.

I had such a good day today that I don’t know where to start!

Ayla ate all her breakfast and was the happiest she’s been yet when it came to being dropped off at day care.

I had a great day at work; made some good connections, built rapport, got positive feedback and crossed a few things off my to-do list.

I had a lovely afternoon chai latte with my friend for her birthday and we chatted about everything from family to travel.

Then, when I picked Ayla up from day care this arvo they told me she’d been saying Dadda all day today and pointing at any 4WD that drove past. It melted my heart to know Ayla just loves her Daddy so much that she spends her day wishing he would turn up and surprise her.

And, maybe best of all, in Ayla’s daycare bag there was not one but TWO hand made Mother’s Day presents for me that Ayla had obviously contributed to; her handprints were on both the wooden wind charm and the decorated paper plate, and I’m assuming that the tea bag stapled to the plate was because Ayla must have had a thing for tea bags that day… Or she just knows I love a good cuppa!

THENNNN, this evening we headed to the shopping centre with our traveling friend from England, Jade, and Ayla got her first taste of frozen yoghurt.

I’m still not sure if Ayla’s scrunched up sour-looking face was due to brain freeze or flavour issues, but Ayla kept coming back for more of that yoghurt until it was up to her elbows and all over her face.

To top things off though, and seal the deal and a truly great day, Ayla showed us all she knows how to twerk tonight; busting out some awesome dance moves as soon as we put on the radio. Video to follow (PS – the video is so cute you might “squeeeeeee!” the house down.)

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No more expressing

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Wednesday, 23 April 2014: One Year, Three Weeks and One Day Old.

Sadly, I had to make the call to stop expressing milk at work today.

Even though I’ve only been back in the office a couple of weeks, I’m already feeling swamped and finding time to express is becoming more and more difficult.

Although I know I can get everything done at work during my part time hours, it means using every minute effectively to ensure no time is wasted.

It feels contradictory to put “time wasting” and “breast feeding” in the same sentence, and it kills me to think I’m putting work ahead of Ayla.

But the benefits of working part time are outweighing the need for me to be religious about Ayla’s breast milk consumption, so it seems like my days of sitting in the storeroom pumping milk are over.

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Holiday mode over

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Tuesday, 22 April 2014; One Year and Three Weeks Old.

Holiday mode was over for me today as I returned to work after the Easter break, and it was supposed to be over for Ayla too.

But, Hubby is on his week off and Ayla’s grandma is visiting for a few days so there was bucklies chance of that happening!

Even though I explained to them that it would be good for Ayla to get back into her day care routine as soon as possible, I could tell they had other ideas.

And I was right!

Can’t say I blame them though, time with Ayla feels like the most precious commodity in existence and I know I wouldn’t take her if I didn’t have to.

So while I sat at work writing PowerPoint presentations and fending off meeting requests, my little family swam in the pool at home.