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Joy, work, & then some: maternity leave transition

When I think of these past five months one word comes to mind joy. I have had the most joyful five months getting to know Noah and nurturing our new family dynamic of a foursome. You will laugh when I tell you the joyful feeling began when I went into labor. If you would have seen me then you would not have described me as joyful, and Aaron is also laughing because he would not describe me as joyful at 4am or any time he caught me with rattled nerves. If you saw me in our first month (Mom) you wouldn’t have described me as joyful either, but underneath a veil of sleep deprivation, nursing woes, and postpartum recovery was a strong sense of happniess and relief that Noah was here, healthy, and happy. The 3 H’s.

Clif Bar & Co provided me a generous five month maternity leave that I like to refer to is the Total Mommy Immersion Program. We started out with a crash course in swollen & bleeding boobs, pre-schooler pink eye, and new-sibling rivalry adjustments. But, you know what was joyful about all of this? It was simply the normal challenges of becoming parents to two kids.

Thankfully Grandma was around to help us through our new normal, and after the first month we settled into our routine of really, no routine. Grandma went home leaving us to fend for ourselves with dinners, Dadda went to work,  and Eric went to school. I took the popular advice I received and kept Eric in his routine of attending Little Lions each day. He got to play with his friends, learn things, and be rowdy with the other boys his age while Noah and I got acquainted.

The days flew by and I truly soaked up the moments. Unlike Eric at this early age, Noah and I were eager to get out and about together. A big difference with a full-term baby is that instead of our lives coming to a screeching halt, things kept moving and we had to incorporate Noah into the action right away with activities like going to the park, the Oakland Zoo, grocery shopping, lunch dates, and strolling boutiques on Fillmore or Chestnut streets.  Aaah, so this is what it is like to take a new baby out in public.

I was eager to introduce Noah to others and we had many visitors: Isabella, Moose (a big dog), Lisa, Nicole, Sam, Maylen, Addison, Susie, Rachel, and our friendly neighbors. How nice to let someone hold him without feeling a rush of panic come over me. Sharing our joy is really fun.

Over the course of the past five months I have watched the seasons change from winter to summer through the view of our pear tree out our front door.

This earthy measure of the time is now green with leaves and staining our cars with each splat of falling pear nuts. The tree is telling us 1) that it is time to put the car in the garage and 2)it is time for me to return to work doing I job that I love, for a company I love, with people I love being around.

I can say that I have enjoyed just about every minute of my Mommy Immersion immensely, but I am craving some self-expression and time think differently, which I am lucky to bring to the work I get to do.

The work I do is a true expression of another side of me. Having completed the Mommy Total Immersion Program I am ready to graduate to phase 2 of Nutrition Strategy Career Mom. Working at Clif Bar recharges me and makes me a better mom. Our kids thrive on the change in energy. To sweeten this deal, soon both of my boys will join me at my office, all piling into the car and heading to Clif Bar together, them to the Clif Children’s Learning Center and me to desk at our new office location! What will Dadda do with the new-found quiet house? Probably recharge and have the break-through epiphany ADS is just waiting for!

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