Another Wednesday, another guilty working mom

Got to work late because the cousin we called in to watch Maya got here late. Ok, no problem, I’ll work really really efficiently and stay late. I set up 8 desktops and had them each running batch scripts in Matlab before, as it tends to do, Matlab went apeshit and started giving me error messages all over the place. I tried to solve it for a while, then worked on some other stuff, then got some different error messages, then worked on other stuff, then gave up on it and told Sean I was coming home. Then it started working. Then I gave up on it anyway.

As soon as I walked in the door: “Maya was so fussy. She cried all day and she barely napped.”

Where have I heard that before….oh yeah, her first daycare.

I sent Sean and his family out to dinner and stayed home to put Maya to bed. I nursed her for a few minutes and she passed out hard.

I feel so fucking guilty. She is going through a really clingy stage and she wants to be held and nursed as much as possible. So I feel guilty for making her like this — it’s gotta be my fault, right? — and then I feel guilty for not being with her during the day when she clearly wants comfort and love.

There are things I like about my job — I like solving problems, I like making progress — but I feel so fucking guilty leaving Maya. Fuck.



I moved to Orange County in the fall of 2008. Tomorrow, after a short day at work, I’ll pack, and then Saturday, we’ll move to the nicest, most expensive place I’ve ever lived, in Los Angeles. (The building has a jacuzzi!) I have a long to do list, but right now I’m having cheesecake and wine and hanging out with Maya after running a bunch of errands. I am too fat and busy to do this right now.




Surprisingly, after all our daycare problems, one of the things I’m saddest about leaving is our current daycare. The place we found is so wonderful, I couldn’t have asked for anything better. Here’s hoping we can find something great in LA!



Everything I’ve read about infant sleep is wrong, useless, or both

I commented half-jokingly on facebook recently that everything I’ve read about infant sleep is wrong, useless, or both. I think the worst one was Troublesome Tots, which threatened:

You want to start gradually putting your baby down awake. Some babies will fight this with a fiery passion. So the process of gradually reducing the amount of nursing, rocking, and butt patting you do can be frustrating. But it’s REALLY important. Also? Failure to do so almost guarantees you will never ever sleep through the night. That’s how important it is.

Well…sometimes Maya sleeps through the night, sometimes she doesn’t. Sometimes she nurses to sleep, sometimes she doesn’t. Right now she’s taking an epic nap, I think going on an hour and a half? She woke up once but I nursed her a bit and put her back down and she’s been out for >45 minutes. Maybe her new daycare provider has some kind of magic touch, or is sleep training her without telling me, who knows — but I think really, she is a baby and her sleep patterns change a lot and everything she’s done so far is developmentally totally normal. 

Unrelated to infant sleep: I am really sick of pumping. Really really sick of it. I pump pretty much every minute I’m awake, alone, and sitting down. Including my ridiculous commute (which should be coming to an end soon). 

I read this list of opinions about pregnancy today which I mostly agreed with (and could not comment on without a livejournal account). I agree with most of it, although my husband insisted on a diaper genie knockoff and it has been worth it to not have our house smell like poop. Also my cheap baby carrier (Moby) has been awesome. And, as a neuroscientist, pregnancy brain is definitely a thing.


Working mama

I can’t say I’m enjoying being back at work.

The lab is an incredible place. The project that got handed to me, fully formed, was so well-designed that before I saw it I would have said it’s perfect but logistically too difficult. And somehow, the lab is doing it.

I have a number of manuscripts in prep and I will be happy when they’re published.

But it is still hard for me to leave Maya in daycare. The new place is a big improvement but I still worry all day — is she sleeping enough? Is she getting enough attention? Is she being held? Is she learning? They don’t know the songs I sing to her or the way I hold her; do they have their own ways to soothe her?

I love being home with her. Everything just feels so much easier. After a busy weekend — dinner with my former labmates, Superbowl party, mother-in-law visiting, and Monday morning pediatrician appointment — my house is finally back together, and everything is in order for the rest of the week. Maya is sleeping and taking an extra long nap. It just feels really nice and peaceful being here with her.


“…without an increase in adverse outcomes.”


On the intellectually dishonest Cheyney et al. home birth safety article



I learned today that only 16.4% of babies are exclusively breastfed at 6 months (link opens pdf). Maya will be 6 months on Thursday. Breastfeeding has been a challenge at times, especially since going back to work — I can tell every time someone thinks, but doesn’t say, “Just give her formula.” But we are sticking with it for now.



Sean is out with his dude friends tonight. I skipped Maya’s third nap and put her down early. Hoping she’s down for the night. Eating pizza and wings and a little bit of wine. Silver Linings Playbook is ready for me on demand. Excellent night.