Since it seems so many Paleo parents are SAHM-based, I thought it might be nice to hear from a working mom. And I’m not even a part-time, piecemeal and/or freelancing mom (although I wish I were)! I’m an honest to god 40+-hour (plus a 3 hour commute 3-4 days) a week working mom. And my husband (CaveDad) freelances, but he’s also working anywhere from 30-50 hours a week.
In the late stages of my pregnancy, we decided two things: 1) That we would avoid outside childcare if possible (although we’ve had two grandma-grandpa provided date nights); and 2) That the baby would exclusively drink breast milk for 6 months and that s/he would continue to drink breast milk as a major food group for a minimum of 1-2 years.
These strike some people as ambitious goals – especially since I commute over an hour each way to work in a major city and my husband works as well – but we decided to commit to them.
And we are surviving! Barely!
I went back to work 6 weeks ago. Though our situation is intense, we are meeting our goals. But I don’t know if we could do it without Paleo, for the following reasons:
1) Baby sleeps every night through the night (like 10-12 hours) – and has since 1.5 months – and is pretty happy and curious all day. Maybe its related to a calm and nourished body, maybe its luck.
2) None of us get sick – EVER!!! There was one close call: When I went back to work, ate some crappy food a few times and starting pumping a lot in lieu of bf-ing those days – I ALMOST got mastitis. The pediatrician was sure I had it and though she’s naturopathic by inclination, she advised me to go on antibiotics. I gave myself two days of very low carb, lots of fluid, hot compresses and rest and it disappeared.
3) Our moods are stable. This was one of the first things we noticed when we went paleo, and it pays off now. We both live under enormous amounts of time-stress, work-stress and bickering-over-household-labor-distribution stress. Two years ago, it would have been impossible to bear so much stress without constant crying, fighting, freak-outs, angry outbursts, anxiety and other assorted meltdowns.
However, there has been some fallout:
Weight Gain (his) and Stability (hers)
Choco-paleo? There have been WAY TOO MANY “treats” – from dark chocolate to extra cups of coffee to too many sweet potatoes. My husband started regaining some weight. Even though I’m breast feeding, I haven’t lost another pound since 3-wks postpartum. Though I was happy to lose all the preg weight (plus 3 bonus pounds), I was hoping to continue losing during the entire breastfeeding period.
Excercise – Something had to give…this was it.
So I’m hoping to add a few new commitments for the spring:
1) Drink lots more water
2) Only 1 c. coffee day (and one c. black tea for ‘weaning’ purposes)
3) Walk lots everyday with baby
4) Add back some “body weight” resistance work (planks, push ups, squats, sit ups) for now.
5) Keeps carbs between 50-75g. No more “junk”or side treats of wither the paleo pr non-paleo kind.
I will update here in one month!