TLDR; THEY DON’T.
I left to have a baby, but now I’m back!
Phew. That was a productive break from traditional work, and whether you noticed I was gone or not, thankfully, I am back! For the past two and a half months, I’ve been on a mission to solve the age old question: what sound does a giraffe make? Incredibly interesting stuff…
Actually, nearly 3 months ago I left to prepare for the birth of our first son, Hudson, who if you get the newsletter you know came on February 2nd, 2017. The chunk weighed in a bit heavier than we expected at nearly 8.5lbs and has been a happy, healthy (hungry) baby since his grand entrance, and I couldn’t be happier in my new role as his Mommy. He’s also pretty cute, which was a shock, considering I was born at 10lbs and was a doppelganger for the “Dinosaurs” baby. No kidding, here’s the proof:
Being a “stay-at-home-mom” has truly been an eye opening experience. For one it’s much harder than working in an office. It’s both physically and mentally exhausting on a daily basis beyond anything I’ve ever experienced. Additionally, any free time (if you’re like me) was spent googling and reading how and what to do with this new tiny human, or obsessively cleaning to release my nervous energy. First kids are HARD!
But in the end, we figured it out, got on a schedule that works for all 3 of us, and are thriving as a family of three. Being a SAHM has been the single most rewarding experience of my life, and the question I get asked most is definitely, “Are you ready to go back?”. My answer is always (and will always be) hell no, of course not! Who would want to leave their brand new little baby who’s learning, smiling, laughing, and discovering new things on a daily basis? Not me.
But ask me if I need to go back, and that answer is definitely going to be: yes.
How do I know? Let me go ahead and introduce the giraffe. As a new mom, and one desperate for some quiet independent playtime, I undoubtedly acquired quite expensive toys, play mats, quilts, books, and plush animals - at a pretty alarming rate - these past couple months. Now while I’m more than happy to roar, meow, moo, neigh, and bark at my baby as I show him these new animals, one thing I am not quite sure how to do is performing the sound a giraffe makes.
So while all the toys can be overlooked, hidden, or avoided when the giraffe pops up, the 4th page of a book about animal sounds my son LOVES has none other than a big oddly colored giraffe. I’ll say that 75% of the pages of this book have the sounds for you to read aloud - but not this page, because who really does know what sounds they make? Not these authors, and not trusty Google either:
So what does this have to do with me being ready to return to work? Well, I didn’t stop at Google. I decided to write to the authors, publisher, and anyone else involved in this book who I could stalk an email address down for. I needed to know why the giraffe was in the book about animal sounds. At this point I knew the giraffe doesn’t make much of a sound at all due to its long neck and weak vocal chords, so why put it in this book, and why is this animal everywhere you look in kids toys, books, etc.? I was a mom on a mission…an M.O.M....a....mom!
That's when it hit me: I was spending time trying to save the world from being confused by the giraffe and its lack of noise. I spent my days talking to a baby and cats who do not talk back, answering my phone when the doorbell rang, throwing socks in the garbage and putting empty cans in the dishwasher. Just like my incredibly little man needs to scream it out during tummy time at night to release his extra energy, I need a productive outlet to keep from going crazy!
Some moms, dads, aunts, or uncles have the be-at-home gene, but I definitely do not. I knew this when I left and while I would love to go deeper down the rabbit hole into complete insanity just for one more smile from my little guy, I know the best thing for us both is to go back to work, release that productive energy, and spend the rest of my time playing and cuddling with him, not hunting down authors who (clearly) didn’t put much thought into their book.
So while I am so sad to leave behind every tiny little thing about my not-so-tiny little man, I am excited to return to work, and release my productive energy chatting with potential new clients, favorite current clients, and spending time with my colleagues who have truly become more like a family than ever. Literally, they came to visit me at the hospital when Hudson was born and I wouldn’t have had it any other way.