Shanna on Being a Working Mother
Tell us more about yourself, your family, and your site.
I am a 30-something Wisconsin transplant now living in the heart of Silicon Valley (California). I gathered up my Midwestern roots 10 years ago to pursue my graduate career in Aerospace Engineering in Palo Alto. This is also where I met my future husband, though at the time, I was skeptical about offering up my “digits,” ha! Fast forward to 2009, when Zach and I said I do! We were happy cohabitating with our two cats, but wanted to add to our family. Instead of procreating, we went the furrier four-legged route and adopted a Shephard/Shar pei shelter dog. And wouldn’t you know, not too long after that, we found out I was pregnant.
My beautiful son Sawyer (aka Soybean or Bean) was born in December 2011 and is enriching our lives in innumerable ways.
Outside of my family, I work as an Aerospace Engineer by day, and a sometime Wedding Planner by weekend. My hobbies include working out, traveling, drinking vino, reading, and baking.
What was it like getting back to work after having Soybean? What were some of the differences between prepping for work now versus prepping for work before Soybean was born?
Prior to having Sawyer, I worked well over the standard 40 hour work week and had no issues arriving at or before 7am. All of that changed when I had to relinquish my maternity leave to return to work. And a side note, maternity leave (all 17 weeks of it) was one of the best times of my life – truly a joy to spend time with my baby boy and meet other mothers. In late March, I returned to work and am currently on a 30 hour / week schedule that will likely increase when my CA family leave ends. My work days no longer begin at 7a, but closer to 8a as mornings now include packing a diaper bag, feeding the bean, giving excessive amounts of kisses and cuddles, and ensuring my current work ensemble is (relatively) drool-free.
What are some of the pros and cons of being a working mother?
Admittedly, my initial reaction about returning to work was “this is for the birds.” I was depressed, disconnected, and generally in limbo about what I wanted my future to look like. After a good 3 weeks, I fell into a great working rhythm, including pumping at work and all!
Now that I’ve been back nearly 3 months, I am grateful for the dynamic balance working outside the home affords me. Sawyer loves his nannies and is learning so much with them and I am interacting with my peers on challenging new topics. When I’m home, Sawyer has my full attention and love.
Tell us more about What I Ate Wednesday. What is this feature about?
What I Ate Wednesday is a movement started by a fellow Healthy Living Blogger (Jenn at Peas and Crayons) as a way to share recent eats, recipes, and food-finds. I don’t always participate, but it is a fun way to see what others eat on a daily basis. I’ve often thought about blogging about all my eats to hold myself more accountable. It seems that my pregnancy sweet tooth is still insatiable, which is making the last few pounds a pain in the rear to get off (pun intended!).
What type of recipes have you featured on your site? What has been your favorite recipe you have tried so far?
I started the blog to showcase some lower-cal, yet voluminous foods (since I like to eat in quantity), but baking is my true love.
Some of my favorite recipes:
Pumpkin Chicken Enchiladas (combining pumpkin and Mexi food a win-win!): http://shannalikebanana.wordpress.com/2010/09/29/enchiladas-for-the-season/
Pumpkin cinnamon raisin-bread pudding (yes, I love pumpkin): http://shannalikebanana.wordpress.com/2011/11/20/pumpkin-cinnamon-raisin-bread-pudding/
Do you have a motto or saying that you and your family live by?
Not necessarily a family motto, but whenever I get in a funk, I try to remember “this too shall pass,” which helps put life’s ups and downs in perspective.