I’ve been relatively quiet here at work. Not knowing if this is our last baby or not (jury is still out on this one), I’ve been doing my best to take it nice and slow and enjoy every single minute with my children. Between the coos and snuggles and laughter, I do every once and awhile feel a little twinge of guilt. For the longest time, I couldn’t place where this feeling was manifesting. I’m at home with my kids, the team is doing fine without me (doing a little too well without me, I’m afraid to say) and my relationship with Joe is better than ever. What was gnawing at me? What am I forgetting?
Then it dawned on me. Just outside of every photo or video, on the very edge of the bed or just outside the room, there was the living embodiment of my guilt. My first child. No, not August. Winnie.
My dog. My constant companion over the last four years was suddenly getting both the literal and figurative cold shoulder. Not purposefully, mind you, but only out of necessity. I’ve learned that running on roughly four hours of sleep (not necessarily consecutive) I have to prioritize care and attention to the two tiny humans that can’t fend for themselves or my trusted four-legged friend. She’s been such a trooper throughout all this change, but every so often I feel a cold nose nudge my hand, and I know she needs some one-on-one time with just me.
Now that I’m slowly getting out of the newborn fog (parents, you know what I’m talking about) and showering on a semi-regular basis, I feel a bit more like myself, and I want to begin to make it right between Winnie and myself again.
I’ve extolled the virtues of working for yourself, and the ability to bring dogs to work. Well, the same principle applies to babies. Lately, I’ve been heading to the office with baby girl and Winnie; partly to get out of the house and ensure August’s routine isn’t interrupted by mom (I get a nonchalant “bye bye” from him upon nanny Karen’s arrival) and mostly to feel like myself again.
While I do go to work to actually get business done, I secretly use it as an excuse to bond with Winnie (please don’t think that Bennett is left alone to her own tiny devices by herself at the office, there is practically a sign-up sheet to hold her when she is there). Between meetings and feedings, Winnie and I play catch, go for a walk (if it isn’t desperately freezing) or catch some Zzzs.
Admittedly, it feels a bit indulgent to lie around on the couch with my dog while everyone else is working or watching my baby, but I need this time, and perhaps I’m just projecting, but I think Winnie needs it as well.
I think back to last year, when we swapped Winnie to a raw blend diet, specifically Stella & Chewy’s Raw Blend Kibble, thinking it was extravagant and indulgent. However, since switching to a raw blend diet, we’ve noticed that her coat is shinier and she has the stamina to keep up with August (the lone family member that hasn’t seemed to have forgotten about her). Knowing Stella & Chewy’s includes responsibly sourced proteins (including cage-free quail, chicken and duck, and grass-fed lamb, beef, and venison) in their kibble makes me feel like I’m treating her to a five-star meal.
After my initial realization of neglect (which breaks my heart), Joe and I have been making sure to take Winnie with us on solo car trips or outings to the office or the dog park (again, when it isn’t freezing!). As an extra bonus, we keep Stella & Chewy’s Freeze-Dried Raw Dinner Patties in the car, specifically for these trips of ours. Little excursions and indulgences that I know we all appreciate.
Since Bennett’s arrival, Joe and I have had some pretty intense conversations about not playing favorites with any of our children. Carving out quality time and activities for each one of them. Establishing right away that all of us make up the family, and that not one of us replaceable.
For $5.00 off Stella & Chewy’s Raw Coated or Raw Blend Kibble visit www.stellaandchewys.com/akibbleabove
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