The Challenges of Being a New Working Mom

I’ve been back to work for three weeks now. Honestly, it’s not as bad as I thought it might be. I love Ellie dearly (and George, too), but Mommy needs to make some bacon! And it’s nice to have a little “me” time (gosh, I feel guilty writing that, but it’s true).

Being a working mom is challenging. Harsh realizations include:

1. I must now be a morning person. I was never a morning person (ask my husband…or my co-workers…)
. Now I wake up at 5:55 am. It’s very dark.

2. I must plan my outfits the night before…or else. I used to care more about what I wore. Recently, I wore a sweater on Friday and again on Monday (at least it was washed). 

3. I must invest in more post-baby pants. I’d like to tell you that all of my pre-Ellie pants fit, but I’d be lying to you. I realized that it’s awkward to wear maternity pants after baby is born: they just don’t fit right. The other day I was walking Ellie to her nanny share, and I thought my pants were going to fall off. I would really rather not show my derrière to Milwaukee Avenue.

4. I must start planning my meals. Unless I want to burn through all of that hard-earned bacon, I need to be better about bringing my breakfast and lunch. In the morning, coffees are now a must. Even coffee starts to add up…

5. I must not be too hard on myself, at work or at home. I was so worried I wouldn’t be the same worker bee I used to be. Really, it’s just that I need to leave on time now, but I’m still the same worker (at least I think I am!). 

At home, I get in the door and try to spend as much time as possible with my baby. Luckily she’s at an age when we can play until she goes to bed, so we get a good amount of time together. The fact that she lights up when I see her now is the best feeling. And although she sleeps through the night (yes, she has for weeks, and, yes, I know I’m extremely lucky), she has acid reflux and a pacifier addiction that makes her fussy when it falls out. The result? I’m exhausted. But I can’t imagine our family or my life without her.

  

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Week #25 – Cityfront Cafe & Espressamente illy

Who doesn’t like to leave the office and grab lunch with friends and co-workers? Although the Loop is busting with chain restaurants (Native Foods, Hannah’s Bretzel, and Chipotle are some of my go-to spots), it’s nice to go somewhere new every once in a while.

This is where the new Cityfront Café at NBC Tower enters the mix. My cousin, Rob, is the executive chef there, and they serve up tasty, fresh, made-to-order options. The space is modern and, most importantly, very clean. The café is made up of different stations—the grill, salad bar, sushi bar, soups, etc.—as well as pick-up-and-go foods for those who are short on time.

I recently had lunch with my family there—my brother, my Auntie from San Francsico, my cousin Merry (Rob’s wife), and their adorable baby Katelyn. I’m not going to lie, this is my second time visiting, so I’ve actually had two positive experiences. My first time, I had the salad special, which was a Southwest salad with chicken, peppers, pico de gallo, jicama, as well as one of Rob’s rich Rice Krispie treats—all fresh and delicious.

This time I tried the tempura shrimp sushi rolls and edamame. I’m pretty weary about prepared sushi, but with quality ingredients and the sweetest little Asian woman making the sushi right in front of you, you can’t really go wrong. My brother had a turkey burger with fries (one of his favorites because he works in the building), and the girls had salads, which you can see below. They have plenty of seating inside and outside to enjoy your meal. And, if you keep an eye out, you might see some of the NBC news talent, like Andy Avalos and Mary Ann Ahern (like me).

I should also mention that they have Chicago’s only Espressamente illy café next door, with some of the finest coffee you will find. (Sorry, Starbucks!) Now, I’m not really a coffee gal, but I tried a blended coffee drink with a dash of caramel there that started a full-blown coffee addiction. The desserts look pretty amazing too.

Next time you need a new place to lunch in the Loop, try the Cityfront Café at NBC—and tell Rob I sent you!

Cityfront Cafe at NBC Tower
455 N. Cityfront Plaza Drive
Streeterville

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