I have always been someone who put their career first. My life wasn’t all about my job, and I felt I had a good work/life balance, but at the end of the day, my career was what mattered.
Even when I was 10 months pregnant I was wondering how I would fill my time on Maternity Leave, and if I would be itching to get back to work….cue sarcastic laughter…..Yep! Little did I know I would spend every waking second taking care of the love of my life, my first born son, and dreading the inevitable day my Maternity Leave would end. I miss this little bird when he’s in his swing, and can’t imagine being 11.2 miles away for nine hours a day.
My thoughts seem to follow the same mourning process over and over. When I think about going back to work and putting Miles in daycare full-time, I’m angry, then sad, then accepting. The process keeps reeling in my brain like a rerun of Full House, seen for the seventh time.
First, I’m angry. Why can’t we be a family who can afford to have one income? Why are U.S. Companies so stingy with their maternity leave? Why can’t I just drop my career, move into a small apartment with my husband, son, and two dogs, and eat Campbell’s Soup?
Then, I’m sad. I’m sad the little guy will be growing up so quickly infront of someone else’s eyes. I picture him crying and needing me, and my never knowing he was in distress. I picture someone else watching all of his “firsts”, and not mentioning it. It all brings tears to my eyes.
After a few tears I come back to reality, and accept that this is our life. I cannot give up what I have worked so hard for, for the last 8 years, and I will be a great mom when I am with Miles.
One day last week, I decided to tell my boss how I was feeling. We had a quick phone conversation and she gave me the reassurance I needed to know that my schedule will be flexible and I can make this work. I even got approval to work Friday’s from home with Miles. Plus, the little bit of work talk brought me back into my professional self.
I also went into the daycare with Miles to check it out again. I hadn’t been there since I was six months pregnant. We sat on the floor with his teachers and the other kids in his class. I was delighted to see Miles was smiling and cooing with the other babies. I had no idea he would get so much out of the experience.
Now I am feeling much better about the circumstances, and am not excited, but not dreading the first day as much as I was last week. September 8 marks the first day of my stay at home mom status changing for a while, and I know we can make it work!