Tomorrow I go back to work. I've been off on maternity leave for 7 weeks now and I can't believe how quickly it has gone. While the first week seemed to be the slowest week of my life - waiting for Millie to make her appearance - the rest has flown. My baby girl will be 6 weeks this week! Tonight as I get ready for bed I have been thinking a lot about how my life is about to change. I mean, it can't change more drastically than it already has the last 6 weeks but it will change. Truth be told I can't wait to go back. I actually started clapping tonight I am so excited. Does this make me a bad mother?
I don't think it does.
I'm a working woman. It's such a large part of who I am. For about 11 years now I have made a life out of working for various nonprofits. I don't know what it is like to not work. I'm one of those lucky people who loves my job. Not only do I enjoy work but I know I am making a difference every day. I can't wait to be back around a group of crazy liberal adults. Every morning since Millie has been born I have turned my radio on to KUER just to try and feel connected again. Work is stimulating and it has been very hard to be home every day. I enjoy being home but I wouldn't call myself a homebody. I like to be gone. I like to be busy. I like chaos.
The last 6 weeks have been simultaneously the most boring and busy of my life. It's amazing how a task as simple as "taking a shower" or "making the bed" or "eating breakfast" has become. I feel like the last week Millie and I have made strides. I have really been able to set a good schedule with her and in return she has been so great. She even sleeps in 5 hour stretches at night now. That makes me so happy. I'm a bit worried now that I won't be home all day that her schedule may throw her off. I hope not.
I have always known that I would work after having a baby. However I always said, "We'll see how I feel when I actually have a baby." Well I was right. Lets just say that for 3 weeks I have been counting down the days to go back to work. I have really missed it.
And yet here I am the night before going back and I feel a bit sad. I am so in love with my daughter and my heart is breaking a bit knowing that I will be leaving her. The last couple of weeks she has really started to get big. She is starting to smile, coo and pay attention to what is going on around her. I'm going to miss our morning ritual. She is so sweet in the morning. I loved hanging out in bed with her - drinking coffee - listening to KUER and playing with her. I'm going to miss her snuggles, her scowls and even her cry. The last 6 weeks I have learned the difference between her "mad" "tired" "hungry" and "stomach ache" cries. I have learned how to get her to sleep for a nap. I have learned that I can sing to her in the car and she'll stop crying a bit. I already have all of the songs that play in her bouncy chair memorized. I even find myself singing "Cows, we're remarkable cows" on a regular basis. I never tire of looking at her - and seeing a bit of myself in her. Maybe too much. I mean - look at this grumpy face and tell me this isn't my daughter!?
I admire those of you who decide to be stay-at-home moms. What a tough job you have. I also admire those of you who have decided to be working moms. I don't think there is any "right" solution to what we should do as mothers. I know that everyone is different. For me I need to work.
I know she will be in good hands while I am gone. First of all she gets to spend some quality time with her dad when he is off work. I don't worry about her at all when he's with her.
She also gets to spend time with her Aunts and her Grandma!
This baby girl will be surrounded by so much love. I am lucky to have so many people excited to take care of her. She is going to have a lot of fun the next couple of years. Every day will be a new adventure: shopping with Grandma or playing with homemade "flubber" - playing with her cousins - going on adventures with Daddy.
I know that I will actually be a better mom when working. I know that I will cherish my time with her when I am with her. I won't have the anxiety of "what am I going to do today to keep busy!?" that I have felt for the last 6 weeks. Just the few times I have left her with a babysitter the last couple of weeks I just eat her alive when I see her again.
Luckily I have a few weeks of working part-time to adjust. For all of us to adjust.
So off I go. Back to KUER. Back to these crazy ladies!
Back to fund drive. Back to adult conversation. Back to frozen lunches and traffic on Foothill. Back to feeling a bit more like my old self.
But boy am I going to miss her....
(and I'm crying now)