Going back to work is bittersweet. A part of me always knew I was not cut out to stay home all day with a baby (it is really hard work - and seems to only get harder...) The other part is screaming you have to be home with your baby and I know in my heart there is nowhere else I would rather be then at home snuggling with Mason.
To think that I won’t see every smile, every milestone, every word, every everything from Mason breaks my heart. My sweet little boy will be in another woman's arms for 40 hours a week. Of course I thought of leaving my job all together and staying home – I am sure every Mother has. But I vowed to give it a few months and try – I just can’t even imagine finding the balance and not feeling the guilt that comes with being a working mom. It is hard not to believe that the best place for babies are with their moms. But then again millions of moms are working and making it work – justified by the long waiting lists to get into daycare. I can’t help but think that I won’t be able to do both well – be a mom and have a career. Something has to sacrifice. Something has to get less of my attention and I have already decided it has to be my career. I will not be the mom who works late or travels extensively – that is not the reason I had children. I have to choose – I know I can’t have both.
My heart hurts so much when I think about leaving that little face. I was able to do it for an hour or so on maternity leave but every day for 8 hours – seems like a lifetime apart. He is my everything, my heart and soul, my sweet sweet snuggle bunny. I worry that he won’t go for a walk outside everyday, be held and snuggled enough, be fed when he needs to be, on the other hand, I hope he learns patience and social skills as well as how to nap in a crib...
What I did not realize when I was on maternity leave:
- Work is a piece of cake compared to taking care of Mason all day.
- Sometimes when I am on the elevator alone it feels like a vacation - it is truly an amazing feeling to really be alone.
- I truly enjoy having adult conversations again that don't involve feeding schedules, nap time, and diapers.
- Sometimes I am pretty excited for Monday mornings and the daycare drop off, especially after long weekends of teething and restless nights.
- The first 2-3 months will be tough but it gets better. Sometimes you will get them home and they need to eat and go straight to bed, or are sick and cranky and its hard to feel like you made the right choice. Every minute with them feels too short.
- In the beginning they might be crying when you pick them up from daycare which will make you determined they hate it there. Just remember, babies cry, everywhere, even with you at home.
- The routine will all come together after awhile and you will have plenty of time to play and hang out when you get home and relax in the morning before the rush. Just prioritize and do as much prepping at night after they go to bed as you can.
- He would be ok. And he is. It felt better when he was about 7 months old and I put him down on the floor at daycare and he started immediately playing and laughing. Daycare (the right one of course) is a good place and he truly likes it there.
Please note that if you have decided to stay home with your children for a few more months, or years, I commend you. It is the most amazing job I will ever have and by far the hardest. I feel like I chose the easy way out and the stay at home moms are the true "working mothers".
I knew my life would change when I became a mom but I didn’t realize how much. I didn’t realize that nothing else that I had worked so hard for would matter. I didn’t realize that I would want nothing else but to be a Mom and take care of my baby. I never had any maternal instincts before Mason – even throughout my pregnancy I was pretty detached from the love I would have for my own child. As I have always said, I had no idea.