Thoughts on Returning to Work
|March 11, 2014||Posted by Lauren under LifeontheRun|
We’re back from warm and sunny Florida. While the break from this endless winter was restorative, I was a little sad to see that my dreams of all the snow melting in my absence did not come true. In fact, we have another storm in the forecast for tomorrow. 10 – 12 new inches of the white stuff — this has got be a bad joke.
Dreaming of sun and sand
Anyway, I’m sure you don’t need a detailed recap of my vacation. Although I did want to talk about the plane ride (we survived!), vacationing with a 2-month old (is not really a vacation, but you know…), and some amazing WARM runs, that’s not what’s on my mind today. Instead I can’t stop thinking about the huge change in routine that is going to happen next week. My return to work.
At the moment, I’m going on almost 30 hours solo with a sick baby. By the time Evan gets home tonight, I’ll have “worked” an almost 40-hour shift without relief. I’m exhausted from waking up multiple times with a congested baby, and she’s (understandably) a little grumpy about not being able to breathe. This parenting thing is, by far, the hardest “job” I’ve ever had.
And yet, all I can think about right now is the fact that next week at this time, I won’t be able to sit here and snuggle with her all day. I won’t get to be there when she wakes up from a nap with some of her biggest smiles. I won’t be the one comforting her when she’s upset or over-tired. Or the one who gets to tell Evan about all the things she did that day — things that are really only exciting to new parents. Someone else will get to take her through her daily routine while I sit in my office, missing her.
Amelia “caught” her first baseball (okay so the awesome guy we sat next to caught it and gave it to her, but she was clearly super excited about it.
I don’t want to comment on what is better — being a working mom or staying at home with your kids. I know both options have value, and every family needs to decide what is right for them. Right now, it makes the most sense for our little family if I work. And really — I worked hard for my job. Putting time and money into a graduate degree, helping create a project that I believe in and work that I’m excited about. I’m finally at a really good spot in my career, something I’ve worked toward for a long time. When I was pregnant, it was so easy to think about coming back. I had no doubts that I’d return to work after Amelia was born. I could balance it all, I was sure. Plus, March seemed so far away.
But now that she’s here, things are a lot more complicated. And I have feelings. So many feelings. I always knew it would be an adjustment, but I didn’t realize how hard it would be. Even though I know that in terms of a daycare situation, I have it pretty good. I work at a small hospital with an on-site daycare. Even though I have a horribly long commute (something we’re working on), I get to bring her to work with me and visit her during the day. I’m in an office with other women who are so excited about the baby and want to hang out with her at lunch. I realize that’s a luxury most working moms don’t have. And I should consider myself lucky because of it.
Still – the feelings at this point are almost overwhelming. Guilt, worry, sadness. Stress about how I’m going to manage it all. Regret that I can’t stay home.
I don’t have any real point to this post. Except to complain about my first world problems, I suppose. I know that either choice involves sacrifice — and sacrifice is just something you need to get used to when you choose to have children. I’m lucky that I get to make that choice.
And who knows…maybe I’ll come back in a few months and tell you how much I love working. How incredibly thankful I am for the opportunity to use my brain in a field I’m passionate about while also being a mom to the cutest little human I’ve ever seen.
We take our reading very seriously
But for now, the anticipation is awful. I’ve heard that’s actually the worst part. Please tell me that’s true. And that I don’t sound like a completely entitled idiot for complaining about all these things (though maybe I do, a little. It’s okay if you rolled your eyes at me while reading this…I can only imagine how I must sound).
Meanwhile, I plan to accomplish nothing this week besides enjoy my last few days of around-the-clock baby-time.