It’s off to work I go.
Tommorrow is the big day. After a lovely 15 weeks of maternity leave, I return to work tomorrow. To help ease the transition for DD1, DH is taking his last week of paternity week to spend with the girls. After 4 months of full-time mommy, if we both were to up and ditch her for work, it would be like a nuclear explosion in her world. I mean, how does one explain that one to a 3-year-old?
So how do I feel about returning to work?
The emotional side of me feels a pit in my stomach and tears are welling in my eyes.
The rational side of me calmly tells myself that I know from after returning the first time, the anticipation is way worse than the reality.
The emotional side is screaming out “no no no!”
The rational side of me reminds myself that tomorrow I get to put on a pretty suit, wear awesome shoes, fun jewelry and guess what – pee when I have too and eat when I’m hungry and even cruise the web for celeb gossip, all things I haven’t done at will in 4 months.
The emotional side of me thinks about someone else taking DD1 to school (well, DH taking her) and how he’ll get to experience the joy on her face when he picks her up, not me, and I immediately feel the tears.
The rational side of me reminds myself that I’ve got sweet lunches with fun people at new restaurants already lined up…you know, a gal has to stay hip.
The emotional side of me….well, you know.
SO what’s my point? My point is the reflection on this mat leave is very different than the first time. I’m pretty sure nothing is worse than the first time. That first mat leave was rife with emotions, confusion, exhaustion and lots of loneliness.
This time, there was no time to feel lonely. Who is lonely with another kid tearing through the house? There was no confusion because, well, we knew what we were walking into, so it’s not like we were surprised. The only one capable of surprising us in the house so far is the older one. Honestly, it’s just been really fun. I’ve loved every day with the girls, I couldn’t have cared less about work, I totally checked out. Last time, I fretted about work, I kept up, I called in on some conference calls, I worried about what I ws missing. Do you think I did one of those things this time? Oh hell no……
And so the bottom line is this, DD1 is almost 3.5 years old and just about every day of the past 3.5 years has been an internal struggle for me – do I want to work, do I want to give it up, what am I missing at home, what am I missing at work? And on and on and on. I am done with that struggle.
So hi-ho, hi-ho, I go, tomorrow, to go back. For a week. Then I will throw in the towel. It will be so liberating and really nerve-wracking at the same time. I am determined to enjoy this last hurrah of looking nice, showering daily, eating great meals and toiling away behind the desk – because who knows when I’ll do it again.
These are the things I keep telling my emotional self as I think about waving goodbye tomorrow morning to the sweet faces and pulling out of the driveway.
Kids sure do make everything confusing, don’t they?