The Week I’ve Dreaded For Months

Hey strangers. Long time, no chat, huh?

Truth be told, I’m struggling this week. This is the week I’ve been dreading for months, as  my maternity leave has come to and end and it’s time for me to head back to work.

I knew it was going to be hard but quite honestly, it’s one of the hardest things I’ve ever had to do. Leaving this little face is not easy.

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Those were taken this weekend…seriously, how is he growing so quick??

I haven’t really talked too much about the whole “going back to work” topic yet because I haven’t been ready. Who am I kidding…I’m still not ready. I’m a basket case and I’ve been an emotional mess for weeks. Just ask, basically, anyone I’ve been I contact with. Winking smile

It’s unbelievable how fast this time has gone, and while I know it will be okay once we get in a groove, the thought of leaving my sweet Lucas is just so, so hard. While I would love to be able to stay at home with him every minute of everyday, our little family just does better with two incomes. It’s just how the cookie crumbles.

Luckily, as I mentioned before, our friend Erika is watching Lucas which definitely helps make things just a bit easier. And another thing helping my sanity is that I actually changed roles at my company while I was out on leave and am going back to a much more flexible, part time position. So now, instead of working 8-5, I’m working 8-3:30. It may only be an extra hour and a half each day, but right now it’s making the thought of the transition just a little bit easier for me.

Sooo, I haven’t been able to make it around these parts as much lately since I’ve been trying to soak in every single minute with my little peanut as I prepare myself to head back to work.

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Things like having to actually iron real clothes (oh, I’ll miss you yoga pants…but I’ll be back for you at 3:30 everyday!), getting all of my supplies and whatnot ready for pumping while at work (we even have a special nursing room at work which is great), keeping up the house/chores, and prepping meals are all things that Jay and I will be working on over these next few weeks. I feel confident that we’ll get a good routine down…it will just take some time.

I would love to hear from any other working moms on how you made the transition and/or what helped make it any easier!

I actually worked a half day today, which went well, and Thursday I start up for real; and while I know everything is going to be okay (at least that’s what I keep telling myself), the mommy guilt still hits hard.

And to add to that guilt, I had to bring Lucas back to the doctor this afternoon to get the rest of his two-month immunizations (we spaced them out so he didn’t need to get all of them at once). Umm, yeah…I think my tear ducts have just about had it for today. So if you’ve got a virtual hug to send, feel free to shoot one over my way today. I could use it.

I’ll be back again soon, and I promise I won’t be such a downer. Winking smile

xoxo

Comments

  1. Jessica B says

    VIRTUAL HUGSSSSS TO you and your family! You will do great!!! I was very sad leaving my daughter at daycare almost a year ago now – she was only 6 weeks (and it’s my mom – she has her own @ home daycare) but once we got in the swing of things, i realized it was for the best and now she has little friends at daycare and she loves them! I am not expecting my 2nd in the next couple of weeks and am already dreading having to leave him but, like you, know it’s best for our family! You will do fantastic and i can’t believe how stinking cute Lucas is!

  2. says

    Oh, I feel you! It was hard for me too. But you have to remember that it will be ok. It is ok to have the feelings that you are having, they are normal. Just spend as much time with your little guy as you can. Maybe she can text you a picture during the day or even do some face time on your phone. Hang in there!
    Jessica recently posted..Updates!

  3. says

    I don’t know if it’s because I’m having an emotional day, but I teared up reading this post! Sending lots of hugs your way! You guys are going to do great – like you said it just takes a little getting used to. Good luck, Courtney!

  4. Kristin says

    Hi Courtney!
    Heading back to work is SO HARD!! My kids are 7 and 4 now, but both times heading back to work after they were born was seriously the hardest thing ever! (our family works better with 2 incomes as well) Just know it will get better and you will have a routine down in no time. The new schedule you have getting off work at 3:30 will help as well. I will be honest the “mommy guilt” never goes away completly(at least not for me) but it does get easier. What a blessing that your friend will be watching Lucas as well. It’s ok to cry and please know there are tons of us moms that will be here to help support you!! :)

  5. Lauryn D says

    I can’t even imagine the guilt and how hard this has to be for you. My son isn’t even born yet, he is due in December, and this will be my first as well. I will be going back to work after 3 months and I am already dreading it and will also be an emotional wreck. I can only hope the transition goes well for you. Boy pregnancy and motherhood is emotional. Stay strong and you will get through it just like I will when it is my time. We are not alone!

  6. Betty says

    Yup – it’s hard when their 2 month shots are right when you’re going back to work – reduced hours – particularly the way you have them scheduled now, really helps. You’re a little less done for the day when you get him. Hang in there, we know you’ll figure it out

  7. says

    It’s hard…I’m not going to lie. I agree…one of the hardest things ever actually.

    BUT….it gets so much easier and you might even find that you look forward to the breaks and appreciate your at-home time more. You’ll get into a routine and that’s awesome that he’ll be staying with your friend. That will absolutely make things a bit easier at first especially. :)

    You’re going to do great!!! HUGS!!
    Amanda Perry @ Sistas of Strength recently posted..Where the Magic Happens

  8. Angela says

    My daughter is now 16, but when I went back to work I was freaking out. I thought about selling everything I owned and move to a studio apartment. LOL! Thank goodness I came to my senses. She did great in day care and made lots of little friends. Hang in there!!!! (((((hugs))))

  9. says

    when i first read this title i actually thought it might be a post about immunizations, so it’s funny (and a bummer!) that you mentioned them at the end of this post. just the last straw huh? good luck dear, i know my good friend kat was heartbroken to go back to work after having her baby even though i was part time. part time doesn’t make it any easier to do it! good luck and i’m sure like most things it’ll get easier with time
    Caitlin recently posted..From Left to Write Book Club: The Funeral Dress

  10. says

    HUGE virtual hug your way! Man that is so hard having to go back but it will get easier and it’s totally for the greater good. He’s so adorable, has your little cute smile, does he have dimples?
    8 until 3.30 is so much better, it’s more like a school day so you’ll be home before dark! Do you guys get paid maternity leave there?
    In Ireland we get 26 weeks paid (80% of salary based on previous years earnings) and you can take up to 16 weeks unpaid…
    Shel@PeachyPalate recently posted..Homemade Candy!

  11. Brianne A. says

    My son will be three in December and I still have mommy guilt. Being really organized helps you spend as much time as possible with your little man. I used to put my son in his swing in the kitchen while I made dinner. We could “chat” and still spend time together while I did dishes and made meals. I folded all the laundry next to him on the floor so I could get more face time with him. I would even put him in the baby bjorn while I did other tasks, all the while chatting away with him. You will have a routine down before you know it!

  12. Jess says

    Just know that some days are much harder than others but on the flip side some days are way easier, especially when they are teething. It may sound bad but as a mom some days I just want a break from the full time momminess. It is nice to eat my lunch without any little fingers in it or have a full conversation without being interrupted ( well I work in a school so, only on my lunch break) that being said I still wish I could stay home.

  13. Breanna says

    I just went back to work last week. It was so hard and I cried when I dropped him off at daycare. It was especially hard because even though I tried really hard he still wasn’t taking to the bottle AT ALL so I was worried he would starve. But he’s been getting better at the bottle at daycare and smiles at the daycare ladies when I drop him off. That must mean he likes them! I like getting to be an asset at work and then come home and love on my kiddo. You’ll do ok, and just keep in mind they are pretty tired those first few days/week when you get home because it’s all new for them too.

  14. Julie says

    It is SO hard at first, but it absolutely gets easier once you get into a rhythm. One piece of advice – we try to “outsource” as much as we can so our free time can be spent with our kids. For example, our nanny also cleans our house and does laundry. I use peapod to order groceries and have my dry cleaning delivered. In my opinion, that small amount of extra money spent having someone else do the thing I don’t like doing, allows me to spend my weekends playing with my kids. That is money well worth spending. Also, don’t forget to take care of yourself. Getting some gym time in makes me a better mommy (and can be done when the kids are in bed).

  15. Brianne says

    Going back to work after 12 weeks with my baby girl was so hard. Not going to lie I sobbed the 1st day in my cubicle. What I find works for my family is we tag team dinner/baby and then whoever made dinner gets baby nighttime duties and the other cleans up the kitchen. Also we pay the diaper bag every night and leave all of our stuff by the front door. Lunches are packed every night so no extra rushing around. It took a while to get into a routine and then I changed jobs so then that added stress but now after 8 months of working we have it all down pat!! It does get easier being away and like you we have a friend and family watching our little girl so it made it that much easier to be at work. Good luck Thursday it will be over before you know it!! At least you only work for 2 days then get a weekend! I went back on a Monday ughhh :(

  16. Jennifer D says

    This was the hardest thing I have ever done. I cried the whole first day back. Eventually, it got a little easier…once I started to trust daycare more, and saw that she was ok, and even thriving on the schedule. I know this doesn’t help much now, but in the not so far away future you will be ok too. Hugs!!!

  17. says

    I saw your post on Instagram and was thinking about you today. I can only imagine what a difficult day that it was. I’m sure this won’t make you feel better (right now), but I just know it must get better! And once you’ve got the routine down, I’m sure it will be even easier.

    And you’re not a downer – it’s a very relatable post :-) Here’s to hoping the rest of the week gets better!
    Jamie @ Sometimes Healthy Living Blog recently posted..How not to Kill Restaurant Patrons and Other Lessons Learned From Culinary Geniuses

  18. april says

    i don’t have any babies of my own (yet!), but i can imagine how difficult it would be to leave that cutie to go off to work. i hope the transition goes well for the both of you. i’m sure it will make the time you spend with lucas that much sweeter =)

  19. Kristin says

    Going back to work after having my daughter, who is now 3, was THE hardest thing ever. Much like you I went back part time M-F 8:30 until 2:30 for the first year. It helped, but I still cried most of the first day back to work. It gets easier, really. although most days still I look at the clock a lot during the day and count the hours left until I get to pick her up! Sending you a hug too!

  20. Kara says

    HUGS to you, Courtney!! It’s funny because I am always on the other end of this being a preschool teacher. It’s usually harder for the Moms than the kids and Lucas will be fine and he will be so happy to see you when you get home!

  21. says

    You are a fabulous mom and things will get easier! I know it must be hard to leave him, I remember when I had to put Anthony in daycare, it was no fun. I am grateful now I can stay at home with Rocco, we have no family help at all, so it is hard, I don’t get a break ever, but it’s worth it! Mike and I actually never had a date night yet, we are hoping to soon! We have date nights, but it is with baby!

    I don’t trust many people with Rocco so it is hard to find a sitter, but we actually have one we found that we will be using soon! I am glad you have your great friend to watch him, that is awesome for sure! I really am not keen on daycare, it makes me nervous if I have to do that one day, you never know, and having someone close to you watch baby is better!

    Thinking of you and his shots I hope went well too! We spaced Rocco’s out as well!

    <3

  22. says

    Sending you lots and lots of hugs <3 I worked at a daycare for a few years, and I always saw the sadness in parent's faces as they left their newborns . I am sure it will be tough getting used to working again and not being around him (I can't believe it's time for you to go back already!), but once you get a routine, it will become easier. Good luck the rest of the week <3 I'm sure the hour and a half will make a huge difference!
    Heather @fitncookies recently posted..30 Minute Elliptical Workout

  23. says

    Oh Court, I am sending positive thoughts and prayers your way. I can’t even imagine how hard this has to be for you. I know how much you love Lucas and will miss him, but just know that you are doing what is right for you and your family. Enjoy your day to the fullest tomorrow with your sweet little man!

  24. says

    Aw, that must be so hard. I can’t even imagine. He has grown up so fast!

    I don’t have kiddos yet, but I just started adjusting to a full time job. I can relate to all the sudden having to adjust to something new again. The adjustment will get easier with time, I’m sure. Wishing you guys the best!
    Melissa @ Freeing Imperfections recently posted..Hope Does Not Achieve

  25. says

    HUGS!! Lucas’ kisses and snuggles are something you’ll be able to look forward to all day long. Like you said, the more you get into a routine, I bet the easier it will become. You can do it, Mama!

  26. says

    I can’t imagine how hard that must be, to go back to work after all this time. But it is really great that at least your job is going to be a little more flexible, I hope that will make the transition easier! Good luck when you “fully go back” on Thursday, I’m sure it is going to be difficult for a while but you are really strong and can get through anything!
    Kelly recently posted..2013 #OCDweek Creative Expression Contest Finalists

  27. says

    I got a year off for maternity leave and I just returned to work a month ago. It was so hard but I’m thankful I had a whole year to watch my little man grow. I couldn’t imagine having to go back so early.

    It’s hard to get used to being a real adult all day and not hanging out with a tiny human but work will distract you. It’s getting ready for work and coming home to rush around that’s hard for me. By the time I pick my son up and drive home we only have an hour and a half to two hours tops before bed time so our time together is super limited.

    Enjoy your last couple days!
    Becky @thebexfactor recently posted..Happy Birthday, Liam

  28. says

    Sending lots of virtual hugs!!
    You are a great mom, never forget that. I could never understand the feelings you are having right now. Leaving your baby is always tough, but it is great that a good friend is watching Lucas for you. I think that makes the transition a slight bit easier.
    Tara@PNWRunner recently posted..DOMS suck.

  29. says

    Hugs friend! Reading through these comments actually made me feel a little better about eventually heading back to work. I swear I think that everyone gets to stay home with their kids which makes me so sad, but that’s totally not the case. I’m really dreading November 20!!!

    • Courtney says

      I totally feel the same way! Sometimes it seems like everyone is home with their little ones. On the flip side, once you’re back too, that means we’ll be able to get back to our regular gchatting 😉

  30. Stacey M. says

    I can only imagine the day you had Courtney … I’m feeling for you and I don’t even have any children! I sooooo wish the U.S. offered longer maternity leave – it’s just not right to have to leave a 2 month old baby to return to your job. I wish every mother was provided at least a year …
    Sending you tons of hugs today. My thoughts will definitely be with you, and I’ll be hoping that you’ll be able to get into that “groove” soon. xoxoxo

  31. says

    What a great topic…returning to work and juggling our different roles. I have returned to work recently (my son is 4 months) and it was difficult. I interviewed MANY nannies and daycares and would pick one, but then decide against them…last minute. I eventually decided the best for my family would be to return to work part time and watch my son full time. I switched my schedule to where I would work opposite hours from my hubby and we would take turns caring for our son while the other is at work. There are so many options and every family will find what works best for them!!!
    Jenn@Be ME recently posted..Top Ten Tips for Eating Disorder Recovery!

  32. Nicole says

    Going back to work is so hard. But the best feeling is getting out of work and picking the baby up and walk in and he has a big grin because he sees you! Your time with him is just that much sweeter. A little time apart will not hurt your bond. I promise!

  33. says

    It isn’t easy…and even now 6 years later I still wonder how I did it…For me it was easiest not to think about it. Not to call to check on him (I knew they woudl call me if need me) and just focus on the time we did have together. I also knew I wanted to work and never had any desire to stay home all day but there were times I felt differently and lots of times I wish i could have worked part time. I think working until 3:30 is great, it’s amazing what only an extra hour and a half will do! i always felt a nightime crunch getting home with my little guy around 6, and then having no time before he went off to bed at 7….But it all worked out and I will say daycare benefited him in so many unbelievable ways so I focused on the positives!! You will have good and bad days – hang in there!!!

  34. Sarah says

    Hugs from Canada. We are spoiled here. We get a year off for maternity leave. The goodbye will always be hard, but try to immerse yourself in work and not check in at home too too much. I’ll be thinking of you.

  35. Gina says

    It’s definitely hard but only you know whats best for your family! Don’t be so hard on yourself, there are so many more working moms today and you know what? The kids are just fine. The earlier you go back to work I find that the easier it is. I was home for 1 year and a half before I went back with my first and only 8 weeks with my 2nd. My oldest (who is 8 now) still has difficulty leaving me and going to the afterschool program where my youngest is doing just fine. Keep your head up mama it will get better.

    • Courtney says

      That’s a really good point! My mom was a stay-at-home mom, and while it was totally awesome, I had a really hard time leaving my parents growing up (apparently I was awful going to preschool, and still cried every semester I went back to live at college…which was only 15 minutes away, mind you lol). And now (obviously) I still have really, really bad separation anxiety.

  36. Lou says

    Going back is hard, I went back at 3 mos with my son (he’s almost 10 years old now) and I still remember the guilt and missing him. Going back PT is smart, I did the same and I think it helped. You will get into a routine and it will become second nature. If your job is flexible, stick with it … when the kiddo(s) get older and start school and activities, that flexibility will come in VERY handy. I have been in my current job for almost 14 years and the flexibility is one of the main reasons I stay.

    :)

  37. says

    I’m so sorry Courtney. I’m not a mom but I can imagine how hard it is leaving your baby for work. I think it’s really common now a days though. The part time hours sound like they will help too. Try to stay positive girly! You are doing what’s best for your family and as hard as it is, Lucas will love you that much more for it one day.
    Sarah @ Making Thyme for Health recently posted..Grilled Pimento Cheese with Roasted Heirloom Tomato Soup

  38. ErikaMC says

    Even now over 2 years later I dread going to work and leaving my “baby” still. Sure it gets easier but that doesn’t make it any better. I guess my only advice is to make the time you are with him great. The dishes can wait if it means playing or reading for 15 minutes. You’ll probably be tired too from getting up early and staying up late to get everything done but as long as those minute inbetween are cherished than the droopy eyes are worth it.

  39. Brittany says

    Hi Courtney,
    I haven’t commented on your blog before, but I’ve been following it awhile now, since my baby girl is exactly 2 weeks younger than Lucas! It’s so helpful for me to read that we are going through the same things, good and bad, and I find a lot of inspiration in your posts! I credit you for J’s love of her rainforest playmat, when I saw Lucas on his at a younger age than I expected, and I’m totally going through the same dread of going back to work in a little over a week :( so much harder than I thought it would be! Everyone goes through it, but for some reason it’s more on point when someone else is going through it (and blogging about it!) at the exact same time! Baby Lucas is adorable, and you are a great mom! Thanks for writing this blog!

  40. says

    I know exactly what you are going through, as I did it myself a month ago. I thought something that would make it easier would be to go with Brooke to her first day for a couple of hours and be there with her. I was so incredibly wrong. I cried the entire time. I know the teachers were confused but I just could not stop, and everytime someone asked if I was okay, I cried even harder. The one thing that REALLY helped me was not doing drop off at all. For about 3 weeks, my husband would drop her off in the mornings and I would pick her up after work, and surprisingly enough, no tears were shed. After I got used to not being with her all day every day, I started doing drop off, and it just got easier. Give it time, allow yourself a good cry (or two, or three..or however many you need!) and I PROMISE PROMISE PROMISE it will get easier. I promise. It’s not always rainbows and butterflies and there will be days where you miss him like crazy, but it definitely gets easier! You got it, mama :)
    Katie@LifesNextBigStep recently posted..Photographer for a day? Impromptu photos for Ms. Rowan!

  41. says

    I remember how hard it was going back to work after my daughter was born. At that time I only got six weeks off which didn’t feel like much! Thankfully my grandparent’s watched her which made it easier, but it was still hard.
    Kristi recently posted..The Sun Has Returned

  42. says

    This post hits very close to home for me! I’m currently 33 weeks pregnant and already dreading the end of my maternity leave, however I refuse to let it put a damper on my 12 weeks at home with my lil guy. Hearing about other people’s struggles with going back to work makes me feel less alone so thank you. My best friend just reentered the work force and while it was tough for the first couple of weeks, she said that she really appreciates her time at home with the baby even more now. And you’re so lucky to have a friend watch the baby! We’re going the daycare route since we don’t know many people down here in Atlanta and that makes me so nervous!!

    Sending you lots of love!!

  43. says

    Thinking of you this week! I have complete empathy. Just remember that Lucas is in great hands and he will thrive. You’ve already set him up for success after a ton of love and positive attachment over the past few months. You’ll get into a groove, and I think you’ll learn to appreciate your time with him even more (if that is even possible). Looking forward to reading how it’s all going.
    Kelly @ Femme Fitale recently posted..Shoes’ing Wisely

  44. says

    So I know you posted this a couple days back but I’ll send a virtual hug anyway because goodness gracious, leaving your little man behind is no joke. I feel so blessed to be able to stay home with our peanut but honestly, SO MANY benefits are there when you are a working mom. He’ll get used to being around others which socializes him, think about how excited you’ll be to see him every night, AND the two incomes is going to be huge. I can tell you that staying at home with our child is great but there are days come 4pm I need a glass of wine pronto, or money is super tight, or Addison will show stranger anxiety to her own grandmother. There are so many pros and cons to both sides of the coin and you just have to do what is best for your family. I give you major props and mad respect for going back to work and making it happen. XOXO!
    Leslie recently posted..5 months old!

  45. Becky says

    Aw Courtney that is so so so hard. I have a 5 month old baby girl and I’m from Canada so we are fortunate to get a year off… I would be a wreck too if I was in your shoes. But u are so incredibly strong and you have great support. Ill be thinking of u.

  46. says

    (((HUGS))) <3
    As I read this I realized that today was the day you "went back for real" so I thought I'd send some virtual hugs your way. Just know it's all for him and your beautiful family. It will get easier. I'm not a mom yet, but I've been very close to co-workers as they've come back from their maternity leave and they seemed a little better each day, less tears, and more getting their groove back at work. One even told me that after a little while it felt good to get back into her career and she felt more like herself again as she delved back into the work she was so passionate about.
    Here's to it getting easier as the days pass and you getting your groove back!
    xo

  47. says

    LOTS OF VIRTUAL HUGS…now my tear ducts have had a workout because I know exactly how you feel and this took me back to when I had to go back to work, last year! It was the hardest thing ever! You’re right that you will get in a routine and that will help. You will always want to be with your child (that’s why you’re a great mom) and who knows, down the road that might be an option but what helps me the most is knowing my baby is well taken care of while I’m away and sounds like you have a good caretaker in place as well. I think it is harder on us than it is on them! I promise it will get better!
    Kristen @ kristenione recently posted..NuNaturals Giveaway with a Pumpkin Pie Smoothie Recipe + Boss’ Day

  48. Nala-S says

    Awww, I know this days after this post was actually put up. But I’m still sending lots of virtual hugs your way. I hope everything is going well with your transitioning back to work. I know you can’t wait to come home and spend all that time with your little one =) He is so adorable and believe me when I say he is one lucky kid with you as his mama. I’m sure the guilt will easen some and it helps you have a friend to help watch him =) Keep strong!!

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