Well, today marks the end of my 12 week maternity leave and it’s my first official day back to work.
Granted, my situation is a bit unique right now; the daycare the boys will be starting at doesn’t have their slot available until next week, so I’m technically working from home for about a week for now. I’m sure it will be a long few days, but we’ll get through…even if we won’t be able to leave mid-morning to head to the playground.
So next week is when all of the real transitions begin. New daycare, new school, back to work in the office, crazy schedules…and I’m not looking forward to it.
If you guys have been reading for a while now, then you probably already know that I’m really bad with change. It takes me a long time to adjust (or re-adjust) to things, and that’s just always how I’ve been wired.
When I had to go back to work after having Lucas, I was an absolute wreck for weeks leading up to it. I would rock him to bed at night and cry, and cry, and cry. The mom guilt was heavy, and honestly, I’m not sure it has ever left?
Although the mom guilt is still there, this time around has been a bit different. If you had asked me six weeks ago how I felt about going back to work, I would have told you that I was longing to be back at work. I was really struggling. I just wanted to be with adults. I craved a sense of normalcy and routine. And I wondered how anyone could ever manage being a SAHM.
The first six weeks of having Alex home were downright HARD, and even though things still aren’t a walk in the park, they have slowly starting getting easier. We even made it out of the house to go to the playground just the three of us on Monday and I could hardly believe it went completely smooth. #momwin
So this time around, I haven’t found myself sitting and crying at night like I did the first time. Sure, there have been some tears here and there, but I think a lot of that has to do with the fact that I haven’t had the time to just sit and “think” about things like I did before. Being at home with both kids all summer has kept me busy (to say the least), and the end of this maternity leave absolutely snuck right up on me.
September is just going to be hard.
Our schedule is going to be crazy and there is going to be a lot of adjusting for everyone. Lucas, our “threenager,” who is already emotionally fragile these days (while also being a crazy, funny, wild man), is not only starting at a new daycare, but he’s also going to be starting preschool two mornings a week. We’ve attempted to ease him into his daycare one morning a week for the past few weeks, and those drop offs have been somewhat disastrous. Somebody does not want to leave his mommy…
But I know with 110% certainty that he needs to be out of the house and around other kids, and is absolutely ready for school, so I feel confident with him starting at these things. But that doesn’t make me feel any less guilty about him having to go through more transitions (on top of having to adjust to being a big brother and being potty trained).
Not to mention the fact that his overly emotional mama (you know, the one that’s horrible with change) is also a bit sad to lose her buddy that she’s been home with for almost three months now. See? Apple doesn’t fall far from the tree…
Then there’s Alex. My sweet Alex who is very aware of who his mommy is and tends to favor me over others. The situation with Alex is a bit different because, for the time being, Alex will only be going to daycare part time and will be staying home with me the rest while I temporarily work from home part time (long story short – the daycare only had one spot available so they’re both splitting it, and I’m on waitlists anywhere else). I’m sure that he’ll be fine, but it’s always so hard having to leave them when they’re so little and so dependent on you.
So then there’s the question that I’m sure many of you are wondering and the one that I’ve been asked many times: so why don’t you just stay home with them?
Well, here’s the thing…for one, we just work better as a two-income family. But on top of that, I’m not sure I’m ready to give up having a job outside the home. Is that said with 100% certainty? No, but for now, I still think being a working mom is the best option for me.
And for the longest time, I thought that made me a horrible mother (you know, actually not hating being a working mom) and that’s where the guilt lies. That I actually enjoy some of my time away at work and around adults, and that I’m able to contribute financially to our family. But honestly (most of the time) I feel like I’m a better mom because of it; because I’m able to truly value the time we do have together and I find myself with far more patience.
Now I’m in no way trying to go all stay-at-home mom vs working mom. Listen, we ALL have our guilt and our struggles, and nobody’s situation or feelings on their situation should be disregarded because being a parent is freakin’ hard no matter how you cut it. We can all agree on that, right?
I’m sure some could look at my own work situation and think that I have it “easy,” while others would feel sorry for me. It’s all about perspective. Honestly, I know that I’m pretty lucky to have what I have, but that doesn’t mean it’s not hard and that I don’t feel guilty about 101 things.
So these next few weeks are going to be tough. As I adjust to being back to work and attempt to balance work/two kids/husband/home/meals/blog/fitness/life/etc… As Lucas adjusts to his new daycare and preschool…As Alex adjusts to his new daycare…As Jay and I try to remember who goes where, when, and how they’ll get there…And I’m going to try very hard to remind myself that this is just yet another phase that we’ll all have to work through together and it’ll just take some time to find our groove again.
Right? Oh, I sure hope so.