Confession: I’m terrified to go back to work.
For the past year, the majority of my brain power has gone to making up songs about diaper changes, coercing K to eat, and reading every article about infant sleep I could get my hands on. I haven’t been thinking about government policies, or third party billing, or whether the decisions I made could cost someone thousands of dollars. I’m worried about my mommy brain getting back into the swing of things. I’m worried about having something interesting to talk about with my coworkers. And I’m worried about how I’m going to get in the car in the morning and drive to work, knowing that K is spending her days with someone else.
I have only ever wanted to be a mom. That’s one of the reasons infertility hit me so hard; I’ve never really had career aspirations or a deep desire to advance within a company. My dream was to be a mom, and to be able to stay home with my kids in the way my mom was able to be there for me. And yet, that isn’t a reality. Maybe someday, but for now, we need my salary.
I enjoy my job; I appreciate a day of hard work. I know that there are mamas who thrive being at work, and their time away from little ones is the best thing for everyone. I wish I were that person. I wish I loved to work, and I wish I had a career I was passionate about. But for the last year I’ve been spending my days with a sweet little girl who has stolen my heart. And it is breaking me in two knowing I have to leave her.
I’ll survive. It will take a week or two, I’m sure, but then we will settle into our new normal. I have the utmost respect for moms who had to go back to work much sooner than I did; your strength is impressive.
So as I pack up the sweet little owl backpack with everything K will need for her day, I’m sure a few tears will fall. I’ll give her extra kisses before she heads out the door with J, and I’ll spend a few minutes sitting in her rocking chair before I head to work. And when the first patient welcomes me back from maternity leave, I’ll pull out my phone to show off some photos. It will be hard, I know. But I’ll be back at work to help K have her best life. We’ll be able to afford trips to the zoo, and special ice cream treats on the weekends. And I’ll make sure to be extra-present during the time I do have with her.
Did you have a hard time going back to work, or were you looking forward to it? Any advice for a weepy first-time mama?