(The past week was so very, very busy…. I started writing a blog post on Monday and it still sits six days later. I’m not back to work yet, so I can only hope that this beloved blog doesn’t get too neglected.)
Monday marked a definite first for this new Mommy. I participated in a vendor fair for most of the day and left Baby Kiera to spend some quality time with Gramma Linda and Grampy Don. So, Mommy had the first taste of working and spent nearly eight whole hours without her baby. Separated for a lengthy amount of time- Traumatic, I say!
The event kept me busy all day so I didn’t really have time to think about anything but what I was doing at that particular moment. However, on the drive over to my Dad’s to pick up my daughter from her very first day of ‘daycare,’ I was so excited to see her and then it hit me how hard it is going to be when I return to the working world in just one short week. It will definitely be very hard but an unfortunate reality of the working mom.
I never had any interest in being a permanent ‘stay-at-home’ mom before having Kiera- I don’t know that I do even now. I’m not saying that either the working mom or stay-at-home mom is best or right. Every family has to do what is right for them both financially and emotionally. It’s only been a few weeks since I’ve started to really enjoy this ‘mom thing’ and I’ve been having a blast getting to know my precious little angel- especially the mornings as they are the best! (For any new mommies reading this- what you are experiencing this very moment is hard to comprehend, but savor the moment and enjoy it as much as you can. You’ll be like me and look back and think it wasn’t so bad- just very different.) So the thought of returning to work after 14 weeks is bittersweet. For me, the financial and emotional aren’t matching up at this exact time as we can’t afford to be a one-income family with our nice house payment! Not to mention, being a full-time stay-at-home mom (SAHM) is a very difficult job….. harder than my regular day job for sure. Anyone that thinks that SAHM’s sit around and watch TV all day has no idea that sitting generally isn’t part of the equation.
I’ve had the opportunity to not have to worry about the alarm clock while on leave, but any inkling of ‘sleeping in’ is based purely on Kiera’s time schedule and not mine- and also that is uninterrupted sleep thanks to early morning feedings. The TV is on more for background noise that for me to catch up on the steamy soap operas or afternoon talkshows. (There are so many hours of recordings of my fave programs baglogged on the DVR that it isn’t even funny.) Even catching up on laundry is challenging- did you know that a baby goes through a minimum of three outfits a day? Trust me- the cutest outfits are the perfect targets for a lava-like flow of moo-juice.
I’ve been a Project Manager at a major real estate company- a job that I love- for almost eight years. I am also very, very fortunate to have a job in today’s economy. It would be nice to have the best of both worlds and spend my mornings with Kiera and then go to work say around noonish! Conflicted for sure, but good in the long run. I don’t want to feel guilty for going to work every day- I’m good at what I do, enjoy it very much and want to be able to provide for my family. If we were in a situation where I didn't have to work I don’t even know if I would jump on the opportunity to stay home all of the time. I think that working families have great relationships- it just takes some juggling to ensure that life goes as smoothly as possible.
It will be good for me to get on a schedule and go back to work. A big emphasis on schedule. I kind of miss having a to-do list that has something else added to it besides 1) Change Diaper 2) Feed Baby 3) Rinse and Repeat. Especially now that I am starting to get the hang of all of the nuances of motherhood and can actually multi-task again! (I’m going to keep this in mind when I have one of those crazy-ass days at work!)
On Wednesday, I had to try to conform to a schedule as I had to work again for a few hours to teach a class. Fortunately it was a holiday for Jason so that we didn’t have to worry about daycare (which was also kind of a bummer- he was off and I had to work!) It was nice to get back to something that was very controllable and familiar (not like parenting- all bets are off). I was euphoric driving home, excited about a great day at work, but certainly looking forward to seeing my daughter that I missed so much. (And you bet that I took the opportunity to show her off during my class- what proud Mommy wouldn’t?) Being away made me appreciate her so much more; and you have no idea how wonderful that it was to have a two-way adult conversation. We’ll see what I think of this in a few weeks…. it will be interesting to see how well I can adjust to the challenge of being a working mom. Now I just get to add another title to my working one: Taxi-Driver/ Chief-Bottle-Washer/ Laundress/ Maid/ Pillow and of course, my favorite honor: Mommy!