It’s been one week since I returned to the 9-5 working world. I have to say that coming back on a Friday was perfect because it gave me a chance to ease in and then enjoy a weekend with my little family. That way, this past Monday wasn’t an overwhelming start to my first full week. In the future, I think I would do it again or even return on a Thursday.
Returning to work sort of felt like going back to school after having a long summer off. I’m not saying my year off was a total vacation that had my lying around and in vacay mode. I’m talking about the anticipation building up to that first day back.
What should I wear? Who will I see? It is going to be weird? At least I didn’t have to worry about where I would sit since my office was happily waiting for my return.
This week has passed incredibly fast. Part of me feels like a lot has changed, and another part feels like I never left. I do have a new energy and some altered perspectives regarding certain things. Maybe I’ve even grown up a little.
Something I have discovered is that my memory has dwindled to goldfish level (*swim, swim, swim* “Oh hey look, a castle!” *swim, swim, swim* “Oh hey look, a castle!” etc.). While I’m able to remember certain things, other details are still foggy. What really unsettles me is when I’m speaking with someone and I immediately forget something that we were discussing. Or when I walk into an office and forget why I’m even there. I’m pretty sure the IT tech support guys have rolled their eyes at me more than once when I wandered in with a confused look on my face… why am I here???? Oh yeah, I need to ask about getting my VPN access again.
But I have a confession. It’s something I know for a fact other moms have come to realize, but often feel too guilty to talk about…
I’m sorry, but I don’t think I’m cut out to be a stay at home mom… There. I said it.
Don’t get me wrong. I absolutely loved having a full year that I could dedicate to my daughter. The moments we had where I was able to see her grow and do something new every day was amazing. The last week of my maternity leave had me break into an ugly cry randomly (one time it was during a diaper change!). But I also found myself getting a little squirrelly at times. Some days flew by, but others had me looking at the clock and thinking, “OK. It’s 3 p.m. Matt will be home in a couple of hours. I can stay sane until then.” This also may have been related to the fact that we only have one car and it was often easier to just stay at home than to shag up baby’s naps for the day.
I have an insurmountable level of respect for stay at home moms. I absolutely loved reading A Letter From a Working Mother to a Stay-At-Home Mother (and Vice Versa) by Carolyn Ee. There may have been a few tears while I was reading it. My own mother was a stay at home mom and I have so many great memories of just her and I spending time together. I was really lucky and I know that.
Maybe I could enjoy working part time a few days during the week and the rest of the time be at home with little miss. But that’s not an option and really and I don’t plan to change that. And besides, it’s best if we keep paying our mortgage regularly so that we continue to have a roof over our heads.
But after being back at work for just one week, I already know that it’s like a second home for me. I found myself not always in a great place this past year, but I’ve since turned an important corner. Even now I feel like someone has pulled back a cloud and let the sun really shine through. It was sunny with cloudy periods (and a chance for showers), but now it’s clear blue skies.
So of course here comes a dose of mom guilt. I’m happy at work, so I should feel like crap, right? WRONG! But that’s one of the many messed up thoughts that can dance around inside a mom’s head.
My first morning back at work, we dropped Missy Moo to my parents’ house because they’re going to provide daycare for a year (and yes I know we are very, very, very, very, very, very lucky!!!!). Guess what? I didn’t even cry when we dropped her off. It was hard to just pass her over, but we were in a hurry to make sure I wasn’t late my first day back and since little miss is so used to spending time with my parents, she didn’t think anything of the fact I was passing her over and running away for over eight hours.
What happened? Didn’t I do it right? I thought I was supposed to go through this devastating emotional experience where I would feel like my own heart was being ripped away. That didn’t happen. In fact, when we got in the car I was in total work-mode and thinking about the best route for us to get me to the office.
Afterwards I felt bad. Did I not care enough? Maybe I don’t love her as much as some other moms love their little ones?!?! Again, crazy thoughts dance around without a warning.
But I do miss her. I miss her a lot. I think it just took some time for it to sink in. During the day I notice what time it is and think, “We usually eat lunch now.” or “My Big Big Friend is on now and we always watch it together.”
Something I have come to realize is that I love seeing that little face when we walk in the door to pick her up. She so happy to see us and immediately wants to be up in my arms. It’s that unconditional love that reminds me I shouldn’t feel guilty.
Note: Now that I’m back to a full-time office job, I’m not going to force myself to try and write something every week. I would rather come up with things when I’m inspired and to desperately try and throw a post together only because it’s a Monday. So instead of Mommy Musing Mondays, going forward they’ll simply be Mommy Musings.