New Full-Time Job

Going back to work after maternity leave has kept me sane

Initially this realization shocked me, filled me with a sinking feeling of guilt.  I love my boy.  I've wanted to be a mama my whole life, not file papers and answer phones.  What was wrong with me?  I shoved the feeling under a metaphorical rug and pretended it wasn't there.

Until now.  Since this blog has become a space where I share my mothering blunders and minor successes, let me bare all.  Here it is: getting up at 5:00 in the cold dark hours and leaving the house to work at a desk for seven hours is easier.  It's easier than the mental game of parenthood, the emotional strain of parenthood, and not to mention the physical drain of parenthood {feel my biceps lately?}.  I know a lot of parents don't have a choice, they have to work.  But I think some do have a choice, and now I honestly understand why they would choose work.  It's just easier.

So I give Roy a kiss, skip out of the bedroom and breeze past the nursery with a sigh of relief as I get into my car sans 300 pound car seat.  Slightly giddy to get to leave the house {dressed with shoes and everything}, I spend the first half of the day having adult conversation, and showing off the adorable pictures of Camden on my desk, which capture only the best moments.

He's rolling over now-a-days

By 1:30 in the afternoon Roy taps out and I'm home, refreshed and ready to love on my baby boy.  My patience is endless, my focus is all pinned on Cam.  We read books, we practice rolling over, we go running with the stroller, and bedtime comes swift and peaceful.  Ah... part-time mommyhood is easier.

But what's easier is rarely what's best.

At first it was a huge bonus for Roy to have alone time to bond with Camden for the first half of the day.  He quickly gained confidence in his daddy abilities.  All day he sent me videos and pictures of them and their adventures.  Like Camden's first time in grass - which he appears to think is itchy.

Originally we thought Roy would have plenty of time to study.  'Cuz babies sleep all the time, right?

Got drool?

Although I like my job, it's not a career.  It's not what I went to school for, it's not what I'm passionate about.  The purpose of this job was to get us through Roy's schooling.  But now my job is hindering Roy's schooling.  He needs me home.  And Camden?  He's not a newborn anymore.  We can't pass him back and forth, dropping him off at the office or picking him up from campus-it's hard on him.  He needs me home, too.  And the fact that I wish I didn't have to give up my job... well that bad mom feeling I shoved under the rug has grown legs and is scuttling around in the open now.

I quit on Monday.  My fear was that my boss would be irritated, since I've only been back for a month.  Maybe he'd think we hadn't tried hard enough to make it work.  But then he said something I didn't expect:
"I recognize and appreciate the sacrifice you're making for your family.  I know it's easier to go to work than to stay at home with kids all day."

Whaaat?!  My guilty legged creature isn't the only one of it's species?!  I just wanted to give my boss a huge, bone-crushing hug!  But I figured that would be inappropriate.  Plus I don't want to hurt him, what with these new, enormous biceps of mine.

He has no idea how much better he made me feel.  Maybe I'll even try to boot this guilt out of my life altogether.  It's okay that parenthood is hard, and that it's not always rainbows and unicorns.  There are lows, which for us are currently made up of teething fevers and nap crises.  But the highs?  I've only been doing this for 3.5 months and I can already tell you... there's nothing higher.

In three weeks I'll be taking on mamahood full throttle.  Learning from this experience, I'm going to change a few things.  Like I'm going to get dressed in something cuter than sweatpants, even though it will almost certainly be covered in spit-up within the hour.  Who cares, that's why God invented laundromats.  And we're going to go out.  That's right- leaving the house lugging the car seat with both hands.  We're going to go to the library, even though there's a good chance that Camden will make a hiccup-induced scene.  We're going to hang out with other mama's and their babies, because that's one of those highs I was telling you about.  What's better than a puddle of babies?

 "You have beautiful eyes.  Now hold my hand."

Proud mamas.

My new full-time job... it's gonna rock.  And when it doesn't... well at least it's not answering phones.  At least I'm doing what I'm passionate about.