Going Back to Work

Posted by on Oct 30, 2015 in Work-Career | 0 comments

The date sat circled on my calendar. The nanny was hired. The one-size-bigger pants were washed and ready to be worn. The breast pump was unpacked and ready to be hauled around. Yup, it was time to go back to work.

And I refused to accept it. I ignored the calendar. I pretended the nanny was a new friend. I despised those pants sitting in the corner and gave them the stink eye every time I walked by. The pump was just a new baby gadget to add to the growing mound already collected.

And yet, mid-February rolled around just the same.  I grudgingly accepted this fact by “pretending” to get ready for work.  This meant changing into yoga pants and a nursing top before 3 p.m. Sometimes I put mascara on. A few nights before THE BIG DAY I dreamt the nanny was actually the real life inspiration for ‘The Hand That Rocks the Cradle’. I had night sweats the baby would think I had abandoned him and grow up with a meth problem. The pit in my stomach grew bigger and my fearful delusions scarier each day.

But then I had to wake to an electronic alarm instead of a crying baby.  My biggest job for the day was get presentable to the outside world and go do a job somewhere else, instead of the job I was doing at home.  No words can describe the cave-woman uber emotion I felt that first day pulling out of the driveway. There seemed to be a hyper-instinctual draw back into the house. “DON’T YOU DARE LEAVE THAT BABY!” my body screamed. Yet, the further I got from house the more I could breathe. I willed myself to try to remember my work login and focus on how to do the job in front of me instead of the one I’d left behind in someone else’s capable hands.

Once at work those around me indulged and actually seemed to enjoy seeing my thousands of baby pictures. I realized something with a start.  I’m interacting with adults… And I like it! I relaxed a little more and set about the day. I tried to ignore the fact my one-size too big pants were too tight. I actually enjoyed myself. Until I realized I had ignored my boobs for too long and I was 2 minutes away from a seriously embarrassing situation. How had I failed to realize caring for my boobs at work would be like caring for another person?  It took days before pumping at work was a reasonably timed and brief break in an otherwise normal workday.

The best part of it all? Those first pictures the nanny texted to me, showing a well-adjusted, smiling and happy baby.  A baby who had quickly learned that there was another adult he could trust who was safe and helpful. A baby that gave me the biggest, best most melt-my-heart smile when I walked back in the door at the end of the day.  He was still my guy and I was still his Mommy.  Going back to work was never going to mess with that bond. If anything, I better appreciate the balance I have in my life. I treasure my time at home more, even on the hard days, because I have a chance to also work and get a little perspective away from my first and most important job as Mommy.

Of course, I am working part-time.  This perspective would probably be shot to hell if I had to pull out of the driveway five days a week. The cave-woman would definitely be out in full force. And then watch out world!

Of course, never mind within two weeks of returning to work the whole family had a cold that I had brought home. That’s a whole other blog post.

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