My Story About How I Transitioned Back to Work
after Maternity Leave
During my maternity leave I kept a list of all the things I wanted to “accomplish” while I was off. Things like clean and organize the basement, cook amazing Pinterest worthy meals everyday, finish all of the crafts that I have been working on, lose all my baby weight, learn how to do my make-up, finally read some of the cheesy historical fiction romance novels on the bookshelf …You get the idea, I had a to-do list that was filled with things that I thought were important. I didn’t realize before having Breezy that my list of priorities would shift and instead of feeling the pressure to finally empty the moving boxes that have been stacked in my basement collecting dust would turn into a desire to just sit and snuggle my son.
Now mama’s I know that we are just getting to know each other with our blog being brand new and all but let me tell you something about myself: I hate to just sit! I like staying busy ! I am one of those women who create check lists just so I can cross things off! I’ll admit it ! But having a baby changes that go-go-go mentality because trust me, all you want is for time to slow down, there will be moments when you wish you could suspend time and just sit. Just sit holding your child, soaking up the warmth of their smile, the way that their laughter tickles your ears, even the pouty face when their lips curl down into a frown. Those are all moments that as mama’s we live for.
I had this vision that I would be this powerhouse mama that would keep a spotless home, find time for myself, breastfeed, lose the baby weight, and somehow manage to stay sane! Well none of those things happened the way that I thought they would! But you know what that is OKAY! My home gets cleaned one task at a time, I do cook a full meal about three times a week, I wasn’t able to breastfeed my son until he was 7 weeks old, and even though I technically have lost all of the baby weight my body is definitely not the same! And as far as staying sane goes …let’s just say I’m running on Jesus and lots of sugary hot peppermint tea !
“Call Me Selfish But I Want More Time”
I am beyond grateful for the 12 weeks I have been able to spend with my son. I know that all mama’s do not have a job that offers maternity leave. I know that some mama’s have only 6 weeks. Call me selfish but I want more ! More time to love on my son, more time to watch him, nurse him, pat his back until his doses off for his naps. I thought that I would be ready to go back to work. Because I really do enjoy my job ! But I’ve found my tears falling the closer I get to next Monday.
I found myself crying at church yesterday when a friend asked me how I was doing with the fact that my maternity leave was coming to an end. The only words I could get out were “it’s hard” . As I looked down at my son who was in his car seat playing with his hands I felt my heart beginning to ache. Why can’t time just slow down! Then…. a very sweet friend of mine came over and with tears in her eyes reassured me that the transition would be rough the first couple of weeks but that we would find a rhythm and settle into our new routine. She told me that nothing is better than coming home from work and seeing your baby smile and call out for you, that once Breezy starts walking he will run towards me when I walk through the door, and she reminded me that my income will be able to provide extra toys, vacations, and fun times for my son that we wouldn’t be able to do with just one income.
I needed her words, I needed to hear from another working mama who had the desire to stay home with her babies but returned to work and has managed to maintain a healthy balance for years, I needed to know that it was okay for me to cry and that I’m not being unreasonable.
I know that all mama’s don’t want to be a stay at home mama and that’s okay!! We need working mama’s in the workforce !! But for those like me who are struggling with going back to work or are struggling with balancing working and caring for your family just know you can do it! Use your babies as motivation!
7 Encouraging Reminders
I thought of a few ways I plan to stay grateful when I’m crying on my way to work after dropping my baby off at child care or when I miss out on a special moment he had because I was at work. I’ll need something to cling to when those tough days come and I’m missing the days I was home snuggling him.
- Remember that I am helping my family have what they need to live comfortably
- I am able to save money so that we can buy a house (major goal)
- My son is a sweet baby & will do great at child care
- I have a flexible work schedule
- I have a supportive husband & I’m not in this alone
- I have a great job helping other mama’s.
- I have middle of the night feedings with him
- Weekends, evenings, holidays, sick days & vacations with my baby.
Time moves quickly, house work and errands can wait. Want some mama hacks? Hold that baby a little longer, kiss him one more time, read him one more story.
This is a transition in my life that I can choose to either gripe about or embrace, only I can make that choice. My son will be fine I’m really the one who will struggle the most, but I’m facing this time with peace and optimism.
Whether you work full-time, part-time, PRN, telecommute, have a long commute, you are doing what you have to do to take care of your family and you are doing a great job! I hope that this post can be of some encouragement to you. I hope you can see the bigger picture the way that my sweet friend helped me to.