March 7, 2011

Back to Work

This Tuesday, I had to go back to work. Six weeks after giving birth I kissed her goodbye as she slept on her Dad's chest and headed to the office where I spent the most time away from my newborn since the day she was born.
The length of my maternity leave was something I struggled with since the day I realized I was pregnant. I could never imagine leaving my baby as a fragile six week old. But life doesn't stop when you start a family. The mortgage is due and I am at a very vulnerable place in my career during a difficult economic time.

Luckily we were able to  arrange our time off so Sir Sunderland would get to spend the next month with her,  postponing daycare.
I made it through my first week back. The first day wasn't the hardest. I was somewhat looking forward to getting out of the house and getting to use the ol' noodle for something other than feeding and diaper changing. Then when it came time to leave the office I couldn't get out of there fast enough. The 40 minute drive home was agony as I sat in traffic being kept from my baby. When I walked through the door and kissed my baby girl on the forehead as she slept in her father's arms, I realized just how much I missed her.  You can imagine the next day was harder. As I lay in bed that morning I hated the fact that instead of snuggling Gwyneth I had to get in the shower and go to the office. And so I did. It was no easy task and even though  I had plenty to do and was kept busy, it seemed like the longest day at work in the world.

And for the third, final day (I luckily work part-time and arranged a 3 day work week), it came and went. Knowing that I wouldn't have to be back for four more days made it that much easier. That and the support of family and friends in the form of dinners, inspirational texts and hourly pictures from Sir Sunderland.

And you know what? As hard as it was, I feel like going back to work made me a better mom. Friday was spent relishing my time spent with Gwyneth and not just surviving. Instead of moving through the motions, I was able to appreciate and enjoy her, something that I easily lost sight of when exhausted and hadn't left the house for days.

So I'll take solace in the silver lining and be grateful instead of resentful that I am raising my daughter in a time that empowers women to go back to work.

1 comment:

Leanne said...

I haven't been by in a while, and my heart just melted when I saw the very first picture in this post. Oh, how beautiful! Congrats on your beautiful babe and take it all one day at a time. Your moments together will be that much sweeter (if that is even possible) now.