As a working mom, returning to work after maternity leave is a time of major changes and major emotions. There are so many thoughts and feelings that go through my head, I wanted to chronicle it because, well, it may never happen again. I hope my journey can provide some comfort to other women that are going through the same thing.
Over the weekend I said more than once, “I don’t want to go back to work.” But it’s not as simple as that statement makes it seem. I don’t want to go back to work because right now I get to stay home all day and snuggle my sweet baby. I don’t think I’m going to care at all about work. It’s not going to seem important compared to my baby.
I also know that I can’t stay home with (just) the baby forever. We have two other kids and we couldn’t keep sending them to daycare if I wasn’t working. I wouldn’t want to. But I also know that I wouldn’t want to stay home with all three kids every day.
I don’t really like saying that, because in some ways it makes me feel bad. I feel like I have to justify it by saying they’ve been in daycare and they’re used to spending all day with other kids their age in an environment that is tailored to them. Our house isn’t like that. I also just don’t think I’d be great at it. I love my kids so much and I think they’re amazing and beautiful. I know myself, though, and at some point that just wouldn’t be enough for me.
We had our orientation meeting at the daycare the baby will be attending today. Each of our kids has spent some time at this daycare. It was just like old times. Almost.
We went over stuff in the office and then went back to the infant rooms. We spent some time in the infant rooms with the teachers and babies. One of the teachers there has cared for all three of our children. She is Bulgarian and has a strong character. As happens when it comes to child care, there have been times where we didn’t think she was listening to us. But she really surprised me. I left feeling confident that she truly cares for Clara’s well-being. It was the first time she’d met her, but everything she did and said made it clear that she had genuine affection for her and for our whole family.
I actually feel good about taking Clara there.
We met with an architect today to talk about how we could make our house work for us. We’ve been going back and forth about renovating (adding on) or buying a new house. We keep going in circles and can’t seem to figure out what really matters to us. Or maybe it’s just that what matters most to me is different than what matters most to my husband.
He wants to move to the suburbs, and when pressed he finally said that the real reason he wants to move there is because he wants a big, nice house. I told him he was barking up the wrong tree. I’m stubborn about a lot of things and one of those things is that we don’t need as much space as he thinks we need. I guess my definition of success is not a big, new house. I kind of hate being that person, but I want character, not just some big, fancy house. That’s not my thing.
Clara wanted to eat to fall asleep today, which is odd because she’s been going to sleep on her own and eating when she wakes up. Does she know changes are coming?
I spent the morning filling out the daycare paperwork. Of course that falls to me. I mean, I have the time for it, so I guess it makes sense. It just seems like one of those things that’s always the mom’s responsibilities. I did feel a little upset with myself for not making more of an effort earlier. I had my husband sign one thing last night, but I didn’t get very far. And I had the time. But those two days just went so fast.
I also had to get out the 3 month clothes and find what we need for Clara to wear and to bring to daycare. I’ve got a repairman coming and then I plan to drop her off at daycare for a few hours so she can spend a little time there getting used to it.
The prospect of having a few hours to myself makes me think I can get all kinds of errands done, but I doubt that’s very realistic. I’ll have to leave while the repairman is here and figure out the timing of picking her up…
Almost forgot to pump while she was at daycare. Then of course I did pump, but when I was in the middle of pumping the repairmen finished up and wanted to talk to me. “I’ll be out in just a minute.”
Was so distracted by thoughts of Clara on the way back to daycare that I could barely pay attention to the road. They said she did good and she took a bottle on the first try. I was happy about that because, while she had taken a bottle before, lately she was refusing it. I wasn’t worried about that this time though, because Ivy wouldn’t take a bottle when she went to daycare and they told me it was fine. They’re professionals. It was fine, so I figured it would be this time too.
Spent almost 2 hours driving Clara to and from daycare…hardly had time to even do anything while she was gone, which was not what I was hoping for.
Took longer to get Clara to daycare than I expected. I’m starting to get that nervous feeling in my gut. I know soon I will have precious little time with her each day and things will inevitably change. I’m not sure if I’m ready for it yet.
I don’t want things to change and I don’t want to be away from her all day.
I didn’t have much time to wallow in my thoughts on Thursday though, since it was filled with lunch with my sister and then some shopping. We drove back across town and got home just before my husband. Then we got in the car, went and picked the older girls up from daycare, went out to dinner with my family, came home and put the girls in bed.
Wasn’t feeling great. I’ve had a cold forever. I didn’t feel like spending two hours of my day driving across town to drop Clara off at daycare. So I called daycare at 9:30 and told them I wouldn’t be bringing her in then, and I would let them know around noon if I would bring her in at all.
She slept a lot in the morning, but I eventually decided I was taking advantage of my last day off work to sit around and do nothing but cuddle the baby. So that’s what I did. We spent the day together, in my spot on the couch, getting in as many snuggles as we could and not thinking about anything else. I’ll think about work on Monday.