This past week I went back to work. While I didn't work a full five day work week and won't until the start of next month I still got dressed, did my hair and makeup, and left my baby behind with my husband for a full eight hour work day. A full eight hours!
The days leading up to going back to work I was torn with mixed feeling. In a way it felt like the first day of school, because I would be taking on a new position in a new office. I got to buy a couple of new outfits (mostly because I don't fit into my old outfits --yet) and office supplies. Office supplies! Is there anything more awesome than standing in the pen aisle in Staples looking at all the shiny writing utensils and thinking of the perfect black ink they dispense on crisp white notebook paper? Okay, I am a giant nerd, but I was enthralled to be able to shop for new supplies for my office. However, I wasn't all sunshine and rainbows.
When it really struck me that these were my last few days of maternity leave I was incredibly sad. As tired and often cooped-up I felt the last several weeks I really didn't want it to be over. I really didn't want to be away for the entire day with Emily. She's just starting to be awake and alert, to turn her head and stare, and grasp toys if I hold them for her. It seems that just as she starts becoming a little person I have to leave her behind. It crushes my heart to think about it.
So, when the day came I pushed my mixed emotions aside and went back to work for a whirl-wind of a day. I attended a pile of meetings and sifted through mounds of papers as I tried to get a foothold in my responsibilities. By the end of the day I was watching the clock, excited to go home to my Emily.
Four O'clock could not come fast enough and as soon as it did I packed up all my things and headed out the door. Thank goodness my commute is a hot three minutes, if I catch traffic (meaning a couple of people at the intersection waiting to turn left). It felt amazing to have finished my first day and be free to return to my little Emily.
As soon as I walked in the door I was greeted with the site of my little peanut in her daddy's arms being fed. Her eyes were wide and she stared at me as I swooped in to take her from her dad, mid-feeding and all. Oh, the goodness of coming home! Lord, it will be even better and work will go even slower when I know she'll be waiting for me and yell "mama!" as I walk through the door someday soon.
Now I am slowly adding more days to my work week until I am up to a full five day work week in mid-November. Three days this week, four the next, and then I am officially working all week like every other Tom, Dick, and Harry with a baby at home. Hopefully I won't miss too much. Hopefully Emily won't miss me too much. And most of all, hopefully she will be beyond excited to see me every afternoon.
Its not going to be easy being a Working mom, especially emotionally, but at least I know I'll get to come home to my little squeaky baby every afternoon. That's enough to get me through the day.