Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Stop in the name of love, before you break my heart...

I am a working mother.
When it comes down to it, I wouldn't have it any other way.  In fact, the week before I went back to work after maternity leave (a week in which I refused to set down the baby and just sat and sobbed constantly, it was LOVELY), I remember telling someone that even though I was sad to leave the baby - I would be even sadder to let someone else do my job.  I mean, after all - I spent a good portion of my life, lots of energy, and lots of money learning and making sure I would be good at that job.

I'm writing this down because I'm having to remind myself of it every morning as that little Incredible Hulk face watches me leave him.  Because folks - it's devastating.

On mornings when my husband does the drop-offs, I'll load everything in the car and leave giving TIH a kiss and a hug for last.  Then, I set him down on the floor to play and try to scurry out the door.  Except that he thinks this is all some sort of fun game Mommy is playing and he tries to crawl-chase me out the door with the HUGEST smile on his face.  So, I have to slam the door quickly shut behind me, but not before I see his little face fall with the realization - Oh, she's leaving again.  It. KILLSME.

There have been a few mornings where I've had to drop him off at daycare and he always looks very pleased when we show up at Jade's house and gives big smiles to her and to all of his friends.  But then, it settles in.  And he watches as I make my way towards the door - Oh, so that's how it is.


Yesterday morning, I ran out of her door, screaming, "Don'tlookdon'tlookdon'tlook."  She probably thought I was crazy. 
I am.
But, still...

When I come to pick him up, I notice it takes him a minute to realize I'm really there.  His face lights up and he reaches for me and hugs me in his little baby way - Oh, my gosh!  Is it really you?!

And then, he doesn't want to let me go.  So, I usually end up having to spend my first hour at home holding TIH.  If I try to put him down?  He throws what I can only describe as a temper tantrum - though I thought he was a little young for this.

But really, it's okay.  I can start the dishes, check the mail, kick off my shoes, and use the bathroom (No, seriously.  My husband had to stand outside the door with him the other day with the door open to keep him from having a TIH-sized meltdown.) with one hand.

Do I have my doubts about being a working mom?  Yes.  My mother worked, but not full-time, so I don't really have a blue print to go off of for a family with two working parents.  So, much like everything that comes with motherhood - I'm honestly just winging it.

One of my favorite quotes has always been:

Do the things you have to do when you have to do them, so you can do the things you want to do when you want to do them.

So, baby, Mommy has to go to work right now.  Even though she reallyreallyreallyreally wants to stay at home and play.  But I promise you this: one day you're going to get to do all of the things you want to do (go on fun vacations, live in a nice house, go to a good college) exactly when you want to do them.

At least that's how I'm validating my "working-mom" self for today.
Until then, the smile on his face when he sees me come home is enough for me.


  1. It was a big relief to me when my baby started grinning at her caretaker at drop off. As soon as she sees her she gives her a big goofy grin and I know she is being well cared for. But I dread the day ... Well, you know.

  2. OY... kudos to you working mommies~ I don't know. I always thought I would go back to work, but 15 months later, well, here I am. I was fortunate enough to be given the opportunity to work from home, but it's very part time. As a stay home mommy, however, I miss being an adult sometimes so I envy you in some ways... What I did learn was that you just can't have it all. Can't go back to work and take my baby with me and can't stay home with her and be an adult with other adults either. =(

  3. Personal ques: (you don't have a contact me link =)) how long after TIH, did you return to work? This has been an ongoing battle for me. Some days I am sure I want to, and some days, I don't think I can handle it...

  4. Valerie - hey, it's not any more personal than anything else I would post on here. I took as much paid maternity leave as my employer would allow. Fortunately, that meant I could take up to 12 weeks (and be protected under FMLA) AND take more with a blessing from my boss. The only issue was the amount of time I had earned towards my maternity leave. I ended up being able to take exactly 8 weeks (and that was scraping the bottom of the barrel) because I hadn't really planned out the fact that I might need to hoard some paid leave for the first two years I worked there. (And then, I ended up having a very important training to go to two days before my maternity leave was up, so I actually went back before TIH even turned 8 weeks.)

    All that to say, I do not have the option (financially) to stay at home, take unpaid maternity leave, or even work part-time my boss offered that option to me too!) Some day, I would really love the option of working part time or working in the school system somehow so I could at least have summers off.

    I think all moms struggle with their decision about working/not working. In the end, you need to do what feels right for you and your family. And not being afraid to try something out and if it fails - then try something else. No harm done.

    Hope that helps :)

  5. I guess I'll keep turning it over in my head and see what comes up, if anything, considering there's not much going on in the noggin since I've had the Jellybean. Thanks so much for the response!


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