Thursday, October 25, 2012

Working mom

I'm in my second week back at work and the consistent question I get from friends and family is "how are you doing?". Well, I'm doing o-kay. Not great, but not terrible. Just okay.

I like the work. The work is interesting and right up my alley. It's a new role for the organization, so I have a lot of input as to what my day-to-day looks like. The people are welcoming and friendly and tell me they are happy I am there. Which makes it so much easier to be there.

Where I am struggling is between 6-8am and 4:30-10pm. Because if I thought it was hard to get it all done when I was on maternity leave, I had it all wrong. I continue to be surprised to find, that after picking The Babe up from daycare, coming home, making dinner for her and for us (the adults), playing, bathing and nursing The Babe, cleaning up from dinner, making lunches while my husband puts her to bed, that after all that is done it is 9:15pm and it's pretty much time to go to bed. Those are also nights when I don't have any social commitments. The mornings are also an interesting mix of doing my makeup while telling The Babe not to rifle through the bathroom garbage, a verbal bargaining system to get breakfast eaten, and a dance around a hungry beagle just waiting for toast strips to be casually tossed on the ground.

I want to have special powers where I can freeze time, get everything clean and made, and then restart the time so I can have some semblance of quality time with my husband and The Babe. So far it seems to be limited to weekends, which seem to be filling up pretty fast with grocery trips, family visits and birthday parties. I realize some of this is my own making, but some of it just seems to be the way it is when you work outside the home. I guess I just need to figure out how to balance this stage of our life.

Fingers crossed I get it figured out before we start living off takeout and frozen dinners...

~ H

Saturday, October 13, 2012

My last day

Of maternity leave that is. I have spent the last few days savouring my time both with the Babe and without her. We have gone swimming, taken a few walks, had some playdates with playmates and some major tickle fights. It has been lovely just focusing on enjoying her. It should have been like this the whole time, but a lot of the time I let life get in the way of my own happiness and put tasks over games. It's funny how when you have a countdown on, your priorities change.

I also took some time for me while the Babe integrated into daycare. I used up gift certificates on a manicure and lunch with a friend. I bought new (work) clothes and watched a movie at home. I had my hair coloured and I went to see a show with my husband. Because as of Monday morning, it's just work, family time and soccer for me. It was great to have some alone time and I definitely achieved a lot more shopping without a little one to distract in the changeroom!

The anxiety is still there. Less so about daycare because the Babe seems to be really enjoying herself there. She is napping there and is always climbing on something when I pick her up. More anxious because I miss her already. And because I'm worried about sick days (after reading another mom's post about using up all her sick AND vacation days when her kids got sick) and about the state my house will be in after the first two weeks at work. I desperately want to know that I'll be good at my job, because I so dislike the first week where you're figuring everything out an don't quite have a groove. In my varied work history I have had difference levels of personal/professional disclosure in the workplace and I'm interested to see what the balance will be in this new place.

I want to be able to handle it. I really do. I want to know that I'm making the right decision (I realize I'm repeating this sentiment in a number of posts). But tonight I know that I have spent the last two weeks giving the Babe all my quality time and she will be headed to daycare knowing her mama loves her and misses her during the day.

Wish me luck!

~ H

Monday, October 1, 2012

Back to work

So it's official - I start a new job in two weeks. I'm excited, anxious, worried, relieved and so many more emotions. How will The Babe do in full-time daycare? How will I do leaving her with someone else for more than just a one off? Am I doing the right thing by going back to work? Bah, so many questions!

Due to the fact that my new job works indirectly with kids, I choose not to discuss the specifics of what and where the job is. It is significantly closer to home, cutting my commute from a three hour round-trip to one hour, and it has benefits which was a major factor as my husband is self-employed and is covered under me. The commute was the major reason I began looking for a new role; I couldn't justify spending so much time away from my child if it wasn't be spent at work. The location of my new role is also close to a rec centre, which means I can get some exercise in as well (in theory).

But the mommy guilt, and a few faces who shall remain nameless, have me constantly questioning whether or not choosing to be a working mom is the best thing for my child. How can I know this? I can't! All I can do is try and see what happens. I know that I am passionate about the work that I do, as well as being passionate about my child, and I am content when I am doing the things I enjoy. I love being a mom, but I also love having something for myself and I'm excited to have new things to talk about over dinner.

I'm scared that the Babe won't receive enough attention and care at daycare. Is that a common fear amongst working moms? I trust the daycare provider and I know that socialization is huge for the Babe in order to be a happy human. I'm just nervous to not be with her, because it's been just the two of us during the days for the last ten months. How can I hand her over to someone else and say "here, please don't break her"? When I think about it, I am often reduced to tears.

Whew, deep breath. I just have to try and see what happens.

~ H