Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Landing after the leap

Here we are, 5 months after my first post about taking the leap and leaving the workforce, and I am now about to re-enter the workforce. Next week I will begin training for a one-year full-time contract with a local municipality in their corporate communications department. But before I go into how I am feeling now, let's quickly revisit the last 5 months.

My maternity leave officially ended at the beginning of July and we spent the summer doing summer things. Going to the zoo and hitting up the local playground. A few visits to the nearby water park and a lot of swimming in our pool. So much swimming that The Babe is completely comfortable swimming underwater, yay! So so so much swimming that my hair turned green, not so yay. We visited family on Vancouver Island, spent time with the grandparents checking out the river and the horses near their place, and hanging out with various friends and all the cousins. Some days were fantastic and some were temper-tantruming terror, as it is with a toddler and a baby. It wasn't all sunshine and smiles, but it definitely was a lot of the time.

But as the summer wore on and the fall began and we moved into a new routine, I found myself missing the work. The contract work I have been doing just isn't the same. As a contractor you are not intimately involved in the company, you are on the outside and only privy to what directly affects the work you are responsible for. Which I found difficult. I missed the work culture. I was also struggling with the way I left the full-time work world. I wasn't finished. I always knew there was a large possibility of my leaving the workforce for a few years once we had our second child, but I wasn't where I thought I would be in my career when it was time to leave. The thoughts of leaving on that note, in that place, continued to nag at me.

When an opportunity came knocking at my door, I thought long and hard about how I have been feeling, what affect it will have on our family for me to go back to work for a year, where my priorities lie. I thought I was questioning myself a lot in June, when it turns out I have never questioned myself more than in the last two weeks.

I am excited to begin this new (short) chapter. The team I get to work with is one that I have worked with in the past and whom I respect immensely. The work will be busy and important and I will be a part of some major initiatives and events over the next year. And I love working in communications. The office is close to home and has some great benefits such as flex days which I will look forward to spending with the kiddos.

I am nervous about the transition for both the kids and for me. While The Babe has been in daycare before and will know a bunch of the kids from her time there before, Baby Macaroni still clings to me like a small koala to a bamboo tree. I am unsure how she will manage in daycare. She is not as independent as The Babe was at this age, but we never worried about socialization for Baby Macaroni because she has had The Babe to socialize with. I wonder how she will change by going to daycare and will I be okay with it?

I am unsure what will happen to the family dynamic once I am back at work. I know it's not something I can plan for, it will unfold on its own and I cannot control it. But in some ways, I do control it, with my actions.

I feel as though I have failed at being a stay-at-home mom because I want to go back to work. It didn't work out, as one well-meaing preschool mom asked me this week. But in the same breath I don't see the problem with wanting to work in a position I worked hard to get to AND be a mother at the same time. The scales are filling up with thoughts on either side, tipping from up to down to up again. My brain is tired and so is my heart.

Next week we begin our transition with the huge help of family and friends. I know there will be some tears, but I'm hoping there will be lots of smiles too.

~ H