To quote famous South Side philosopher and friend Robin Baumgarten: "Maternity leave is great, except for the taking care of the kids part." I'm 4 days or as my 5 year old says "3 wake ups" from going back to work. Precisely the "wake ups" are my biggest fear. It's not the same to feed a baby at 3AM and go back to sleep, as feeding said child having to jump in the shower, get TV ready, drive sometimes an hour away and sound at least coherent live at 7AM. Yes, I have the best job in town and no, contrary to what so many people who contacted me before having the baby think, not everyone can do it. Yes, it beats covering murders and fires; it beats working the assembly line; hell, for me it beats being a stay at home mom.
And about staying at home, financially I can't and emotionally I won't. This is the second maternity leave of my life and I exit it with the utmost admiration to all those women who choose to stay at home. I have enjoyed being with my children without the anxiety of having to go to sleep right after them because I have to go to work. Did you know there is TV on after 8PM? But staying at home can be draining, physically and emotionally. If you do it right, you often feel like you've done it all wrong. I was raised by a stay at home mom who really wanted me not be one, "at least, work part time. Make sure that the biggest accomplishment of your day is not that you cleaned the oven" she told me once. The job is under appreciated until your children become parents themselves.
Come to think of it, I have the best of both worlds. I work early mornings in a career that to me is more of a vocation. I get home in the afternoon with enough time to have plenty of hours as a full time mom. I forgo sleep and that takes a toll, but my job and especially those 2 babies that I brought into this crazy world are completely worth it. See you Thursday morning, when I regain my FREEDOM, I mean, go back to WGN Morning News--- my home away from home. Ay Mama!
PS: Before my husband demands a correction, he takes a lot of those 3AM feedings.