Most new parents dread returning to work when their maternity leave ends. I am no different, I keep picturing our three month old's big blue eyes following me from the car window every morning I say, "Good bye."
Each time I hear a, "Mama" (from someone else's child) on the train or during lunch, I stop what I'm doing... It's hard, but not as bad as I thought it would be...
Parents usually feel a little more confident after their first child even though they still miss all their babes. In addition to parental guilt, there's also the challenge of maintaing professionalism. My first week of work (professional and personal) goals in no order were (1) we must all be clean and fed, (2) be on time, (3) dress for success and (4) hit the ground running. Other than an unexpected wardrobe malfunction, I think I pulled it off…
The transition terrified me since some say two kids is twice the work, which makes sense, but the truth is - it's only a slight variation in your routine and you adjust to your constantly changing "new normal".
Unlike my first return to work, we made it out of the house with both boys clean and fed ahead of schedule.
I was greeted at my desk with gifts for our little ones from one of my favorite members (I work for a professional association); she called me a little later in the morning to welcome me back. We agreed going back to work is much easier with your second child since you know what to expect...
By 10:00 a.m. on my first day, I started leaking breast milk. My striped shirt and big scarf concealed my spilled milk perfectly.
Every unexpected hug from co-workers and friends that first week made such a difference.
A highlight of my first day back to work was meeting girlfriends at our usual Corner Bakery meeting spot. One of my friends handed-off her breast pump to me since mine broke a few weeks ago. Phew!
As we shared toddler stories, a beautiful woman interupted us. She said, "Enjoy every minute, I'm turning sixty this summer and my baby will be sixteeen."
She knows little ones' sweet smiles and soft voices (when they're not screaming "NO!") far outweigh those stressors that pass.
All in all, it was a good first week back to work. I already have a long to-do list for both short-term and long-term projects and am almost through 2,000+ un-read emails.
I’m so lucky and grateful that my Mom takes care of our little ones while we are at work. We especially wish them luck and hope our boys are good.
We had a wonderful reunion everyday after work and last weekend. I think about that happy mom's wise words, "Enjoy every minute," as I race from the el stop every day to my parents’ house to greet our sweet boys.
In fact, I focus all day and take short lunches so I can pump, meet deadlines and try to leave on time. What was going back to work like for you?
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