So I made it. I officially went back to work on October 24th and it was difficult. I felt happy, guilty, sad, lonely, excited, nervous and anxious, to name just a few emotions. Yes, I cried. It wasn’t when I left my baby for the first time; it wasn’t when I finally made it home to greet her after a long day at work. It was one evening when things weren’t going so well and the pressure was piling up.
Mila’s screaming bloody murder. Work has been stressful already. I feel guilty leaving her and for wondering what goes on when I’m not there. I’m a mess.
The return message I received from a friend is what broke me:
You will always wonder what goes on when you’re not there, and you will always want to be by her side. You’re not a mess, you’re a mom and you’re amazing!
That came from a dad of an eleven year-old. He’s been there; he can relate. And he helps me all the time.
That was my second day back and on the third, my boss threw the pressure at me like a ninety-seven mile per hour curve ball headed straight for that little spot between my eyes. I broke again. I guess it’s like breaking the seal: once you’ve let go, it’s a little easier to just crumble some more. I left early that day and went straight home to be with my angel. I took a blanket outside and we enjoyed a beautiful autumn day.
We watched the bright yellow school buses drive by and the big white, fluffy clouds float along the brilliant blue sky. We listened to the birds and the planes flying high above us. We watched the yellow and red leaves fall and listened to the wind blow softly through the grass. My soul was refreshed. I felt close to my daughter again. I felt alive and confident.
I made it through the following two weeks incident free and strong. I’m able to bond with Mila despite my hours away, and I spend every moment I can with her. We’ve both learned a new routine and surprisingly I have gotten used to the early mornings easily.
If you’re a mom getting ready to go back to work after a long stay at home with your baby, just know this: it gets easier and you will get through it. Each of us finds our own way along that path – the one that works for both baby and mom.