Month 3 has come with a whole lot of changes for us. Our little Ollie has finally started to get his GERD under control after going through a series of different medications and doses. It’s so incredibly awesome that he isn’t spending most of his waking hours screaming. He’s becoming so aware of his surroundings…searching for his big sister, playing with his toys on his play mat and really starting to lift his head up (even rolling over a few times during tummy time). I mean, look at this cutie patootie:
Reaching the 12 week mark has also meant that I have now headed back to work. On the one hand, I know that I am incredibly lucky to have had 12 weeks paid maternity leave to spend with my child. I think that it’s utterly ridiculous that in this great nation of ours, we can’t offer that as a standard to all working mothers. My heart goes out to those moms that don’t get leave and don’t have the option of spending that precious time with their children. I’m incredibly grateful that I got to spend those 12 weeks with my family, and it’s time that I will always remember and cherish. I also have the flexibility of working from home, supportive coworkers and a great and understanding manager, who I actually consider a friend. So yes I am supremely fortunate.
With all of that said, it’s been rough going back to work. I don’t want to whine and complain, but I feel like we working moms aren’t allowed to discuss how difficult it is. People at work ask how it’s going, and I’ve never felt like I can give an honest answer….because it wouldn’t be appropriate to say that at the end of the workday since I have come back (and it’s only been a little over a week) each night after I get my children to bed, I cry. I think of all the little moments I have missed these days, and it hurts my soul. I see my son struggling with taking a bottle and just wanting me, and it breaks my heart. I struggled and fought so hard to be able to breastfeed my daughter and was never really able to. So it has been very special to have a successful breastfeeding relationship with my son…and now it feels like a huge part of that is gone. My daughter’s been acting out with me and has started asking for Daddy again (while I was on leave….she only asked for Mommy), and my heart aches. I can’t help but feel guilty for all that I am missing and all that I know I will miss. I can’t help but worry about them during the day when I am working.
And it isn’t because I’m not passionate about what I do or don’t find fulfillment with my job. I enjoy what I do, I am engaged at work, and I believe I am really good at it. I take pride in my work, and I definitely define part of who I am by it. BUT….IT IS STILL HARD. I think we should be allowed to say that, and I wish there were more ways for moms to come together and support each other during times like these. I feel like we are expected to do a complete 180 and have it all together the day we go back to work. Going from months of just mom life to just juggling it all (working, pumping, and taking care of the kids in the off hours) instantaneously.
Yes, I have been through this once before. So I do know it’s normal to feel this way, and that it will get better over time. There will be days in the future where I know I will be so exhausted from the long days with my kids that I will relish the break from mom life and the time at work life. I know that work trips will feel like mini vacations when I actually get to sleep through the night. However, right now, I don’t feel that way. And that should be okay to talk about and to share. We shouldn’t have to pretend it’s easy and that we have been dying to get back to work and adult company. It isn’t and I haven’t. And perhaps I put these things on myself, but I would hazard a guess that I am not the only one. These days are hard and long, and I’m sure another mama out there is happy to know they aren’t alone. If it seems hard to maintain your career and be a good mom, that’s simply because it is hard. That should be okay to say without any shame.
Thanks for reading this and letting me lay this all out on the table. Until next time,