Whenever the thought crosses my mind, I actually get a gut wrenching pit in my stomach. It’s similar to the feeling that you left the house with the stove still on, only WAY worse. Have I done everything I can to prepare my kids to spend the days without me? How will I get myself and two kids ready in the morning to get out the door? Them to daycare, and me to my “day job”. Will I be so exhausted by the time I come home that I won’t be interested in spending time with them? You guys… I feel sick.
And yet.. I know that working outside of the house does make me happy. My kids are everything to me… but I’ve never seen myself as a long term stay at home Mom. In a perfect world, I could work a few days a week and be home with them the rest of the time, but that’s not our reality right now. Some days I crave the regular routine of waking up and heading off to work, and the social aspect that comes with working outside of the home. These are super important to me and I believe necessary for my sanity. I love contributing to a team, being creative, challenging myself and learning new things. These things happen for me in my job, and that’s exciting.
There’s really no way to prepare yourself for the inevitable return to work post baby. For some, this time comes far too quickly. At least in Canada we get a solid 12 months to stay home with our babies. This time is invaluable…but no matter how long you stay home, the transition back to the workforce is never easy. I remember with K, going back to work was one of the most difficult things I had to do. She was a year old and becoming so much fun!! I had spent an entire year with her and was not ready to give it up… which might explain why I got pregnant a month later :)….However, I do have to remind myself that although it was incredibly difficult to leave her, I think it was way harder on me than it was for her. The first two months she spent with my Mom and Sister, but then she went to daycare… and she did AMAZING. That first drop off is absolutely heart breaking though, and I bawled my eyes out the entire drive to work. Meanwhile, she happily went off to play with the other children, slept well, ate well, and probably barely noticed I was gone. This taught me that children are a lot more resilient than we’d like to believe.
This time around, I have to leave TWO babies. My sweet and sensitive K, who will be almost 3, and my wild and crazy, happy boy B who will be just 1. Here’s the silver lining though… we are SO FORTUNATE that we’ve been able to swing a few extra months of no daycare costs because Daddy gets to spend the summer with the littles. That’s right! We’re engaging in a little social experiment of Daddy daycare. Muahaha. He has no idea what he’s in for! I kid, I kid… he’s going to be incredible, and the munchkins are going to love every second of their time with him. For me, it’ll be the perfect way to transition back to work life. I have a sense of calm, knowing that I don’t have to dive right into the busy mornings or hectic dinner time routine.
I know that while I’ll have a few extra months to prepare myself, the time will come when it’s just me and the kiddos again in the mornings and evenings when hubs is working afternoons. Only then, I won’t be lounging around in my jammas until 9am (err 11am). I’ll be up, dressed and running. Somehow (and please tell me how!), I’ll have to figure out how to make this madness work… but for now, I’m going to enjoy EVERY SINGLE LAST SECOND that I have with my two littles. They are what gives my life meaning. They’ve changed me in ways I never knew possible, and have filled me with a joy I didn’t know existed. I’ll soak up the moments of not peeing alone, the 5am wake ups, the noisy car rides, and watching Cinderella (the classic version) for the umpteenth time. After all, when I’m sitting in my fifth meeting of the day, I’ll be really really wishing I could stack blocks and play dolls for hours on end.
If anyone has a solution to give me the best of both worlds.. hook a sistah up, will ya?