Life after Maternity Leave
That is exactly how it felt. I was leaving the maternity side of me and going back into the workplace. I’m not going to lie. I took it pretty hard. Weeks leading up going back to work was torture. The day of, I cried when hugging him goodbye, on the way there and when I arrived. Then I had to put my game face on. I now had to remember that I will be doing more than breastfeeding, rocking, pumping and binge watching Lost on Netflix. I was going back to paper jams and scheduling conflicts and moody co-workers and sick patients. I had to remember how to be a full time working wife but now be a full time working mother.
First week was okay but I skipped, did the Bunny Hop and the electric slide on the way home that Friday. I couldn’t wait to just wake up with him after sleeping in and not having to rush to get ready for work. I mean we were tackling two big changes. Mommy was going back to work and the baby was going to a babysitter’s house. Fortunately we were blessed to know the babysitter so it worked out. I had so many fears about daycares and babysitters so I was happy with that decision. The second week, every day felt overwhelming and tiring. I kept telling myself find the balance. Find the balance between work and home, between work and wife and mother and self. You have to find it or you will go crazy. The weeks following just got worse. I remember coming home several nights and crying to my husband thinking I’m failing all the way around. I wasn’t home enough with Xavier. I wasn’t giving my all at work because I was either tired, not motivated or honestly still trying to remember everything. I definitely wasn’t giving any attention to my husband or our marriage. We as a pair was immediately put on the back burner. Work seemed like it was never going to end. I just knew any day now that I would be fired for one mess up after another. I even had a string of dreams for a week straight where I was getting fired. For a minute, I thought I wouldn’t be able to handle all of this. Then I got in my head that I would miss everything. I just knew that I would miss Xavier’s first steps and eating on his own and potty training. Yes -I thought all of this in two days.
Then my husband and I got on a routine. Then I started speaking up at work about needing help. Then I saw Xavier really taking to being with the babysitter and around other kids. (HIs new found independence messed with my psyche too but that’s another post!). It seemed to be a shift in my life and although I wouldn’t call it a balance (because I’m still trying to figure that out), I would say my life got some normalcy. I finally was able to breathe a little bit and realize that I cannot be Wonder Woman right off the bat. I’m still learning and getting back into the swing of things was not going to be overnight. Once I realized that, I was good. Okay, not really good; just better than that first day off maternity leave.