First of all, thank you SO much for the tons of support you’ve given me in my last post, in particular. It means so much to me and all your suggestions were great ones.
I know tomorrow (my dry-run half-day) will be just a little test, but it will be a good prep for how a day will actually go next week when she goes to daycare and this coming week when I go back to work.
Reader LG asked me to write a post about what led to my decision to go back to work and I had thought about writing something like this a while ago and this seems like as good timing as any … plus, if I ever have doubts, I can go back to this post for affirmation I’m doing the right thing.
Truthfully, I had always assumed I’d return to work after having a baby. Though my mom was a SAHM til I was in sixth grade, we live in a very different world and staying home just isn’t an option for me at the moment — which tears me up.
Career. I have an amazing job at a top digital advertising agency. I work mostly independently and have a lot of creative freedom — I basically have molded my position and am very fortunate to love my job. And I’m going to be working Fridays from home, which is great. The other reason I want to continue working from a career-standpoint is that my husband will graduate with his MBA this December and we could be moving in the next year or two, so I would like to work as long as possible–especially if, after we have a second baby someday, I end up working part-time and/or remotely (ideally in my current role!). So we’ll see … but it just didn’t make sense to stop working now when I honestly love what I do and where I work. What sucks is that it means for 9 hours a day, I’ll be apart from Maya.
Social Stimulation. I’m a social animal. Anyone who knows me in real life knows this to be true. I love people, am a people-person, and I thrive in the company of others. (Probably explains why I’m in public relations and am a blogger!) The friends I’ve made at work are some of the best I’ve ever had, and I love being challenged. At work, I’ve had to get over my fear of public speaking and feel very much a part of the fabric of our culture there … I’d miss not being a part of the excitement that comes with working at such an awesome place … (OK, it’s not rosy all the time but bear with me!). And the adult interaction will no doubt be good for me — though my whole leave I toted Maya all over the place and she got lots of socialization, too 🙂
Finances. In 2010 I got out of all the personal debt I’d racked up before my husband and I got married, so I finally felt a little financial security that was different than the financial security I feel for us as a couple. It took four years to do it — and it wasn’t easy — but I did it. (I’d like to thank my husband’s kick-ass Excel and budgeting skills for that!). So I finally had personal savings, in addition to our shared savings. For someone as admittedly financially irresponsible as myself, it really made a difference in how I saw the contents of my bank account. I enjoyed having that extra wiggle room, and would like to continue to have that wiggle room, independent of what my husband and I share. While we could probably swing it with just one salary, it’d be hard — and so I feel like I should work as long as I can.
All in all, I know working is the right decision for me right now, but I’m not gonna lie — it hurts.
OK … I started this post last night, and am finishing it now (Friday). I dropped Maya off this morning for a four-hour trial. My husband was with me, but he wasn’t nearly as choked up as me — he loves her to pieces, but he’s been away from her at work all the time and keeps telling me she’ll be fine … he doesn’t understand what only a mom can … it’s inexplicable.
It killed me walking out. I mean, the daycare we chose is fabulous and comes highly recommended and they have a webcam I can watch at any time … but still, the house feels painfully empty. I’m hearing phantom cries and everything … I miss her already. It’s like a piece of me is not here … a very weird sensation. I know it’ll get easier … it will.
And fortunately I’ll mostly be on pick-up duty vs drop-off but still!!
OK well, I better get going because I need to shower and pick Maya up soon but wanted to put these thoughts down so thank you, LG, for spurring that!! For all the working moms out there, I know you can all relate to how I’m feeling … thank you for the support!
8 thoughts on “Why I’ll Work”
It is hard, SO hard. But also remember you’ll be at work, not home – and while you’ll miss her, it won’t feel as abnormal as being at home w/out her b/c you’re not mentally used to having her at work. Your brain will go into work mode and it will be easier (not easy, but easier) to be productive and go about your day. It took me a while to get back into the routine and not feel odd about not prepping bottles and singing songs and stuff like that throughout the day.
It will get easier. And it’s hard because it should be. We shouldn’t be able to just leave our babies without a care. Where would the species be, then?? LOL But you’ll find your groove. And seeing her at the end of the day will feel amazing. 🙂 It’s the best thing to come home to.
Excellent points, Candice … I’ll probably switch gears easily but tonight it just feels daunting. Thank you — and you’re right, I already can’t wait to get home to her tomorrow!
You got it, babe.
Both of my girls really loved daycare. They were in home daycares for the most part, and adored their daycare providers. They also enjoyed playing with the other kids. A rude woman once asked me why I didn’t want to stay home and raise my kids, rather than letting someone else raise them. I told her that my husband and I were raising our children. The daycare provider, loving as she was, was not the one taking care of my children when they were sick, or paying for their clothes, or throwing them birthday parties, or volunteering at their schools, or reading to them at night, or saving for their college education, or taking them to swimming….
Don’t ever let anyone make you feel guilty for wanting to WOH (not that I think the reader who asked you to talk about your reasons for going back is trying to do that). You deserve to be fulfilled as a woman AND as a mother.
That is wonderful to hear, Susan! I think Maya will really enjoy it, too. And I love your perspective and outlook … you’re so right!
Thanks so much for that thoughtful post! It was really interesting to read. I so want to be able to stay home with my kids but then working between #1 and #2 sounds like it would be a good financial decision too…
I say all of this not being pregnant and embarking on fertility treatments…ho hum. Trusting in God that we’ll be parents one way or another.
My pleasure! And sending good vibes your way for a baby!! 🙂