It’s becoming real now. From the moment I started my maternity leave I knew it was just that, leave from my job. This week is my last full week and I go back on Thursday of next week. It has finally hit me, Carter and I don’t get to live in this amazing little bubble we have created over the past 10 weeks. I know I’m really lucky, most people don’t get that much time at home with their babies, but my heart is heavy. I love every moment I get to spend with my precious boy.
I also love my job. Really love my job. I always said if I won the lottery, I wouldn’t quit unless it was to stay at home with my children. I love it that much. I would never quit my job just because I didn’t need the money. Obviously money isn’t exactly why I got into the teaching profession. But now I’m in a different place. My heart is torn. I yearn to be at home all day with Carter changing his diapers and kissing his chubby thighs as I do. Nursing him when he’s hungry. Reading to him and playing with him when he’s awake. It’s just not an option for our family. We need my salary. I want to be able to save money to put in a college fund for Carter. We have a mortgage to pay. Our monthly budget can only be met with both of our salaries.
I thought about quitting my job and finding a night job to supplement my salary (it wouldn’t have to be the full amount when you consider not paying daycare costs). I just knew I wouldn’t be fully happy with that situation either. I would have so much less time to spend with my husband and I wouldn’t be able to work in my career path. I would probably end up waitressing. Instead of having all summer at home to spend with Carter and the evenings with Ty (my current arrangement). I would still have to work evenings in the summer. Is there a perfect answer? No. No matter what I do, I’m going to miss something. Whether it’s Carter when I go back to work, Ty if I were to work nights, and my job/co-workers if I were to quit. Being a working mom is already harder than I ever thought it would be!
I can’t imagine what it will be like when I return to work. I have one vision (the nightmare scenario) where I sit in my classroom during my plan time with the lights out crying. I have another vision (the perfect dream) where the day goes by so fast I barely have time to miss Carter and before I know it, I’m picking him up from daycare. I know they are both extremes, I hope we end up somewhere in the middle.
I go back to work on a Thursday, so I’ll work Thursday and Friday and then I’ll have the weekend with Carter. I have a full week after that and then I’m off for spring break, so I think that will also help me with the transition. I keep reminding myself to take it one day at a time.
My lunch/recess time is from 12:00-12:45. Once I drop the students off in the cafeteria and walk to my car it will be closer to 12:05 or 12:10. Carter’s daycare is only about 7 minutes away. My plan is to go visit him over my lunch. I think it will help me make it through the day, getting to see him half-way through. It may only be for 20 minutes with the driving, but 20 minutes holding Carter is 20 minutes well spent.
I’ve read different ideas for making the transition back to work easier: putting on baby lotion so you can “smell your baby” throughout the day, putting up pictures of your baby (you better believe I’ll be doing this), looking at pictures on your phone.
For those of you working moms out there, what was something that helped you?