one of the questions i got many times while pregnant & even now is what i was going to do about work after having benji.
it was very easy for jimmy & i to come up with our post preggo plans. i was to return to work after 6 weeks of maternity leave & our new bundle of joy was going to stay home for a month where he would be taken care of by my mother & brother in law. after the month, he would go to daycare 3 days a week. mondays he was with my dad & fridays he was with my mother in law.
when having a baby, the words ‘easy’ & ‘plans’ are usually never in the same sentence.
we had to alter said plans a couple of times & now benji goes to daycare 4 times a week. i love that he gets to spend quality time with a grandparent, be spoiled & then go off to daycare where he can socialize with his baby buddies.
but i wasn’t always in love with it. i dealt with serious guilt leaving him. i cried twice on the way to work that first day. the second time was due to seeing a dead animal on i-75 but still. i knew some women who went through it so, my pep talks consisted of repeating to myself ,”you are not the first one. you are not the first one.”
one saturday at work, i lost it. jimmy was with the baby & sending me photos & updates periodically. i received a photo with benji wearing an outfit. a special outfit. an outfit i had “plans for”. i immediately called him upset. not only was i missing out on time with my baby but, i was missing the cute outfits.
jimmy ended up changing his clothes.
another low day i had was when jimmy sent me a photo of benji’s first class picture. going back to the cute clothes. i posted this photo on facebook & wrote “first class pic!”.
this was the result of his first class pic.
imagine 6 other babies. not crying. staring perfectly at the camera.
so when you get that photo while you are working a night shift, you aren’t going to be too pleased. i was so upset i think i went to the bathroom to cry it out. i felt like that was the perfect example of how i failed my baby.
i know i am doing the best that i can but it still is so hard. my father has been the greatest support for me and he gave me great & simple advice: quality is better than quantity.
every day i have off with benji is an adventure. that’s why if you are friends with me on instagram or facebook, you will see spurts of said adventures. i don’t get to see my baby everyday. sometimes depending on his day, if he was exhausted from daycare or what not, our quality time is a 4am bottle feeding.
i had an incredibly touching conversation with julie about a month ago. she told me at one point in the convo what a good job i was doing. i cried like a baby.
working moms & stay at home moms need to hear those words.
around this time is when i started to read “lean in” by sheryl sandberg. what an incredible & inspiring book. i feel like it was written for me. my situation. my life.
this book will change your life if you are pregnant & know you will be going back to work & also if you are a working mom, it will help with any guilt you may have. i think the mom guilt will always be there. especially for me since i have the catholic guilt too.
i want to blog about every single chapter.
i love hearing stories about how women manage their lives. i say manage & not balance because i am not sold on the idea that there is such a balance. that topic is for another day & something i am still figuring out. i welcome advice from women with all types of experiences in this crazy but amazing world we call motherhood.
i want to hear your stories.
how did you handle going back to work after having a newborn? what advice would you give to a new mom who is struggling with this?
ps – this is a great series from one of my fave blogs, a cup of jo.