Last week I went back to work. It was traumatic. For me. On my first day back, my mom took care of Harper, then every day after that she went to daycare. People kept telling me not to feel guilty. Sure, I had some mom guilt, but mostly I felt (and feel) sadness.
The part that really had me feeling guilty was that it felt so much harder than when I went back to work following Shyla’s birth. She was younger and I was a first time mom. Why was it so much harder this time? I love my girls equally, so what could it be?
And then it hit me. It was (and is) Harper AND Shyla. This time I am leaving not one, but two. And this time, because of the cost of daycare, my financial contribution to the family is so little it makes me want to puke.
I love my Harper and I love each and every stage she goes through. She is currently trying to crawl and I can just see the determination on her beautiful face.
But Shyla...Shyla is a walking, talking (incessantly), inquisitive, sensitive little being and I am sad to be missing her stages too.
I feel so very lucky to have had an extended leave. So many more mothers have to return to work much sooner than I did. But I got a taste of being a stay-at-home-mom and I loved it. I felt confident as a mom and I was honing my domestic goddess skills.
And now I’m back amongst the working, showering everyday folk. I am pumping twice each day at work and 2-3 times each day at home (yes, this means I am getting up at odd hours to make it happen). It is tiresome but it is worth it. I’ve posted a picture of the sign that I hang on my locked classroom door while I’m pumping. I find it to be fairly clear in meaning. But kids are kids and, apparently, their interpretation of it is:
If door is locked, jiggle handle. Repeatedly.
If no one answers, peak through tinted windows.
Jiggle handle some more.
If still no one answers run through the pod to the “staff only” entrance.
Jiggle that handle some more.
Knock on door.
Peak through window.
Continue until a staff member tells you to get to class.
At least I have a job to go to. There are so many struggling families out there, looking for work, I feel badly complaining about mine. But, it’s my blog and I will do what I want with it.
I just want to go home and snuggle my babies for, as Shyla would say, “a couple minutes.” Or perhaps a little longer….