Going Back to Work After Having a Baby
Making the decision to go back to work after having a baby was definitely something that filled me with a lot of anxiety. Would Elliot be okay in daycare? Could I function as a human in society on negative three hours of sleep? Would I feel guilty at work all day? And then the ever-present fear that I would bore my coworkers to death with endless stories about how Elliot ate broccoli for the first time. I was unlucky in the sense that I didn’t get maternity leave, but fortunate enough that I got to spend 6 months at home. Closing in on that 6 month mark, I can say I was definitely ready for some normal adult conversation, but so conflicted about leaving my baby boy.
The decision was really made for me when Renee posted a job opening at The Queen’s Cups. I had quietly been creeping on their social media before we moved to Worcester, and immediately applied. By some crazy stroke of fate, I got Elliot a spot at daycare, and Renee somehow liked me enough to hire me all at the same time! I was happily riding the wave of “wow everything really worked out” when the dreaded mom guilt set in. I became convinced we’d both be spending our day missing each other, and I was terrified I’d miss all his special milestones.
Before I knew it, it was go-time. Elliot was going to start daycare a couple weeks before I had to begin work so he had some time to settle in. My husband and I went together to drop him off for his first day, and much to my surprise, he went to his new teachers no problem. When we walked out, my husband remarked how well I held it together, but about halfway home the floodgates opened. I’m talking ugly cry, can’t breathe, snotty nose kind of sobbing. I was equal parts missing him and worried that they wouldn’t be able to handle my category 5 hurricane disguised as a human child. I cried on and off all day thinking he would hate me for doing this to him and that it would completely wreck our relationship. Was I being ridiculous? Yep. I counted down the minutes until it was finally time to go pick him up, and arrived just as they were getting back from a walk. Much to my shock, there he was, completely happy looking all around, barely even registering that his mom was there for him. His teachers even commented on how well he did for his first day.
Turns out, he loves daycare, and it turns out, I love my job. I can’t say every day is all sunshine and rainbows, there are days when I see a baby in line with his or her parents getting cupcakes and I miss my baby so much. There are days when I want to lose my mind because Elliot got sick at school yet again. BUT, at the end of my workday, I go to get him and he gives me the most heartwarming, ear to ear smile that ever existed. We both have a ton of fun doing our own thing but then we get to soak up and appreciate the time we do have together. Every day, I am humbled by how much I’ve learned from becoming a mom. I learned that kids are way more adaptable than we sometimes give them credit for, and that a lot of times I worry for no reason at all. In the end, going back to work was a difficult decision but the right thing for me.
Thanks for reading!
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