I can’t believe it, but once again my maternity leave has come to an end. I start back to work on Monday, which also means B starts daycare. Daycare often gets such a bad rap, and really, being a working mom does too. It’s ridiculous that moms are made to feel guilty for working – whether it be out of choice or necessity, there’s always this negative connotation surrounding it. You just can’t win the Mommy wars no matter what side you fall on. Just a reminder to be gentle with your judgement, on both sides. And just because you have two babies, doesn’t mean you can suddenly afford to stay home. And you may not want to, and that’s okay too.
Being a working mom was never my first choice. In fact, growing up I always said I just wanted to be a mom, a stay at home mom. But, for so many reasons, I’ve landed in the role of a working mom instead because it is the best choice for our family and current financial situation. Moms should never have to defend their decision to work or stay home, because it’s hard either way. One isn’t better than the other. One doesn’t produce better children than the other. Most likely, it’s how the cards fall. Either way, this post is simply about being a working mom, because that is my experience.
I have, so far, actually really enjoyed my time being a working mom, and have no regrets with how we’ve handled things with A. With B, whether I work the whole time or end up staying home at some point, I can confidently say that we will always put what’s best for our family first. We are blessed with a great school, close by, and feel very lucky.
Even though I’ve (mostly) enjoyed working, it’s still hard. If I had a million dollars of course I’d stay home. But, with what God’s provided for us thus far, I’ve been happy working and have established a great routine. I’m excited to get back into our routine with B in daycare too, and think it will bring on a new sense of normal for life with two kids.
This ain’t my first rodeo though, ya’ll. Even though I’m feeling a little better about going back this second time around, it doesn’t make it any easier. There’s still feelings of doubt, worry, fear, anxiousness, and sadness that creep in. But, when I return to work, I’m going to remember…
That it gets easier then harder then easier again. No two days are alike, and the emotions will ebb and flow, just as each unique stage passes.
That I am mom, and they are not. And you will always know that.
That you are going to be loved on, and kept safe at school. People assume babies are neglected at daycare, but I’m choosing to stay positive and trust your new teachers. You’re going to love them right back.
That it’s ok for me to actually not mind working, and achieving my goals outside of the home.
That I am raising you, and they are not. As much as society likes to play that card, it’s not true. That’s simply Satan creeping in, trying to add guilt where there shouldn’t be.
That pumping three times a day is worth it. Oh so worth it. I would do anything in the world to try and keep you the healthiest I possibly could.
That there’s no “milestone” big enough for me to “miss” that I should feel guilty about. If you happen to experience a first while at daycare, hooray! It will happen again and it will be just as magical.
That your big sis is just down the hall and will always look out for you.
That I’m doing the right thing by helping to provide for our family now, in order to help provide for your future later.
That even though my paycheck mostly pays for insurance, we are beyond blessed to even have good insurance in the first place. Insurance these days is so, so important.
That your immune system is going to be exposed to so many great, and not so great, germs that will help you grow strong and be able to defend against bigger germs in the future.
That you’re getting to socialize with other babies and experience care and love from other adults besides mom and dad.
That there’s going to be tough days, but with a little bit of grace we’ll get through it. We will find our new routine and groove together.
That your little mind is going to be stimulated all day, actively expanding and growing smarter by the minute!
That you’re going to see your mom work hard at something other than taking care of you and big sis. You’ll see your mom as a responsible employee, a mom boss. You’ll see your mom taking care of you and big sis by working and providing financially.
That you’ll grow up learning that women are just as important and essential in the workforce as men, and just because I’m a mom doesn’t mean I can’t have career ambition too.
That it’s okay as a mom to follow your dreams outside of the home.
That even though we’ll be apart for several hours a day, the time we spend together will be 10x more special because of it.
That weekends will soon become cherished family days where we get to spend every second together.
That having some alone time during the day is not a bad thing. In fact, it’s really good for my mental health.
That spending some time during the day conversing with adults is also really good for my mental health.
That even though I’d give anything to stay home and spend every waking moment with you, I am content in my working role and believe it makes me a better mom.
That you are going to rock it. You are strong and resilient, and as much as I need to be strong for you, I need you to be strong for me too. We’ve got this.
That you are in excellent hands, and if at any moment I start to doubt that, this mama bear will come running.
That I AM a great mom. An amazing mom. And the perfect mom for YOU.
That we are both where we’re meant to be.
Maternity leave 2.0 you were amazing. It was probably the best 13 weeks of my life and my heart hurts knowing it went by so quickly. But, all good things must come to an end and now it’s time for the next chapter! BRING IT ON.