We are kicking off a mini series about transitions! For the first two posts in the series, we are focusing on returning to work. The first post will be from the perspective of a first time mom (Amanda C.) and a mom of two (Amanda P.) Check out our bios to see put a face to the name, if you’re new here!
As a first time mom, the thought of going back to work after 3 months off with my baby seemed unnatural. I cried for the last 2 weeks of my maternity leave, the increasing anxiety about going back got worse with each passing day. I kept trying to push it away, thinking that maybe by some miracle I wouldn’t have to go back. And then it came. The night before I had to go back, I laid in bed and cried. Cried for hours. I got up in the morning, got myself ready and got Reagan ready and I cried the entire time. I cried on my way to drop her off at my MIL’s house, I cried kissing her bye, I cried on my way to work, I even cried at work (thankfully my coworkers are great and knew exactly how I was feeling). That was the longest 12 hours of my life! It wasn’t because I was worried about her, I knew she was in great hands and would have the best day with her Grammy…but because the thought of anyone taking care of her except me literally broke my heart. Things that ran through my head: No one was going to do things the way I do them. Her routine was going to get messed up. She was going to forget about me. She would think I didn’t love her because I had to go back to work. These were my constant thoughts for the first month of being back at work. I tried to think of every way possible to not have to continue working. I cried every day for an entire month. If I wasn’t crying because I was going to work, I was crying at the thought of having to go to work the next day. My poor husband, he tried to console me but nothing worked. The fact of the matter is that I had to work. There was no way of getting around it.
All my mama friends assured me that things would get easier, but I didn’t believe them for awhile. I never thought I would get used to it. But after a long month, things seemed to get a little easier. We got a routine down. Reagan enjoys her days at daycare with her new little friends and she loves the days with her Grammys. If her naps get messed up-which they do (my child refuses to nap more than 40 minutes total at daycare) it’s not the end of the world, she just goes to bed earlier that night! Everyone does things a little different with her, and that’s ok too! That just means that she adjusts to things easier now as opposed to only only doing things the way I do them. Now that it’s been over 2 months since I have been back to work, I can say now that it was the best decision for myself and our family. Financial reasons aside, it’s nice to have adult time away and out of the house. It was nice to feel like the old me again, the woman who is more than just a mama.
On my days off, the time with Reagan is even more special to me because I’m able to appreciate my time with her more. My main advice, mama, if you’re getting ready to go through the transition back to work… know that it will be hard. Know that it will feel like you can’t do it. You may cry for days, but rest assured that it will get easier. It may not seem that way at first, or even after a couple of weeks it, but it will get better.
Look for our next post in this series: Transitions Series: A Second Time Mama’s Experience.
-Amanda + Amanda