posted in Parenting
Making the transition back to work after having a baby is fraught with contradictions. I started worrying about this transition back almost as soon as I found out I was pregnant. It’s a big step in any woman’s life and it’s also a major shift for families. Navigating this uncharted territory would have been so much easier if my boss had understood these things.
I want to be here but I don’t want to be here.
I want to work, but I also feel incredibly torn. I can’t stand the thought of missing each tiny gasp, sneeze, and smile. But I also want to keep something just for me — my career.
Just because I need flexibility doesn’t mean I’m not working just as hard (or harder!).
It’s a sad truth that most workplaces don’t give employees enough flexibility to strike their own balance between work and home life. Flexibility doesn’t mean you are a wimp or high-maintenance. It means you are a human being who wants to be able to make your own choices about what your work and life should look like and how that affects your family.
I love my job but everything in my life just turned upside down. Again.
Giving birth and adjusting to life with a newborn is one thing, but coming back to work and finding this new rhythm is another thing.
I’m not ready for this.
Is it any surprise that I’m not ready to return to work after 12 weeks? And I know I’m lucky to get 12 weeks. We all know America’s maternity leave policy is a big fat joke. I’m not ready. Most moms are not ready, but that’s our reality.
I’m going to use a new vocabulary.
I’m going to use words like “pump” and “breastfeeding” and that’s okay. These are normal words in the vocabulary of motherhood. I’m comfortable with this diction and you should feel free to use them too. Asking me if I need a break to pump is not weird and intrusive.
I feel so guilty.
When I’m loving work and not missing my baby, I feel guilty. When I’m at work missing her, I feel guilty. When I’m with my baby, I feel guilty for not worrying about work.
Your mom jokes are annoying.
I’ll just say it. Your jokes about mom jeans and minivans are annoying. Yeah, I agree with some humor in mom culture but I’m still the same person. Just because I created a human and delivered it into this world doesn’t mean I’m suddenly only interested in mom stuff.
I feel like my brain is broken.
My mental load just tripled. All the energy I used to dedicate to work is now being occupied with about four other lists of things.
Don’t feel sorry for me.
Yes, it is a lot. Yes, I’m in way over my head. But the greatest thing that’s ever happened to me just happened and I’m going to embrace all of this chaos and find a new balance for me and my family.
How did your return from maternity leave go?
The post What I wish my boss knew about my return from maternity leave appeared first on BabyCenter Blog.