I have to go back to work. Financially, we are a two-income family. We have a mortgage, a car payment, student loans and more. We have lived on one income and survived but made major sacrifices and to be honest — we aren’t a position to do it again for a while. I have run the numbers, just to see, and the math dictates that I return to my job.
The good news? I WANT to go back to work. Even if I didn’t have to, I would choose to. And knowing that is liberating.
I have spent every day of my 12-week maternity leave soaking up the special, can’t-get-back time with my angel. I have grown her from a 7-pound, 7-ounce floppy little thing to a strong, 13-pound, head-held-high girl. She smiles, she coos, she knows my voice…and I know that I have had a lasting impact on her by being her near-sole provider for this 4th trimester.
Now it’s time for me to move into my new role as a working mama. Lest you think this is just another parry in the ugly world of mommy wars, my choice is MY choice. Being a parent is hard whether you work at home, work from home, work out of the house or anything in between. No matter what you do, you’ll feel some regrets, or so I assume. And truly, who has TIME to worry about what other people are doing?
So today, I choose to spend 9 hours away from my girl, knowing that it will make us both happier. She is in incredibly capable hands, and will get to spend her day socializing, learning things, playing and becoming her own little spirit. I will get to spend my day working on adult projects, socializing and completing projects that make me feel like I’m making a difference — developing my own spirit.
And then, when we’re together, I’ll enjoy every moment (errrr, I probably won’t enjoy every moment, but I’ll be thankful for them no matter what!). I’ll look forward to our time at home, I think I’ll make more of an effort to make that time count and I’ll wake up and start the whole routine over again.
Maternity leave has taught me that as much as I love my child (and I do, deeply and to my core), I am a better mom when I work. I hope she grows up to understand why I made this choice and what advantages it gave her.