I clearly remember the morning that I went back to work after having Little Nugget. It was February 8th, 2013, the day Little Nugget turned 3 months. What a celebration! (Said with sarcasm in my voice.) Josh took me out to breakfast before dropping me off at work. I remember him asking me to stop looking like he had abducted me. That morning, I had felt like my son had been ripped out of my arms, like I was no longer his mother. Dramatic, I know, but that’s how heartbroken I was. I felt like our home would be his temporary shelter at night, and in the morning he would return to his “real” home. I felt like a temporary caretaker who he would come home to. The feeling sucked. People said it would get easier. My sister said it never would. My sister was right. It hasn’t gotten easier, but I’ve learned to manage the guilt, anxiety, and the intense feeling of missing my baby. Videos and pictures continue to help get me through my workday.
When I feel positive, I look back at that day of my return, and it was indeed a celebration. I had a job to return to, a job that paid for my time with Little Nugget, a job that made it easier for me to have my baby at the Ventura Birth Center with two amazing midwives, Davie and Robyn. That day I celebrated the beginning of a new journey, the journey of a working mother.
Yesterday was my friend’s first day back from maternity leave. Maria looked so fresh and collected. Seeing her walk in with confidence made me question myself, “Was that the way I was perceived when I returned to work? Or did people see the abducted face and body language that my better half had pointed out?” If Maria felt sad about coming back (which I can almost bet she did) she masked it very well.
Maria, you are a reminder that I need to keep my spirits high for Little Nugget. Thank you for your positivity. I am honored to be a part of your life. I have one more person to share the working momma struggle with.
Misery likes company, right? No, moms just need good friends who understand what they are going through. It is extremely easy to forget that we are not alone in this struggle. Having others who understand just makes it tolerable.
Kudos to all mothers who work to contribute to their household, who work to make ends meet, who work to put food on their table and in their children’s bellies. And kudos to those stay-at-home mommas, your job isn’t easy either. One thing is being away from your kids 8+ hours a day, but another is being with them 24 hours a day. I guess you could say it’s a double-edged sword. I would still prefer to be at home with Little Nugget.
In addition to remembering the day I parted ways with my maternity leave, I was also reminded of the first time Josh and I met our Little Nugget. Yesterday, my cousin Laura and her better half, Abe, welcomed their baby boy into this world.
Isaac Nicholas, you’re in good hands. I’m more than positive that your mommy will love you like no other, care for you like a momma bear, and spoil you rotten.
Even though I wasn’t at her labor, I was included through texts. Play by play, I knew where my cousin was in her labor. Following her labor took me back to that moment when I was ready to push Little Nugget out. Then, once I had learned that baby Isaac was born, a feeling of euphoria flooded my heart and mind. It was here that I understood the true reason why I want childbirth to be my career. I absolutely love the feeling of falling in love with the stranger I’ve carried and nurtured. Knowing that my cousin had her baby boy in her arms had me enamored, captivated, and I was back at the birth center meeting my own baby boy for the first time. It was all too real, and I loved it.
I’m addicted to the feeling.
I posted this picture on my Facebook page on February 8, 2013 with the following caption,
“Celebrating my baby’s 3 months by returning to work. Back to reality.
Thank you baby Jesus for my healthy baby, supportive fiancé, and job.”
Cheers to the journey!