As some of you may be aware, on January 6th, 2014 I returned back to work full-time. Genelle was not quite 3 months old, but my 12 weeks of maternity leave were up and our family needed the funds and so back into the office I went.
The choice to return to work was both a difficult and an easy one.
Difficult, because, as you can imagine, I knew I would miss being with my new baby girl all day. There were a lot of worries on my mind with my return to work including:
-missing out on milestones
-not being able to comfort her when she's sad, hurt or hungry
-her not getting the care or attention I think she deserves
-her not eating enough, getting changed often enough, or being intellectually stimulated
-who would watch her
-would I be able to concentrate at work (because of how exhausted I might be, or how emotionally wrought I might be)
-where could I pump
-would I pump enough milk
-would I need to work extra to make up for time taken to pump
-will I be able to get enough hours in
-I had missed the grown-up non-baby central conversations I had had before Genelle was born
-I had missed being challenged intellectually
-I needed some time away from the house (which I had felt stuck in for the past 3 months)
-I knew our family would not survive financially without the extra funds
-and I needed a break from all the responsibilities of being a mom.
Honestly most of the worries I had when I first went back to work still plague me even after being "back in the saddle" for the past 6 months. However, as I just shared, there is no doubt in my mind that I need to be at work. Because without that extra paycheck our family would be dependent upon the government, and others, for the basic necessities, and I cannot bring myself to let my baby girl's needs/wants be determined by anyone else but me.
My short experience so far has embedded in me a deep sense of gratitude, not only for all the mothers in my life, but all the mothers who have had to deal with less than perfect circumstances (like divorce, or the need for two working parents) because I understand a little bit more now the sacrifice that one must make for the good of your family.
So thank you Moms for all you do! You are wonderful just the way you are, and although you may not always get the thanks you deserve, know that your sacrifices are noticed and you are loved and treasured.