I have been back to work now since August 16th of this year. To prepare myself from being with A 24/7 to only a few waking hours in the day, I did what any internet-savvy person would do: I googled it.
My goal was simple – find a blog where I could learn from another woman’s experience about going back to work after having their first child. So far, every woman I spoke with in person had told me horror stories about bawling their eyes out the first day or having a rough transition. And these were predominantly women who were going back to a job they had before – I was starting a brand new one. So, needless to say, I was also searching for some encouragement.
No such luck.
So here I was, the weekend before beginning my job and adding the title of Project Manager at a large ad firm to my list of other names (mother, wife, sister, aunt, nieces, daughter…can I put these on my business card?) And I didn’t know how to handle it. We had gotten a private in-home daycare spot through a woman in our church, but that was still a few weeks away. I had packed and planned and gotten myself and A as prepared as I could for day 1.
Then day 1 came. There was no crying. M’s brother came to take care of A and I went off to work. A happily and blissfully unaware watched cartoons while I slipped out. That wasn’t so hard! Of course I missed her terribly and called as frequently as possible to see how she was and by the end of the day I ached to see her, but it wasn’t as tragic as expected.
A few weeks later, when she started daycare, it was a bit harder. This time a stranger would be looking after my little girl. I felt like I was letting someone raise my child. Getting into the car some days after dropping her off were really hard and I had to fight back tears. Those would turn into moments of joy when I would see the look on her face at the end of the day. She still loves her Mommy.
So as hard as it was in concept, the transition wasn’t the sob-fest I had anticipated. I can actually do this! And it makes the time I do have with my family all the more precious and important to me.