It has been three months since I returned to work and I’m not going to lie, I still have not found my groove. The transition has been hard. Becoming a mother changed me in so many ways that I was not prepared for. I went from not wanting children, to trying to get pregnant, to having Leo in under 18 months. My entire world did a 360, and it was actually amazing. I found a new me in the process and I’m still learning about her every day. I found the transition to being a mother a smooth one. While I was not/am not blessed with a child who sleeps. He nursed well from the beginning and was generally happy. I found my motherhood groove much faster than I expected. I suppose I thought it would be the same way when I returned to work. Especially because I have been in the working world before. How hard could it be? Turns out, very hard.
Falling into the role of a mother was scary yet exciting and fulfilling. Falling into the role of a working mother was more scary and sad than anything else. How can I possibly feel good about being away from my child so much? I miss him all the time. I recently wrote about his transition to daycare here and was cautiously optimistic about my own, but it seems I may have jumped the gun. Leo is doing wonderful in daycare by the way. He has friends, he gets to do music class, and art class, and circle time, and run around outside all the time. Part of me knows it’s good for him. He’s socializing and learning so much! Still, part of me thinks he could do the same if I were still a stay at home mom. Play dates, music class, swim class, there are so many options! Yet living in Montreal where daycare is so cheap, it makes more sense financially for my husband and I to both work. So here I am, back at work and struggling to be everything at once.
It’s such a strange feeling to return to work where nothing has changed while feeling like a completely different person than when you left. It’s almost lonely at times. Does anyone see the new me? Do they get her? I’m still not entirely sure. Although I am in a new position things, are mostly the same. I feel like I’m going through the motions most days. Don’t get me wrong. I adore my coworkers. I work hard. I am very good at my job. But my family is never far from my mind. I hear people talk about how they are happy to be back at work because they like the adult time, and I totally get that, but I don’t feel the same. I want more than anything to be at home with my family. Sometimes I wonder if this is a “the grass is always greener” scenario. Do I romanticize what it is like to be a SAHM? Yeah, I definitely do. Do I think its easier than being a working Mom? Hell no. I was a SAHM for 18 months and although I was damn good at it, it was exhausting. Yet I miss it fiercely.
There are times when it all seems to come together. When after Leo and I get off the bus at the end of the day he runs to the door yelling DaDa. When the three of us play chase after dinner and Leo gives us a belly laugh that would make your heart melt. When he’s splashing in the bath and wants Dad to get in with him to play bubbles. In those moments I realize it’s quality over quantity. Leo is loved and he knows it. I will always feel guilty for the moments I can’t be there for him, but I can make sure I’m present in the moments I am.
I’m not sure my goal with this post. It turned into somewhat of a whining session and for that I apologize. Becoming a mom was one of my best decisions and definitely my most life changing one. I am working to make sense of everything in this new role. Just let me say this. If you’re someone who feels like they simply aren’t thriving as a working mom. If you feel like you are failing in most aspects while trying to balance it all. You are definitely not alone.