Today was my first day back to work from maternity leave. It's hard to believe that 8 weeks has flown by so quickly and that I've officially been thrown back into working mom status. My mother is watching the boys this week while I get acclimated into the working world. Next week, they will go to daycare. I can preface this by saying that I was really not looking forward to today. It's not that I dislike my job. In fact I am very much looking forward to certain aspects of the working world, such as adult conversations and intellectual stimulation. But the thought of leaving Zeke in the hands of someone else for long periods of the day tears at my insides like nothing I've experienced.
It's not that I had any delusions about extending my maternity leave into something a bit more permanent. After all, even if we could afford to live on a single family income (which we can't), doing so would mean paying back UNC Hospital the $12,000 that I still owe them for my indentured servitude. This coupled with my lost wages would not be such a smart economic plan for our family. I've never really thought of myself as the stay at home mom type anyways. My maternity leave has been fabulous but productive would not be a word I used to describe it. I feel I'm far more pressured to get things done when I'm under time constraints. I also feel like a better mom when I'm working because we have so little time together that every moment counts. Working has always given me a sense of identity, which in turn makes me a happier person and a better mom.
Yet, even as I reaffirm all these ideas to myself, one look at Zeke and I'm cringing internally all over again. You would think this would come easy to me after having done it twice before. My inner mommy seems to have forgotten this, however. She's shaking her head at me right now and whispering sweet nothings of self-doubt that tend to hit me where it hurts. He's SO little. You should be there for him. What kind of mother lets someone else raise her children?
Of course I know these to be my own thoughts of insecurity and eventually they will fade. Eventually I will wake up one morning and it won't be so hard to drop him off at daycare because I know he'll be OK. He will grow into a happy, healthy boy, unscathed by my choice to work for a living. But for now I understand that it's hard because it should be. It's a mother's nature not to want to ever leave her children.
Today was not a horrible day. I was welcomed back at work with open arms and friendly faces. I had an easy day with a light case load. Naturally I called home a few times to check that everything was running smoothly, but of course it was. Like I said before, I know it will get easier- it already has in a way. I survived day one. Now on to day two.