While other moms complain about missing their baby, I thought something is wrong because I do not have the urge to cry when I first returned to work from maternity leave. Instead, I feel a sense of relief to be at work every Monday morning. I love being a working mom.
Work is my mini vacation from home
Though I love my toddler, work is my mini vacation every week. As a working mom, I can actually take my full lunch hour talking to other adults and taking time to actually eat my food at a normal pace. I don’t have to wolf down lunch while trying to spoon baby food in between bites of table food. At the end of my lunch, I do not have to be on my hands and knees cleaning the floor like I do at home.
My day can start leisurely while I sip coffee and check email in the morning instead staring at the empty refrigerator with a toddler Velcro to my leg before my first cup of coffee. All mothers should have a pause button that tells their children to freeze until they have their first cup of coffee. It is just not right that children have all the energy in the morning when mom is the one who needs it the most. Staying at home to care for babies and toddlers is hard work.
Is there something unnatural about wanting to work?
Some working moms wishing they can afford to work part-time or to stop working altogether so they can spend more time with their children. While I agree that the infant years pass by really fast, but you lose your sanity even faster. Not every mom wants to be a stay at home mom full time. I certainly would not want to.
However, I love the fact that I reduced my work hours (yes, I work “part time”) so that I have 3 entire days a week with my toddler. My husband and I adjusted our work schedule so the toddler only has to spend 8 hours or less in daycare each day.
My child is thriving even though I am not spending every one of her waking hours with her. And I am thriving as a new mom because I do not have to spend every one of my waking hours being a mom. Being a working mom gives me the much needed distance to enjoy this special and unique relationship I have with my daughter when I am home. It also helps that her face still lights up when she sees me at pickup.
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PS. While technically I am paid to work 4 days a week, but my workload is not part time.
Photo by: Jerry Bunkers.
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