So. I’m going back to work.
Let’s rewind for a minute. If you’re keeping track, I’ve been on maternity leave for about nine months and I still have three months left of my benefits before having to return to work. I have loved every second I’ve been home with Baby Jacob, and I’ve been dreaming up picnics and beach dates as we’ve waited for the weather to warm up.
Though, in mid-May, lovely friend S alerted me to an opportunity. The exact job that I held at the now-defunct Daily News became available at our city’s other and primary daily newspaper, The Chronicle Herald. It just seemed too good to be true. I had to apply, knowing it might be my only real chance to re-enter the daily newspaper world.
As I’m sure you can predict at this point in the story, I interviewed a couple weeks ago and just three days ago I was offered the position. Starting tomorrow. What a bittersweet phone call. As I cheerfully chatted with the HR woman, my inner voice started to gnaw at me … but what about Jacob?
I know I’ve enjoyed much more leave with my son than many women get; I do realize how fortunate I am. That doesn’t change the feeling I have now, or would’ve had in September, about leaving my baby and returning to work. Thankfully, we are unbelievably lucky to have a network of close friends who jumped at the opportunity to take care of our boy for the first 14 days (but who’s counting?) of my employment. After that, Husband will be finished teaching for the year and will spend July and August at home.
The nine-month mark is known as a time for babies to experience separation anxiety. I never would have guessed that the stress I would actually feel at this juncture would be my own.
And so, Friday was my last official day of maternity leave. I brought Jacob into bed with me in the morning and we spent extra time laughing and snuggling. We played our favourite games and went for an extra long walk with friends. We’ve enjoyed a relaxing weekend, and I’ve spent nap times making extra baby meals and organizing a diaper bag for him to take on his first day away from his Mama.
Instead of sleep training Jacob, now I’m trying to work train myself. And yes, I’ve had to cry it out a few times.
Now, while my sweet boy finishes his nap, I’m going to go select an outfit for tomorrow, and remind myself that this is something to be excited about — after three years of regular career changes, I’m getting to return the the job I know, the job I love. Having the opportunity to go back to work to a job that will leave me fulfilled at the end of the day is not only good for me, but it’s great for my family.