The past six months have been pretty crazy.
I have been off work as a full-time mommy to a 2-year-old and a newborn. My life has been a combination of chaos, bliss, exhaustion and overwhelming love. I didn’t know what to expect staying at home for so long with my babies. Being a teacher, I thought I coincidentally was having my baby at the perfect time…May! Just in time for summer break.
I had to return to work following the birth of my son after 2 1/2 months, and it absolutely killed me. Returning so soon devastated me. It felt so unfair and unnatural to leave my baby with someone else, even though I was lucky enough to have my mother and mother-in-law watch him. If it was financially feasible, I would have taken an entire year (or more) off.
So after the birth of my daughter, I chose to extend my maternity leave by an extra couple of months.
The days of being home with a toddler and newborn are long and tiring, but they are the best. I love being a stay-at-home mom- even if it’s only temporary. But now with less than two months before I return to work, my mind is full of worries.
What milestones will I miss? Will my daughter start crawling while I’m at work? Will she say her first word? Losing 40 hours a week with my children is a LOT. I’m bound to miss the important stuff, on top of missing out on their everyday lives.
What will happen to our breastfeeding relationship? Will she take a bottle? Or what if she prefers the bottle over me? Will she be as attached to me as she is now? Will my milk supply drop? We did not have an easy start with breastfeeding…we worked really hard at it.
If our breastfeeding relationship is affected by my work it will devastate me.
Will she feel as though I’m abandoning her? Her comfort zone includes me nursing her to sleep, playing and singing with her, wearing her constantly…how will she adjust to all this time apart?
I know it is a blessing to have those six wonderful months with my newborn. That’s a lot longer than most working moms. But I can’t help but feel pain in my heart at the thought of going back to work full-time. I’m scrambling to network with others to find a part-time job that would have a comparable salary to my full-time career…no luck.
Like all working moms, when the day comes I’ll just have to put on my big girl pants and go to work. After all, I know I have two little ones watching. And the time with them after work will be oh-so-wonderful.
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