I have a 2 year old and a 4 year old. I took 8 weeks off work after I had each of my kids. Prior to starting a family I always pictured I would be more than ready to return to work after maternity leave. I like to keep busy and thought I would get stir crazy.
I was sincerely surprised when my time at home was in fact very busy and completely fulfilling. My son starts Pre-K this school year. It leaves me wondering if him starting school will ease my working mom guilt.
The night before going back to work after both maternity leaves I remember feeling like I was leaving a piece of my soul behind by not being with my babies. I then tried not to cry the next day(s) at work. I know, I know that sounds dramatic. It may have been amplified by post pregnancy hormones and sleep deprivation.
I wasn’t quiet about these feelings either. All the supportive mamas in my life and on social media told me they understood. They said it would get easier. They said it would begin to feel normal. Those woman were partly right. It did become easier once we all got in the routine of me going to work.
It never felt normal to me though. Why? Well, that ranges from I miss my kids, to I feel like I am not being a good mom by being away from them, to I don’t want to miss out on anything, to a million other reasons on any given day.
Last month I had a week off work that we used as part mini vacation/part stay-cation. No matter where we were or what we were doing, my kids passed the baton back and forth between who was going to totally lose their minds, have meltdowns, and be inconsolable. Don’t get me wrong, we had some good moments that week. A lot of time though was spent being driven nearly mad by these two tiny, fussy humans.
The Sunday night before it was time for me to return to work after my week off I was bawling. I mean to tell you that I did the ugliest ugly cry you have ever seen. The kicker is – I don’t hate my job! I have the best work/life balance with the lowest amount of stress of any place I have ever worked. But even though my kids drove me nuts I was still sad I wouldn’t be with these crazy people all the next day.
My line of thinking is that if my kids will start to be at school for a big chunk of the day, maybe I will stop feeling bad for not being at home through the day. Are there any other moms who never fully adjusted to returning to work or any moms that had working mom guilt relieved when the kids started school?