Next month I am headed back to work full time outside of the home. When I shared the news with a friend she described it as bittersweet. The sweet – I am headed to a place that although challenging provided me with the opportunity to make a difference. Long term it was the best choice for our family. The bitter – My days will no longer be filled with my baby. For the past 17 months I have been by her side. I have watched her accomplish every milestone, I have held her in my arms and together we have embarked on countless adventures. Working from home was such hard work. But it was the best kind of work I’ve ever done. I had a chance to throw my entire being into caring for my family. If I wasn’t working I was loving and nurturing. What that looked like day to day might have varied as some days called for laundry and dishes, cruising down the store aisles at Target while other days called for a picnic in the park with big sister or a surprise lunch date with daddy or nana. But as I said it has been the best kind.
Our babies are a gift we receive but in a sense the way that we raise them, what we instill in them results in them not just being a gift to us but to the world. So in a way I invested in the greatest gift I could ever give the world two wonderful human beings. And now at this point in our journey comes my efforts to prepare. Prepare myself and prepare them. Particularly my littlest love. She’s a firecracker Miss Lola and sometimes tells me she will be just fine but I want to make sure I do everything I can to help her transition.
So mamas, I’m reaching out to you. With my oldest I returned to school and started working a month before she hit the one year mark. She wasn’t home with me as long as Lola was and she didn’t spend as much time away from me as Lola will.
I plan to start her a couple of days early so that I can spend some time in the classroom helping her get familiar with it and when I leave be close by in case she needs me. We visited once and she seemed happy so I’m hopeful. I know my work as a mother doesn’t end just because my time at home has. Motherhood will also be the best kind of work. And my next big project is one that entails acceptance, support and courage. Enough courage to let go of her hand for a little bit while confidently holding her in my heart.
For those of you who returned to work after the one year mark how did you help your baby with the transition? And how did you get through it? I know the tears will come whether they’re from the both of us or just me but I also know hearing your stories will encourage my heart.