Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Going Back


Once upon a time in a hot and humid kingdom there lived a princess who wanted a baby more than anything in the world. One wonderful day her wish came true and she had a beautiful baby boy. For three months the princess cared for her new little baby every day until one night she went to bed a princess and woke up a working mom.....

Yesterday I woke up before 6am, but not to feed Luke. It was time to return to the workforce. I could tell you that I cried all morning and watched the clock until 5pm, but that wouldn't be true. Everything went very smoothly. I dropped Luke off at daycare where he seemed very happy. I visited him at lunch and gave him a bottle. Then, M picked him up at 4:15pm and they were waiting for me when I got home a little after five. He wasn't damaged or sullen. He was the same happy baby as always.

I never really saw myself as a stay at home mom. It's another one of the many things that I never really understood before it happened to me. There is no clear cut feeling about being a working mother. Just as there is no one emotion I feel about my son. When I look at Luke I feel overwhelming love, fear, hope and fierce protectiveness. When I think about going back to work, I feel sad, excited, hopeful and scared. It's as if two different me's are fighting with each other. Logical me insists on working. There are safer cars to be bought, a bigger house to move into, and a good college to pay for. Providing is loving, too, after all. Emotional me sees every moment during the day that can never be repeated. Every milestone, every smile that I might have seen might now be experienced by someone else. Will he take his first steps towards me or his teacher? After wanting this so badly, how can I just walk away for eight hours a day, five days a week?

I don't have the answer and I can't tell you which part of me might ultimately win. We do need a new car and a bigger house with a yard that is big enough for a swing set. Logical Kate will be reminding Emotional Kate of this every minute of every day, I'm sure. In the mean time I wait for 11:15 to come around so that I can go to daycare and try to catch some of those moments that seem to be going by so quickly.

25 comments:

JJ said...

Im so glad the transition went well--sounds like you both adjusted just fine=) The decision to be a working mom has got to be one of the toughest ever. I hope you get to experience a lot of Luke's "firsts"!

Fertilized said...

Kate- I am glad that the first day of the transition went well for you. Thank you for being honest- I will need to re-read this post in a few months and this kind of info/support is where i will be heading next

twithhoney said...

I think you managed to describe the internal struggle of every working mom perfectly:
Logical Me vs. Emotional Me

lifelemons said...

Oh my you just made me cry! I have been feeling the same exact way, I have to return to work on Tuesday and am dreading it!

Cibele said...

I loved what you said : Providing is loving, too!!!!!
Good luck being a working mother. I also have Logical Me vs. Emotional Me fighting with each other

Mel said...

What a hard moment, but I am glad it went as well as it did.
Reality sucks but it sounds like you are handling it beautifully.

Chris said...

Glad it's going well! Great post - you summarized all of the thoughts/feelings/emotional stuff perfectly.

armsforanangel said...

One of my friends and her husband made a deal with themselves and their day care provider. The deal was that nothing was a first at day care. If it happened there, the provider would not mention it. All firsts were done with one or both of the parents. I love that. When something big or new happended they got to report it to the day care provider. I think it's a sweet and beautiful idea.

La La said...

I plan on being a working mom as well...but that doesn't mean it's an easy transition, even when you are prepared for it! ((hugs)) to you

La La said...

I plan on being a working mom as well...but that doesn't mean it's an easy transition, even when you are prepared for it! ((hugs)) to you

DC said...

Glad you and Luke survived your first day back at work! :)

Sam said...

The battle between the emotional mom and the logical mom never ends. If you have a job you enjoy it makes it much easier to deal with the conflict.

Chris said...

I can't imagine how hard it must be to return to work. I'm glad it went well, and hope it continues to do so!

In Due Time said...

I hope your still adjusting well..Im coming over from NCLM, nice to see you!

mommypause said...

I am going through this right now. While I wish I could continue to stay home with my girls (work part-time currently - only 2 days) I know that we need the money and I need to look for full-time work. I really look forward to reading more of your story.

sara said...

I'm glad you had a good transition back to work. It sounds like you have a great attitude which I think your son will absorb from you along the way!

Kim said...

It is such a tough decision to make! So great that you get to have lunch with him! Here from NCLM!

Erin said...

Here from NaComLeavMo. It is hard to be a work-away-from-home mom, but it is also hard to be a stay-at-home mom. I never saw myself as a SAHM either and, while I love my children dearly, I also love working and having adult interactions that don't involve talking about my kids. Still, it is a hard balance. I'm glad the first day back went so well for you.

christina(apronstrings) said...

it has to be one of the toughest decisions. i am 25 weeks, and if all goes well, i'll return part time very soon but work part time for 6 months.
we shouldn't be forced to make these decisions!

seriously? said...

I'm here from NaComLeavMo! Sounds like everything went well. Good luck to you and your family!

hopeful #1 said...

AMEN!

Sticky Bun said...

ugh--you captured so perfectly the conflict. I am just a couple of weeks behind you so will be reading in earnest.

Jackie said...

A beautiful post that encapsulates the feelings so many of us have upon returning to work. I have a few more months and at the moment I'm feeling like I'll dread it but I guess I'm waiting to see how it all goes down in the end.

Jackie said...

A beautiful post that encapsulates the feelings so many of us have upon returning to work. I have a few more months and at the moment I'm feeling like I'll dread it but I guess I'm waiting to see how it all goes down in the end.

Heather J. said...

I'm dropping by for NaComLeavMo - hi! After reading just a bit of your story, I'd like to say CONGRATULATIONS on such a wonderful little boy! He's such a cutie. :) And about the going back to work thing ... it sure is hard. I was home with my son for 5 years, and I just went back to work a year ago. Even now I'm torn between how much a love my job (I got to go back to the same one I left 5 yrs before) and how much I miss the time with my son. Even knowing he's perfectly fine, my heart still hurts. So I know exactly how you feel - and I wish you peace, and lots of it! :)