Back to Work
The piercing ring of the alarm woke me out of a peaceful slumber. The second best thing about being on maternity leave was not hearing that sound each morning. Hubby and I stumbled around what would eventually become our morning routine, and we managed to get Micah and ourselves ready with time to spare! I provided Hubby with very clear instructions to pass on to his teachers at Kids ‘R’ Kids. One hundred kisses, a few hugs and off to work I went.
During the car ride, I was feeling excited, but that feeling quickly turned into guilt. How dare I feel anything but sadness when I had just left my baby for the first time? I put my emotions in check and turned on the radio to hear the familiar voices of my favorite morning show. I had my coffee next to me, and as I sipped, I remembered what it was like to spend time alone and be still. It almost felt like relaxation. I secretly hoped I would hit some traffic on the highway so my coffee, and my radio friends, and I could hang just a few minutes longer. Uh oh, here I was feeling something other than sadness again. I was truly enjoying myself, and I wasn’t sure it was okay. Did this make me a bad mom? Away from my newborn for ten minutes, and I’m not feeling a bit of despair. I didn’t have much time to think about it. I had arrived at work.
I pulled into the parking lot, grabbed my baggage (lunch, purse, pump, baby photos) and headed to my office. I was early, and most people hadn’t arrived yet. This gave me the opportunity to unpack my bags and sneak a peak at Micah through the Internet cameras. I logged in and was just in time to see Hubby handing him over to one of his teachers. Immediately I felt like someone punched me in the stomach. I didn’t like watching Micah being handed to someone besides me. As I choked back tears, my coworkers began to arrive. Within five minutes, there was a crowd of ladies oohing and aahing over photos of my little man. Everyone was so accommodating and seemed truly interested in hearing about his progress and growth. It’s a good thing because I would have told them even if they hadn’t asked! I didn’t feel sad at all; talking about Micah was the best therapy. I checked in with my supervisor and was asked to work on a time-sensitive project. It was just the distraction I needed. Throughout the day, friendly faces stopped in to welcome me back and, of course, see pictures. My day flew by, and before I could blink, it was time to go home.
During the car ride to get Micah, I was able to reflect on my day and find perspective. I loved my job and was happy to be back. I had to admit; it was nice having something to focus on besides the baby. I was still struggling with the guilt, but doesn’t that come along with parenthood? If it weren’t work, it would be something else. When I arrived at Kids ‘R’ Kids that night, I was greeted with a smile. It was the biggest, happiest smile I had ever seen on his face. He remembered me, and I could tell he didn’t seem un-happy. His teacher gave me a rundown of his day, but I didn’t hear a word. Micah was still beaming at me, and all the worries I felt earlier had gone to another place. Seeing his smile at the end of the day almost made the separation worth it…almost.