I remember thinking to myself the day Sam was born, “We get to spend so much time together!” I certainly did get to spend a lot of time with Sam, 13 weeks to be exact, but it went by sooo fast.
I had so much fun on maternity leave. Several trips to Cincinnati, mommy and me yoga, walks in the park, and slow mornings with my boy. I DID NOT want to give any of this up. I couldn’t imagine not being with Sam everyday or rushing out of the house just to be away from him for 8 hours. It upset me so much to even think about going back to work. It made me panic. So I didn’t think about it. I wouldn’t talk about it. I knew it was coming but I didn’t want to acknowledge it until it was here. November 19th came without hesitation.
On my first day back to work, Ryan stayed home with Sam. I’m so thankful for that. There was enough to deal with that day without having to drop Sam off somewhere. I cried my eyes out when I left the house. Cried the entire way to work. Bawled when I pulled in the parking lot. Got myself together and then was hysterical when I got to my office. I had a good cry for 10 or so minutes and then got myself together again. I was doing pretty well most of the morning… until I had to pump. Going from nursing your sweet baby everyday to pumping in a cold storage room is a major smack in the face. I cried so hard while I pumped for the first time. I wanted my sweet Sam. I wanted to get the hell out of that office and go home.
Ryan sent me pictures all day long of what he and Sam were doing together. I even got a video of him playing. That was really comforting to me.
I was excited Sam was getting to spend a day with his dad… I just wish it was because I was out shopping. One of the positive aspects of the day was seeing so many great friends and coworkers that I truly missed while I was off. I have some great friends at work that mean the world to me and I really did miss seeing and chatting with them everyday. I remember telling one of my coworkers, “I think next week will be harder than this week. Next week you’ll be old news and I won’t be as excited to see your face every morning.” lol We had a good laugh.
That first day back to work I came home to Sam crying. Ryan said he had been crying for 30 minutes or so and he had tried everything. Ryan then said Sam had a rough day. Really fussy and cried a lot. That just broke my heart. Sam has never cared for bottles and has always had a love for nursing. So I knew he would have to adjust to me going back to work as well. Sam was so fussy for the rest of the night. While Ryan and I were laying in bed that night, I tearfully asked him, “When did it get easier for you, after you went back to work, to be away from Sam and I?” He said he didn’t remember but that it does get easier. He then said this, “Soon, we’ll have a new normal. It’s going to take some time to get used to someone else telling us when Sam ate, when he napped, if he cried…” Talk about hysterical! I was inconsolable after he said that. Poor Ryan never saw it coming and he felt horrible that he said that. Of course he meant to make me feel better by trying to show me what the new normal would look like but I wasn’t ready for that. I cried myself to sleep that night. I tried to think of ways to never go back to work. We would live under a bridge and collect welfare! Seriously, I thought of several different scenario’s. None of which were a possible reality.
My second day back to work I cried when I kissed Sam goodbye (my sister came over to watch him) but I didn’t cry on the way to work! Improvement! And… I didn’t cry that entire day at work! I did look through my pictures of Sam at least 10 times that day though. Remembering each memory that went with the picture. Luckily, the pictures kept coming that day! Jenna sent me updated pictures of what was happening all day. A little overboard? Nope! I needed to see my boy lots and lots.
Who wouldn’t want to spend all day with that face?! I mean come on!
My third day back to work I didn’t cry when I left Sam, didn’t cry on the way to work but I did cry again when I pumped. I’m so thankful for the opportunity to still breast feed my son by pumping at work but it’s just such a sterile process. The opposite of nursing. I missed snuggling my Sam.
I purposefully went back the week of Thanksgiving because it would only be a 3 day work week. So glad I did that! I don’t know if I could have made it a full week my first week back. The second week was easier than the first and the third week was easier than the second. See a pattern forming? I’m on my third week back to work and Ryan and I are getting ourselves into a new groove. Sam is being watched and loved by his grandma’s, my good friend and my sister during the week. I am so thankful that Sam won’t have to start daycare until after the new year. Thanks to fabulous friends and family for that. There is a MAJOR silver lining to going back to work for me… my mom comes up every Wednesday, stays the night, watches Sam on Thursday and then goes home that night. AMAZING! That first Wednesday, I came home to the smell of momma’s spaghetti and meatballs, the sound of laundry tumbling in the dryer and the comfort that only a mom can give. I can’t even tell you how fantastic it is to have her up here each week. Ryan and I literally count down the days until she comes. We LOVE having her here! Ryan always ask’s her when is she going to move in. He’s even offered her the upstairs with the new bathroom! That’s how much we love having her! 🙂
So, as a family we are finding our new normal. Sam really struggled that first week. When I would leave him in the mornings he was in the best mood but when I returned in the evenings he was so fussy. I thought, “So the time I do get to be with Sam he does nothing but cry? Oh, this is just splendid.” But now he has adjusted and is back on track. I’m so grateful for that. I didn’t realize how much this would affect Sam. That is the hardest part of this whole process. The guilt is sometimes crippling. Another thing I’ve learned is that I actually like working! I loved my job before but I thought for sure after I had Sam that I would hate working. Now that things have calmed down, I like having a career of my own. I feel like super mom. It’s empowering. I’m grateful to work in a country that gives women the opportunity to do it all. Career, wife, mother. A really good friend of mine said this to me when we both headed back to work on the same day, “We won’t let working stop us from being great wives and moms!”