As I sit on the train on my way home from my first day back in the office since I had the little lady, I can’t help but smile at the thought of my seeing her. I have really missed my daughter, although not overwhelmingly so. It feels terrible to admit that. I almost feel guilty for not feeling guilty about leaving her to go into the office for a few hours, which sounds a bit ridiculous. I know there is nothing wrong with leaving your child for a few hours, but sometimes I feel like I should feel like I want to be with her all the time. For the most part I do of course, but on those rare occasions like today where I need to go somewhere sans-child I do feel a little spring in my step that comes from being able to sit down and read, or talk or think at my leisure. But where ever I am, and whatever I am doing, my daughter will always cross my mind and I will smile at the thought of going home to her. But today I realise that I’m also smiling because I’ve really enjoyed my day. My one day of being back in the city and catching a glimpse of what it might be like to be a working Maman.
After months of deliberation and anxiety over when is the “right” time to go back to work, going back into the office for a few hours cemented for me that I have made the right decisions and the right choices about when to go back. I feel ready. I have had a wonderful period of maternity leave with my little lady. I even got a little me time before she arrived. Something that I feel very fortunate to have experienced. When else do you get the opportunity to take 11 months off work? It has given me perspective. It has given me time to reflect. Time to step back. Time to re-assess. Time to appreciate. Time to love. Time to live. Time to grow. I have appreciated every single day, every single week and every single month. I have had the absolute best time. But I am finally feeling ready to go back to work. Im also feeling relieved that I finally feel ready, because the last thing I wanted was to dread having to go back. Becuase even though its hard going back to work after such a long time off, it must be even harder if you feel coerced into going back. Of course there is part of me that wants to stay and be with my daughter every single day, to be there to witness her every milestone first. But then there is also a part of me that is quite looking forward to un-pausing my career. To seeing how much further I can progress and how much more I can grow the other side of me. I know that a few hours in the office isn’t by any means a real or true reflection of what life as a working parent will be like, but after months of wondering how my two worlds will collide, I have a feeling that it just might be ok..
photo credit: <a href=”http://www.flickr.com/photos/beth19/4721798240/”>Βethan</a> via <a href=”http://photopin.com”>photopin</a> <a href=”http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/2.0/”>cc</a>