“What’s your Maternity Leave Policy?”
“If you’re feeling maternal, you should leave.” – Dilbert, The Animated Series
It’s been an interesting time, to say the least. Looking back, it’s hard to believe that I’ve been away from my job for two months now. It hardly feels like it, but the calendar reminds me that I’m a few weeks away from going back to work. To say that I’m reluctant would be an understatement.
Even though the time has flown by, this is the longest stretch I’ve ever had without “working” since I began working at the age of 17. I’m in shock how little I’ve accomplished with my personal goals, reluctantly cutting back even the most basic commitment I’ve given to writing every day.
Some days I barely get even a shower or brush my teeth, so transitioning back into a work environment where my every move is observed, noted and criticized is not something I’m looking forward to. Beyond that, my son and I have created a nice little routine that I’m really going to miss.
We begin trying out part time day care next week, so I can get used to the routine. This is our “last week” together. Though I can leave the daytime television and the days without shoes behind pretty easily, I’m certainly going to miss the opportunity I have now to pick up my son whenever I want a cuddle. Even as I type this (as he’s taking a well deserved nap), I can still smell his little sweet smell on my clothes and there’s something very powerful about that.
I’m not alone in being sad about needing to work in order to make a living, nor am I the first mom to feel guilty about putting her child into daycare. I’m trying to reassure myself that my son will be just fine in a professional care center, with people who I feel comfortable caring for him. After all, in the “it takes a village” mentality, the only real difference is that I’m paying someone to help with his care while I go out to “hunt and gather” for our survival.
Still, my son is progressing so quickly in his development. Just today, he learned how to do ‘high fives.’ We have so much to do yet, and the milestones are coming. I’m just hoping I can be there when they happen.