First of all. Every. Single. Person. told me it would be hard to get back to work. Many people laughed when I said I was only taking four weeks off before returning a few days a week. I listened to these people. I believed them. I shrugged it off and said it had to be done. I would make it work. I would be ok.
And let me tell you. Despite their persistent, unanimous caution, I had NO clue how hard it really would be. Absolutely no sense of what this would feel like.
It is so indescribably hard.
I've cried. I've gotten angry. I've questioned life. I've questioned everything I've ever thought about money, careers and motherhood. And then I started working. And it's gotten better. Not great. Not easy, but better.
And I have to say, I don't even have it that bad. I'm working 2-4 days a week. Most days I'm gone less than 6 hours. So I don't even know what it feels like to be a full time working mom. But this is enough for me to know that I don't want to know what 40 hours a week feels like.
The hardest part to comprehend is that in my mind I know my baby is fine while I'm gone. I know she is sleeping about 70 percent of the time I'm gone. I know she's eating a bottle of my milk with no problem and she is being left with people who love and adore her. But somehow it still breaks my heart and still causes incredible anxiousness.
I remember a friend describing her drive home to me once she'd returned to work after having her daughter (hi K!). She told me she would speed home, and even drive recklessly in an effort to shave off one minute of her commute. She needed to be with her daughter that badly. I remember reading this and truly feeling for her. But somehow it did not compute until I was there: speeding, hoping for green lights, racing to my (sleeping) daughter.
We don't have our child care completely ironed out. For the most part she is with B's mom who does travel a few times a year for long stretches of time. We have a couple of friends who are excited to have her, but since my work schedule is far from predictable, it's really hard to get everyone's schedules together each week. But so far it's working and we're just taking it day by day.
I know soon enough I'll probably feel the need for a break from my child, and will want to be more social as well. But for now, now matter how hard I try to relax, I still find myself rushing home to her each day that I'm gone. I just keep trying to convince myself it will get easier...