Whether you’re heading back to work after a couple weeks, a month, or maybe even six months off, getting back into the swing of things can be quite the challenge. Maybe you took a vacation, staycation, or maternity leave and are now at the end of your time. For most, the time will come when you have to head back to work. Even a long weekend can trigger a case on the Sunday (see pic to left)Scaries!
Well, I’m almost one week back to work from my staycation 2018, and I’m finally getting acclimated back to the work life…thank goodness it’s almost the weekend! The alarms, the makeup, and the crowded el train are not the best welcome back wagon! I’m not going to lie, heading back to work after the two weeks of being off with Owen, was almost harder than when I had to go back to work after my maternity leave! And I was off for 6 months!Now, I know most people wouldn’t agree, but for me this was the case. I think it was because now he is much more active, chatty and we can actually do stuff together outside of the house! I also was prepared and planned for this…maternity leave- not so much!
Thanks to our caregivers’ amazing tropical vacation (I’m not jealous I swear!), these last two weeks were great to just be able to have some much needed bonding time with my little guy. Usually I get maybe an hour in the morning and one at night depending on when I make it home from work before bedtime. And of course there are the weekends, but it’s hard to cram a bunch of stuff into two days, when all I want to do is relax! These two weeks I was able to do so many things that I just normally don’t have time to do with him! In the mornings after feeding him I got to spend floor/play time with him all while having a cup of coffee! We would take walks to the park, and I even had the time to make purees and baby food for him! I even indulged in some much needed cuddle seshes! I was feeling like #momoftheyear!
I was determined to have this go differently than maternity leave in which we really didn’t get out of the house. I honestly didn’t even think to look up fun stuff to do! Mainly, because on leave, he was so little and I was so paranoid about taking him anywhere with other kids because it was the height of flu season!(In case you didn’t know, Owen is/was a preemie. Not just a few weeks early by definition, but I’m talking a micro-preemie. We skipped the entire last trimester! We were in the hospital for 3 months, and then I was home with him for 2 1/2 months before heading back to work. Once out of the hospital we spent most time at home, with an occasional outing but I was very careful not to expose him to too much.) But this time it was different! He was older, bigger, stronger, and more awake during the day! What a difference four months makes! We needed to do all the things!
I did some planning and tried to have something going every day! I tried to plan just one thing a day, and make them flexible so I could still try to figure out his schedule. We hit up music classes, lunch dates, the Park at Wrigley, and even a preview swim lesson! Our days were going quite well, and we were even settling in to a schedule.
I was starting to get those, “maybe I just won’t go back” type of feelings (which I’m sure cross every single person’s mind when they have any lengthy amount of time off). I was starting to feel more comfortable in my mom shoes and questioning my role at work. Was this something that was worth leaving my baby on a daily basis? I started to love the feeling of not knowing what day it was!
Now, don’t get me wrong. This was by no means a day at the beach (which by the way, is not that relaxing with a baby :)) There were definitely days I handed Owen off the moment Chris walked in the door! Somedays, as funny as I am 😆, I would just run out of steam, and he would be over me! But being able to see those little smiles day in and day out and things like getting to watch him enjoy his first real music class, or hear a new laugh, were memories I will cherish.
The thing is, I don’t live to work. I work to live. And in order for this family to work right now…this momma has to too. Getting back into the game wasn’t easy, making piggy noises won’t work in an intense meeting, and I’d take the park over another team meeting any-day, but there is something good about a shower and getting somewhat dressed up every day. I’m putting my big girls pants on and getting it done. Like anything in life you step away from, it’s kind of like riding a bike, you always remember how to ride, no matter how long you’re off. Until the next one!