Being a Working MomAs Lucy is about to turn four (!) I do the same thing all moms do and reflect on those months/weeks/days before that baby girl exited my body and took over my life. For all of the decisions we had to make – and then abandon once baby Lucy was actually born – I always knew I would be going back to work after three months of maternity leave. Staying at home was never a viable option for us financially or socially. I liked my job, I liked contributing to my household income, I liked buying Coach purses and I liked my co-workers. I was fortunate to work for a corporation that at the time allowed for twelve weeks of paid maternity leave and had subsidized on-site daycare. Returning to work was a no-brainer.

I had this vision of making this smooth transition of home from work where I would never forget things like bottles and diapers. I would use my time wisely and make trips to the grocery store on the way home. Todd would do his part by helping dress the baby and make dinner. It was going to be completely seamless and perfect.

Lucy’s first three months were rough for me, as I have documented freely. I was so ready for adult interaction! I started back to work on a Wednesday and already did a test-run of leaving Lucy at daycare for a few hours the days leading up to that. I did the normal cry-as-I-left-her and continued crying the whole walk back to my office.

Then I sat down at my desk.

I had a nice note welcoming me back. I met with my boss to talk about upcoming goals. And I had a new coffee mug. I was back at the same desk with the same co-workers. Everything was the same. Except for me.

It was as if I was trying to return to the fold of everyday life after having been through something extremely traumatic. And in a way, PPD is its own form of trauma. I felt incredibly guilty for leaving Lucy at daycare and even guiltier when I went over to see her and felt like I was taking away from her playtime with her friends. I couldn’t concentrate on work. I volunteered for things and regretted having to follow through. I was sleep-deprived and irritable. Yes, I was making good money and cultivating new relationships with my fellow new-mom co-workers. But in short, it was HARD!

After a few months, I found my groove. Lucy loved daycare and her teachers loved her back. She survived that first year of eight different babies passing around ear infections, RSV and some weird virus that caused all of them to have diarrhea. I could work from home if Lucy was sick. And after she turned a year old and started walking, she started sleeping through the night – a milestone that could not have come quickly enough. I changed jobs when she was 15 months old and moved her daycare. She adapted beautifully. And when we moved to Austin, she adjusted better than any of us.

It took a while for me to find the right job here in Austin. Though I’m not making nearly as much money as I used to, I’m doing what I love and getting paid for it. Yes, things slip through the cracks. If I don’t put every appointment or task in my phone or my day planner, I’m lost. Even more so if I don’t check them!

So being a working mom wasn’t the movie-perfect vision I had. Like everything else with motherhood, it gets messy. Very messy. But I feel like Lucy gets the best of me when I’m working. And being a mom has made me a more caring employee. For our family, it’s win-win.

This is my last post for Austin Moms Blog. I have loved every second of blogging for this wonderful community! I will, of course, continue to support AMB as much as I can. Thank you for reading my posts; maybe the girls will have me guest post once in a while.



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