Mom to Maverick
Length of maternity leave: 9 weeks
What did you struggle with most about returning to work after having your kids?
My job is an emotionally taxing, but rewarding one. In the days leading up to the Monday morning I would leave Maverick for the first time, I noticed many difficult and conflicting emotions and anticipations. On one hand, I was so happy to be returning to my career that I love and find so much meaning in. I was looking forward to seeing my patients whom I had missed more than I anticipated. And I was longing for discussions with my colleagues. I also felt the sting of mom guilt - how can I possibly be looking forward to work when I have this magical human at home who needs his mama? On the other hand, I couldn't bear the thought of leaving my son all day. What does one do if not breastfeeding, changing diapers, and soaking in baby snuggles?? I was worried about his development and growth not being supported in all the best ways. I was worried about our attachment relationship (as if the hours of my being gone were more important than the hours when I'm not lol). I was worried about my milk supply. Basically, I worried about anything and everything possible. It was challenging making room for and honoring all of the different feelings, anticipations, and worries. But I did it. I felt my feelings. Checked myself on my overly anxious thoughts. And leaned on my significant other for love and support.
What do you find difficult about being a working parent?
Switching between all the different hats. Mom hat. Psychologist hat. Girlfriend hat. Daughter hat. Friend hat. I have a lot of hats. And still getting everything done that needs to be done, whether it be groceries, cleaning, laundry, you name it.
What do you enjoy about being a working parent?
Easy. It makes my time with Maverick more special. When I am with him, I focus on quality time and being present.
After being back at work for some time, have your views about career and family changed?
Yes and no. No, because my overarching views about balancing the two remain the same. They are both incredibly important to me. Yes, because I've realized attaining that balance is much easier said than done. It's a delicate balance I am still trying to find.
Knowing what you know now, what’s one thing you wish you could go back in time and tell yourself as you were preparing to return to work or getting ramped up in your role?
"Don't skip that pumping session. Mastitis sucks, girl. That note can wait until tomorrow. P.S. you're going to rock this working mama thing. Just trust yourself."
What did you choose for childcare, and how has it been for your family?
Stay at home Dad