Well, I knew this day would come but now that it’s here I’m not so sure I’m ready for it. Not that I ever thought I’d be ready for it, but I guess the end of my maternity leave always seemed so far off in the distance and now it’s just totally sprung up on me. Tomorrow is my first day back to work after 3-months at home with my kiddos.
I totally don’t feel prepared at all. Not only mentally but logistically. I’m bringing my pump with me to work, but the show I work on is super busy and we are on set most of the day so I haven’t really thought about how I’m going to find time to pump. Or even when I do find time, I don’t know WHERE I will pump. All of the cast on my show shares one trailer with all the girls and guys, so it’s not super private. Which normally I love because I love spending time with the people I work with, but I definitely would want a little bit of privacy when pumping. I’m lucky enough that I work for a show that is incredible and I know that they will work with me on all of that stuff to make sure it goes smoothly for me. But I still just feel unprepared for it all.
I’m also super worried about leaving Riley with our nanny. She’s absolutely wonderful so it has nothing to do with her, but more just to do with me and how overprotective I am as a mother. For instance, I can barely handle taking care of Riley and Molly at the same time so how can I expect somebody else to do it? Don’t get me wrong, when Riley and Molly are both behaving, taking care of them isn’t so bad. In fact, it’s awesome! I love when Riley is happily playing on his mat and Molly wants to play with him. Those moments with the three of us (four of us when daddy is home… sometimes five of us when our dog Owen wants to join) are some of my favorite moments of all! But it’s when Riley is screaming at the top of his lungs and I can’t figure out why, and then Molly joins in the screaming because it makes her upset when he’s upset, those are the moments where I feel like I can’t handle them. So how can I expect our nanny to handle that situation? Also, Molly is still building a relationship with our nanny (I’m not using her name because I want to respect her privacy), so I don’t want to put her in a situation where Molly gets upset with her because she’s giving attention to Riley since Molly is used to her full attention. I don’t know if that makes sense, but I’m just worrying about everything right now.
And here’s the thing, I know my worries are just a fraction of what most moms go through when they go back to work. Why is that? Well, I’m super lucky in the fact that I’m only going back to work one or two days a week right now. My boss is really understanding and when I wrote her a couple weeks ago to tell her I didn’t feel ready to come back, she was totally receptive to me starting with one day a week and going from there. I know not everyone has as understanding employer. Or, I know some companies can’t afford to have their employees come back on a limited basis. It’s a complicated situation for everyone. But all I know is that our country needs to find a way to give moms more time off before going back to work. I for one, chose to go back after 3 months since the new season of our show Home & Family is premiering. But many mothers are forced to go back after only having a short amount of time off. I find that so heartbreaking. Especially when they have to go back 5 days a week. I truly can’t imagine what an emotional toll that would be.
So even though I’m going through my own emotional distress at the moment, I’m well aware of how lucky I am. And I think that’s just how we are as mothers, meaning that any time you spend away from your children might make you feel some internal conflict.
And don’t get me wrong, I don’t think twice about leaving the house for a few hours to go out with my girlfriends to dinner while Kevin stays home and gives the baby a bottle. I can’t function without some time away! But it’s different being gone for a full workday. I haven’t spent more than 3.5 hours away from Riley since he was born, so an 8 hour workday feels like such a long time to be away from him!
And these 3 months I’ve been able to spend with my kiddos has been such a blessing. Molly has really blossomed. She just turned 2 and her vocabulary probably consists of 5000 words. I remember our doctor telling us that she should know at least 200 by the time she turned 2. I think it’s safe to say she knows quite a few more than that and we’re super proud of her. She’s also putting complete sentences together by stringing together five or six words. Every day she’ll say something new that just totally blows our minds. She knows all the letters in the alphabet, she can count to 10 and has memorized some of her favorite books front to back. It’s the cutest thing to watch her “reading” them to her stuffed animals or her brother Riley. Speaking of Riley, watching the two of them together is like nothing I could possibly describe. She loves him so very much! The whole time I was pregnant I was worried about her being jealous, but really the only time she’s jealous is when mommy is holding Riley to nurse and she wants to hold him. Ha! I will remember these few months at home with my kids for the rest of my life. And I know that so many more memories will be made in the months to come. Again, I’m so very lucky that I don’t have to go to work five days a week. And I remember to be grateful for that each and every day.
I kind of feel like I’m rambling in this blog post. There’s no real structure to it or place I’m trying to end up. I’m just sort of telling you guys what’s on my mind today. So really I just want to chat about it. Tell me how you dealt with going back to work after maternity leave in the comments section. Or how you’re preparing yourself if you’re currently on maternity leave. I’m also curious how much time people got off. I know in other countries some women get 18 months off! How wonderful would that be?! Really I just want to chat with all of you about it. Thanks for reading Luvs!