My year off with baby has come to an end and I’m officially a working mom. This is a bittersweet time for me. Being away from my son is tough. I miss looking at his sweet little face all day everyday, but that being said, I realize I’m super lucky to have had the time off that I did. I have been back in my classroom for 4 weeks now, and when I am not wishing I could hold my little one, I’m actually really enjoying myself. This is a wonderful surprise, given how emotional and worried I was during the days leading up to the end of my maternity leave. I am finding a lot to love about having a career as well as a kid; here are some of the coolest things about it:
- The luxurious commute: I think every parent can appreciate a calm, quiet drive. As hard as it is leaving my son in the morning, I love knowing that I’m about to enjoy a full 25 minutes to myself. I drink coffee, listen to podcasts, and arrive at work chilled out, ready to teach and play with my sweet students.
- Grown up connections: The entirety of my leave was spent building a bond with the baby; it was a truly beautiful year, but by the end of it, I felt ready to focus on making adult connections. I am lucky enough to have kind, supportive colleagues who are always ready to lend a hand, share advice, or just chat. I didn’t realize how much I missed these things until they became a part of my life again.
- Getting to use my brain: Make no mistake, parenting is difficult. Our minds were pushed into some pretty intense places during the first year of our son’s life. Now that I am back at work however, I am appreciating the break I get from solving problems related to baby and am embracing the opportunity to tackle teaching challenges and get creative in my classroom.
- The cute kiddos: I would argue that the best part of being a primary teacher is the constant affection that my students show me. From saying they love me to making me cards and crafts, these kids have no problem sharing whatever wonderful feelings are in their hearts. As silly and trying as they can sometimes be, they lift my spirits every single day that I am with them.
- A break from baby: When people told me that going back to work might actually strengthen the love I have for my son, I nodded, smiled, and silently disagreed. Now, after having spent several days away from him, I get what they were trying to say. The whiny moods, the sleepless nights, all the tricky things about being a parent are just a little bit easier now that some of the workload has been taken on by the angels at his daycare. Because I miss him like I do during the day, I feel extra excited to see him, play with him, and comfort him during our time together.
Being back at work is making me feel more supported than I did during my maternity leave. I can now depend on my son’s daycare to provide him with nutrition and stimulation, while I get to put on makeup and my good clothes, and spend the day with people I like in an environment that inspires me. 🍎💕