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First Day Back After Maternity Leave

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Today is hard. Really hard.

It’s my first day back at work after weeks of maternity leave. I know there are so many other problems in the world, but I can’t seem to move past it. I thought I’d be better at this the second time around, but here I am again in a mixture of emotions. Sadness, guilt, regret, fear, stress, doubt and relief all wash over me.

This morning we immediately uncovered all the obstacles our new family routine has created in getting us all out the door on time. I managed to squeeze into something professional (that may or not be maternity clothes), get both children ready and give everyone wishes for a “great day.”

Dread sinks in because now it’s real. My sweet, unassuming baby is going to be handed over to his new caregiver (who is perfectly lovely and qualified), but isn’t me. I give details about his current schedule, likes/dislikes and promise him that Mommy will be back soon. I give my sweet baby one last kiss and cuddle and hurry out the door before the ugly cry comes. Not his cry, my ugly cry.

I barely make it into my car, shut the door and call my husband weeping and planning our big move to Europe where maternity leave is much longer and I can push my children in prams and play in manicured gardens. My bubble bursts because I know this actually isn’t going to be the last time I feel like I’m letting my child go a little bit. It’s going to happen again and again in life.

I know every situation for every child and mother is personal and different. Fortunately, I work with amazing and talented colleagues and feel good about my job. Today marks the beginning of my heart being pulled in yet another direction. Today is really hard, but here’s to a new day tomorrow.


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