Our goal is to provide information, ideas and support for working women who are also full-time mothers.

Friday, May 26, 2006

Round Two: The Road Already Traveled

Somehow, for me, it was easier the second time. Somehow as I was walking out the door and leaving her for my first day at work, I knew that we would be OK. I knew that she wouldn't love me any less. That she would be well taken care of. That she would thrive and learn and love her new "friends". I knew that someday she would understand that I work to provide her and her brother with the life we want them to have.

It would be easier for her, going into daycare a year younger than her older brother, she would never know any other weekday routine. To date there has not been a single drop off tear.

I walked back into the office so much more confident than last time. Having communicated at least weekly while I was gone, I was much more comfortable. My department had not only survived, they were thriving without me. I was able to move to another department and start contributing to the company in a whole new way, something I've wanted to do for a long time.

Twenty times a day I look at the picture on my desk of my two darlings. I miss them. Although I know that I would work even if I didn't have to, I certainly wouldn't work as much. While I struggle with that, I take great comfort in knowing that while they're not with me all day, they're together.

Working Mom's Manifesto - Chapter on Maternity/Paternity Leave

I haven't had a chance to read this yet (too busy working today!) but it looked interesting and fits our topic for the week.


Coming off maternity leave is hard. I still remember it from a couple of years ago. I struggle still with leaving my son at daycare. I love my daycare center and his teachers but it is still hard for both of us to go our own ways in the mornings. I guess we both are still dealing with separation issues. That is one of the hardest things about being a working mom -- leaving your child to go into the office.

Tips on Returning to Work after Maternity Leave

Check out the "Tips on returning to work after maternity leave" thread in the Work Issues section of the RWM Bulletin Board. Some tips include:

  • Try to start back on a Wednesday or Thursday so your first week back is a short week
  • Get to know your daycare provider as well as possible before your baby starts there.
  • Try to do all preparations the night before.
  • And Lots more good tips.

Click here to visit the thread to see other working mom's suggestions and add your own.

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

It Only Seems Harder the 2nd Time Around

You would think it would be easier to return to work after the second child. I knew the routine, I'd done it before, I have my trusty daycare in place. But for some unknown reason it was even harder this time than with my first son. Maybe because I was not the stressed out new mom with no sleep this time. I could revile in the moments we were spending. In February, I was returning to work after the birth of my second son. I had spent two wonderful months at home. I got to spend some great quality time with my older one before the birth and then afterward it was bliss to get to spend my days at home with them both.

I really thought it would be easier but I think it was even harder the second time around. Knowing that time is so precious and that time slips by so quickly and I'd be leaving them before I knew it. Although I've been back to work for almost four months, there are still days were leaving my snuggly little 5 month old smiling away at home as I drive off to work is just heartbreaking. Watching hubby and my older child curled up in bed when I'm off to work before it's light out. :(

It's my life. I'm extremely lucky to have a fabulous husband, two wonderful boys and a good job. However I think we all have those times where we dream of being independently wealthy: working at home with our children playing at our feet [quietly of course ;)] at a job we love that involves helping others. Guess I better start playing the lottery :)

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

Articles on Returning from Maternity Leave

Here are some articles you may find helpful when returning from maternity leave:

Monday, May 22, 2006

Two days and counting...

Two days from now I won't be with my kids. My baby won't be sleeping on my lap like she is now, and my toddler won't be running circles around me trying to type on the keyboard! Yesterday I was sad. Today I'm feeling angry. First I was blaming my husband (why couldn't he be a doctor so I could stay home??) Ridiculous I know. He is wonderful and works very hard. So I've decided to blame the government. Their priorities are all screwed up. It was only a few years ago that we even got the right to 12 weeks of FMLA. Why is the US so behind? Most European countries are a lot more family friendly. Heck, if I just lived a bit further north, in Canada, I'd have nine more months off with my kids (and they'd be paid!) But alas, my 12 weeks have been completely UNPAID and the hospital wants their money. So back to work I go!

Sunday, May 21, 2006

The end of maternity leave...

Well I go back to work in three days. I'm sure I'll have more to say on this topic over the next few weeks. Right now it's just such an emotional issue that I'm not sure I can make my thoughts coherent. I hate it. I really hate that I feel like I don't have a choice. A generation of women fought to have an equal place in the working world but now I feel like many women are trapped there. It feels completely unnatural for me to have to leave my two little girls, especially my baby who will only be 12 weeks old. Of course I know I need to actually consider myself lucky. Many, many women have to go back even sooner. (I have to stop myself from thinking of the women in many other countries who get 6 months or more off!) And I'm lucky that I have a job that allows me to be home by 4:00 with my girls every day. Many women aren't home until much later. But it's still so incredibly hard. And I'm also not looking forward to pumping every day, but I'm hoping to give my baby almost as much breast milk as I could if I were home. I guess we'll see how it goes. With my first, I set my alarm for 2 a.m. to get up and pump (in addition to pumping 2-3 times during the day) so she'd have 3 bottles at daycare. There's no way I can do that this time. Why does that make me feel like a failure? There's this terrible Catch 22 in being a working mom sometimes I think. I feel like I can't be the best mom I wish I could be because of my job. And I can't be the best employee I wish I could be because of my family. Not that there's any contest about who gets priority there... Well that's all for now. Honestly, even typing about this is making me nauseous. Isn't that sad? I'll update you all over the next few days.