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Returning to Work After Maternity Leave
Before I had my daughter I told anyone that asked that I was adamant about returning to work and not becoming a stay at home mom. I even told my boss that I would only need 6 weeks off. I vowed that I would remain a strong and independent woman even though I was becoming a mother.
I ended up taking 9 weeks off and by the end of it I really wished that I didn’t have to return so soon, or ever. My daughter’s sweet baby coos and teeny tiny toes had all but crumbled my wish to return to work. I was smitten with her. And the thought of leaving her so I could return to work and care for other people and their kids was soul crushing.
Leaving my daughter at 9 weeks old sucked. My only consolation was that she wouldn’t be going to day care. Mr. Pepper had to go to flight instructor training in Florida for a few weeks and my aunt had graciously volunteered to babysit her so I could return to work.
I had been able to get a schedule that would allow me to work 3 – 12 hour shifts a week, allowing me more days off but longer stretches of time away from my daughter.
It sucked. And it still sucks.
The upside of course is that I get 4 days off with my daughter….the downside is that sometimes I will come home after 8:30 pm and she will already be asleep and I’m looking at getting up at 6:30 am the following morning without the possibility of seeing her at all.
It is hard. And it is painful, but it has to be done. I don’t have the option of being a stay at home mom yet. Being the wife of a pilot isn’t glamorous in the beginning. It is hard. We still have a few years to go before he can get on with an airline.
I come from a family full of hard working women. My moms side of the family immigrated from Mexico and worked damn hard to provide for their kids. But sometimes this meant working two jobs to provide for their children. I once heard my cousin tell his mom, “I wish you hadn’t worked all the time because I feel like I never saw you”.
In my aunts mind she was trying to provide her children with everything and anything they could ever want, of course this meant that she wouldn’t be spending as much time at home, but they had nice things.
I want to provide for my daughter too but I also don’t want money to be the focus of everything I do for her. Sometimes it’s hard when bills pile up but we make do.
I want her to have time with mom, maybe we won’t get to do those fancy vacations because I don’t have two jobs, but she will have memories of our staycations.
Maybe, one day, I can buy her more things, but I can never buy this time again.
How did you working mama’s deal with it? Anyone else struggling as much as me?
photo credit: www.solopreneursidekick.com