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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

10 thoughts on “Returning to Work After Maternity Leave”

  1. It sucked so horribly after my first baby that I couldn’t do it again after the second. It’s like a little piece of you stays with them each time you leave. Living on one income is a struggle and it doesn’t work for everyone, but hopefully you guys can make it work in the future if that’s what you decide!

    1. The hardest part for me is feeling like I’m missing out and having my husband tell me new things she’s learned that day. They don’t stay this little forever, wish I could be home with her more often. 😢

  2. This was extremely hard for me too and it still is at times. My husband and I work A LOT and I feel at times we miss out on special moments with our kids because we are busting out butts to provide for them. After 4 years we still haven’t been able to find that happy medium. I just keep praying one day we will be in a good financial position to take off more and spend time with our children.

    1. I hope you can too! Growing up my parents always took us on a month long summer trip to our cabin, those are the memories I cherish the most because I got to spend time with both of my parents (my dad worked long hours the rest of the year). Time with parents is so important 🙂

  3. I can totally relate! With my first, I thought I’d want to go back. And I did, for a bit. With my second, I dropped to PT and quit to stay home about a year later. It’s so hard to leave them!

    1. How are you liking being a SAHM, do you miss work at all? It is really hard to leave my daughter for such a long stretch of time too. I’m so glad that you are now able to stay home with them full time.

  4. I have been out of work since my 16th week of pregnancy so by the time I go back to work after this baby, it is going to be such an adjustment but it will be nice to be around people again.

    1. I don’t want to knock work, because it is kinda nice to be around people but dang I never thought I’d be the stay at home mom type. 🙂 Thanks for stopping by

  5. Yep. This. It sucked. I was lucky enough to get 16 weeks off but it still wasn’t enough. I’m really hoping that we can get paid maternity and paternity leave passed in the US one of these days. Talk to your senators! I email them several times a year about it.

  6. I can only imagine—I have been blessed to be a SAHM. Being a one income family is hard at times but it is something my husband and I decided I will be before we had children. I love being able to be with them. I do plan on going to work once they are all school aged. Praying that it gets easier for you.

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