Friday, April 20, 2012

The Best Part of Being a Working Mom

About two weeks ago I returned to work after enjoying nine months of paid maternity leave. Thankfully I got to return to work part-time after four weeks of shared parental leave with the Mr, who is now enjoying three months with PJ (and without my constant interference).

Ah, socialist capitalism, I do so very much love you.

Frankly, dear readers, I was genuinely worried about returning back to work. How would PJ be without me? How would the Mr. cope? And, personally, how would I manage without PJ? Would I like working? Would I be able to hack being a working mom?

I'm only two weeks in but so far the answers are all pretty good. How is PJ doing without me? Lets just say that 'Da-De' is only growing in popularity in these parts. Naps are going great. Eating is going well. Playtime is getting rougher. Confidence is growing. Little man is doing very well.

My men doing their man thing.
And the Mr.? Yeah, he was a bit overwhelmed at first and expressed a good amount of concern about how repetitive the days with a baby are. But I do think he is enjoying the time and I know he is loving the time without me putting my nose into his parenting all the time. He might have mentioned that aspect of me working a few times.

Okay, more than a few times.
I do not recommend this approach.
And me? Allow me to pontify:

Being with a baby all day every day is physically exhausting. The walking, the crawling, the rocking, the soothing, the constant touch - especially the constant touch. Now? I sit in a comfy chair at a desk. I may walk to a coffee machine or a meeting room or not. The most physical contact I get may be a surprise hug from a colleague stoked to see me back at work. But mostly my body is just that: mine.

As physically challenging as it may be, being with a baby all day is at best intellectually draining. Honestly, it is mind-numbing: eat, play, sleep, eat, play, sleep, eat, get the point. As an employee of one of the world's most successful software companies there is nothing but intellectual stimulation going on. Every conversation, every email demands that my brain focuses, digs through numerous sources and mounds of data, to work towards understanding and then begin considering, reevaluating, correcting (myself), estimating, get the point.

Oh, and for four hours a day, I get to go to the bathroom all by myself, with the door closed, for as long as I'd like. No babies climbing on my legs or whining outside the door. No rush because PJ has bumped his head or fallen down or whatever it is that he does as soon as I'm sitting on the toilet. Seriously, who would have guessed that a solo trip to the bathroom would be a highlight of returning to work?

But its not the best part about working. The best part is returning to my little man. Seeing his smile and hearing his giggle when I walk through the door. Holding him close and smelling his skin for the first time in five hours. Enjoying being part of that oh-so-special eat, play, sleep routine. Or, like tonight, spending almost 45 minutes on the night-time sleep routine and not only enjoying every single minute of it, but being especially thankful for the opportunity to be the person holding my little boy close, rocking him gently, and singing softly as he drifts into sleep.

That is the best part of returning to work. The gratitude.

The baby outranks the computer.


1 comment:

PomPom said...

I really enjoyed this post. Honest and loving :) Also glad to see you back at work !!!

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