It's probably because I'm in Utah, but as soon as people find out you're having a baby they assume you'll be a full-time mom. And maybe it's just me, but it seems like when they find out that you'll be going back to work, they feel bad for you (and probably pity your child too).
I'm not trying to get into a debate about what is best for whom; all I can say is that I am so much happier being back at work.
My maternity leave was awesome, but it was also a huge challenge. Something about not having a lot of structure just isn't good for my mental health. It was hard getting up in the morning and having what seemed like an endless day in front of me and at the same time not knowing what all I should do. I think the best word I could use is daunting. One day I even scrubbed the tile grout in my bathroom with vinegar because I heard somewhere that that's a good way to clean. I'm just not good at being home all day.
But still I always feel kind of defensive when people find out I work. I feel like I have to explain that sometimes we don't know when Nic is going to get a paycheck. Or Have you met my husband? You live with him for a year and see how you'd feel if you didn't have health insurance. And so on.
In truth, I feel blessed beyond belief to have my job. I work six hours in office and then the rest at home. On days when I feel Norah really needs her mom, I can work from home all day. For me, it's the perfect arrangement. I also have to say that I'm incredibly lucky to have friends and family who watch Norah so I never feel like she isn't being loved or well cared for.
I guess my whole point is that I'm discovering that being a good mom is so specific to each family. I know so many stay-at-home moms who rock it each and every day and I've worked with some amazing women who can balance work and family seemingly effortlessly. So good for all of us moms! Girl power and all that.
The only part I could really do without is the getting to the car part in the morning. Once I gather my purse, phone, lunch, Norah's diaper bag, car seat, her chubby little body, and convince the dogs that, no, they're not coming with, I can barely get out the door. The only bonus is that Nic has been shoveling the driveway religiously because he's scared I'm going to trip and fall to my death with all the excess baggage.
And as if this post wasn't long enough: I get an email from Baby Center each week with an update on my child's progress and they always include a little comic at the end. I got this one a while ago and felt like they totally understood what I'm going through in an oh-my-goodness-this-is-what-my-life-has-become sort of way. So now that I enjoy cheesy parenting cartoons, I guess the next logical step is to find a nice pair of mom jeans.