In two short weeks, my mat leave is over, and I'm heading back to my full-time day job. This hurts my heart. Not because I don't love my job (I do) but because I don't like working 40 plus hours a week and commuting. I'll miss my kids. A lot. There will be a huge adjustment period, and I'll actually need to start getting dressed before 2pm. And possibly start brushing my hair (if I have time.) I'm going to miss my afternoon snuggles, trips to the park, and spontaneous living room dance parties.
But I'll be honest: in many ways, I'm looking forward to going back to work. I enjoy what I do, and I like the people I work with. I also enjoy getting to use my brain in an "adult" way. (It's funny, because my day job involves writing for children and making the odd fart joke, but still...I consider myself an intellectual.) Okay, a semi-intellectual.
When I go back to work, it'll somewhat feel like a break. Yeah, that's right. I said it out loud. A break.
KIDS ARE F-ING EXHAUSTING LITTLE BEASTS! AREN'T THEY?
When I'm at work, here are the things I'll get to do that I don't get to do at home:
-drink my coffee while it's hot
-respond to an email in a timely manner (work related, of course)
-talk to other adults (this is only partly-true for me since I have my Mom to talk to at home every day right now!)
-eat my lunch and have my outfit stay clean (most likely)
-do afternoon yoga (yes, my work offers afternoon yoga!)
-read books (on the GoTrain on the way to and from work)
-shop (I work downtown, and there are stores nearby!)
See, sounds pretty nice, doesn't it? Perhaps I'm compiling this list to try and psych myself up for the big day and distract myself from the fact that I'm going to miss both of my kids oh-so-much. But the truth is, I know for sure that I couldn't be a full-time stay-at-home Mom. I just couldn't.
I love my kids more than anyone in the universe, but somehow the idea of spending full days with them day in, day out, is...EXHAUSTING. I'd get bored. I'd go stir-crazy. I'd probably develop a semi-concerning wine addiction (at nighttime of course) and possibly need to attend anger management classes. Sad, but true.
I know myself well enough to know that I need stimulation outside of my kids. I need career objectives, creative projects, and socialization (with people above 3 ft tall) to feel energized and human. I'm a better Mom when I'm doing these "other things" as well. Does that make me an asshole? Maybe. But it's the truth. I want to be a Mom (and the best Mom I can be) and part of that means fulfilling my ambitions outside of motherhood.
Do I like working 40 hours a week and commuting? No.
Do I wish I could work less, and make the same amount of money? Yes.
Have I considered cooking meth (thank you Breaking Bad) and selling organs on the black market to make some extra cash? Possibly.
But, for now, that's not a reality (I need to get better at chemistry first). So when I go back to work, we've arranged the best situation possible: my mom lives with us, and she looks after the kids. She has the patience of a saint, and is the most loving human on the planet. I can't think of a better person to nurture, guide, and laugh with our kids in our absence. She also does our laundry, so that's a huge plus. Trust me, I know how lucky we are.
It's this peace of mind that allows me to step back into the workforce and enjoy my job. When I come home from work, I will enjoy my kids. On weekends? My only plans involve making snowmen, making chocolate chip cookies, and making memories. It's not perfect, but it's as perfect as it can get right now.
So please wish me luck with my re-integration into the workforce. I have my bags packed for my first day: lunch, pretty shoes, and my breast-pump. Fun times.