Next week, I'm through with my 10-week maternity leave and return to work part-time. I thought by now I'd be going completely crazy, being stuck mostly inside with a newborn and feeling like a milking cow. Anyone who knows me knows I like to be busy--to be able to check things off my to-do list every day, to be productive--and that is certainly not how this whole mommy thing has been going. I'm lucky to take a shower and empty the dishwasher (and maybe type a blog post or two). I've become my child's slave, feeding, changing diapers, singing songs and bouncing seemingly all day.
And I actually don't mind. In fact, I kinda like it.
I thought being a stay-at-home mom would be really hard for me, but I'm surprised at how well I've adjusted. I think my husband is surprised too--he was initially a little concerned that I would suffer from post-partum depression or hate the seemingly monotonous life of a mother of an infant. But on the days when he asks me what I did and I don't really have anything to say, I don't feel down or guilty (and he, by the way, doesn't make me feel down or guilty). The slower pace is actually a nice change from the hecticness that was my pre-baby life.
At the same time, I'm glad to be going back to work. I feel like a strong contributor in the workplace and that sense of accomplishment and belonging are important to me. And hey, the extra income isn't bad, either. Luckily, my work is being flexible with my new dual roles, allowing me to work three half-days in the office and two half-days at home each week. I feel this will be just the right balance to keep everyone happy, especially me. I think the time away from Olive will also help me stay sane and my daughter to adjust to being away from me.
This time off from work has helped me realize that if the time ever comes for me to be a 100% stay-at-home mom, I could be happy doing that. But for now, I feel I have the best of both worlds.