|Already busted out of his newborn swaddles... time flies!|
This was all very overwhelming for a person who loves working and her job and her colleagues.
I wrestled with it for all of November. Some days I vowed that I would not, could not, should not go back. Others I missed the projects and the people so much that it almost made it imaginable to go through the labor of finding an elegant solution to our lack of daycare.
Here, in no particular order, were things I thought:
- People say they grow up so fast. If we can find a way for us to afford me staying home for a bit, shouldn't we do it now?
- We put SO much intention into preparing for Noah... doesn't it feel wrong to leave him to spend his days with someone else?
- But my career! Will I never get promoted/a raise/a gold watch if I take time off?!
- And my degrees! Won't my brain sink into a pile of mush if I stay home all day?
- Not to mention... what will I DO all day? Bake cookies? Eat said cookies? Get fat? Hate everything?!?
- But the baby. We want him to be a good boy who grows into a good man. I can't imagine leaving him at such a young age, seeing him for a few minutes before his bedtime each night and on the weekends.
- I will not regret spending time raising my son. I may later say things like "yeah, I could have done more XYZ if I'd gone back right away," but it won't be regret. I'll still feel that I did the right thing.
You have got to make the decision that's right for your family, even if the decision feels like the last thing you ever thought you'd choose. I know people who went back to work at 6 weeks and it was totally the right choice. I know others who never went to an office again, who stayed home and did the massive amount of work it takes to raise babies and clean laundry and manage a household and forage for dinner. You've got to weigh everything and make the choice from there.
"Of course you're conflicted," my friend Leigh told me when I broached the subject with her early on. "It's 2012. We're supposed to be modern women who can do everything."
Well here I am raising the white flag. I cannot do everything. I can do some things - and even that feels like a big statement right now. I can do a few things well enough that they are worth it. And the primary thing that I need to be doing right now is raising my son and supporting my husband as we work out the kinks of being a family of three.
I am fortunate to work for a company that is allowing me to take the time I need. When I feel ready to add exterior work back into my life, we'll have a conversation about when and if and how. In the meantime I am soaking up the first months of our boy's life. Today, instead of having my first day back at work, I read books to him and took him on a stroll and spoke to him in French.
And later this week, because I want my brain to remain active and adult and because I have too many ideas to know what to do with them, I'll have some exciting news about a new No Is For Wimps offering. Stay tuned - and thanks for the support. This has been a difficult decision and so many of you have helped me embrace the change.