It’s a lot harder than I could have ever imagined.
I get angry thinking about having to go back to work 6-8 weeks after having a baby (8 weeks if you have a MAJOR surgery like a C-Section). 6 to 8 weeks to bond with my new child. 6-8 weeks to establish a breast feeding routine. 6-8 weeks to introduce everyone in my life to my baby. But not too close because GERMS! (Do we even want to bring up postpartum depression or anxiety? PPA almost killed me) 6-8 weeks to heal from the trauma my body endured during child birth, 6-8 weeks for painful, chapped nipples to heal. 6-8 weeks to jump back into the workforce like nothing happened. But something monumental happened.
I feel guilty when I have to take a PDO day when my child is sick and my work team has to carry my load.
I feel guilty when I go pump 2-3X a day to maintain my supply. It interferes with my workflow and rhythm, or I have too much I need to get done today.. So I drop down to 1-2X a day and watch my supply bottom out more times than not.
I feel guilty for PTO, parent teacher conferences, having to stop by the daycare every 4 hours to pump my baby full of Tylenol so that fever doesn’t breach 100°F and inevitably causes him to be sent home. If we get sent home, how in the world will I ever catch up?
I feel guilty that my quality standards at work have to be modified to fit this new life. I had to learn a whole new job a few months after I came back from leave. I want to do well, but I am not the person I was when I left. And this job includes over time and on call that my last job did not. Do you understand the fear of being on a call at 8 pm that requires interaction and total engagement when that is bed time and you are the boob??
I couldn’t take the medications I need to concentrate at work, my work quality was at an all time low… was I going to lose my job because I have to choose between breastfeeding and taking medication for my ADHD, anxiety, or depression?
I have to find a middle ground, but I can’t take choosing my job over my child.
Life would have been so different if America had followed Canada, Norway, Denmark, honestly the list goes on and on for these other countries who seem to actually accept and care for their mothers and children.
I want to be a badass employee. I want to make our company’s name shine and shimmer with greatness.
I want to be a badass mom who isn’t empty at the end of every day from stretching too thin.
I want to be mentally healthy and have time to see a therapist!!!!! But at this point in my life, I’m doing good to get in and see a dentist.
I want to have and interact in my friendships outside of the workplace. But I spend most of my time in the 4 walls of my cubicle. When I’m out, I have 2.5 hours after 5:30 pm to pick up from daycare, get home (30 min drive), dinner??, bath, bedtime, get bottles ready for tomorrow, maybe sneak in a kiss to my husband.
The guilt I feel about being a bad wife and a bad friend… those have been getting to me lately.
Then I remember I haven’t had a shower in 3 days. The smell is me. (So embarrassing!)
Weekends are nice, but I want to do more with them, but also less because I am so tired and need down time.
Shit, the dogs! The cats! They need to see the vet. I need to refill their preventatives. Am I spending enough time with them? Or are they just hostages here?
How do we navigate this terrain??
I know this is not a new territory at all, and mothers have been kicking ass and taking names long before me.
Maybe it’s just me that can’t figure it out.
Maybe I’m in the wrong profession, but I can’t afford to quit my job and go back to school. And I certainly don’t have the time in between work and mommyhood.
My days are flashing before my eyes. Time has never moved so fast in my entire life. I don’t want to miss these days. I don’t want to miss the smallness of my child, he is already growing up so quickly.
Maybe it will get better in time.
Maybe I will get better in time.
Ps… I want to thank my husband who is one of my biggest supporters. I don’t want to ever diminish or minimize the work and effort he puts into supporting me and helping me. I would not have made it to today without him busting his ass. Thank you X 1,000,000.
Pps… thank you to all of the moms before me, and around me, for busting your ass creating something great when nobody could see. It’s a thankless job and you are a saint.