Oh faithful readers... all 5 of you... I apologize for being MIA. After considering long and hard as to whether or not I should return to work or be a stay-at-home mom, we decided that it was best for me to go back. Today marks the end of my second week back at work after a 12 week leave. These two weeks have been perhaps some of the most challenging weeks of my entire life.
The question people keep asking me is: How's it like being back? I usually give one of two generic answers saying, "It's great to be back!" or "It's really tough being back." Yes, I know they contradict each other, but depending on the given second when the question is asked, my response changes. Although I've answered this question more than 50 times already, I still feel rather uncomfortable when it's asked because I'm still not sure about how I feel. I wonder if I'll ever know. If I figure that out, I promise to share it with you.
For 12 weeks since his birth, I was at home all day, everyday and my life revolved around one and only one thing-- Ben. If he needed his diaper changed for the 11th time that day, I changed his diaper. If he woke up crying hysterically needing to be fed at 4am, I woke up and fed him. If he needed to be held and rocked for over an hour to take a nap that lasted only 5 minutes, that's what I did. This was my life, my full-time job, and I loved every second of it.
My schedule has obviously changed tremendously since I've been back at work. The word that best describes how I felt initially is OVERWHELMED. All of a sudden I had a job other than that of being Ben's mom. I was no longer just Michelle, the mommy, but I was also Ms. Park, the teacher. I now had two full-time jobs.
I feel like I'm always running from one place to the next. I feel like I'm not doing either of my jobs well enough. But I know that with time, things will get better and easier.
Since someone has asked me for this, maybe it'll be helpful for other future mamas who are planning on going back to work. Here's what a typical weekday is like for me:
6:00 Wake-up, eat breakfast, pack lunch, get dressed, watch/read the news
6:45 Feed (nurse on one side while pumping the other)
7:30 Leave the apartment and go to work
7:45 Get to work and try to get ready before the kids to arrive
8:15 Teach (pump during my break which is at a different time each day)
4:30 Get home and feed
5:00 Play with baby in the apartment or at the park
6:30 Make dinner, eat, clean up
7:30 Bath time (every other day) and feed
9:00 Prepare for work and shower
10:00 Pump again while watching tv
This is what I get to come home to every day... Nothing else can make my bad days into amazing ones like this!