I’m back, kids.
Back to work.
Back to blogging.
Back to writing ranty posts about whatever weird crap occurs to me.
So far, so good. It has been two whole days, so we’ll see. But I think it’ll be okay. I think….
My first day was strange. You see, my team decided to have an all-day strategy offsite. Rather than a slow start with my inbox and a cup of coffee, I got hours of presentations and brainstorming sessions. And you know what? I kinda loved it. I’m one of those rare folks who really does love their job. I was worried this would be overwhelming, but I think it may have been the perfect way to start. It reminded me of what I find exciting about my work.
That said, there was the usual inanery on display. You know… the superficial stuff that happens in all workplaces everywhere. I would be lying if there weren’t times I thought “I left my baby for this bullshit?”
During a breakout session, the head of my unit came over. Asked me how I was, thanked me for coming to the meeting, etc. He said “I love your comments today. You’re already thinking about this business differently.” What I didn’t tell him is that I’ve been thinking these things all along– the difference is that Mama Ostrich doesn’t have time for bullshit anymore. So instead of silently filing away my grievance, I’m belting it out like Aretha. (This is, apparently, one of the side effects of motherhood for me. I really have no patience for stupid shit, and I now say it out loud.)
My workplace is very parent friendly. My boss has already said that my family comes first. Like he pulled me aside, stared me straight in the eye and said it. There are fully equipped mother’s rooms where I can pump in peace. In addition, there is a full cafeteria, an onsite gym, and chair massages. All free to employees, all day, every day. I’m really very lucky. I mean honestly, I’m almost embarrassed that I’m conflicted about coming back to work, because where I work sounds like some goddamn Disneyland.
So far I haven’t cried (a lot.) I haven’t cried during drop off. I haven’t cried during the day. I got super weepy when I came home last night though. I just missed him so terribly, and seeing Chick made me realize just how much. He is this awesome little person, you know?
I know myself. I know I couldn’t stay home with Chick, no matter how much I love him. After months of dedicating myself to his needs 24/7, I like that I’m able to focus on things important to me (and only me.) Selfish? Meh… I don’t see it that way. Being engaged in my work makes me a better person. I’m not curing cancer (far from it) but I want Chick to know me as someone who takes pride in her work, who strives for things, who sometimes fails but always gets up and goes at it again the next day. That’s what being back at work means to me. I hope one day he gets that.
I’m back, ladies and gentlemen.
There are a whole lot of things I didn’t explore in this post, including but not limited to:
- I don’t think I’m better than someone who stays home with their child. I don’t think I’m worse. It’s a different path with a different set of challenges and rewards. That’s it.
- As much as I’m glad to be back at work, I would like to point out that this isn’t just for personal reward. There is a very real financial need for me to return to work. For better or worse, I’m the proverbial breadwinner so my income is important to my family’s survival. Sometimes going back to work for mothers isn’t about a choice- it is about providing safe, stable homes for their families.
- I’m super privileged. I know that. GOOD GOD, do I know that. So many mothers and fathers don’t work for organizations that are as supportive as mine. That sucks. I’m still very angry at the state of parental leave in the US and the general attitude toward “work-life balance” being only an issue for the ladies. It’s such bullshit, it makes my brain boil.
But I didn’t explore these things. Because.