A new job. A new baby. What a difference a year makes! (First Day of School 2010.)
First Day of "School" 2011: (although I guess, technically, on the first day of school I was at home in my pjs with a five week old)
Yesterday, I joined the ranks of the millions of working moms out there... Armed with SIX bags (one entirely devoted to my boobs - no lie) and strong coffee, I was out the door at 7:45AM to take Sam to the babysitter and be at work by 8. Eight hours, a (semi) organized office, lots of welcomes, and only one minor pumping incident (sorry Kathryn, I'll get your shirt dry cleaned) later - we both survived. And, honestly, it was a good day.
A lot of people asked me how I felt about going back to work. How do you answer that really? It was/is bittersweet. On the one hand, I have LOVED being home with Sam - especially these last four weeks or so. I feel like I'm finally "getting the hang of things" and Sam is at such a fun stage full of smiles and coos. OF COURSE I am sad to leave him. I'm already realizing how fast these baby days go, and I hate the idea of missing even one moment of them.
BUT, I also really like my job. Being back there, I immediately remembered why I like it so much - there is an energy about being in a school that just really can't be beat. All day yesterday (and today), I had people (colleagues and students) stopping by my new little office to say hello, see pictures of my boy, and catch up. I felt, strangely, at home there too.
I don't know many moms my age that are also working right now. That has been hard for me. Yes, sometimes I feel guilty or question if I'm making the best decision for Sam. Sometimes I cry thinking about someone else possibly seeing his first steps or knowing his favorite games before me. Sometimes I long to be in play-groups and mom Bible studies (why are those always during the work day?) But, I think going back to work would be a totally different story if it wasn't about my heart too. It really is more than just a job to me. I think God called me to be a wife, and a mother, AND a teacher (or, in this case, a testing coordinator). I don't think God made a mistake when he put those three things in my heart; and I truly believe that each one makes me better at the others.
Maybe having the best of both worlds is possible - at least on good days. Sam is happy. I am happy and oh so grateful. Life is good.
*Continued prayers for this transition are so appreciated. I know I still have a long way to go and LOTS to learn - like how to not have a pig sty for a house, for starters. And THANK YOU to those real life friends who have been so wonderful with calls, texts, emails, and meals... You have been such a blessing!