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Sunday, August 2, 2015

#MomLife: Returning to Work is a Mother

Today, I became a working mom. It's a bittersweet day filled with a ton of emotions that I was not looking forward to facing. Until a couple of months ago, I was a pregnant mother-to-be only able to imagine what it felt like for millions of women who stepped into motherhood and returned to work a short time after their babies were born. Fast forward now, and the phrase "Hindsight is always 20/20" is very real.

For the last three months, I've been set in a routine of caring and bonding with the twins. Each day is different - some are adventure filled, some are lazy spent at home completely content in watching the boys in amazement, some are rough and long as one of the babies might be feeling not so well, some are filled with new developments as the boys discover something new... and some are just like any other day. The feelings of looking at your child and having more and more love in your heart for them with each passing day is something that can't ever truly be expressed in words. But as each day turns to night, the lingering reminder that my new routine would become old news pushed me one day closer to the end of my maternity leave.

I'll admit - I was dreading this day, and not for the reasons you might think. Unlike some moms out there, I happen to have a job I truly love. It's the best job I've ever had, actually. But, the idea of spending 12 hours a day, five days a week away from my sons makes me feel like I'm letting them down in a way. Will they feel like I wasn't there for them? Stories of children being resentful toward a parent who worked haunts me. Will the boys lose interest in me and love Daddy more than Mommy because he's home with them more now? I have already packed up 4 picture frames with their photos to turn my cubicle into a Landon and Nathan Mini Museum...

I keep telling myself that I'm not the first woman on the planet to face this day. And I know it will be harder on me than it will on them. But how do you get over knowing that you'll be missing out on many "firsts"? I'm going to lay one of my fears out there: I'm almost nervous to come home and hear that one of them did something new - and because of that, I'll be a little bit jealous of my husband (who will be taking care of them during the day) when he tells me about the cute thing Landon or Nathan did. Babies change so much in the first 3 months, and now with the boys approaching 4 months soon, I know they'll be changing faster than ever. It's inevitable that something monumental in the book of memories they're working on will happen. I just have to face it.

But that doesn't mean I'm prepared for it...

The debate on stay-at-home moms and working moms contributions to the family have been heavily debated, and I won't be another woman who pins one against the other. Both are equally important. And each family is different. The decision a family makes together or a mom decides on her own to return to work or stay home isn't for me to judge. And frankly, no one else should be doing that either. Unless you yourself are ready to take care of a someone's baby 24/7 and pay all of her family's bills, then you really don't have a right to lay societal stereotypes on her capabilities as a mother if she returns to work. I have respect for mothers, period. No matter if your throne is an office chair or a rocking chair - duty calls as the powerful keeper of your domain.

So, as quickly as a became a mom, I proudly take my new title and add a little something extra to it. The first week will surely be an adjustment for me, and I know in time, I'll get used to it. But for now, I'm working through the emotions, and minimal sleep, to write a new chapter in my book of life.

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