Next Tuesday, I return to work after 12 weeks of maternity leave. In some ways, it feels like a lot longer since I've been at work, and in other ways, the time absolutely flew by.
After having Max, I absolutely cringed thinking about going back to work. I was pretty emotional - after spending a ton of blissful, new mother time with my first little baby, it absolutely killed me to hand him over to his daycare provider (who we love) and jump in the car and go back to my stressful, 40-50 hour a week career. December 2011 was when Max started daycare, and during the first day I went back to work, I vowed to do two things ASAP:
1. Figure out how to spend more time with my kid during the week, and allow him to have more time with his mama
2. Keep a career that I love, but figure out a different way to do it
Financially, I can not quit my job. We need at least a portion of my salary. I wouldn't want to quit because I truly love my role, and we have seen SO many benefits to Max attending daycare and making friends... I would never want him not to have that experience.
However, I did figure out a solution that will work best for me, my kids, and our lives. I am working Mondays, Tuesdays, and Wednesdays at 60% of my salary, with Thursdays and Fridays to spend with my kids. I know I will need to be planful with my Thursdays and Fridays... I am starting to put together our routine of things the boys and I will do. Both days each week will include activities for the three of us to do together, and time for me to get some basics done around the house so that we don't have to spend precious family weekend time to get things done (laundry, cleaning, etc.).
Although Mr. D is supportive, I can tell he's a bit skeptical about how this is going to work. He keeps asking me if I am ready to have both of the kids by myself two days per week, and if, from a budget perspective, we are SURE that we are in a good spot. I am trying my best to calm his concerns, but the truth is, I am willing to give up just about anything to make this work. I am sure I will have more learnings/thoughts about it as we transition to our new routine.
This new arrangement is making the idea of going back to work much more digestible this time around. I am actually looking forward to going back, not dreading the crazy hours and never seeing my children during the week.
T minus 5 days left of maternity leave, and it's not feeling like an end. It's feeling more like a transition, and I love it.