Well, tomorrow I return to work after sixteen weeks off for parental leave.I remember embarking on this leave thinking it would be great to get all that time to bond with the baby, and feeling some anticipation about how we would spend our time once the baby was big enough to go on some short hikes, etc. I looked forward to getting a few household projects done during naptimes. And really just resting (mentally) from the stresses of work.
Cora has been such a difficult baby that almost no part of leave has been remotely restful. Everything from an ambitious beach trip to a simple picnic has been stressful and full of screaming. I’ve never had any kind of anxiety problems in my life, and here I am at age 36 just totally on edge much of the time. The biggest thing looming in my mind is that she still doesn’t take a bottle, and tomorrow and the following days will probably be really difficult at best and traumatic at worst for her.
I love her so much, and part of me is really sad not to be able to continue spending my days with her. The other part of me can’t wait to get to work and have a few hours together where I don’t hear her screams and can do stuff without a baby attached to me physically. Things have changed while I was gone though: I’ll be going to a different office as my office moved, and I’ll have to navigate an entirely different pumping situation with lots more moving pieces and parts, and have to plan lunches for myself for the first time in years, and a zillion other changes. Funny that those should be the least of my worries at this moment.
So this is how I re-enter the workforce in 2018…with a head full of anxiety and a huge cloud of uncertainty around me. Well. Tomorrow is another day.