Return to Work, Round Four

On Monday, I return to my office job, where I'll work four days a week from 9-2pm. My wonderful in-laws will each take two days with Porter and Wallace while the bigs are in school during my work hours. Because everyone is asking me, 'How are you feeling about going back to work?', I figured it was time to hash it out on the blog. Old habits die hard, you know?

I have mixed feelings about donning my 'working mom' hat, one more time. I am not dreading my job and in fact, really find myself looking forward to that part of the gig. Dressing up and feeling somewhat put-together, establishing a solid routine, conversing with adults in a professional setting, making a noticeable difference in our rehab department, contributing to my family financially, stretching my brain beyond it's 'mom' setting, and probably feeling some sense of accomplishment that I'm appreciated and needed----these are all things that I anticipate with my current job. I'm really glad that I took the supervisor position back in January and I think it's a perfect fit for me right now.

Now let me say this: being at home is the most thankless job, but the most important job in the world, in my humble opinion. Being a mother in GENERAL is thankless and important, which is true whether we work outside of the home or not. It's not that I need a pat on the back to say, 'you're going a great job,' every day or anything. But man, it will be nice to hear a 'thanks for doing this' every now and then. So far keeping four kids alive (including a newborn), making meals, semi-cleaning the house, doing laundry, potty training the three year old, coordinating a house renovation/making decisions for the contractor, breaking up sibling fights, running back and forth to school a million times every day, and kissing all of the owies hasn't included many thanks. Or a paycheck.

But I'll say it again: being at home is wonderful and challenging and IMPORTANT. I do feel a solid sense of satisfaction that everyone is still alive and relatively happy after these twelve weeks. It's not tangible, like a paycheck, but the payoff of being home and being a mom is seriously priceless. I've enjoyed my leave SO MUCH. I've soaked it in the best I could, I've bonded with Wallace in a way that I don't remember achieving before with the others, and I've only cried a few times in the process. That's really saying something, isn't it? We must be doing something right with these kids because they remain pretty freaking amazing, blowing our minds on the regular with their little personalities.

And actually, I'll still be in charge of all of those above SAHM tasks, but now I'll be wearing my PT hat in addition. So, yay for another role being added to my plate and cheers to serious time management. I think I'm up for the challenge but I'd be lying if I said I wasn't nervous about this next transition. And Nate, I think it's time for us to hire a housekeeper, and we might need to start ordering groceries online. Let's talk later about how we can delegate and outsource. ;)

I've been thinking a lot about motherhood in general, and this stage of rearing young children combined with the responsibilities of working outside of the home. I despise the word 'busy' when being used to describe our days, so I'll just say that life is really...full. It's hectic at times, feels a little chaotic and lacks control, but it's so stinking good, too. We are blessed (another word that sometimes makes me cringe). We have four kids now, which still sort of boggles my mind. I once pictured myself as a mom with 2-3 kids and a fulfilling career, but now I see that our story includes FOUR children plus a career that I truly enjoy. Life is better than I could have imagined and so much fuller, too.

I'll probably still get choked up when I leave the house on Monday morning. I really don't want to leave Ace and am worried he won't take a bottle, or that he'll scream bloody murder the whole time and my in-laws will resent me/him for it. The first week or two will likely be a huge adjustment for us all, but I have faith that it will all turn out just fine. I've done this before and the perspective I have on this fourth time around is absolutely key: things will constantly keep changing and it's up to me to adapt. Roll with it. Find the little joys throughout the day and let the crappy stuff go. Drink all of the coffee and don't let the To Do list take over your world. The glass is half full and life is good.

These are all concepts I'm still trying to master as a mom of four. Being a mom can be isolating if you let it, but it can also make you feel supported and like we are all doing this huge thing together.

And so THAT'S how I'm feeling about going back to work. Now I'm off to snuggle my baby and reflect on an awesome-but-crazy maternity leave together.



  1. I think you've summed up all the returning to work thoughts very nicely! I 100% agree on the housekeeper and online grocery shopping. Our cleaning lady comes once a month (wish it was twice but dang school tuition), and I online shop probably 2-3 times/month. It costs $5 here at my fave grocery store (Wal-Mart is free, but I don't like their groceries), but I've found I actually spend less when I am watching the total on the website vs. just putting stuff in the cart in the store, so it's totally worth the $5. And what it saves in sanity is well worth the $5! Cheers to a great first day back, and I know Ace will be kind to his grandparents!

  2. All the best! Love the pic at the end!


Thank you for taking the time to comment on my blog. Sorry that commenting through Blogger can be a royal pain. I'm glad you are commenting despite that, and please email me if you are having issues.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...