Back to Work After Maternity Leave

It’s off to work I go! This is where I’ll be spending a big part of my week starting today, and I’m super excited about it. Okay, a little sad, because what mom is jumping for joy about leaving her 3-month-old…but mostly super excited.

When I mention that I’m returning to work after maternity leave, most people respond with, “what maternity leave?”. They have a point; although I didn’t work with students individually this summer after having my baby in May, I did teach two classes, continue doing administrative work to keep the business running, and open a new facility alongside my business partner, Katey.

But I was able to do a lot of that work (minus the classes and renovations) from home, and I didn’t have any semblance of a regular routine or schedule all summer long. Starting today, all that changes.

Monday through Thursday, I’ll be working with students in the afternoons and evenings as well as teaching my early childhood class on Tuesday mornings. The beautiful thing about my schedule is that I’m still able to be home with Mia and Parker in the mornings, and this year — for the first time ever — I’m not working on Fridays. It does make for a little bit longer days the rest of the week, but totally worth it to have an entire extra day devoted to my kids.

As delightful as this schedule is, I will be honest that it isn’t easy or relaxing. Caring for a baby all day and THEN going to work with children for several hours back-to-back is no joke; I know because I did it for 18 months with Parker. Not only is it physically exhausting, but it’s also a juggle making sure everything is in place with child care and finding the time to do all the work that requires my attention outside of direct service hours. Oh yeah, and I’m not thrilled about having to pump two times a day, but I know many moms who have to do so while driving or in random places during the workday, so I really have no excuse for complaint.

I’m hoping this time around is a little more manageable overall, and I have high hopes because a) Mia sleeps at night, unlike Parker when he was an infant; and B) I’ve learned some strategies for doing it all and staying sane (most of the time, ha!).

I also know that it gets easier. When Parker started going to school Tuesday through Thursday at 18 months old, it opened up a whole new world for me. At this time next year, Mia will be there with him, so I will have three entire work days each week at that point.

But I am definitely not wishing this time away, because I know in a few years I will greatly miss this time “in the trenches” as they say. Luckily, I absolutely love my work, which makes it worth all the 5 am wakeups and 8 pm bedtimes. I’m feeling a little like a kid on her first day at a new school, except my mom won’t be taking any pictures of me on the front porch before I go ;)

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