Once I crossed over into the realm of motherhood, the world looked remarkably different. Maybe it was just a huge shift in my perspective. The landscape didn’t change; my view had.
And so it was with my work. For years, I was a dedicated employee who put work as a top priority in my life. I was never a workaholic, but I worked hard and did well. If I had to stay late, come in early, or bring home assignments on weekends, I might’ve grumbled to my husband a bit. But it was no big deal. I figured it would all lead to a bigger and brighter career in the years ahead.
After Cassie was born in May, I had 12 short weeks to adjust to my new role as a mom without the pressures of the office. Then, in a sleep-deprived blink, my maternity leave was over. I had to go back to work.
Working motherhood was a startling jolt of reality. Everything at the office was pretty much the same. Same faces (plus a few new ones). Same cubicle (a bit dusty). Same crazy deadlines, overwhelming assignments, and fires to put out.
But now, all I could think about was my baby girl.
Who cares about whether this work stuff gets done? Don’t you realize my child is at home, and I am here, and SHE NEEDS ME? Never mind that she’s home with her daddy, who works out of our home while caring for our daughter. Knowing she’s in good hands only keeps me half-sane. I still feel a primal, non-rational urge to be her primary caregiver. If I have to be apart from her for more than a few hours, I want to shove everyone and everything out of the way to get to my girl.
It’s been a little more than three months since I returned to work full-time. Every morning, I have to tear myself away from her sweet self to leave for the day. Throughout the day, I have to call my husband at least once (with supplemental emails in between) to check on Cassie. Get the work done, focusing on it as much as I can.
And every evening, I am a woman on a mission to get home.
Then it’s time to switch from professional-woman mode to devoted-mother/wife mode. It’s enough to make me dizzy.
Speaking of my mission, it’s time for me to get on home!
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