I got a taste of the good life. The stay-at-home mom life. How I love that life! But soon, too soon, this mama has to go back to work and I am wrestling with all of the emotions that hit all moms that wish they could stay home instead of going to work. Don’t get me wrong, I like my job. I’m a teacher. I’m staying at the same school for the first time in my career and that is exciting. I am starting at a new grade level, which is also exciting. I like the people I work with and being a teacher, I feel, allows me to have a set schedule to keep a routine at home. But it doesn’t even come close to the joy I have experienced while staying at home with my baby boy. I have some fears about being a working mom. Can I put 100% of myself into both areas of my life? Will I lose it that first day that I leave my son to go to work? Can I handle it?
I was extra spoiled when we had our son in April. My maternity leave ran into summer break. I got THREE WHOLE MONTHS with my baby at home. THREE. Three months of setting a routine at home; of cleaning, laundry, dinners, and every other little thing you do on daily basis when home full-time. I got good at it and now I ask myself, how will do this after coming home from a 12 hour day? How will I get the laundry done and get the floors swept and dinner on the table and still have time to play and enjoy my baby?
I also worry about going back to work. Being a teacher, in my opinion, takes a little extra out of you in comparison to other occupations. You give the best of yourself to get 30 little people to trust you, to listen to you, to learn from you. Teaching brings out a special kind of exhaustion from you at the end of the day. On some days, you are not only drained physically but emotionally. You feel your students’ highs and lows and struggles. For some students, you are Mom. You are the only person that gives them love and attention and shows them kindness. And while it is hard to do, teachers do it with gladness. I do it with gladness. But I worry because those days are hard and when I would get home I could ignore the chores and eat cereal for dinner and veg out on the couch and now when I have those days I feel like I won’t be able to do any of that.
I think my anxiety gets the better of me when things don’t get done around the house. I haven’t gone back to work yet and I am already stressing about the things I know I won’t be able to get to every day like I can now. I know it’s not that big of a deal if the dishes don’t get done but try telling that to my anxiety! I want to be the mom that has it all together but as I write this I’m thinking to myself, does that mom even exist? Do I have unrealistic expectations for myself in this new role of being a working mama?
While staying at home would be the greatest thing ever, I know that it is just not possible for my family right now. I am working on not dwelling on the fact that I won’t see my baby all day long like I have been. Returning to work is going to be a really hard thing for me to do. I am just going to take it one day at a time and have faith. I have faith that my little family will create a new routine. I have faith that when those hard days come I will find a new way to cope. I have faith that I will find my new happy as a working mama.
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