Anxieties on Going Back to Work

Hi there! I apologize for the lack of posts going on around here. I am just trying to spend every moment I can with my darling girl before I have to go back to work next week. I know I have turned into a “mommy blogger” all of a sudden, and honestly, I have no apologies. I have always used this blog to catalog things that I like (makeup, food, my cat, funny things, etc.) and I think my baby has trumped it all.

Come on. How can one NOT be obsessed with that?

But I digress. I have had quite a “blogger’s block” lately, as all I want to talk about is her, naturally. I asked for some suggestions on twitter (although I probably whined more than anything) and Michelle suggested I post about my thoughts/anxieties on going back to work. This is an interesting thought, as I have a ton of feelings manifesting themselves about this now.

So yeah, I go back to work next Thursday. The good news is I go back to work for two days and then I have the entire week of Spring Break off. I kind of planned it that way so that if there were any problems those first two days, I have a week to fix it. I have to use the entire remainder of my leave to make sure Kennedy can take a bottle. Doesn’t sound like that much work, but it is. I can’t let my milk supply drop so if I replace a feeding with a bottle of expressed milk (I’ve got a nice little stockpile going in the freezer…ha), I’ve got to pump. And this girl wants the real thing. So this has been a busy week even though I’m sitting at home with her.

Anyway…

Kennedy will be staying with one of my best friends who is a stay at home mom. This is a win-win situation for everyone, since she will be with someone I trust immensely (I also watched her baby one summer for about a month) and my friend will get a little extra cash of her own that she can call her own. Kennedy will also be literally down the street from my school, so if there are any problems, I could get to her in two minutes flat. This childcare setup will only last through the summer, though, because I can’t expect my friend to keep watching my child. I am not sure what we are going to do come August when the next school year rolls around, but we have time to figure it out.

Anyway, so how do I feel about going to work?

I don’t want to go back. I just want to stay home with my precious girl and be her mother. I want that as my job.Β I think that if I leave her, I will miss her first laugh, her first word, her first step, etc. I want to be there for everything.

It’s funny, because I never thought I would feel like that. Nowadays, it seems the norm is to have a baby, stay home on maternity leave for a little while, and then go back to work seamlessly without any problems. At least, that is what I thought.

I’m worried about her taking a bottle, and I hope to God she behaves herself while I’m away and she adjusts nicely to her new daytime routine. She is typically really happy in the morning/early afternoon so I seriously hope she keeps that disposition for my friend. One time I left her with my sister for about 3.5 hours to get my hair done and she had a freak out moment and wouldn’t take a bottle. I have a feeling it’s because she didn’t want to be away from me because I’m all she’s ever known.

I now find myself seriously reconsidering everything I thought I was supposed to do so I could be a mother to my child. Unfortunately, it is not possible for us financially for me to be a stay at home mom. My husband feels the same way that I do – he would have me stay home in a heartbeat if we could financially swing it.

So my mission now is to find something that I can do to contribute financially while also staying home with my baby and future children. Anyone have any ideas for me? I know, stupid question… because, like, everyone wants that.Β Okay, so anyone want to pay me big bucks for being so darn amazing?!

Don’t get me wrong, Β I LOVE my job. I consider myself very lucky to have such an amazing job and able to work with such talented students. Being a high school theatre teacher and director has been everything and more I have hoped it could be. It can be quite a demanding job, though, that can keep me away from home due to rehearsals and performances. I am really nervous about next year and how I plan on balancing all of that while still being a good mother to my baby.

So, tell me, working mothers. How do you do it all?

34 Comments

  • Reply
    Lauren
    February 28, 2012 at 2:35 pm

    I completely understand! There is no way I could stay home with my daughter after she was born… Not just when it came down to straight dollars, but also because my husband gets ZERO benefits from his job and I carry them all. We could probably swing him being a SAHD but not me being a SAHM – and that’s hard. At the same time, almost knowing I had no choice but to return to work made the return to work easier. I knew I just had to suck it up. It’s going to be a lot harder going back after baby #2 I think because we will be paying out so much in childcare that it will seem like I’m working for half my pay, but again the benefits. We NEEDED that great healthcare since my daughter was born, and it’s worth it. And her daycare really is SO great – and she is the happiest child I know.

    If you find a way to stay home – great!! If you don’t, do not think you are giving your child any less of a life by working. You are doing what you can to make sure she has the best life you can give her – whatever that looks like for your family! I promise she won’t love you any less regardless and whether you stay home or work I think you feel like you have to savor every moment, and that’s not a bad thing.

  • Reply
    Phil and Darby Hawley
    February 28, 2012 at 2:43 pm

    I’m not a mom, so I have no experience in this area, but I can only imagine how difficult to return to work. I’m certain you aren’t along in these anxieties. You never know though, it might work out perfectly the way you planned, and if not, then something even better is awaiting you πŸ™‚ Kennedy really is a cutie!

  • Reply
    The Smiths
    February 28, 2012 at 3:03 pm

    Ugh, I know how you feel. I really did not want to go back to work after my son was born this past October, but it does get easier after you get into a routine. You don’t miss them any less, but it does seem easier. I still have those same anxieties though. I’m so afraid I’m going to miss something. πŸ™ Let me know if you find some great job you can do from home! That would be ideal wouldn’t it?

  • Reply
    CupcakesOMG!
    February 28, 2012 at 3:09 pm

    dang, i knew this was probably happening. although, i’m not a mom (or even close) but i totally feel the same way. this is what having a blog is supposed to allow, right?? income without an actual job. too bad mine doesn’t generate any, but there’s still time!!!

    CupcakesOMG!

  • Reply
    Mandy
    February 28, 2012 at 3:38 pm

    Wish I could give you some insight, but I have no children and I am fortunate in the sense that I don’t need to worry about keeping a full time 9-5 job.

    Have you thought about expanding your web design? Would you be able to make enough money doing that?

  • Reply
    Chas
    February 28, 2012 at 4:04 pm

    Meg she looks just like you! I have no advice as it was never an option in my mind to go back to work, I knew I wouldn’t want to. I really do feel for you, I don’t konw how I would handle it. πŸ™

    As a side note, I made a little over $1000 this month with Stella & Dot! I’m definitely not one to push things like that, but maybe it’s an option for you.

  • Reply
    Emily w/Amazing Grapes
    February 28, 2012 at 4:13 pm

    I was going to say the same thing as Chas did. Ever thought of going into direct sales? Stella & Dot, Scentsy, lia sophia, or something like that? They even have direct sales for discounted designer jeans and handbags! I do lia sophia and love it, but that’s what works for me.

    My friend, after just having her 2nd baby hated the idea of going back to work, joined lia sophia, quick her full time job and now makes $80,000 a year. (I don’t make that much, haha) but direct sales could be an option.
    Emily at Amazing Grapes

  • Reply
    Heather
    February 28, 2012 at 4:17 pm

    I’m seriously so nervous about this myself…You could always build a big blog design business! You’re already super awesome and popular at that.

  • Reply
    Katie
    February 28, 2012 at 4:22 pm

    I don’t blame you a bit– I always thought I’d be a working mom. But, I’m starting to really consider the idea of staying home (you know, for WAY down the road… lol).

    And, I agree– a lot of direct sales people do really well. Although, I always assume that you kind of have to be pushy to make it work. I don’t know if I’d have the personality for that, but who knows. The blog design business is a great idea! I love your designs!

  • Reply
    Leah
    February 28, 2012 at 4:27 pm

    I know, it’s so hard when you have to go back. I was in the same boat as so many of the other ladies who said financially it was their only option. I am now a single mom so I FO SHO gotta be at work. It’s tough in the blog world because it seems like every mommy blogger is a SAHM. Everyone’s story is different, but all I can tell you is that you will make it through. And if you were meant to be a SAHM that opportunity will happen for you. my story is I was an awful sahm lol. I was such a mess (not just housekeeping wise, but emotionally too). Going back to work actually helped me be a better mom. Crazy, right? but that’s not true for everyone. GL and just know so many people have your back and are here for you!

  • Reply
    The Nerdy Katie
    February 28, 2012 at 4:53 pm

    I know how you feel, when I had to leave P it was so hard for me. I cried and cried, and I was just leaving him at home with J! I never wanted to be the SAHM, heck, I didn’t really want kids. Now look at me! You know everything we have given up, I don’t suggest you do that lol. You know she will be fine with me, P has been asking when she is coming over, and he is going to love seeing his Aunt Meg everyday.

    Maybe we can figure out some shift job that we share, I work one day while you take care of the kids and then you work the next day while I take care of them lol.

  • Reply
    Caitlin
    February 28, 2012 at 5:35 pm

    I wish I had some good advice–but I’ve got nothing…except a shoulder to lean on and an ear to listen when you need to vent πŸ™‚

  • Reply
    tara
    February 28, 2012 at 9:07 pm

    i can only imagine the anxiety you’re feeling! =/ i think its time to take meg o. designs to the next level! i will help pimp you out!

  • Reply
    Heather
    February 28, 2012 at 9:27 pm

    I honestly could have written, and maybe even did, write this same exact post last July.

    I knew I had to return to work at 6 weeks because my husband had been laid off when I was 38 weeks pregnant. I cried. Repeatedly, and she was home with my husband. She cried and refused the bottle for the first 3 days. She literally went 10 hours without eating the first day because she wanted me and not the bottle. My husband calling me and asking what to do, and hearing her screaming in the background was literally the worst feeling I ever felt in my life but I just had to keep reminding myself that if I wasn’t at work, I would no longer be able to put a roof over my daughter’s head.

    I was convinced I would miss out on everything… the first smile, the first crawl and I haven’t yet. She has done everything while I’ve been home!! I got to see her first smile, hear her first laugh, watch her roll over for the first time and even the first time she crawled. She knew I needed it I guess!

    A lot of people will tell you to look into direct sales or to boost up your blog but in my opinion, the days that I worked from home and the days I worked at the store, it was easier for me to be in the store. When I was home, I was only half assing my job because I was paying more attention to her. WAH is hard because even though you are home, you need to make work the priority and it’s hard when your real priority is at your feet or on your lap. As far as direct sales, I could never bring myself to even try. It’s a financial commitment up front and in order to make lots of money you need to have great connections and you would be out of the house 4 or 5 nights a week (assuming you want to live off what you make) and then you’d still be looking for childcare and it wouldn’t be steady so it could be harder to plan for.

    You will know what’s best for you and your family. I’m going to be honest; some days it sucks. Super sucks. But when I walk in the door, and she looks up and starts grinning from ear to ear and throwing her arms up in the air for me to hold her, I know that she knows I love her and I know I’m doing what I need to.

    I’ll be crossing my fingers and I’m here for support!

  • Reply
    kendra @ little almanac
    February 28, 2012 at 10:06 pm

    I know what you mean about baby trumping all! What a blessing that you have a job and a beautiful little girl.

  • Reply
    Taylor
    February 28, 2012 at 11:25 pm

    *getting on soapbox now* ok here is my opinion and I know now everyone will agree, but I say you do what you have to do to stay home with miss k!! Through all of my parenting trials I think wwpd…. It’s what would pocohantas do hahaha, seriously would a native American mom leave her baby at day care?? Heck no, babies need one thing and one thing only and it’s their mommy! Now I understand some ppl have special cases like they don’t have family or a husband for that matter but most ppl want things over staying home. It’s a sacrifice, u go from 2 incomes to one but does your baby know? Whatt really makes me mad is when I see moms working and leaving their new baby and diving a nice car with a nie purse and a new Mani/pedi… That right there is half a teachers salary haha! Not to mention the savings from daycare itself! Then there are lazy ppl that would rather have someone else raise their baby. I don’t know if u have ever taught elementary but it’s clear who grew up in day care and who was raised by a loving mom…. Anyway, I say u can make it work! I called every single bill company and told them I have to stay home with my kid and I need help what can u do haha… I saved us about $200 a month! And some months are hard but you cant get these few years back, I have been here for every first for both of my boys and it’s worth every non penny I don’t have haha anyway… *off soapbox now*

  • Reply
    ashleigh
    February 28, 2012 at 11:52 pm

    pimp yourself out girl.
    meg o designs.
    make it into something amazing. you can do it!

  • Reply
    Amy
    February 29, 2012 at 12:43 am

    I seriously get so sad for you guys that your maternity leave is only 3 months. It just doesn’t seem long enough to me. Depending on the hours you have banked the maternity leave for mothers in Canada is one year.

    I’m glad you’ve found someone that you complete trust to watch Kennedy. Hopefully there aren’t any shows coming up so you won’t be working like crazy for awhile.

    Hugs to you and best of luck your first week back!

  • Reply
    Annalilly
    February 29, 2012 at 9:10 am

    I know that soon enough I’ll be having the same anxiety, but financially, I have to work. John will be at home, but he works, too. He has clients to meet, photos to take, and editing to do. I’m less worried about myself than I am about him, honestly. He’ll be working two full time jobs; three, really, if you count having to take care of my ass.

    You and I are very lucky that we love our jobs. When you go back to work, you’ll figure out a balance that works for you. If you decide to stay at home with K, then you’ll figure out a balance that works for you for that, too. I have faith. There are sacrifices to be made either way, but no matter the choice, we gain so much more than we give up in the end, right?

    Meredith sent me this post a month ago, and I loved it. I think it has applications beyond parenting:
    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/glennon-melton/dont-carpe-diem_b_1206346.html

  • Reply
    Annalilly
    February 29, 2012 at 9:30 am

    I forgot I had more to say. πŸ˜‰

    I think continuing your blog design business is a great idea. You can keep doing custom, but have you started doing templates? Being a lazy web idiot, I’ve never learned to do any htmling. I’m not the only one, though, because a lot of (most?) photographers and artists use template websites and blogs that they can then mini-customize themselves.

    Now, I know that blogger and the likes are templates already, but I’m sure there’s a way for you to insert your own templates on top of them. (Again, web idiot speaking.)

    You could set up a three prong pricing: basic fab template ($), template with special Meg customizing ($$), completely custom ($$$). That way, you have an affordable option for people with little or no work beyond the initial template work, then people pay for your brain time for custom work.

  • Reply
    Amanda @ Click. The Good News
    February 29, 2012 at 10:20 am

    Just wanted to send some {{HUGS}}. I have no advice at all, but just know that this is perfectly normal & most moms I know going back to work go through something similar. You will figure out what works for you & what doesn’t. You will survive, it will be hard, but it will make coming home to her each day all the more sweet.

  • Reply
    Emily
    February 29, 2012 at 11:17 am

    My ultimate goal is to stay at home, well whenever we have a child. I have not been what you are going through so I cannot say I can relate but I know those feelings are normal, you are already an amazing mommy and she is lucky to have you! Maybe you could keep designing, and substitute teach? My mom was a full time teacher then switched to subbing and she still does it – she said she was going to stop about 5 years ago…but she enjoys it. You will figure everything out. Maybe you can also have your sitter send a photo when she can during the day to tide you over until you come home = )

  • Reply
    Susie
    February 29, 2012 at 5:32 pm

    I had to go back to work after my first was born. It was so. very. hard. But you will survive… And so will your precious little one. And maybe down the line your circumstances could change, like mine did, and you could be home one day. Put it in God’s hands; he will give you the means to do what is best.
    As for getting her to take a bottle, she’s still little, so it won’t be as hard as if she was older. Be persistent… And patient. My second is 7mo. old, and we have been working to get her to take a bottle for months; the older they are, the harder it is! We are finally making real progress, though I am hesitant to even say that aloud lest I jinx it.

  • Reply
    Mrs. Pancakes
    February 29, 2012 at 9:38 pm

    not yet a mommmy but it must be the hardest thing in all of the world…hope the transition is not as hard! your baby is adorable..

  • Reply
    Michelle @ The Vintage Apple
    February 29, 2012 at 9:57 pm

    Oh Meg! I wish I could give you some really fabulous advice!!! Since I don’t have kids (yet) I don’t really know how this feels, but what I can tell you is that baby K is just so darn lucky to have parents like y’all.

    I think you should design blogs full time!!!! You are amazing at it! I don’t know if this is something that is even possible, but you should consider it!!!! Or, let me win the lotto and I can just give you some $$ to be a SAHM. How’s that?? πŸ™‚

    Thanks for sharing your feelings with us. I know the thought of having to go back to work right now can’t be an easy thing for you!!!!!! I would not be happy about it either!!!

  • Reply
    Mary Nevin
    February 29, 2012 at 10:37 pm

    i saw michelle’s tweet and am so glad you decided to post about this. first and foremost, if you’re this thoughtful and concerned about going back to work you are already demonstrating what an incredible mother you are going to be to miss kennedy over her life. it’s really smart to leave her with a friend at first, and next year, you will find the right nanny. there are good ones out there πŸ™‚ if you want an outline or suggestions when that time comes, I’ve watched kids for almost 14 years now and have seen a lot of different types of nannies and would love to help with the search. You just radiate joy with every post about baby k and i know you and your family will figure it out!

  • Reply
    RAY J
    March 1, 2012 at 1:21 am

    At first it wasn’t too bad – I was working part-time maybe 1-2 days a week, then I slowly got bumped up to 2-3 days a week… then as people quit and we had more hours open I was holding steady at 3 days a week. (my parents also live in town here so when hubby and I are both at work Little Man goes with his Grammie).

    But then the holidays came up, and with me somehow being the senior associate on staff now I got stuck working 4-5 days a week… while the paychecks were nice, it really did suck. I hated being away from my little guy so much, afraid I was going to miss some 1st of his… plus as he was getting older he was getting more active and wearing my mom out too being with her 4-5 times a day.

    Once the holidays were over they bumped me back down to 3-4 days, but I was often still getting scheduled for more than I felt like or enjoyed working so I told them I only wanted to work 2-3 days a week at the most as I got too burnt out over the holidays working so much and Jay was wearing on my mom too. It’s been a much better working environment and I don’t feel like I’m hardly seeing kiddo anymore.

  • Reply
    giaghani
    March 3, 2012 at 11:12 am

    oh my goodness, the age old question. It was interesting to read some of your other readers’ responses as I’m guessing one of these days, this will become a huge issue for me. Given that I’m so career-orientated, I can’t image wanting to give that up but your baby is… your baby, and I am human after all.

    Best of luck to you on this transition dear. Sincerely hoping it’s going to be seamless and guilt free! xox

  • Reply
    Shelley
    March 3, 2012 at 1:22 pm

    I am sooo relieved to be able to be a stay at home mom. Em doesn’t take a bottle either and she hates when I leave. I suggest sippy cups that don’t spill. Em likes those better than bottles. And practice leaving her w your friend for a couple hours a day before you leave her all afternoon? Just a suggestion.

    You could make money by being a music teacher in your home!

  • Reply
    Meghan
    March 3, 2012 at 3:00 pm

    I adore that pic of Kennedy! It sounds like the childcare situation is ideal, and hopefully that helps ease the transition! I will be thinking of you!

  • Reply
    Meghan
    March 3, 2012 at 3:00 pm

    I adore that pic of Kennedy! It sounds like the childcare situation is ideal, and hopefully that helps ease the transition! I will be thinking of you!

  • Reply
    Wiz
    March 3, 2012 at 11:13 pm

    Ok, two things:

    1) I dont understand why so many people apologize about blogging about their child. Does this really upset people!! I love reading about your beautiful little girl!

    2) When I first went back to work, the first couple of days back my husband stayed home. That way I didnt have to worry about my first day back AND daycare. The next week my mom came up. That way, my son could get used to not being around me, but still getting one on one attention.

    On his first day of daycare though, it was still awful. I made myself SICK. I gave myself the worst headache worrying about him. My boss let me leave early and I got to daycare early so that I could peak in without them expecting me. My son was as happy as a clam and I immediately felt so much better. Everyday got easier.

    Good luck to you!

  • Reply
    Casey
    March 8, 2012 at 11:41 am

    Hi Meg,

    I loved this post so much that I included it in my link up, Lots of Link Love! Lots of Link Love is a biweekly link up inspired to share the love between bloggers and work towards a positive community of fabulous bloggers such as ourselves! πŸ˜‰

    http://www.stresscasey.blogspot.com/2012/03/lots-of-link-love.html

    I would love if you shared Lots of Link Love with your readers (there’s a button you can share at the end of an unrelated post if you’d like!) and would be overjoyed if you considered linking up with me for the next Lots of Link Love on Thursday, March 22!

    Casey
    http://www.stresscasey.blogspot.com

  • Reply
    Megan
    March 8, 2012 at 3:26 pm

    This sounds silly, but I teared up reading this post. Haha. It’s so frustrating that society just “expects” women to go back to work so quickly after having a baby. I definitely want to and plan to stay at home once we have a baby. It definitely won’t be financially easy, but we are dedicated to making it work. We will cut out whatever we have to. It’s that important to me. I am blessed with nursing, though…because I can work as little as I want and still pick up a day here and there. Could you just sub some days? And what about your design business?? Girl, it could make you some MONEY!!

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