On Going Back to Work (again)

 

If you’ve been around for a little while, you know that I’m a teacher and I first went back to work from my maternity leave in March. I had an amazing nine weeks with my little girl, but let me tell you, it was so tough going back.

Today, I find myself in a very similar situation. Here I am, starting work again after summer. Back into the daily grind.
This time is a little bit different. This time I’m going back for a full academic year instead of three months.
Also, Miss Kennedy will be going to a 5-day a week Mother’s Day Out program at a catholic church close to my school (so yeah, daycare, but with a fancier name). It’s an 8:00-2:45 program, which means Greg will drop her off and I will pick her up. Luckily Greg’s job has a lot of flexibility and he will be able to bring her in later or pick her up earlier sometimes. She had an amazing couple of months with Katie, but it would be unfair for us to ask Katie to be committed to us long term, especially if she wanted to put her toddler in school or go back to work. We are so grateful for Katie!
Anyway, this school year we’re putting her in this program and it was highly recommended to us by one of my coworkers. When I visited I just got that vibe that it is going to be a great place for Kennedy to spend her time. There are only 6 infants at the room at most, and not all of the infants will be there every day. There are three teachers in the room, so there is a lot of one-on-one time. I’m nervous about Kennedy going to “school” but I know that she will love the interaction with people and other babies. She is such a social creature. She got a little taste of it this summer when I took her to the gym with me and she got to hang out in the kids club, and she never had a single problem there. So while I know she will thrive, there is still the one tinge of nervousness. Not to mention, I just don’t want to leave her. I adore being her mama and the routine we’ve had over the summer.
Can you blame me? Would you want to leave this angel?
Today is Kennedy’s first day of “school.” I wish her teachers could text me pictures all day like Katie did. I will probably be the crazy person asking them to.
But what gets me more than having to leave her during the school day, is that I will assume normal job responsibilities again. When I went back from maternity leave, I  left at the end of normal school hours and didn’t even look back. This year is different. That means, I’m working after school directing plays and doing the millions of other things a high school theatre teacher and director does. My job is not a normal teacher’s job. I don’t leave for the day at 3:15 and grade papers at home. I stay after school until at least 5:00 p.m., and on dress rehearsals and show nights, I can be there until 10:00 p.m. This is a bit unnerving to think about trying to do this while at the same time being a wife and a mom to an infant. I feel a little better because I will be taking Kennedy with me after school to rehearsal and have some of the kids be responsible for watching her in my presence as I direct. It might be a distraction to have her there but I’m hoping to work through it.
I feel terrible having Greg be responsible for picking up a lot of the slack from when I will have show nights or other baby-free commitments that will keep me away, although I know he is more than capable of being there for her. He is such a great dad and I am so thankful for him. Why can’t I just do it all?!
We’re gonna get through this. Going back is always hard, but with hard work and keeping a detailed calendar, I’m sure we can do it.
Working mamas, if you have any advice, please impart it on me! I am sure I am probably freaking out being away from my baby as you’re reading this. And yeah, if you could think some good thoughts for me, that would be awesome, too.

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