Sunday, July 23, 2017

Workin' it.

My daughter is now 14 months old, and with a heavy heart, I made the decision to finally join the army of working mammas, as we’re often called. I say “heavy heart” because I felt like I was abandoning her and the wonderful routine we had created for ourselves.
Our morning chai and breakfast with Mia awaiting scraps with greedy eyes and copious amounts of saliva. Our unannounced visits to nani’s house where we’d stuff our faces with mangoes and bang our hands on every piece of thoughtfully placed furniture. Our lazy afternoons made up of stories, seflies and long naps. Our park sessions where we’d swing and slide, pluck the grass, and attempt to kick papa’s deflated football.
That basically sums up my entire year. Of course there were play dates, too. Hers include toys and mine usually include wine, and, well, more wine. So you can imagine how saying goodbye to my baby, for eight hours a day, was going to feel like I was breaking our unspoken pact.
I prepped myself by talking to working moms and also reading blogs about 'mom's who work.' and it actually helped! i got the gentle kick to "get back out there." So the day before my first day, I carefully picked out an outfit for my office that is brimming with twenty something millennial women, with perfect figures and on-point outfits. I began to feel excited about my new job and partly new life. Different than the life I had gotten accustomed to over the last 14 months. So when the day came, I kissed her tiny mouth, fought back the tears and walked out of the door.
It’s been a week and yet I feel like I should get an award. Yes, lots of moms do it but when you do it, you feel like someone should dedicate a novel to you or name a drink after you. Because being a mom is hard enough and then you throw in eight- ten hours of work. And when you come home, you can’t put your feet up and peacefully zone out to a rerun of friends or Seinfeld. You have to be a mom, and not just any mom, but the greatest mom that has ever lived. Because you feel this need to make up for the time that you weren’t around. I am lucky I have help otherwise I probably would be hiding in a dark room or basement without windows. OK, that’s a tad excessive. But what I am trying to say is, and you’ve probably heard it all before, but moms don’t get breaks. Yes, you might physically get time away or off from your child, but your brain doesn’t quit. Why hasn't she eaten today, is she teething? is she constipated? what if she gets sick again or the plant in the living room falls on her, or she slips in the bath or chokes on her pasta, etc etc etc etc and etc!
It’s non-stop, and somewhere in the midst of those thoughts, you also miss your old life and the freedom to be able to have loud sex without worrying about waking up your baby, or lying in bed all day after a cray (yes, moms can say cray) night out or just spend the entire day out with worrying about another human whose entire existence depends on you and the decisions you make. Fuuuuckkkkkhhh.
But, when I’m at work, I can switch off from being a mom. I spend my day using my mind to write and be creative, compete with the hot twenty something year olds, make after work drink plans, and order momos at 5 pm.
But I still wouldn’t trade in the year I’ve had with Anaya, for anything. And though during fleeting moments, I secretly wish that I was a rich person that could stay at home and plan fancy dates where I’d feed Anaya baby caviar, I know I’ve made the right decision.
So if you're conflicted about going back to work or doing something else with your time, don't be. If you have a good support system, just do it. Because honestly just because you’ve pushed a baby out of your vagina, it doesn’t mean that your world has to shrink, in fact it should grow bigger every day. I'm just learning that now.
OK, now I need to go clean a very dirty bum. Toodles.