Going Back to Work After Maternity Leave
By: Brandy Black
I bought a suit. By the time you read this it will be my first day back at work. It’s no easy task leaving your 4-month-old babies. Hell I have a hard enough time going shopping for a couple hours. When I went back to work after having Sophia I would lock myself in the office and sob as I pumped. I wanted so badly to get in my car and race home but I knew I had to provide for my family. It was a tough adjustment. I finally got used to it when Sophia was about 6 months old and then we had an earthquake while I was in a high-rise building. I grabbed the guy in the office across from me (that I barely knew) and held on to him for dear life screaming “my baby, my baby.” When I was sure it was over I packed up my computer and hiked down 34 flights of stairs in heels and a skirt. It was one of the scariest days of my life. I fiercely protect and care for the ones I love and to be so helpless was terrifying.
Now I face those fears again, leaving my babies, wondering how I will juggle more than I already have on my plate. My wife Susan who is my champion, who believes in me and knows that I can and will do whatever I put my mind to, has been repeatedly asking me how I’m going to do it, how I will possibly add work to this crazy busy life of ours. Truth be told, her lack of confidence has got me the most worried. Maybe she’s right. Maybe this is the point that I will crumble. I took a call tonight with a colleague to prep and discuss some upcoming work and when I came out Sophia hadn’t been given dinner, the babies weren’t swaddled and in bed at their regular hour, and everything was as it was before I took my 60 minute call. My perfectly crafted plan of dinner at 6:00, kids in bed by 7:00, was quickly abandoned when I wasn’t there. Is this just the beginning of total chaos? I’ve been told I should embrace chaos, that I should learn to live in it and manage through it. I guess this is a lesson I’ve been fated to learn but I find myself fighting it every day.
I wake at 4AM and wonder how I’m going to make it through the next few months. So here I go this Monday morning, stepping into yet another role in my life, dressing up, driving myself to work and pretending I’m not totally lost without my kids by my side. Wish me luck. I know a lot of you have been here before.