Thursday, December 8, 2011

the pull

January 3rd, the day I will return to work, is looming. And I'm anything but ready.

My heart breaks just thinking about it, which I try not to do as I want to enjoy these last days at home with my baby. But I do think about it. And people ask me about it constantly, which brings tears to my eyes almost every time.

I've been blessed to have a nice, long, paid maternity leave and I have a wonderful job, colleagues, and students to return to. Yet, my heart feels like a brick at the thought of leaving my son in someone else's care. I'm his mommy! And selfishly, I don't want to miss out on any moments with him.

I never expected to feel this way. Back in March when Brad and I decided that he would return to work on Capitol Hill and I would return to work after the baby was born, I genuinely believed that we had made the right decision for our family. At that time, I couldn't imagine the pregnancy even working out, let alone quitting my job. (Colleagues who read this blog, rest assured that I won't bail on you! I committed to coming back and I will return on January 3rd, even if it's just for the short term to figure out my exit strategy.) 

Now that Mason is here, my perspective has changed. The more days I spend with him the greater my longing to stay home with him.  But becoming a stay-at-home mom would be a major change for all of us. I abhor change, and it's always been easier for me to stick with what is familiar and comfortable. But now the status quo no longer feels like the easy, or right, choice.

I chide myself for not trusting in the Lord's provision for our family. I know that he will care for us, financially and in every other way. He has shown himself faithful again and again. Yet, why do I still worry and doubt?

I'm struggling, Gentle Readers. Please pray that the Lord makes the path clear for us, and that Brad and I have wisdom in deciding what's best for our family.


Lisa said...

It's a tough call. And the worst thing is that no matter what you decide there will always be a small part this the right choice? I'm happy with my choice, but it was a tough transition. Any way you work it out (home/part-time/full-time) there will be change of some sort! As you said, you have to do what's right for you and your family. Kids these days...they are always making it tough for us! :)

Heather Nelson said...

I'll pray for you! I'm so glad you've had these last few months with sweet baby, Mason, and I trust that the Lord will show you his perfect plan for the months to come!

rebecca.d.winnett said...

praying for you dear friend!

Aimee @ Smiling Mama said...

Of course this is so difficult! In my nearly 6 years of motherhood I've been in nearly every working situation now: part-time work outside the home, full-time at home, and now full-time work outside of the home. They are all difficult and challenging and good in their own different ways. One thing I can say with confidence that I hope helps a bit is that whatever decision you make now isn't necessarily a decision forever. It's a decision for right now and can (and most likely will) change. As you know, Lucas was in daycare 2.5 days a week and Nathaniel has never been in daycare. There are some wonderful things that Lucas had/has because of his daycare experience. I'd definitely be happy to talk with you more about this if you want :)

Caitlin said...

I obviously understand this internal battle and if you ever want to talk about it, I'm here. Before I had Emerson I always planned on being a working Mom. But, same as you, during my maternity leave the thought of going back to work broke my heart.

At the time we couldn't afford it financially for me stay home. I always felt a little resentful that I didn't get the "choice". I knew when I was pregnant again that I couldn't make that transition a second time.

I'll fully admit that the first few weeks at work were hard. I cried in my office a lot. The day to day part gets easier, but I think it always tugs on a Mom's heart to leave her child with someone else.

It's a very tough choice and I think the only way to make it is to do some serious sole searching. Obviously the financial aspect is hard so deciding if those sacrifices are worth it for your family or not, but there are lots of other considerations.

With my choice to stay home quickly approaching I'm constantly worried about if I made the right call. Will I be a good stay at home Mom? Will I miss talking with adults and using my brain for something besides playing cars? Will I regret the choice later when I decide to return to work?

I don't think there are any easy choices in parenthood. Know that there are plenty of people to support you no matter what decision you make.

Diane Mannina said...

Thanks for being so honest about how tough it is. I feel like so much of motherhood is never what we expected- both the trials and the blessings of it! Will pray for you!

Preppy Pink Crocodile said...

Y'all will figure it out- even if that mean changing your mind and plans six times in the next six months. Would it be possible to perhaps work part time?

I honestly think that every mother struggles with this decision and feels mother guilt regardless of what she decides to do. I think it means the rumor is're a momma with a lifetime of worry and guilt ahead of you. But gosh little Mason is so adorable!!

Keeping y'all in my prayers.


@rdweatherly said...

I have complete faith that you and Brad will be just fine whatever you decide. If you go back to work and just can't do it, you can leave. Nothing's permanent except change. There are so many ways to work from home now, too, so maybe you can find an option that allows for that. Big hugs to you!

Stephanie said...

It's tough no matter which route you take, but I will say feeling comfortable with where he is when you aren't there makes all the difference! I have been the one to have to work since Emery was in school, but the sitter we had watching Erin while he was gone made us feel ok about not being there. Until you figure out your plan, just be sure you feel confident in where he is going to be. It will all work out!

kerryandtorey said...

I agree with Stephanie that having the right person care for your little one makes all the difference. I always new I wanted to go back to work and it was the best decision for all of us! And, we have a wonderful caregiver who we trust completely and has taught Miss H so many things- including a second language (not something either one of us could do). It was hard to drop her off the first morning but now I see how much joy she gets out of her little set of friends and I enjoy what I do :-)It makes our time together as a family really special and we try to make the most out of that time. Hang in there- you will figure it out.

Stacy said...

I totally understand, and had a really hard time (twice)before God opened the door (or made me humble enough to trust, both actually) so that I would stay home. It was all in His perfect timing, despite my angst and anxiety. And then wondering and looking (not hard though) for part time options distracts me occasionally. Lots of tears, prayers, guilt, more tears - you can ask Jack... Call me if you get a chance and I will definitely be praying for you!!

Amy Hill said...

I understand completely. It's tough either way. Work and feel fulfilled yourself, but miss the baby so much. Or be home and enjoy all those moments, but be lonely and frustrated without things that are just for you. I wish you the best of luck in making the best decision for you for now.