What I've Learned About Going Back To Work

Many of you have been checking in on me and asking how my time back at work has gone, and I wanted to share with you a little bit about the last two weeks and also share why I am loving my job even more now as a new mom.

I know that there is much discussion about stay at home moms vs. moms that work outside the home and that is not at all what I am seeking to discuss with you today, because well being a mom is tough work and however you choose to do it I support you 100%.  If I’m being honest I always pictured myself as the stay at home mom type. I’ve always dreamed of staying at home with my babies, being the room mom at school, and baking cookies with my kids when they got home from school, but as an adult I quickly realized that is not necessarily what being a stay at home mom looks like and also I need to have a job outside the home to help pay the bills. I am so fortunate to have a job as a nurse at what I’m sure of is the best children's hospital in the state of Texas. However, even before leaving for maternity leave I was already dreading returning back to work. I think the anticipation of it all, plus the fact that everyone else was asking me if I would dread coming back made me think that it would be pretty terrible leaving my sweet baby at home while I went off to work.

The seven weeks I had at home with Conley were some of the sweetest yet also most exhausting weeks of my life. Those seven weeks were so important for us to learn about each other, fall in love with each other and also for my body to heal physically, mentally and also emotionally. I loved being home with her, I hardly ever left the house and I rarely turned on the TV even. I don’t remember what I did most days besides lots of cuddling and lots of pumping. The days felt like an eternity sometimes being a mom is so much harder than I anticipated and the first weeks were all about survival.  But in the same breath the weeks went by all too quickly and it was time for me to return to work. I had a couple small breakdowns, but when the day actually came I surprised myself with just how great the day was. I was almost shocked that I really enjoyed being back at work. I enjoyed having adult conversations, being out of the house, and I enjoyed the actual job itself. Also, I only work two 12 hour shifts a week and well that’s really not that bad.

If I’m being honest I actually really enjoyed going back to work, but I felt really guilty about that. Did it mean that I loved Conley any less? Absolutely not, I missed her like crazy, but it was nice to have 12 hour shifts of “me” time. I mean of course I’d love that “me” time to be exercising, taking naps, or even getting a massage, but I guess this almost qualifies as time for myself. I do think that God has given me the opportunity to be a great nurse and mom. I get to be at home most days with my baby, I get to play with her, feed her and snuggle her--but some days being home all day with a baby is just hard-- And she can’t even move on her own yet.  and on the other days when I’m away I’m helping take care of sick babies as if they were my own, and that truly is a gift. I love my little girl so much, and being a mother has truly made me a better nurse because I am able to care for my patients in a way that I would want my daughter to be cared for. When I was actually a patient and was in the hospital when I had Conley I learned just how much of an impact a nurse can have on a patient and their family. Not that I didn’t already know that nurses can make an impact, but when you’ve never been on the other side you just don’t even realize how much of an impact you can have. We had what I think were the best nurses taking care of us in the hospital and they were the best because they took the time to build good rapport with me, they were encouraging, so helpful, and they provided such great education.

I know there will definitely be days where leaving Conley will be tougher than others, but as for now I know that my assignment is as a working mom and I’m thankful for this season. I am proud of the work that I do at home with my baby and also of the work that I do outside of the home. In a world where there is mom guilt and lots of mom shaming I hope that you know that you won’t find that here in this space. We are all just doing the best we can in the season were in and we can be confident that God will meet us and our children exactly where we’re at. I hope you know that you can be a good mom who stays at home even when you never get out of your pajamas and you can still be a good mom and businesswoman.  You’re a good mom because you love your tiny human(s) more than you ever thought you could comprehend.