Workin' 9 to 5...
...What a way to make a living!
So, the maternity leave days are over, or at least nearly over. I started back to work on Tuesday. For the month of May, I'm working Tuesdays, Thursdays and half days on Fridays to get back into the swing of things more gradually. We've got quite a collection of Jay-sitters while I'm out - grandmas, aunts, and even Derek are all getting in on the temporary daycare. So it's certainly a little easier leaving him with people who love him as much as I do (or maybe even more in the case of the grandmas!).
And returning to work really wasn't as hard as I expected. Other than forgetting all my passwords to access all my systems, it was pretty much as I had remembered it. Phones ringing, emails landing in my inbox, and students waiting outside my door - typical day in the Financial Aid world! Honestly, in some ways, a day in the office is much easier than a day home with Jay. I know what to expect and when to expect it. Very rarely do I see anyone crying in my office. I spend a lot more time sitting at my desk and a lot less hauling dirty burp cloths back to the washer. But the end of my maternity leave makes me think back on what I expected compared to what it was really like. Here's a rundown:
What I expected - taking long walks in the sunshine around the neighborhood with Jay in the stroller
What I got - taking long walks in the middle of the night up and down our hallway with Jay crying incessantly
What I expected - Meeting friends for lunch at North Hills with Jay in his carrier
What I got - Grabbing a bowl of cereal during Jay's 15 minutes of napping and calling it both breakfast and lunch
What I expected - Doing work on the Financial Aid FAQ system while Jay napped quietly in his crib (actually got a laptop from work for this purpose!)
What I got - Doing work on the gigantic pile of laundry, aka Mount Burp Cloth, desperately hoping that Jay would nap for more than 15 minutes this time
What I expected - Nursing when he was hungry, anywhere and anytime (I'm a liberated woman - of course I can discreetely nurse in public!)
What I got - Lots of time nursing my good friend Medela the breastpump
What I expected - that I'd have the cutest baby ever
What I got - the cutest baby ever. So cute, in fact, that I spent quite a few hours just watching that angelic face sleep in my arms.
Yes, maternity leave was both a hundred times more work than I expected, and a hundred times more rewarding than I could have ever predicted.
So quiet down, cobwebs
Dust, go to sleep
I'm rocking my baby
and babies don't keep.