Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Bye, Bye Maternity Leave

One of the hottest topics right now amongst my Mom friends has to be the debate of returning to work. Whether we are chatting while playing with our kids at the park, or discussing it around the water cooler, it’s a hot topic.

Let’s all go back to the beginning, shall we? The news of finding out you are expecting is a time of excitement, nervousness (how am I going to afford this?), with a dash of fear! Admit it; whether it was your first baby, or your third baby, we have all been there. 
Time ticks on and you have accepted the fact your pay is going to be slashed significantly, and you try to plan accordingly. And, for the most part, it always seems to work out. Your priorities change, you stay out of that fabulous place we love to shop in bulk at (because we all need 120 rolls of toilet paper) and you make things work.

Financially, it can be straining, and a year is a very long time. I would not change my time I had off for anything. It was the best year of my life. And then reality sets in, I am in my final days of maternity leave, and I am headed back to work very soon. 
Returning to work was a challenging one. I had so many concerns – how would I fit in? Was the environment going to be different? What if I had to sit somewhere else? How would my daughter do in someone else’s care? 

All of the above worked out marvelously. My husband and I quickly settled into a routine, and we operated like clockwork. 
The key for us was establishing responsibilities in the morning and evenings, and truly letting some of the non important things go, in order to find balance, and family time.

My return to work was just fine. Things had changed. I had changed. I had become a calmer person and instead of working 10 hours a day, I happily pushed my chair in at the end of my 8 hours, and picked up one very happy little girl from daycare.
To all of you that are returning to work outside the home, put all those fears aside. The small perks such as finishing a cup of coffee and going to the bathroom by yourself, are just a few of the daily pluses. And the enormous hug you get when picking up your little one, makes it all worth it.

Christi Manson is a married mother to a lovable 20 month old daughter and also rocks the part time position of Step Mama to two fabulous pre teen girls.

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