Tuesday, March 12, 2013

On Going Back to Work...

My days at home with Millie are quickly running out.

Okay, well that might be a tad dramatic.  But come Monday morning, I will be dragging myself back to work.  I simply cannot believe that six weeks is already almost over.  But here we are.  I have been home with Millie for six weeks and it is now time to get ready to go back to work.

Let me start by saying that I love my job.  I absolutely love being a teacher and it has been one of the greatest joys of my life. In many ways, teaching gave my life purpose and brought me incredible amounts of fulfillment.  Before I became a wife and a mother, the thing that I most identified myself as was a teacher.  I like to think that I have made school an enjoyable place for the kids in my classroom.  I like to think that I have made those kids feel good about the people that they are and that I have allowed them to feel confident enough to ask questions, take risks, and boldly go about their lives.  I have always loved being able to give those things to kids and I do look forward to continuing to do those things for a long long while.

With that being said, I am absolutely dreading going back on Monday.  Dreading might be the wrong word.  I am scared.  Terrified really.  I have loved being home with Millie.  Sure, there were days that I felt absolutely stir crazy. And yes, there were moments when I felt like I couldn't shake a rattle for one more second.  But, overall, I have loved and cherished this time with Millie.  I have gotten to know my daughter, her quirks, her likes, her dislikes, what her cries mean and I have loved it.  I have learned more in these past six weeks, than in any other six week period in my life.  I may not have been very good the things I was trying to do, but I certainly have done my best and I am proud of the relationship that Millie and I are building.

Now, I know that relationship is not going to stop.  I know that my learning isn't going to stop.  I know that plenty of moms go back to work and that there are actually a lot of good things that can happen because of this change.  I know all of that and I still hate that I have to go back.  When things seem overwhelming, I always feel that if I can outline what it is that is really scaring me, then I have a better chance of being able to deal with it all.  So here goes.  In no particular order, the things that scare me about going back to work:

1) Being exhausted.  I am lucky.  My wife and I share the nighttime responsibilities, she is fantastic about knowing when I need a break and making sure that I get one.  But still.  Babies are exhausting.  Teaching is exhausting.  And I am unsure of how I will manage both.

2) Not being the kind of teacher that I was able to be before.  I have always put my entire heart into teaching.  I have given everything that I have to my job and to my students and I never want to be a teacher in any other kind of way.  But now my heart is so very full of Millie.  I am not sure how I will have the time and energy to continue to give as much to my students as I have before.

3) Missing my Millie.  I am just worried that I will miss her.  I have spent almost every moment of the last six weeks with her and now I am going to gone for these huge chunks of time.  I will miss her and I worry about missing the moments that fill myself with such incredible joy.

4) Getting it all done.  There is so much work to be done.  I worry that I won't be able to do it all.  The work at school and the work at home.  I tend to be tough on myself.  I like to do things perfectly.  I recognize that rarely do I actually do anything anywhere close to perfect, but if I don't do things well, I get frustrated, I shut down, and I give up. I am worried about any or all of those things happening when I can't, inevitably, do all the things that I want to do as well as I would like to do them.

I think that's about it.  Again, I know that all of this will be fine.  I know I will find the balance eventually and be able to do the things that I need to do in a way that is good enough to do them.  But I just worry about the transition and the adjustment.  Those of you who know me well, know that transition and change are two things that I have never excelled at.

So the plan is for me to go back on Monday. Carla will be off next week to stay home with Millie.  I am actually thrilled for her to get the chance to be home with her for the week.  I am excited for her to have that time with Millie because I know that she has been craving it.  After that is my spring break.  Yep, that's right, I am actually only going back to work for one week before I get to be home again for a whole week for spring break.  And still I am dreading it.

And then, come April 1st, Millie starts daycare.  Until summer time (when I will be off yet again) Carla will take her two days off at the end of the work week and I will be off on the weekends.  That leaves only three days a week that Millie will be in day care.  It does mean that we are without a day at home as a family, but at least until the summer time, we both feel like we would prefer for Millie to be in daycare for as few days a week as possible.  Then, I will be home with her all summer and in the Fall we will decide what we will do from there.

There is much still to be said about Millie going to daycare and why I am excited about the daycare that we chose, but that will have to wait for another day.  Thanks for listening to more of my irrational worries.  I promise that there will be more to come.

And because Millie is changing so very much and growing so much bigger, I will leave you all with some more pictures so that you have an idea of just how giant this girl is getting.


  1. She is just so sweet, I can't even handle it! Also: you will do well. You'll have new things to bring to teaching now that you didn't even know you didn't have before. Millie will do well--she'll love meeting new people and playing with friends at daycare and then coming home to her two mothers who are so excited to be with her. And, as advice: don't try to do everything. I am amazed by how much more frequently we eat at restaurants than we did before, and our house isn't nearly as tidy as it used to be. But we would rather spend the time together and playing than worrying about the last time the towel shelf got organized. Enjoy your last few days before heading back!

  2. Hang in there through the transition back to work. For me, the first days/weeks back were tough but we all fairly quickly settled into our new routine.
    One big thing that I have tried to remember is that the exhaustion of the newborn period doesn't last forever. As time goes on it will be easier to balance things and you'll have more to give at work. And in the meantime it's okay to let things go wherever you can. For us that included hiring a housecleaning service and not doing much besides work+family stuff. As Tadpole has gotten bigger it has been easier to have more time and energy for other things (hobbies, friends, being more focused at work, etc.)
    Millie is so adorable! And getting so big! No wonder you'll miss her. But you'll also all get through this.