Life as a Working Mom

I have been back at work for two weeks. I didn't want to go back at all so soon, but to be honest, it's not as bad as I expected.

A big part of me being OK with this is our child care situation. We live 2 minutes from Steven's Grandma and she watches Luke when we're at work. In fact, that is why we live where we live. We couldn't afford the cost of traditional child care and we couldn't afford the time of driving to her house every morning if we lived further away. She watches another little boy - he just turned 1 - so Luke will learn some social skills while sparing me the stresses of a bigger, less personal day care facility. Also, since she's family I can trust that she has Luke's best interests in mind.

The other factor in my happiness is my work schedule. From now through the end of 2010 I am only at the office 24 hours a week. I leave 2 hours early 4 days a week and I have Wednesdays off. It is so nice to be able to have one-on-one time with Luke and be able to catch up on chores like laundry and household errands. If I get those out of the way on my "Mom day" I have my weekends free to enjoy time as a family. The biggest reason I cut back my work schedule is breast feeding. The more I'm home the less I have to pump and the more I can nurse him - it's true, draught is always better than bottled.

Right after Luke was born I was quite emotional about leaving him with someone else. I'm not going to lie - I was a wreck. But once the hormones ebbed and I considered how our lifestyle would change without my income I slowly started to come around. Now, don't think I'm leaving my son with someone else so I can buy designer jeans and get $300 haircuts. Not even. With two incomes we are able to live comfortably and even save some for the future, but we're not living so lavishly that we could easily cut out luxuries and make it on Steven's income alone. So if I want to eat something other than Ramen or take a vacation, EVER, work I must.

To my surprise, my first day wasn't bad at all. Steven drops Luke off in the mornings, so I didn't have some embarassing scene in Grandma's driveway. I just gave them both a kiss good-bye at our front door then I jumped in the shower. Then at work I didn't once get weepy or call Grandma "just to check in." She has my number - if there's an emergency she will call me. Yes, I miss him, but I don't tear up looking at his picture and I don't spend all day watching Grandma's web-cam. I am attempting to be reasonable here and I think I'm doing quite well on that front.

If money were no object I would absolutely quit my job and stay home, but that's not the world I live in. Luckily for me, I found a silver lining - I love walking through Grandma's door and seeing Luke recognize me and give me a big, toothless smile. If you never leave, you never get a homecoming, right?

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