Thursday, October 2, 2014

Unhappily Returning to Work: A True Story

My dear friends, thank you for once again   tuning into another episode of this is my life. I've never been reserved in sharing things with you because I feel that if just one person takes something positive away from my experience, it's worth it. I've shared the good and the bad. And this entry, ladies and gentlemen, is all about the bad...leading into the good.

Holding my daughter to my breast as she slept felt like heaven. Her steady breathing always makes me smile because it is a sure sign she is here and she is real. It's still dark outside, but a dimly lit antique lamp next to her crib lights her room. I lift her and myself out of the plush, cream rocking chair and lay her in her bed. I smell her one more time before hopping in the shower. I undressed, turned the water on, got in and then I begin to cry silently. I do this because I can't scream. I can't throw something. I can't hit or yell at someone. I can't even sob out loud. All I can do is make that ugly ass face and let the tears roll down. Exactly 3 months, to the day my daughter was born, I was returning to mainstream, out of the home work.

There were so many emotions going through my head on the way to work. Sadness, anger, disappointment, regret, resentment. The list goes on really, but one thing these emotions have in common are that they are all negative. This is not the way to get your head in the game when going back to a job. Why was this time so hard? I felt like I was going through the five stages of grief.  I was morning my maternity leave. I remember being sad to leave Masaya when he was a baby, but it wasn't like this at all. This was more then just baby blues. This was something else. And then it dawned on me. The difference between four years ago and now was that the "choice" was taken out of the equation. I was truly returning back because I had to. With Masaya, I had a glorious whole eight months to be with him, bond and create memories. And even though I had three months with Yui, (which seems like a luxury to other parents here in America who are only given 6 weeks) it was still such a short period of time. I was going back to work because I might lose my position or worse. It was not a free will choice. Now, there was a mortgage and past due bills mounting. And here is a side note to those of you planning to get married or to be in long term relationships with children. Please make sure you discuss the working/staying at home situation not only before kids, but after and during. Believe me, if the communication is clear, it will save you months (maybe even years) of unnecessary stress and relationship strain.

 Ok, back to my meltdown. I put on a happy face and walked into school. I waved to old co-workers and smiled but in my heart, I just wanted to see my babies. I got through the day. I had done it, but those feelings were still there. Until I began to read the comments in my Facebook post I had uploaded that morning. The love and support shown to me was unbelievable. I took comfort in knowing that I wasn't the only one in this situation and I wouldn't be the last. The great advice and general concern helped put things in perspective. And I have to thank my old high school friend David for giving me the best advice I could have asked for. In summery he said, yeah it sucks, that's the reality of it. We should be with our children. But look forward to coming home. Let that be the best part of your day.

And that's exactly what I did. The moment I came home and heard my son yell "Mommy", I was back on track. I was actually in the moment. Second by second, minute by minute. I was soaking up everything. Using all my five senses to enhance my role as a mother. It was truly, all about my children. Those negative feelings are still there early in the morning. I try my best not to let them consume my day. But I will say, hearing that last bell at school is my favorite part of the day because I know that I'll be returning home. 

Be blessed 
Malinda xoxo

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