Not Returning to Work Post-Baby

It’s June. The sun is beaming down overhead. The metal chair feels cool on your back. You’ve got your camera ready, anticipation flooding in your hands. You’re chattering to the women next to you about how unbelievable it is that you’re here. You’re both reminiscing when the microphone from the podium starts to sizzle. The guy standing there announces the graduating class. In a line of students preparing to take their seats, you locate your son. You’re beaming from ear to ear, clasping your hands together, proud of how far he’s come from the little boy you once knew.

Because before you know it, they’re adults. They’re ready for the world. They’re ready to start their own life, to get their own job. It’ll flash by and before you know it, he’ll be marrying into his own family. He’ll be watching his own kids graduate. Perhaps, instead, he’ll be out traveling the world. Whatever he’s doing, he’ll be out of the house.

So I’ve held my breath, after countless hours of contemplating in my head, and I’ve decided: I’m not going back to work. At least not 40 hours a week at the law firm. It wasn’t an easy decision. I weighed my options repeatedly in my head: paid vacations, paid time off, a steady paycheck each week, etc. Not only the benefits, but I love my job and I was damn good at it. Turns out, I’d rather lose all of those things than 40 hours a week with my son. All that time adds up and it adds up faster than you think.

My original plan was to return to work and I had every intention of doing so. I was aspired by the thought of tackling a job, a child, a household, and a partner. I felt I’d be falling short if I wasn’t able to handle all three of those. Surely I’d be able to do it all and do it well.

Then I brought Maddox earthside and, apart from my heart being blown wide open, so was my mommy instinct. I started to worry that I’d lose out on his precious moments, the ones I treasured so much already. I didn’t want someone else to witness his first laugh or his first roll over or his first step, let alone a stranger while I was at work. I’m his protector, his sole support, his constant comfort. This was something I’d lose and something he’d lose as well. The inevitable change was becoming clearer the more time I spent with Maddox.

Having a baby changes you and teaches you. I’m not the same person as I was before I brought Maddox into this world. As much as I love working at the law firm, it’s not what I want to do for the rest of my life and now I’m able to focus on what I love: Maddox and my studies. I plan to work towards my holistic health & wellness coach certificate along with my doula certificate. Two things that will help and support people.

Right now, I know Maddox better than anyone. I know him better than himself. Everyday, I am helping him grow and become comfortable in this world. I want to be his teacher, his provider, his biggest support system for as long as I can, while I can. I don’t want to lose out on precious moments. They are too important. He’s too important.

(Photo by Jill Krementz of writer E.B. White)

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