Saturday, November 15, 2008

Second Thoughts

Just when I have a lot to say, I find myself absolutely mum. Is it just me? I go back to work on Monday. I'm not certain it's the best decision. But I don't know if staying home is either.

I remember this time with the Boy. I was so ready to go back to work. It's not that I loved him less or anything, it's just that the whole baby thing was so overwhelmingly life-changing that I felt the need to cling desperately to what was. To the person I was before. To prove that everything had changed, and yet nothing had. I needed to go back. And I was emotional, but it was after the fact. I lost it when, breasts bursting from night-weaning, a colleague put forth the argument that people (mothers) who aren't prepared to stay home to raise children, shouldn't have kids at all. That kids raised by "other people" (whosoever those people may be) would basically grow up to be psychokillers (qu'est-que c'est). You just don't say things like to a mother who is newly back at work. You just don't.

This time, after five months of life moving in slow motion, my mat leave seemed to slip by like a feather in stream. I had all these plans, all these dreams of how I was going to do it so right this time. I wasn't going to make the same mistakes that I made the first time around. And I was right. I didn't. I just made new mistakes. The biggest one was that I let precious time slip past me while I was just trying to keep up with Life. I was so busy with the minutiae that I failed to see the Big Picture. My Achilles Heel.

Now I want that time back again. I want to say "Wait! Please rewind! I know I can do that better!" And I'm afraid. Afraid that I'm making a mistake. Afraid that by going back to work, I am losing precious time that I will never get back. Hugs and kisses and "good jobs!" that will be bestowed by another woman.

But I'm also afraid that if I stay home, I will once again get lost in the minutiae, and fail to see how special what I have really is. Perspective is crucial. But sometimes it comes at a very great cost.

11 comments:

cinnamon gurl said...

This doesn't have to be the only decision point. You might know better which path is for you after you go back to work for a bit. You can always change your mind.

I hope things become clear for you soon, and the transition goes smoothly. Take care.

daysgoby said...

Oh, honey, that's so hard.

I found after I went back I concentrated a lot more on the big picture versus the minutiae - it was strange, and hard for a bit to get used to, but then it really was okay. I like being in work mode, then family mode....

There's no clear-cut absolute way, and we're not all cardboard cut-outs (thank goodness!)...

good luck on this new turn in your journey!

Mac and Cheese said...

I went back part-time after the first, and gave it a year before I decided that it was absolutely the wrong thing for us. Some answers just aren't knowable at first.

Mary G said...

I think you've done a lot -- it just seems like 'not enough'. It always seems that way. I agree with cinnamon gurl -- you can refigure. But you also know you can do this - you obviously did it right with The Boy.
Hugs and best wishes for a smooth transition.

womaninawindow said...

Don't you look back to critize yourself. Only look back to remember all the good, 'cause surly there's been a lot! And as to tomorrow, live each day the best you can. Don't worry about the decision. Tomorrow will happen and if you change your mind, so be it. It'll all come together. Love yourself. Love those boys. And screw that crazy-ass co-worker!

Mimi said...

Very eloquent, and heartbreaking. I like what Cin had to say: it's not a forever decision right now ...

wherewiller said...

I too was surprised how different the second 'return to work' was. Good luck.

Kyla said...

Good luck tomorrow. Like Sin said, this decision is not forever, listen to yourself and you'll figure out what is right for you.

kgirl said...

Well, you're just about done your first day. Take a deep breath. I hope it went well, because I know, I know how hard it is. Our mantra is, nothing is for ever, it's for now.

Mad said...

You'll know more about what to decide after you've gone back for a bit. I am torn daily about it all, myself, and yet I know I need my work outside the home like I need my lungs.

bren j. said...

If we lived closer to a town with actual jobs in it, I would so be trying to find something at least part-time in the evenings. I don't want to give up staying home with the LG but some days - augh! what I wouldn't give for a BREAK!!!

Who knows, maybe you'll go back and decide in February that it's just not worth it and you're willing to making staying at home work. Either way, I hope your little guys save some firsts just for you. :)