Outside the Home Part 3: When Cute & Cuddly Ain’t at the Pump

Photo // CreationSwap // by Matt Gruber
Photo // CreationSwap // by Matt Gruber

A Series on Moms Returning to the Workplace

{You can read Part I here and Part 2 here, and Part 4 here.}

Two women join us today as they share their journeys back to work following maternity leave. This has been a surreal week for me. A resume I turned in months ago was called up this week (in the middle of this series) and I am faced with a decision I had no way of anticipating even a week ago. Is this God’s humor or His wisdom? I have suddenly become my most avid reader.

Erin speaks to us today from exactly what she’s learning at the moment. Her writing voice is just as gorgeous as her singing voice. Erin is an Assistant Legal Analyst, mother to two, and volunteers on our worship team. Be encouraged that you aren’t alone, mama.

I’ve only been back to work for 5 days. If you count lunch and my commute that is 55 hours away from my baby girl so far. I count the minutes when I can clock out and dash home, while still obeying all posted speed limits. I started the “new routine” 2 weeks before going back to work so the transition wouldn’t be such a shock for both of us. My first day back I cried all day. My second day back I cried most of the day. My third day back I cried a couple times. I generally use humor to deal with these kinds of things but I can’t seem to find anything funny about being away from my baby so I started with some daily affirmations. It’s sort of like Psalms only I’m making them up and writing them down myself. They are my little God whispers. He’s letting me know that I’m going to be okay.

Working Mom Psalms:

  • I am not the first mom to have to go back to work. If other moms can do it, so can I.
  • Everything I do and every decision I make is to benefit her.
  • I am strong, I am confident, and I am loved.
  • I have something to look forward to at the end of every single day
  • I don’t stop being her mommy just because I’m at work.

So, while I sit in the lactation room with my not so cute or cuddly breast pump I look at the pictures of my adorable little girl on my smart phone and remind myself, “I don’t stop being her mommy just because I’m at work. I have something to look forward to at the end of every single day. I am strong, I am confident…”

Anna is an attorney (who has had two firms make offers to her in the few months I’ve known her. Is she good? I think so). She’s also mama to two precious girls and wife to a talented photographer. I love her candid thoughts on the differences between the first and second rounds of returning to work from maternity leave.

I had two very different experiences going back to work after each of my girls were born.  After the first one, I genuinely believed that someone else would do a better job with my baby.  I couldn’t wait to get back to work and have adult interaction again.

For the second, we were back in our home state where I have many friends who are stay-at-home moms.  Going back to work again was hard.  Rather, the thought of going back to work was hard.  The first step to easing the transition was just to accept that I didn’t have a choice in the matter. Finances made my working a necessity, and fighting the inevitable was only causing me more stress without changing the situation.

Finding a daycare provider I really trusted was the next step.  Knowing my baby was in the safe hands of a friend, I was able to kiss her goodbye without quite the same pull on my heart.  Once I got back to work, easing into the new (old) routine took only a few days.  I was reminded what I love about my career and all of the work I put into getting where I am.  I would still prefer to be at home with my babies, but I also know that my work is part of who I am, and I’m setting an example for my girls of the many choices women have available today.

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3 thoughts on “Outside the Home Part 3: When Cute & Cuddly Ain’t at the Pump

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