the one about going back to work

Soon enough.

The alarm will go off when it's still dark outside. I'll stumble and fumble through the dark until my teeth are brushed, my make-up is on, and my hair is inevitably shuffled into a pony tail. I'll get myself dressed, quickly checking for any toothpaste spit, baby drool, or worse, baby barf. 

Once I deem my appearance acceptable, I will move on to changing diapers, making breakfast, and getting you dressed and ready for your own school. I'll get bottles ready and bags packed and if I'm lucky I'll remember to pack my own lunch and grab something for breakfast that I'll scarf down in my car.

Soon enough.

My days will be filled with teaching, modeling, guiding, disciplining, explaining, and creating. I suppose it's not all that different than what I have been doing with you girls all along, but it's not as fun when you can't be in PJs all day. 

Soon enough. 

I'll send you off to preschool so you can experience other children and adults. You'll paint and draw and color and stack and sort and count and play and sing and dance and read. And I'll miss all of it, and it will hurt. I'll share you with Nona & Brenda, and they will hold you and rock you and sing to you and read to you and play with you and make you smile. You may soon learn to roll and crawl and sit and stand and walk. And I'll miss all of it, and it will hurt. 

Soon enough.

It will be summer and I'll have you back the whole day. Until then, we will take advantage of the time we have together in the evenings and on the weekends. I may even miss you so much that I will cherish the times when you wake me up in the middle of the night. It will be a bonus chance to see your face and kiss your hair and count your freckles and even your eyelashes. 

Soon enough.

You may question why I didn't stay home with you to care for you full-time. I have practiced my answer and defended myself against myself too many times to count. It may sound rehearsed, but it comes from my heart. I didn't stay home with you to care for you full-time because I love teaching. If I was going to leave you, it would have to be for something I love, right? I love learning, creating, and pushing myself. I love challenges. I love success. I love experiences. Teaching makes me a better mother, and being a mother makes me a better teacher. 

I'm fortunate to have a job that allows me to be home with you in the summer. We can still swim and get ice cream and eat popsicles and ride bikes and watch for fireflies. I can also be home with you for two weeks at Christmas, a week in the spring, and when it's really foggy or snowy or icy and cold, we sometimes get more time at home together, too! 

I'm fortunate to have a job that provides our family with great insurance. Your papa may be a doctor, but believe me, he doesn't know everything and we need to keep you going to excellent physicians. My insurance helps to keep you healthy and happy and saves us a lot of money. We are blessed by this insurance as it is a luxury that many do not have. 

I work outside the home because it helps me keep my priorities straight. When I'm gone all day and away from you, my first priority once I get home is to talk to you, hold you, help you, and find out every single thing you did that day without me. It's not to kill time on Facebook or Pinterest or spend an hour watching TV. I don't worry about the housework or the clutter or the laundry because it comes last on the list at the end of a long day. When I am home all day during the summer or on a maternity leave, I beat myself up over the messy house or the Pinterest-fail project or the dinner that isn't yet made because, well, what did I do all day with all that time? I don't care to worry about anything else but you when I get home. Everything else can wait.

I work outside the home because someday, you may want to, too. You may say you want to be like me when you grow up. You may dream of being a doctor or nurse or teacher or business woman or philanthropist or artist or lawyer, and you may remember how I balanced a family with a career. You may (no, you will) go to college and be proud of your degree and remember all of the hard work it took to be able to walk across the stage. You may remember me with an independence and a confidence that came from me being important to people outside of our family, and you may want that, too. Or you may decide to do none of that (except the college part), but at least you will know how much I loved you and how difficult it was to leave you each day.

Soon enough.

You will know that sharing you with others who cared for you was not easy, but it allowed you to spread your love and joy to more people. You will know that while being your mother was not my only job, it was definitely my most important job, and you always came first. 

Soon enough.

No comments