Alright, fine, I guess I care a little. #feelingjudged
I’m on a teeter-totter of two feelings about being a corporate, 8:30-5:30 Mom: feeling bad for leaving my girls “behind,” but feeling bad that I DON’T FEEL THAT BAD ABOUT IT.
It has been six weeks since I pushed out a little human being out of my girl parts, but GIRL, y’all know I was back to work this past Monday. MONDAY at 8:17 – EARLY! Do you know how many people asked me last week, with a sympathetic frown, “Awww, are you bummed about going back?” Do you know how hard it was to dig deep for a pouty face, and a “I knowwwww, totally!”
But really, I was ready to come back, friends. I didn’t even shed a tear. On the Sunday before my return (Mother’s Day, no less!), I serious-as-shit Googled, “Why don’t I feel bad about going back to work after having a baby?” Do you understand the desperation I was feeling to find another Mom who validated my anxiousness to get back to work, for me to go to freaking Google looking for her?
Most of the results were women posting to forums about not wanting to go back to work, using all the exclamation points left on earth, e.g. “Help!!!!! I don’t want to go back to work!!!!!!!!!” followed by a truly sad post that I didn’t even to click on, because I might absorb something from it. I read snippets of articles that suggested staying home with your kids, waiting silently for something to hit me like a ton of bricks. Nothing. Instead, I picked out my outfit for my first day back, fixed my hair, and wrote my boss an email about how excited I was. And I meant it.
If I still have you, and you haven’t decided that I’m a terrible person with a raisin of a heart, let me say this: I love my girls so much. I really, really do. But they say you have to take care of yourself before you’re good for anyone else, and it’s true. If I stayed home with my girls, I would be such an asshole, to them and everyone. (Side note: we’d also be poor, because on my maternity leave, I’m pretty sure my daily Amazon orders paid for at least a new car for Jeff Bezos). I need my job for me. I need to wear eyeliner, and uncomfortable pants. I need to yell at my computer screen, and write passive aggressive emails. I need hour-long lunches with my friends and I need marketing meetings. I need it ALL. And that’s okay with me (except for that 4% of the time that I’m feeling guilty about it and Googling for support). But really: it’s okay with me.
For the working moms who Googled for validation too, I’ll tell you what I’m hoping for: I’m hoping to teach my girlies that they can work hard for something they want, and that sometimes they’ll get it, and sometimes they won’t. I’m hoping they learn that it’s okay to like money, and to buy things for themselves and say, with sass, to their future spouse, “I HAVE A JOB!” <*Snap*snap*snap> like Mom does to Dad from time to time. I’m hoping they see me making sacrifices, or using resourceful shortcuts (Thank you, Shipt!) because I’m doing what I need to do for our family. I hope they see me as a strong, independent, smart woman who also crumbles every now and then, like we all do.
I shouldn’t have to say this disclaimer, but will anyway in case I’m misunderstood. TO ALL THE MOMS – the stay-at-home/work-from-home or work-from-an office kind: We’re frickin’ amazing, aren’t we? Whether we’re wearing heels, or half-naked, or both – we’re killing it out there, and doing what we need to for our families. I don’t think I’m better than you, or smarter than you. I know we both work hard as hell. Just know that all I’m really saying is that we should do what’s right for us, whatever that means to you, so we can be good for our little people, who are watching us. High five, girl. High five.
Love you all.