Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Daycare, Because She Asked So Very Nicely.

I'm not sure if many of you know this, and maybe this will knock your sox off, but I had a baby and then went back to work 9 weeks later!


Since this blog has taken a turn toward the Mommy Blog category, it does seem kind of unusual that I didn't post about my return to the land of the gainfully employed.

Do you know why?
Because it all went down without incident. That's why.
But someone asked for me to write about this to ease her anxiety about her upcoming return to work. And since she asked so nicely...

The expected thing to feel, I think, is misery upon return to work.

You are supposed to cry the entire drive, and run to the restroom periodically throughout the day to wipe your snot and reapply mascara.

You should call the daycare provider no less than four thousand times to check on your baybee.

Your drive home should be no slower than fifteen miles above the speed limit (because the speed limit is lame anyway and doesn't apply to new mommies returning to work).

I really wasn't miserable about returning to work. Was I excited? HELL NO! I was not excited at all. But the fact of the matter is this: We love my paycheck, and since I have to work to get said paycheck, then I need to go to work. There is no option in my mind. So it was kind of inevitable - like going back to school in the fall, or getting a urinary tract infection after drinking too much pop.

Don't get me wrong here. I am not one of those If I Won The Lottery I Would Still Be Doing This Same Job type of people.

Because you know what? If I won the lottery? I'd be on my big fat ass, in Hawaii, drinking something alcoholic out of a coconut and watching the baby play in the sand while a handsome muscular man fed me fresh grapes.

So. Anyway. I have to work and I don't feel bad about that. I don't aspire to stay at home, ever. Which tempts me to go off on a tangent about the way that people address each other regarding the work/stay at home choice. But that is way over done and so I will skip it.
(You are welcome.)

(But I can't promise that I won't write about Jon and Kate.)
(Seriously, Jon Gosselin. You are a douche.)
(And: Team Kate!)

On my first day back to work, I was lucky enough to have my lovely mommy come to my home and watch Olivia. So I suppose having her there made the transition much easier. I simply handed Olivia to her grandma and went merrily about the rest of my day.

The first time I took her to the sitter (we decided against the daycare center because of all of the reflux issues she was having), it was all very uneventful. The sitter picked her up, and Olivia smiled at her, and I left feeling pretty OK about the whole thing.

Work ZOOMED by. When I walked into the office, my first thought was, "OMFG, I have no idea what I am supposed to do." It took that entire first week to get back in the groove. But much like Stella, I did get my groove back, and fell into a comfortable routine with baby, sitter, work, baby, husband, zzzzzzzzzz. Rinse, repeat, until I've wished away my entire week for the weekend.

I don't really feel guilty for saying that it is nice to have my hour lunch break every day. It is nice to return emails and phone calls without feeling guilty about everything I would be putting off at home to do those things.

Do I miss Olivia? Well. Does a bear shit in the woods?
(Yes, a bear does shit in the woods. And yes, I do miss Olivia.)

I suppose I could sit here every day at beat myself up over all of the time that I miss with Olivia when I am at work. But I simply choose a different way of thinking. I think of all of the fun things that we can afford to do for and with Olivia because of my work. And the big fat college fund we will have for her some day. And the big fat retirement fund. And the awesome medical insurance. The ability to take vacations, and have girls day out, and whatever else we want to do.

Without worrying about money.

So, since you asked so nicely, I will tell you my opinion: it is only as bad as you make it.

**insert clever segue here**

Thank you for the sleep advice! Don't you fret - I plan a lengthy post of woe and heartache. And PHOTOS!
As soon as I load the 360 pictures on my camera onto the computer.
Olivia might be, like, 7 by then. But at least you will know what happened!


Sally said...

Something that going back to work/school has made me realize is that it isn't a BAD THING to miss people. Sometimes, I need to miss my kids. I even like it. I can sit here and think about how cute they are and then go home and go "Oh, you are even cuter than I remembered!" That whole absence makes the heart grow fonder crap might be true, after all.

areyoukiddingme said...

I was sad when I took my girl to daycare the first time. Now, I'm going to put in notice, and she will be staying home with daddy. I'm nervous about that, because I think she needs the social interaction. But she loves staying home with daddy, so I will get over it!

lparsons15 said...

I just love your blog... Good for you!

Amy, queen of the world. said...

My biggest anxiety about going back to work was how FUSSYYYYYY my child was. I had a connection with him, but I knew daycare providers wouldn't, so I was afraid they would hurt him or something. Dumb, I realize now, because I have the best babysitter God ever invented!
And yes, Jon is SUCH A DOUCHE. Man.

KP said...

I, too, returned to work without calling to check on my daughter a million times a day. The transition to daycare was definitely challenging--more because we picked a crappy daycare to start, but then things got better once we switched to one that didn't leave her lying on the floor by herself for an hour at a time....but I digress. I love my work, I would go crazy if I stayed at home with Alice all the time. And going to work makes the time we do spend together high-quality and even more important. I respect the women who stay home with their children, but I could never do it myself.

Heather Rodriguez said...

Team Jon. Kate's a fame whore.

Jen said...

But I am interested in the work vs. home tangent and also the whole Jon and Kate tangent. So bring those on. You know, on your lunch break or whatever.

Fawn said...

Thank you for this post. I too just went back to work after being home for 12 weeks. I did have a lot of anxiety about leaving her but once I got back to work I was fine. You are so right that it is only as bad as you make it. I to have to work and I was of the mindset that I am working to give my daughter everything she would want in life. Great post!

Emily said...

Another witty & wonderful post from one of my fave blogger mamas! So happy to hear the transition back to work was smooth for all involved parties.
While I don't exactly lurve Kate, I admit, I am on her side here. 100% douche. Acting like a total child...get over yourself, Jon!
Hope the sleep sitch has improved!

Sandy said...

Team Kate!

I went back to work after six weeks and also found it to be less than traumatic (except for the pumping). I think that it can be healthy for a child to see that Mama works too, especially a daughter, so she knows that she, too, can be as overworked and underpaid as any boy.

Anonymous said...

Reading your blog has totally made me appreciate what I have...I am from Canada and (don't hate me ladies) but I get a year mat leave. When I read you were back at work at 9 weeks I couldn't imagine. That being said, I am going back in the fall.

I am for Team Kids. I have to agree with Heather Kate is a fame whore and all she kept saying is she wanted to stay married, not stay married to Jon...plus neither addressed WHY they were separating.

Catherine said...

Sage advice, that it is only as bad as you make it. And boy, do I look forward to taking real breaks during the day instead of waiting until the baby is asleep to: do laundry/clean the kitchen/start dinner/fall asleep next to him on the bed. Can you guess which one I do most often, anyway?
Also, paychecks rock. And I miss mine terribly.

courtney said...

Team Kate! Jon's a tard.

Vanessa said...

TEAM Kate! Jon complains too much and is acting very childish.

Anonymous said...

i agree with you about jon the douche and team kate!

julie said...

1. Team KIDS - both Jon and Kate are total money-grubbing, d-bag, a-holes.
2. "it is only as bad as you make it" I will be bookmarking this post for those days when I sit in my office, crying, missing my baybee and feeling sorry for my big-fat-paycheck-self. thanks for the perspective...today, I REALLY needed it.

Mrs. Higrens said...

Kate reminds me of the wife of my husband's best friend from college - she was also a nurse, and strangely enough they also had some sort of assisted reproduction (this was in my pre-IF days so I didn't really pay that much attention) and are now divorced.

Can't say that I like either one.

Teki said...

Team Kate! I know Kate often comes off as a total nag, but dear lord can you imagine the organizational skills needed for 8 kids?! Jon seemed to not really be the self motivated dad one woulda hoped for. It seems jon is forgetting the for better or for worse which really means for the hard times and easy times. Grow up jon sometimes marriage and kids are WORK!

As for daycare, the spawn isn't due til sept so I'm living in denial!

Alexa said...

I felt the same way about going back to work. I went back at 7 weeks postpartum and anticipated hating every second of it. But even though I totally wouldn't work if I didn't need the paycheck, I like the people I work with and it was good to see them. And my Olivea always seemed happy to see her daycare people, and they loved her.

I still miss her. And there are days when I spend a few too many minutes looking at photos of her at work, but I've never felt bad that she's there or that I'm working.
Now she spends all day with my husband because he was laid off. Ironically I feel less comfortable with that because although he's doing a good job, she doesn't have the other babies to interact with. Her face used to light up whenever she'd see the other little ones.

natalie said...

Great post. Glad to hear you had a pretty smooth transition back to work. I remember being a little exited I could get more adult interaction and go back to work..but of course I missed the heck out of her. You got to do what's best for your family. And well, we need the money :)

SmartAssMom said...

I felt the same way! Actually now that my daughter is 10 months old, I now have a harder time leaving her. Go figure.
Whatever, it gives me time to blog.

Alyssa said...

You're the best. I used to be team Jon until the past few weeks where he has proven himself an Ed Hardy wearing, earringed, entitled douchbaggy man-child. Epic fail.
I admit, I totally cried the first day I took my child to day care. But it got easier a lot sooner than I thought it would, and I am okay with that. I want him to interact with other kids early on. Also, I am totally not suited to being a SAHM.

Parsing Nonsense said...

Great post! I'm so glad returning to work wasn't a horrible, traumatic experience for you! I'd always wondered how you felt about it since it happened with nary a blip of mention on your blog. Good job!

Heather said...

I went back to work when our daughter was 12 weeks old and everything was fine. She's 8 years old now and no long term problems with day care. I will also be going back to work after Labor Day after having "the boys". They will be 14 weeks by then. I'm sure I will miss them, but us too. We like my paycheck too.

Amy said...

Team Kate all the way!

andrea said...

you already know i feel the same way about going back to work as you do. so, go us. and our happy -puking kids and our extra money ;)

Mama Seoul said...

You definitely have the right attitude. I am staying at home, but I think that whether you work or stay at home, you should make your choice and be happy about it. Focus on the advantages of your choice and don't worry about the negatives. It isn't productive or healthy.

Hope her sleep issues get better!

emeraldwednesday said...

glad it went well! and looking forward to your J&K post. ;-)

Fluffy Windover said...

Great, GREAT post. I went back to work after 11 weeks and was surprised to find that I didn't spend the whole time crying under my desk. My husband doesn't make enough to cover our living expenses, so it was not a choice for me and I knew that I just had to change my attitude about it if I didn't want to be miserable every day.