I am going to be a bloggy piggy backer, which I agree is kind of cheating and unoriginal, sorry. But I was reading Trinity's post over at Three is the Magic Number and it has my brain sprockets a turnin'. I was really glad that she posted about her feelings of going back to work, especially because her and I seem to be in similar situations, i.e. the big money-makers of the household.
I have tried to spend the last few months mentally preparing myself not only for this step of becoming a mother, but also for the step that will happen 8 weeks later, me coming back to work. For the record, ALL the books I have read tell you not to think about it. That if you think about eventually leaving your baby you will somehow hold back in bonding with them. You should put that day completely out of your mind and just focus on the moment....yeah easy for those a-holes to say. They write books for a living....which if I imagine things correctly would mean they don't have to leave their kids at a daycare while they go into the office.
You guys know how ridiculous the female brain is, would you ever be able to not even think about having to come back to work? My guess is no...unless you were really tired....or drunk.
Admittedly I have kind of a rose-colored glasses view of motherhood.....and I am not sure there is a pregnant girl who doesn't...or at least one who had to work really hard to get pregnant. I have had all these beautiful images of what being a mom would be like for years and despite knowing that there would be several middle of the night wakings where I would get puked on....eeeewwwww... those aren't the things that you think about.
That being said, it is hard to not anticipate how difficult going back to work will be. I may have deceived myself into believing that I can still pursue my career and be an attached and loving mommy 100% of the time, but there is at least some little part of me that realizes that I am in for the challenge of my lifetime. I thought Trinity's viewpoint was valid. She basically cursed feminism for leading us to believe that women could have it all....in reality, we can't. Something is bound to suffer. If it isn't our career and our children, it will most definitely be our marriages and/or ourselves. Her harsh honesty of the anger and regret she is feeling as she approaches her last days of maternity leave probably should have scared the shit out of me. But in all actuality I was actually thankful that she shared those feelings. They are real. This is how a woman really feels when she has to leave her baby. We don't have to pretend to be "okay" with the idea of leaving our children. We don't have to mask the fact that there is a strong part of us that would gladly give up that career (even if we worked for a really long time to achieve it) in an instant to stay home with our babies and cuddle them a bit longer. So despite my heart aching for her and the realization that I would soon be in her shoes, there was something kind of refreshing about reading her post.
Last night my boss left me a voicemail asking me to start thinking about my "Objectives" for the next year. My maternity leave spans our annual review time. So he just realized that we should take care of that before I go. I thought about my goals and objectives for last year. They included things like: enhance my technical writing skills, continue to enhance communication skills during presentations and improve ability to lead team members, etc. But when I tried to think about what my goals are for this coming year, all I can really think about is "perfect the art of breastfeeding" "find a way to maintain a bond with Nugget and still work".....something tells me that these aren't the objectives he is looking for. But in reality, motherhood is going to be taking over for a little while. As much as I love my job and as proud as I am that I have reached this level, to be honest, it is going to be really hard to care about improving my leadership and communication skills over this next year. And as a ridiculously overachieving people pleaser it is going to be really hard for me to not feel like I am letting down someone. But I also see that there is only so much I can demand of myself and so in reality my objectives for this year are to maintain a close relationship with Andy and to take care of Nugget. I was telling Katie, the only thing I am really glad about is that I have put in 3 really strong years with the company. They seem to value me and realize that I am a good worker, so I hope that means they will be understanding that this next year might not be my most productive year work-wise. And I will just have to give myself a break for it.