I realized a couple weeks ago that I would be celebrating Mother's Day by getting ready to go back to work. Happy Mother's Day to meeee......ugh. Not exactly how I wanted to spend it. But this is all about perspective right? I mean I could sit here and just be totally bummed and depressed about the fact that I am back at work OR I can look at the positive side and shit. I have decided to go with the latter. Besides the aforementioned issue of bottle feeding and the slight worry that has caused me, I really feel pretty good about leaving Jack. Most likely this is due to the fact that I am leaving him with Andy and not with any strangers. I get to take baby steps to leaving him. I do have to admit that this morning when I crawled out of bed to go pee some tears rolled down my cheeks. I thought this was a strange time for my emotions to get to me. Mainly because I crawled right back into bed and nursed him. So I was worried that when I actually stepped foot out the front door all hell might break loose, but alas those tears on the potty were the only tears I shed.
The other thing that makes going back to work easier is that they need me. I got a text last week from my boss asking what day I would be returning. He knew my plan and it is even on my calendar and my e-mail auto-message....and my voicemail (but who's counting), but he was just checking to make sure that I wasn't going to stay out longer. We texted back and forth for a little while. I told him that I was going to need A LOT of work to keep me distracted and he said not to worry because there was a TON to do. He said that everyone has missed me and can't wait for me to come back. That made me feel really good. Then on Monday I received a text from MaryJo, our office manager, it said "ONE MORE WEEK!!! I am probably more excited about it than you are". I told her that I was trying to be excited, but it was definitely going to be a little hard. It took me all day to come up with a text to send back in fact because I didn't want to come off that I wasn't excited to see her, but 85% of me was dreading that I only had one week left.
On Wednesday Mary Jo called to see if I could come into the office on Friday around lunchtime. They were celebrating my boss's 20th anniversary of working for the company and he was hoping I could bring the baby and we'd squeeze in my annual review.
I figured it would be a nice baby step to come in again (I visited the office on week 3 so everyone could see Jack) and have lunch with everyone. Just like our last visit, everyone swarmed to hold Jack and comment on how adorable he is. We sat down for lunch and got back to our usual bullshitting ways. Gotta love working with a bunch of rowdy men. They are hilarious. After lunch I sat down with the bossman for my review. Basically he told me how completely awesome I am and how excited he is for me to come back. We went over my "goals and objectives" which as you might recall I wrote a few months ago. In case you are curious I did not put down "perfect the art of breastfeeding" hahaha. Then my boss went into this speech about how the V.P. is stressing that with the economy we should all just be thankful to have jobs, yada yada yada. I could tell he was trying to transition to the point where we talk about the annual raises. But from what he was saying I was thinking he was preparing me for the fact that the company chose not to give raises this year or something. He was kind of dancing around a little bit so I just asked outright "so are you saying they aren't giving out raises this year?" and he said "no that isn't what I mean?". "So are they just giving out a cost-of-living adjustment?"-me. "No that isn't what I am saying either....I was able to get you a _% raise". I was kind of floored. I don't want to get too specific but if you recall last year I had some issues with my annual raise. I had kicked butt trying to complete my licensing exams and when I went to claim my reward it was like that depressing "whaa wha whaaa" sound went through my head. You know the sound when you die during an old school video game?
Anyway, last year was not what I was expecting and at the time I was thinking that would be my only ability to really increase my salary. I was thinking after that benchmark I would just get the standard 3% raise or whatever, every year. But my boss kind of hooked me up this year and I basically got the same amount as last year. So even though I didn't get what I thought I would last year, this year almost puts me where I thought I would be....does any of that make sense? He said that he wanted me to know how much they wanted me to come back (from maternity leave) and that they value me.
"Overanalysis Natalie" thinks that maybe last year they didn't want me to take my license and run. They wanted to see if I was really intending to stay with the company or if I was just here to get licensed and then move on to something else. Who know's the real reasons, but all I can say is when he told me about the raise I just smiled for the rest of the day thinking 'They Love me.....they really do love me!'. And that little bonus (don't get me wrong we're not talking about tons of money or anything) made the idea of coming to work better. It reminded me that I am providing for my family....for my newest member of the family. Coming to work today means that I can keep a roof over his head and insure him and feed him.....well in a round about way, my job feeds me.
The other thing that really made coming back to work easier was that my co-worker sent me the most hilarious letter along with a customized baby blanket. I will have to post it up here so you all can have a good laugh. Remind me to come back to all these things because in the next few months I want to get into what our future might hold.
So to get myself ready for coming back to work, I stuck Jack in his bouncy chair and took to the closet last week. I have basically been wearing the same 4 pairs of pants the past 8 weeks (don't get grossed out, I have been wearing dresses and such too. Plus considering how quickly I "milk-up" my nursing tops, I have had to do laundry every couple of days). I have one pair of pre-maternity jeans that fit well; one pair of maternity jeans, that despite the fact that I spend much of the day pulling them up, are super comfy still; and two pairs of pre-maternity dress pants that are super comfy. I wasn't quite ready to delve into all my clothes yet. Damn! Remind me also to talk about post-pregnancy body image because that is something else I have wanted to write about.
But last week I decided I need to figure out what I have to wear to work. It was actually kind of a fun experience. It was like going shopping except I already loved everything in my closet. So the good news is that I can fit into 7 pairs of dress pants, so plenty to get through a work week. The bad news is that I have about 25 pairs of pants I can't fit into yet. In perfect OCD manner, I lined them up from "what I will fit into soonest" to "what will take a bit longer to get into". I plan to check in a couple weeks and see how I am doing. My goal is to fit into all my clothes by the end of the summer....but I will probably be pretty lax with that goal (refer to future post about post-pregnancy body image).
The thing that is turning out to be a bit challenging is tops. These boobs are HUGE! I can't necessarily wear my old button up shirts because my knockers make the chestal region all gappy. So on Tuesday I went to Target (while Andy was attempting a bottle feed) and treated myself to a new sweater and a new button up top. I had to get XL's to fit my boobs, but the good thing about big knockers is it makes my waist look smaller than it is. Score! So despite not being in that great of shape right now, I look pretty much like my normal self thanks to the big chesticals. Anyhoo, going through my closet definitely helped to get me back into the work mode. And treating myself to a couple new things to wear got me a little excited.....well excited to wear my new tops not more excited about leaving my little man :(