For at least the first two months of my maternity leave, I did not miss work. At all.
I would occasionally peek into my work email account and happily revel in the fact that I was temporarily not responsible for any of the issues or requests that flew by. Delete. Delete. Delete!
Hungry babies, dirty diapers and erratic sleep schedules were enough work for me, and as challenging as that was, I was so happy to be fully engulfed in it and not have to think about anything work-related.
When I reached the halfway point of my glorious planned four-month leave, I panicked a tiny, tiny bit. I had no desire to go back to work. None. Yeah, the one who waxed on about how much I love the work I do and felt so committed to it now was convinced I’d be happy to never set foot in the workplace again. How was I going to do it when I actually did have to go back?
(Sadly the above is not an option.)
But I still had two months off, which seemed like a long time still, so I could easily revert to denial and remain perfectly content. I told myself not to have a bad attitude. It would just make things worse.
Then, the week after we returned from Florida, a little over 2.5 months into my leave, something changed. First, I got sick – probably from some expired yogurt I ate (I know, gross, but I tend to never believe expiration dates) – and spent a full day weak and tired on the couch. And I was so bored. I felt useless. Then later that week I went to a colleague’s going-away party and saw a bunch of my co-workers. And I realized I missed them. We talked about what was going on at work, and suddenly I found myself excited about it again.
Idle hands plus a taste of my old passion and…
I panicked a tiny, tiny bit because I suddenly wanted to go back to work.
(Now, I should add, a huge factor that probably made this possible in the first place was that Corban had started sleeping much better by this point, so I actually felt like a functional human again.)
It really is a blessing how my heart was changed like that. And now with just less than two weeks left of my maternity leave, I’m feeling quite torn. I don’t want to leave Corban, but I’m feeling good about getting back into my career – I really couldn’t ask for a better dichotomy. I’ll be working an average of 20 hours a week (2 days/3 days alternating) and I think that will provide a good balance.
Of course, I’m dreading my return to full-time in July, but that’s still far enough away that denial works just fine.