Time’s Up! When Maternity Leave Runs Out

About 16 months ago, I gave birth to a beautiful baby boy and took an eight week vacation from my 9-to-5 filled with Netflix, poopy diaper explosions, Purple crying, and squishy sleeping newborn snuggles. Sure, it wasn’t sipping Pina Coladas on a white sandy beach, but it is still the best vacation I’ve ever taken.

I loved maternity leave. I’m a homebody so of course I loved the time at home away from work, the hours on the couch watching TV and napping, and having the cutest snuggle buddy right there in my arms. I never had to get dressed or even shower if I didn’t feel like it. Which, let’s face it, I never did – dry shampoo can be used all over the body, right? I loved getting to know this tiny person my husband and I created. His cries, his facial expressions. I spent hours just trying to figure out who he was going to take after, what color were his eyes going to be, what about his hair?

Of course, there were also hard parts to maternity leave. I mean, I just had a baby! Something my body had never done before. There were so many things that the books and blog posts and YouTube videos never warned you about! There was the crying – oh, so much crying. There were the hormones, the mesh underwear, the hair loss and even worse the re-growth. It took us at least a couple weeks to figure out breastfeeding, and even a year later I feel like I still don’t have it figured out. But, for me, the hardest part about going back to work was just that – going back to work and leaving my brand new best friend with someone else.

Will he forget who I am?

Getting pics like these throughout the day from my amazing babysitter makes the work day go by so much faster.

Yes, I really thought this could happen. I even remember asking Google, hoping that other working moms had the same fear (they do). By the way, I do not recommend any amount of Googling while you are a brand-new, sleep-deprived, hormone-filled mom. I thought for sure I would leave him with the babysitter during the day, and he would forget who carried him for 39 weeks and two days. 

Will he like the babysitter more than me?

I still think this one might be true. I mean, he takes amazing naps during the day, gets to play outside, they even went to the zoo… twice! Heck, I like the babysitter more than me. Of course, I’m kidding, I know that he loves the babysitter we chose, but it’s a different kind of love and I’m OK with that. I want him to love going to the babysitter, that makes it so much easier for me to leave him and go to work. And, we really lucked out with the best babysitter – she’s an amazing caregiver to my son as well as her own three children.

Will he hate me for leaving him?

Right now, I know this is not true. But, it’s still a real thought I have everyday when I think about him getting older. And, I’m sure it’s a common thought on every working mom’s mind. But, no mom guilt here. Because I’m a working mom, I know that weeknights and weekends are when I get to create memories with my son that will outweigh the time I’m away from him.

If you’re a fellow working mom having these same thoughts, hopefully my answers helped ease your worrying mind! And, I’d like to leave you with this, while we were all freaking out about the hard parts of going back to work, there is at least one thing that I love about being a working mom: being greeted by the biggest grin when I walk in the door after work.

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