Like so many things about parenthood, it gets better.
If I could have my way, every mom (and dad!) in America would have six months of paid leave after a new family arrival. After eight weeks with my baby girl, I’m back at work. Eight weeks is not enough – but it’s all I had. It’s all I had, and I’m damn glad I had it. I can’t believe I thought it would be enough time. There’s no way to know how much time you need after getting a baby, except that the answer is probably “more.”
We pinched and saved and budgeted as if we were on a reality tv show, and we got eight weeks without me working. I could spend some time being weepy about what could have been – and indeed, I gave myself the opportunity to feel rotten about the reality of the situation. I could continue to fight it, or I could get right with the facts: my family needs money, my family needs health insurance, and I’m the one who provides it. K’s law firm is growing slowly – as we knew it would. And while he starts teaching his class at the community college next month, we’ll still be new-family-tight. That’s okay; it’s exactly what we planned and expected.
I’m not yet back in the groove – my mind wanders and I’m having trouble focusing. But I’ll get there. I used to really love my job and on Day 3 of returning to it, I’m starting to remember why. It gets better.