Well... I went back to work this week. Bleh.
I was blessed to have a warm welcome back from my coworkers (with our staffing shortage I'm pretty sure they were equal parts happy to see ME and just plain happy to see another name on the roster, lol). I got a lot of "Wow! You look great! I can't believe you just had a baby!" (always good for the ego) and "We missed you." I wish I could say the same. I mean I missed the people... sort of... but I didn't miss work. At.ALL. The last 9 weeks have been spent loving and cuddling and snuggling and playing with my beautiful new daughter. I'd be a crazy person to miss work while I was busy doing that.
Which got me thinking... becoming a mother has really changed me in ways I never imagined.
First, I never really thought I would enjoy being pregnant and to be honest, while I was pregnant there were times (most often times spent praying to the porcelain goddess) that I didn't really enjoy it. Not long after I had my little girl in my arms did I miss having her in my belly. Strange.
I've always been a runner. I dislike walking. Make that hate walking. I think it's a waste of time. Why walk when you can run? Burn more calories, get there faster.. you know. I love to run. Well now... I take Kennedy for walks almost every day and I LOVE it. I don't care as much about calories and I don't want to go anywhere fast. I enjoy taking nice little strolls with her and watching her as she looks around and takes in this big world.
I wasn't completely sure about natural birth, cloth diapering, baby wearing and breastfeeding... now I can't imagine any other way.
I used to think parenting was easy and instinctive and the answers just came naturally (or through Google). Now I know that it is exhausting. It is work. And sometimes there aren't any answers. But it is the absolute most incredible and rewarding role I could ever imagine. I learn something new about my daughter and myself every single day. At 16 I was quite certain that I knew it all... and now I fully understand that I never will.
I used to give the super stink eye to parents whose children had random outbursts in the line at Target. Now I give them a sheepish smile that says "I understand"... unless those children are obnoxiously bratty toddlers screaming about candy. Control your kids, people!! But seriously, I am a much more patient and understanding person now. At least I *think* I am.
I also never ever pictured myself as the type of person who would actually want to be a stay at home mom. I have worked full time since high school and never pictured myself not working. After spending 9 wonderful weeks at home with my daughter, I couldn't even begin to imagine going back to work. I didn't want to.
I had toyed with the idea of starting back gradually, maybe 3 days one week then back to full time the next... but I figured I may as well just get it over with, like ripping off a band aid. No matter which way I cut it, I will be working full time and it is going to.. well... suck.
So rip off the band aid I did. I cried the entire drive in to work on Sunday... and Monday... and Tuesday... ok you get it. One full week down and I cried every.single.day. I really wish I could spend my days playing with her, helping her learn and watching her grow.
I wish. I wish. I wish. ::sigh::
So Monday it begins again. Week #2 of my life as a working mother. Any bets on how many days I will need waterproof mascara this week? :)