We’re in countdown mode mode. My official back to work date is March 6th – Jess’s birthday. I may use a couple of my vacation days to ease myself back in, but at any rate, mat leave is ending. And I have SO MANY FEELINGS about it.
First and foremost, it’s gratitude. I love this country, and I will continue to keep paying EI for the rest of my life, grateful that I pay in to a system that pays out when I needed it. Grateful to live in a society that sees the value of having a parent stay home with the baby for a year. Grateful that I got the year to recover from the traumatic birth and PPD and get to the point of loving my baby, and enjoying my baby, without needing to work at the same time. Without having to worry about money overly much. Grateful for how much easier this year was, that it would have been if I lived in the States. Grateful for a year spent with my little sweet baby at my side all the time. Grateful. Just so grateful.
Second, I’m a little excited to go back to work. I have an office on the 30-something floor of the tallest building in town. (Alas, I’ve lost my window, but all internal walls are glass, so at least there should be light.) At the Christmas party, I ran in to one of the engineers who had been promoted to lead in my absence, and she offered me a job in her section of our group. A move that my boss has already approved, so my agreement was a formality, but still. They are looking forwards to me returning, and I’m glad that I’ll be returning as a full on tech. No admin work now – the group has a full time admin. I’m actually on a separate floor from the support staff in our business unit – I’m sitting upstairs with the engineers. This suggests that my promotion is no longer just in name. This is excellent. In talking to one of the other engineers, there is a bunch of work that they are just waiting for me to come back and do. This is good. After years of being underemployed at the office, I look forwards to the challenge.
Thirdly? SAD. How can I leave my baybee all day? So many feelings!
Fourthly: relieved. I have friends who stay home with toddlers, and others multiple pre-school aged kids at home. And you know what? That looks really, really, really hard. The short attention spans, the power plays, the constant need of stimulation, the constant attention… I don’t think that age will be my finest hour as a parent. It might be a good thing that the kid gets to spend a chunk of her day with trained adults and a room full of playmates. Don’t get me wrong – I love my kid. And I am loving this age – independent enough for “play” with books for 20 minutes at a stretch, takes good naps, easy to lug around. I’m just not sure that I’ll love the next age as much. Um. It looks exhausting.
Fifth? Worried. The logistics of day care, of getting us up and out every morning. The insanity of David’s company, who keep changing where he’ll be working for the next 6 months, which means we keep switching our daycare centre, and that’s a pain. It’s complicated, but basically, the downtown daycare works if he’s near downtown, as his company pays for parking. If he’s located in the deepest south, away from downtown, it doesn’t work unless I take the baby on the train every day, and that would be a nightmare. Paying for parking would be ~600/month, and add that to daycare costs, and working becomes too close to barely a break even thing. So if he’s south, the baby has to go to one of the chain’s south locations. Which means I don’t get to commute with either of my favourite people. And don’t suggest a daycare close to home – the only one that would return my phone calls? After touring it, I cried a little and talked about quitting my job. Not the place. Even just the logistics of getting 3 people up and out of the door every single morning sounds tough. And making and eating dinner and playing and bath time in the short evening window. And getting Jess on a 7-7 schedule. (We’re working on it.) So many logistics. We’ll get there, but it sounds tough.
Sixth would be more of the sads. So many sads.
But for now, I’ll go to mom and baby fitness classes and as many play dates as I can and a quick vacation to Texas, and enjoy the hell out of time that’s left of this marvelous window of my baby’s life.