I didn’t agonize over whether to return to work after Baby Bird was born. Not going back wasn’t an option. This girl’s got bills. Mr. T’s got bills. Baby Bird’s arrival brought a crapload of bills.
And I’d been working since I was a kid. In high school, I worked as a law intern and at a fast food restaurant. I held work-study jobs throughout college. I spent more than a decade in the newspaper industry.
Like I said, not going back to work wasn’t an option.
Then I no longer had a job … just as I returned from maternity leave. My newspaper was downsizing, and my department was moving to another city.
Being a stay-at-home mom was never part of my plan, but I’m reveling in the blessing of becoming one. Not having a job is terrifying, and there are days when I’m anxious about when or whether I’ll ever be traditionally employed again. But I’m embracing this time as a precious opportunity to watch Baby Bird grow up.
I was watching when she rolled from her belly to her back for the first time. I was blowing raspberries on her tummy when she said her first word: Dada. (But why’d it have to be Dada? I’m with her all day, every day. Couldn’t I get a shout-out?)
If I’ve learned anything in these seven months, it’s that nothing about mommyhood is lasting (besides being a mommy, of course). Soon enough, Baby Bird and I will have playdates to attend. We’ll spend our days at the Children’s Museum. We’ll be rushing to ballet classes or basketball practice. She’ll want to hang out with her friends instead of Mama.
So I’m savoring every moment of my baby being a baby.
This new “job” isn’t easy. In fact, might be the most difficult one I’ve ever had. I’m the food, the maid, the teacher, the nurse, and sometimes Daniel Tiger.
I’m on call 24/7. There are no solo lunch or bathroom breaks. There’s no sick leave. No vacation time. I’m exhausted at the end of every day. And, quite honestly, it has left me feeling lonely and isolated at times.
But it’s the best freaking job I’ve ever had, and I wouldn’t give it up for anything.