by Gina Jacobson. Gina is a wife, a mom, a leo. She works for a non-profit organisation. Is a procrastinator. Loves sci-fi, sushi, good books and Scrabble. Her blog is made up of A Bit of This a Bit of That.
When I submitted my leave form for my four months maternity leave I could already feel the anxiety of coming back to work, of leaving my itty bitty tiny baby at home, of spending eight hours away from him. Then, quicker than you can say stinky nappy my maternity leave was up and I was going back to work.
Here’s a secret most women would never admit to… I was so relieved to be going back to work! Eight hours of no crying, no feeding, no pooping baby. I was giddy with excitement.
I felt so guilty. Guilty that I didnt feel guilty. So guilty and ashamed that I never said a word, not to my husband, not to my mom, not even to the women on my internet mommy group. Im not a career woman, I dont hold a high powered job and I am not the main breadwinner in our family, so it definitely wasnt a need to get back to my job that sent me running out the door every morning. It was plain and simple a desire to not have to deal with my baby. Dont get me wrong I love him like my last breath and would walk the fires of hell and back to keep him safe and make him happy.I just needed ‘my’ time.
I spent months feeling like a teenage boy sneaking his dads skin mags until I realised that I was entitled to feel relieved at having time to myself, of being able to switch my brain from baby mode to adult mode. Having time to myself calmed me and gave me perspective on my home life. Ultimately it made me a better mother and wife, at least I feel it has.
Almost two years down the line I feel far more in control of my mommy vs. adult time, so much so that I would love to be able to spend more time at home with the rugrat. I dont think I could be a stay at home mom, once I got over the guilt of needing time to myself I really enjoyed going back to work. Hopefully with our next child I will be able to work half day or flexi-time after maternity leave.
The one thing I do know is that I wont feel guilty about not feeling guilty about having ‘my’ time.