Next Monday marks 10 weeks for Charlie and also my return to my job as a fundraiser for a local university. It seems as if everyone is asking me how I feel about my return to the office and my answer has been the same: I’m excited to get back to a job that I absolutely love but I wish I could just put Charlie in the Moby and carry him around the office with me. Unfortunately, I don’t think I could go into a meeting with a million dollar donor and then excuse myself when Charlie needs a diaper change. But instead of focusing on all the ways that I’ll miss Charlie, I try to see the positive parts of this situation and it makes me feel a little better. Here are what I consider to be the highlights of heading back to the grind.
1. As I previously mentioned, there’s the fact that I get to go back to a flex schedule that allows me to be home one day each week. It’s an extra day to do laundry for cloth diapering, an extra day of direct breastfeeding instead of bottles of breastmilk, and most importantly, it’s an extra day of just me and Charlie time. I foresee lots of mother-son outings on Thursdays!
2. Not to sound like a “Real Housewife,” but I can’t wait to wear my pre-pregnancy clothes again. There are still certain things that don’t fit yet but I have quite a fabulous dress collections, if I do say so myself, and I can’t wait to pull out my prettiest frocks. And wear heels! And makeup! Being both a mommy and a pretty lady will be a nice change.
3. I know that some might disagree with me, but I’m looking forward to Charlie starting daycare. Sure, I’ll be just as nervous as every other mom who is leaving her precious little one with someone new, but when a child goes to a good facility his development gets an added boost. At our daycare, Charlie will get early socialization with other babies, lots of tummy time, and music classes with local musicians. I know I’ll rush there at the end of every day to pick him up, but the extra bonus is that I get to read a full report of all the wonderful things he accomplished that day.
4. There’s this really awesome BBQ place right across the street from my office and I really REALLY miss their pulled pork sandwich.
5. Even though I don’t make nearly as much money doing fundraising as I did in my last couple years as an attorney, I’m still happy that my income has allowed us to do things like buy safer cars for toting our little guy, hire a biweekly cleaning person, and get some projects completed around the house that will make it a nicer/safer place for Charlie. We couldn’t survive without two incomes, but my recent promotion has made it even easier to have a little one and have a few extras.
6. I have an amazing group of coworkers who are supportive, fun, smart, diverse, and dedicated. It’s easy to go back to a job when I’m surrounded by all of that awesomeness. I haven’t worked with a group of colleagues who inspired me this much since I practiced public interest law in my first two years as an attorney in New York City. I don’t know if all the extra income would be worth it if I had to go back the soulless and grueling job I had before this one.
7. My husband and I both work in academia and I’m happy that Charlie gets to grow up on two of the prettiest campuses in the area. And if we’re still employed by the same schools in 18 years, he’ll get to go to either institution for free! My employer even offers 40% of its tuition to pay for a different college. Another reason why my switch from the private sector legal world was a good idea.
8. This is the most important one – Charlie gets to see his mommy going out into the world and working to raise money to help people get a top-notch education. Of course, if I stayed home, I’d make sure he knew how important that job is too!