When I get sad, I stop being sad and be awesome instead. True story.
-Barney Stinson, How I Met Your Mother
Tomorrow is the big day. After 8.5 weeks at home with Libby, I am returning to the workforce.
When I first announced my pregnancy at work, I was shocked that the first question people asked was whether I’d be returning after the baby was born. Well duh, I thought to myself. I’m clearly a career lady; of course I’d return, and pick up being awesome right where I left off.
I had originally planned to go back on Monday (yesterday) but due to Libby’s two-month checkup scheduled this afternoon, I changed the day to avoid having to leave work so soon after returning.
Fast forward to today. The doctor’s office called to reschedule the appointment to Friday afternoon. So, despite my excellent planning, I’ll have to take time off of work after just 2.5 days in the office. This isn’t the end of the world, of course. It’s common for working women to miss work to care for their children. The problem is… it’s not common for me to miss work. This is new territory for me.
I’ve always envisioned myself defying stereotypes, perfectly balancing family life with professional success. I didn’t expect it to be easy; if it was, I think we’d see a lot more women in high-level positions. But that’s just not the case. Every day, women – driven, motivated, professional “career ladies” just like me – find that it is just too difficult to continue those professional aspirations when their hearts are with little ones at home. I’m not even back at work yet and I’m realizing just how tough it is going to be to remain dedicated to both career and family.
No matter how meticulous the plans, they can always be disrupted. While I deeply desire to maintain professionalism and win respect and make things happen and continue being generally awesome, it’s going to take a lot more effort than it once did. I’m going to have to be more dedicated and productive than ever – because if something comes up and Libby needs me, I’ll be there in a second. (Or 5 minutes, since that is the distance between the office and the sitter. But you know what I mean.)
On the upside, our little girl won’t have to get her first shots mere hours before I head back to work for the first time. This way, we can both do our best to be all smiles throughout the week…
…and have the whole weekend to recover from those nasty shots.