Yesterday was my first day back to work and Rob's first day on parental leave. When I got on the streetcar, I realized that one of my knitting needles was broken; I forgot my work keys at home; I forgot the spoon for my lunch; my boss forgot that it was my first day back; I didn't feel well; and somehow none of that really seemed all that bad. Not when compared to leaving my girl!
To be honest, coming back to work felt a lot like what I thought it would feel like. As a friend pointed out to me before, it's very easy to jump back into work and the old routine. I've been doing 'this' for much longer than I've been a Mum. It almost felt seamless, like slipping back into a comfy but old pair of shoes or going back to a favorite vacation spot. It was like that and yet at the same time, there was this nearly constant sense of loss that lingered in the background. I had that tight, almost painful feeling in the core of my chest. The kind of feeling that followed the 'break-ups' in my younger days. Or kind of like the feeling I have when mourning. And yet, it wasn't a bad day.
Though my eyes have gotten a bit damp, I know too, that I have it pretty good. I'm leaving Clare with her Dad and not with a stranger. I know the two of them are having a lot of fun and so that makes me happy too. I don't have to worry about how the chores will get done or the dinner cooked while I'm at work because I know that they're being taken care of. This is really the nicest possible transition back to work. I don't know how women do it when they don't have the support of their spouses - or worse, the unfortunate women who don't even get the glorious 9 months that I've had because they don't qualify for EI!
Talk to you soon,