Why I Can’t Wait for my Maternity Leave to End
Becoming a mother was one of the most incredible moments of my life. I mean, Superman may be able to fly and Spider-Man may be able to shoot webs from his hands, but me? I make people – that’s my superpower!
I’ve come to realize over the course of my maternity leave with my little one that while I have made this incredible, beautiful, sometimes stinky little person, I don’t have to stop being me. And the part of me that remembers what it was like to not smell like spoiled milk, get more than two hours of uninterrupted sleep at a time, and shower yearns to reclaim a bit of who I used to be. That doesn’t make me a bad mom – it just makes me, well, me.
Let’s face it, there’s enough mom guilt out there to provide me with things to feel guilty about until the end of time – I don’t need to pile any more on myself. So that’s why I can say loud and proud that I can’t wait for my maternity leave to end. If you feel the same way but need help releasing a little of that mommy guilt, then let me give you a few reasons why it’s perfectly OK to feel this way!
I Envy my Boyfriend
I’m woman enough to admit it – I’m green with envy that my boyfriend gets up in the morning (after a good night’s rest), takes a shower, gets dressed in clothes that actually fit him because he didn’t just grow a person for nine months, and then leaves the house. I never thought I’d be so envious of going somewhere and dealing with adults all day, but I am. That doesn’t make me a bad mom, it just makes me human.
I love my new baby – he’s the best. But I also love myself. I still have goals outside of milestones as a mommy that I’m working toward and that’s perfectly OK. Having a few hours a day where I actually own my own nipples is a plus, too.
My baby is a lot of fantastic things, but he’s not much of a conversationalist. I daresay that he’s a little predictable. I’ve already caught up on all the trashy reality television shows on the DVR that I hoarded for months and now I find that I’m starved for human interaction.
Going back to work at the end of my maternity leave will provide me with blissful adult conversation that I am literally starved for at this point. So, sue me, I’m ready to re-enter the adult sphere – if I can remember how. That mommy brain is no joke.
I Need a Schedule
When I’m at work, I know what is expected of me. I have a schedule and everything! This mommy gig doesn’t come with a job description – and it’s 24/7. At least at work, I can clock out and try to forget the place for about 16 hours. At home, with my baby, I am always on. I am OK with stumbling through as my baby and I learn about each other and grow together, but I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t looking forward to some kind of schedule once I return to work.
I’m not very good with down time, never have been. I had this flowery idea that maternity leave would involve me resting next to an angelic sleeping baby. There may have been clouds and rainbows in my vision, too. I would feel rejuvenated, rested, at peace. You’re probably laughing right now because you know that is far from the truth. Maternity leave has been more like some kind of crazy hormonal gauntlet. One moment I’m happy, content. The next I’m crying my eyes out because my boyfriend bought the wrong kind of cheese.
Once the hormones calmed down a bit, I found myself just… bored. Like, really bored. I’m ready to get back into the swing of things and just have something to do with my day that provides me with a sense of some kind of normalcy. Work may not be exciting, but it offers comfort in its predictableness that I am just not getting right now.
Everyone Will Live
Other moms I talk don’t seem to share my enthusiasm for going back to work. And you know what? That’s OK. I have a lot of respect for other moms – we’re in this together, after all. Society seems to judge us enough for all of our choices (formula or breast, work or stay at home, cloth or disposable – ahh!!!), we don’t need to judge each other too.
At the end of the day, we all love our kids. I know mine are incredible and they’re going to keep being incredible even after I go back to work. I simply owe it to myself, to be honest, and say – I’m ready for the end of my maternity leave!
Samara Kamenecka is a New York-born freelance writer and translator living in Madrid. When she’s not chained to her computer, she likes to explore the city with her boyfriend, kids and dog. You can find her blogging over at Tiny Fry, and you can also connect with her on Facebook or Twitter.