Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Maternity Leave

A woman in my office returned from maternity leave this week. She did alright on Monday, but on Tuesday she was a wreck. She took a long lunch to go spend time with the baby, and spent most of the rest of the day with her door closed so that she could cry when she needed to.

We all comforted her and assured her she wasn't nuts. What I didn't tell her was, five and half years later, I still cry at work because I'm not with my babies. For reasons I don't understand, it seems that the summer camp application for Connor has gotten me all riled up again. On the same day that my coworker was crying over leaving her newborn with a sitter, I sent Chip the following tearful IM (thank you, Google, for recording this for posterity):

me: OK, I have to tell you something I'm going to have to quit before summer. I just can't work in the summer, once C is out of school.

Chip: Wow.

me: I feel that so strongly! Isn't that weird? I just can't have him in camp all summer. It was one thing when it was daycare, now that he's in elementary school it just seems horrible.

Chip: And sitting around the house with you would be that much better?

me: Well, working is stupid. Whose idea was this? That we go to work all day rather than living life? It's such a silly convention in our society, that 40 or more hours a week is spent doing this. I want to pick the kids up at 2:30 every day. That just makes sense.

OK, obviously I'm not going to quit work. And Chip's right- I'm not really sure I want to, even if I could! It's just that some days, life seems so illogical. And Tuesday was one of those days. So that morning I wiped away the tears and carried on with my job, not letting on that I thought it was all pointless (Brenda and Jay disagree- I totally let on!). Then that afternoon, when my coworker admitted to us all how bad her day had been, I cried again! Just like I did typing that.

I'm sure this is just my post-Spring Break hangover talking. In fact, I spent time today reminding myself that summer is when my favorite project at work happens. I thought about past summers, and how they mostly went fine, and just about convinced myself that this really isn't such a big deal. I do know that when summer comes, I'll do okay, and so will Connor. So there's really no point to this, except to let all you new mothers out there know that some days suck, no matter what, but the next day comes and you realize it's really not all that bad. But I'll keep buying my lottery tickets, just in case.

2 comments:

RJA said...

I just spent 10 straight days with kids and I've never been so happy to drop them all off in the morning as I was today.

Stan said...

I wonder if you will ever understand that EVERY time you have a transitional period you say the same thing, and then about two weeks later you are like "I don't know what you are talking about." There is ONE job that gives summers off, it's called teacher. Perhaps it's time to reconsider. :)