The Vacation Is Over: Going Back to Work with a Toddler at Home.

My Story     

This time last year I was snuggled up close to my three week old son, reveling in all the joy of being a first time new mom. Each time that I would look in to his eyes, I would wonder how I was so perfectly blessed and beautifully selected to behold such a precious gift. As the days passed a gloomy thought began to enter my head — You have to return to work soon. When the dreaded day approached and I left my not even eight week old precious baby boy with his grandparents (blessed, I know) and began my transition back to the work force, I felt that I was living life in a foggy daze, each moment felt surreal but, somehow, I managed to make it through the year. Now, let me add here that I am in the education field so I did have the great opportunity to spend most Holidays at home with my son. And, also share one of the most important perks of all SUMMER VACATION. This, however, is where my tragic sadness begins…
There is a term that used to describe what children go through when apart from their parent after a bond has been established, but I would like to suggest that I am too am going through this very same thing, “Separation Anxiety”. However, a more advanced type, because mine was also preceded by depression. Why? Because, I knew it was coming! An interesting survey was cited in the book Working Mom Survival Guide: “67 percent of the working moms surveyed experienced separation anxiety when they first returned to work.” But, here is my truth, and no I am not afraid to say it — I did not feel this way until this year. The SECOND time I had to return to work. Was it the newness that had me blinded the first time? Now, I admit I am in a unique situation but this is an awful feeling. Is this how he feels? I ask myself, is it the age of my son that has me wearing a frown this time? Am I alone? or Can I get an Amen? (yes, I’m churchy)
Last year I had a newborn, and yes I loved the beauty of that moment. But, this summer I have a toddler! A walking, talking, drooling, teething, laughing machine. Each summer day my son and I made new discoveries and learned more about each other. Sometimes, we would take a break from the world and isolate ourselves inside our home, where we would play, talk, read, nap and eat only to repeat this same pattern the next day. This summer compared to last summer was absolutely different (minus the diaper changes, of course). I was able to see first hand the rapid growth that my son was making and wanted to influence it every step of the way. More and more of his infectious personality was bursting out and I was hooked, totally and completing in love with my baby boy. And then… yep, you guessed it, the thought and now the reality, the vacation is over…back to work.
So, here I sit…

Trying to get busy with work, focus on my passion, and make a difference in the world when all of my thoughts are on ten little fingers and ten little toes running around my parent’s house and the next free moment I will have to call him and hear his sweet darling voice. It has been and will be an uphill battle this year, but as long as my colleagues will indulge me in the constant conversation and a daily photo share around my son, maybe I will survive. I will keep you posted. Until then, remember to be the sweet in someone’s day!