Returning to Work: Hello, Old Self

I’m sitting here in my sad little office for the first time in 5 1/2 months, since Mae was born. My succulent on the windowsill is dead. My office smells stale (I think it always did), and I can’t remember a single code for anything around here.

It’s weird. It feels like a frozen capsule of the old me, before I was a mom. When I had time for things like reading for pleasure and staying late at the office, and that person feels like a stranger. I don’t know how to explain it. My chest is tight. I don’t know this other person, the teacher and professional. Spending all day with Mae has become my norm. It was a difficult norm to adjust to, but it’s mine now.

I’m making my course calendars, syllabi, and office hours, and now everything is about how much time I’ll get to spend with Mae. I can’t imagine how annoying bullshit meetings will become post-baby, when I know they are costing me $10/hr and quality time with Mae.

I remember thinking how much time I had with her, and how long it felt at times (especially during the exercise ball days), and somehow that time is over. She’s almost six months, a half-year old, and I’ve spend almost every minute of that time with her. I’ve seen every little change and development, and now I am bound to miss something.

I think I like my job. I can’t even remember. And I don’t know if the new me likes my job or is good at it. I hope motherhood will make me a more compassionate teacher. I know it will make me a busier one.

I miss her already.

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One thought on “Returning to Work: Hello, Old Self

  1. I remember that time, and it seems to have hit me harder when I returned to work after having Jason (my younger) when he was three months old. I feel your pain! Is it really worth it?Sometimes, two years later, I’m still not sure. That said, you’ll be more compassionate, especially when someone has kid-related issues. It’s a new life, a much busier one, one that’s not always wanted. But there will come days that your office will be an escape; other days, home will be. It’s weird.
    Best of luck in this new chapter!

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