My 18 months of maternity leave is winding down now. I am scheduled to go back to work on July 4th. I am planning on doing half days for the first week and then I've worked it out so I get every Friday off until the middle of September (I always get every second Friday off).
People tell me I'll be glad to be back. That I'll enjoy the 'adult conversation' and 'using my brain in different ways'. That it will be so fun to see Baby all excited to see me at the end of the day. That it's good for Baby's independence to be away from us. That Baby needs the social interaction. The list goes on.
I love my job, I love what I do, I get 6 weeks vacation and tons of other benefits and I have a pretty amazing employer. However, I'm sorry to admit that I'm just not looking forward to going back to work right now. My head is not in that space and my heart certainly isn't there.
I'm surprised at how strongly I feel about this. I really do feel like either me or S should be home with Baby until she starts school. Going back to work is going to be one of the hardest things I've ever had to do. Unfortunately, our cost of living currently demands me to work full time and S to work her regular 6-7 months a year. I know we have it 'easier' than some....we have the luxury of S staying home for half the year. We also had the amazing luxury of me being on maternity leave for 18 months! Mamas across the border are often not nearly as fortunate as we are up here in Canada. However, childcare is very hard to find for the under 3 set. It's especially hard to find on a casual, sometimes we need full time, sometimes we don't basis. And a lot of the childcare options aren't really what we want for Baby anyway. I'm not against childcare in theory. It just doesn't feel right for us. It doesn't feel like we'd be giving Baby the best. And we want to always give our best. That's a tall order for sure but we're trying our hardest to live up to it. And this is a big one.
There are a couple of options we have looked at in achieving our goal of having one of us stay home. We could sell our place and move out to the suburbs where our mortgage would likely be significantly smaller and I could cover it myself. Or we could sell our place, move into S's family house that she inherited, pay out her brother, add a suite in the basement and hopefully I could carry the mortgage there as well. Unfortunately the suburbs isn't our first choice right now. And moving anywhere is at least a year to two away no matter what we decide to do. So, here we are. Making what feels like our first compromise in how we want to parent.
The silver lining to all this is that our wonderful, amazing, friend is going to help us out and watch Baby over the summer. This is why I'm able to not completely lose it during this transition. I'm a million times grateful and actually have no anxiety over the situation. Hopefully S will work all summer and can then take the rest of the year off and we won't have to deal with this again for awhile.