Tomorrow, I begin my new role as working mother. I wish I could say I’m excited for this change but to be honest I’m petrified, reluctant and feeling a sense of loss.

It took us some time to get pregnant. I wanted to have a baby more than anything and when we realized it wasn’t going to happen without a bit of intervention, it only made me want to hold that baby in my arms even more. Now, on the eve of returning to work, I find myself coming to terms with the fact that I’m still not ready to let go.

While out on maternity leave, I made the decision not to return to my job of three years. I knew I wanted to be able to spend as much time with my daughter as possible and figured the whole making money thing would work itself out. The reality is, we need my income, and being a full time “stay-at-home mom” just wasn’t in the cards. So, I was fortunate enough to find what I thought sounded like a dream come true – being a cheerleading coach, something I had always wanted to do. I thought, what better time than now?

And yet, here I sit, just minutes before the day I return to the workplace, something we as modern women are taught we’re supposed to want, and all I can think about is going into the next room and scooping my sweet sleeping baby into my arms for a late-night snuggle fest. And not letting go out of fear of the changes tomorrow brings.

I don’t want to miss a single smile. I want to be there for each and every coo and giggle. I even want the gut-wrenching cries, the dirty diapers, the fought naps. I want only to be her mom. Forget the 9 to 5 – I want the 24/7 of stay-at-home motherhood.

I realize I won’t stop being a mom when I’m at work. I know that working won’t make me a bad mom. Yes, I also recognize that moms who work outside the home also work around the clock because of the care they provide for their children. Yet I can’t help but struggle with my decisions and feel trapped that working is a necessity.

My hope for tomorrow is that the new job fulfills something for me that being at home won’t. I hope that my new job teaches me something about being a better mother. Somehow, I hope I’m able to find my way into the right fit for me and my family.

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