I started my eight week Leave of absence seven weeks ago. I am actually going into work tomorrow for a big faculty retreat, but after that, Monday is "return to work day." We need the money, I'm WAY psyched to go, but I'm TOTALLY depressed about it, as well.
It's been DAMN HARD work being a SAHM (stay at home mom), but I would not have traded it for the world. I have been there to see all of Malka's milestones, and her giggles and grins AMAZE me and make my heart BURST with glee. EVEN with the pain of sleep deprivation, the anxiety of Malka doing something different (which of course in my mind means she's sick or something, but actually according to all of my mommy friends just means she's learning new things and growing - DOH! Who knew they could do that!) and the stress of keeping a house clean and a relationship in order, it's been great. If we could afford it, I would consider being home more.
I LOVE my job, and I'm excited to go back, but I will miss Malka.
We were away this past weekend, for a retreat with our synagogue,
and we left Malka with one of the babysitters provided by the retreat, and I cried - long and hard, and laughed at the same time from the embarassment - all of the moms there got it - it was the first time someone ELSE had put my baby to bed. I was a MESS. Thank G-d they all understood.
So I think returning to work will be a mix of both - I am excited to use other parts of my brain again, but I will hurt for Malka's company. This is why we are struggling with a bedtime right now. I want to follow Malka's lead to go to be earlier, but it will be really hard to leave work before 5:30 in order to make it home to have time with her before she goes to sleep.
I am envious of Narda who gets time off of work when there isn't work happening - she is a professor, and has no classes during the summer. My leave was peppered with calls from the temp a few times a week, and sometimes a few times a day.
So all of this to say, it's going to be hard. In so many ways.