Pack my bags – I’m moving

To the state of Constant Conflict. Where a new mother, hell any mother, is pulled between wanting to be the same energetic and focused person she was before she birthed a child and the distracted and tired person she became after she had to leave that child to go earn a paycheck.

Again, I KNOW I am not the first mom to go through this and I KNOW everyone says it will get easier. My daughter is in good hands. That is not the point. The point is before I held my little girl and spent just about every moment of her first six weeks of life with her, I always rolled my eyes at the person who left meetings early to get home to their kids, or the person who never went for drinks after, or the ones who complained under their breath about having to travel out of town for work. I was NEVER going to be like that. I wouldn’t let having a child at home keep me from doing what I needed to do to advance at work. (Side note, my ambition is more about wanting to keep a roof over our heads and Nine West shoes on my feet than wanting to rule the world).

Well, I am now that person. Yesterday was my first ‘real’ day back from maternity leave and after a long day of presentation rehearsals and discussions that ended at 7:45, the rest of the marketing department, including my boss and our agency contacts, were headed to dinner. It was my weary voice that asked if dinner was required and skipped out to come home to kiss my kid before putting her to bed. I know I should have taken put in the extra time, especially after being gone for six weeks. I should have been at the table when ideas for today’s presentation were being discussed.  But every single fiber of my being told me to go home. So I did.

And I cried the whole way, because I feel guilty for leaving and guilty for feeling conflicted.  But conflicted is what I feel.  As much as I know leaving was the right decision, I couldn’t help but wonder if my boss is thinking that I’ve changed or if other members of the department feel like I’m not pulling my weight or if I was missing something.  If the next time there’s a new position in our department, will I be judged as not being serious about or dedicated to my job and will it go to someone with less responsibility at home.  And then I think that worrying about those things when my baby is six weeks old makes me a terrible mother who doesn’t understand her priorities. 

See….constant state of conflict. 

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