My last day at work before I had my baby was perfect. It ended up with the discharge of a mommy and her baby after going through a tongue-tie release and rehabilitation process. I had a beautiful surprise from my co-workers, and I went home with my heart full of joy.
I was ready to dedicate all my time to prepare for my baby's arrival. A well-needed break (at least for the following two weeks.)
Don't get me wrong. I didn't unplug my phone. I kept receiving calls and doing virtual consultations for families in need. In fact, I don't think I'll ever disconnect from this job. My other baby.
Now I'm here, with my two months old baby. It seems like a long time since that last day at work.
I used to see moms that a few weeks after having their babies, were already planning to go back to work. Some of them with feelings of guilt but with no other options. Others, simply because they missed their jobs. It used to be hard for me to understand these last ones. What can be more important than your baby? Does she know how much this baby needs her?
I was judgmental, without saying a word; it was hard for me to empathize with these successful professionals trapped in a double life and two loves.
But life has its ways to teach us. I'm now that mom, that working mom who doesn't want to stop working; the one with two true loves who lives on the delicate line between enjoying every minute at work and feelings of guilt for not spending more time with her children; or just being exhausted when with them in the afternoons.
For a long time, I thought society was unfair to women; it expects too much from us. WE expect too much from ourselves. But that's why we're here, to bring balance to the world, to raise families while being part of the task force.
Our ancestors fought hard for our freedom of choice, but that brought us a big burden on our backs. My mother was always a working mom. I saw her struggling to raise my sister and me while fulfilling her professional dreams. That gave me a great lesson, the kind of lesson I want to teach to my children: The pursue of happiness is always worth it.
Happiness is a difficult concept. No one has a recipe for it, but you can recognize it when it's in front of you.
No one said it's easy. I'm still trying to figure out HOW and WHEN I'll be back to my old life. It's easy to see life before and after having a child (even when it's your third.) Sometimes I forget that I found my dream job BECAUSE I became a mom.
But, no, I won't be back to my old life. My work will see a new version of me. These past two months, I've been devoted to my children, but it also gave me time to think about what kind of professional I want to be. How I want to help my families from now on. Being in that place [again] gave me a new perspective, and I'm excited to apply all I have learned.
I am simply a working mom, and these are my thoughts, my struggles. If you got to this point reading me, you probably identify with my story. I feel you too. We're allowed to feel guilty; that's what makes us mothers. I hope our children will forgive a non-perfect lunchbox or a delayed pick-up. But what they won't forget is an unhappy mother.
They deserve the best version of themselves.