When Ruby was three months old, I started to think about going back to work. I’m a freelance writer and my work has always been a big part of my identity. I felt isolated with a baby, so getting back to work, speaking to clients and co-working with other writers was really important to me. I felt I was going to back to what makes me who I am.
Lots of my friends went back to work at three months, but we don’t have family nearby, so we waited until Ruby was six months. I started working with old clients at first, writing during Ruby’s nap times. Then, when she was eight months old, we had an opportunity to put Ruby into a daycare we liked and we took that chance. It’s a great place, an in-home daycare which is the right distance from our house. So the stars aligned. That was about a month ago.
I felt I was going back to what makes me who I am.
Suddenly I have full-time hours again. It’s been a huge change to how much time I spend with Ruby, but it feels wonderful to be back writing. I feel a little guilty sometimes, but Ruby has transitioned really well. It took maybe a week to settle in and the sleep schedules were misaligned for a while. She was a little cranky and tired too. She’s been eating solids for a few months now and just nurses in the morning and evening. The daycare provides great snacks and a lunch for her, and she loves it.
To finally have a bit of order back in my day has been lovely. I have ‘work time’ I can count on, instead of trying to maximize nap times. I can take Ruby in the morning and pick her up early enough to have lots of time with her in the evening. It makes us really appreciate the time we have together. Like the mornings when we’re a little unit of three. Those moments are really wonderful.
What would I say to other moms going back to work after giving birth? It’s hard and you’ll probably feel guilty. But when you can be together, playing on the floor, it’s actually pretty easy not to think about work. You sort of just tuck it to the side in order to be with your kid and that’s really wonderful.