I am now a single working mom. I went back to work last Monday, after a 60-calendar-day maternity leave.
Last Monday was the first time that Zaine was out of my sight for longer than an hour. And it was so hard to leave the house, I tell ya. My Mom almost had to literally kick me out of the house just so I leave. You see, I have been hands-on with my son for the duration of my leave. He has not left my sight for more than an hour. And leaving him for a few hours so I could go back to work felt like I was abandoning him. Yeah, I know, I know. That was irrational. But I guess when you ask other Moms out there, they would say the same thing. Talk about separation anxiety.
My Mom takes care of my little Zaine when I go to work. I know I am leaving my son in the very capable hands of someone that I trust without question. So that makes the anxiety level go down a bit. But that didn’t stop me from checking up on my son every fifteen minutes or so.
Since I started working again, every time I come home, my son would still be awake or he just woke up. It seems that he was waiting for me, especially that first day when, for some reason, he was very well behaved around me until he comfortably slept in my arms. My son is a very active kid. He constantly kicks and moves his arms around when he’s awake and when he’s asleep, one position would not suit him for the duration. He would turn this way and that to find a comfortable position again. So, that first day that I came home from work, being well behaved during nappy change was quite unusual. 😛 But when I carried him, he cuddled in my arms and didn’t want to be put down.
The feeling that I’ve felt at that moment cannot be explained. It was heart-warming, it was joyous, it was calming. It felt like the world became right again and everything was in their correct places. And every time I come home from work, my son will be awake, waiting for me. And no matter how tired I was, I would stay up until the early morn to play with him until he fell asleep in my arms again. Babies grow up so fast that I would sacrifice sleep just to make sure that I get to spend a few hours a day with my son, just playing or cuddling or whatever my son wanted at a given time.
So, what does it feel like to be a working mom, you ask me. After a week of being one, I can only say one thing: it is tiring. Being a single working mom is exhausting to say the least (and good thing I have my Mom with me or else I might have already gone beyond crazy). Getting up to prepare for work, play for a few minutes with the baby, go to work, go home after work, play/feed/change nappies all rolled into one, put baby to sleep, go to sleep. And going to sleep would mean it is already light outside, you need to get a shut-eye moment. Haha!
Like I said, it is tiring, given the routine that needs to be established. But I guess one would learn how to adjust to that routine. Although it still doesn’t negate the fact that being a working mom is hard and tiring. And yet one of the most fulfilling role that we have at any given time.