putting on my big girl pants...

Literally and figuratively.

Other than a few special dress up occasions in the past five and a half months, I've been living in yoga pants, jeans and shorts. My nursing tops, tanks and tees all now worn soft and with various drool patches. It's been a comfy existence and I've loved every minute. I've been home raising our boy full-time on extended maternity leave that, by the time it comes to a sad end, will have lasted over 6 months. Now, I'm on the verge of donning dress pants, proper shoes and professional tops once again.

Six months is far more than most working mamas get in the United States. It's a crime that the wealthiest nation in the world treats parenthood with such disregard. Did you know that Canada gives parents a full year at home to raise their children? Yet on our side of the border, the standard is six weeks for a vaginal birth and eight weeks for a c-section. FMLA is a generous *eye roll* twelve weeks, if certain conditions are met. And in each of the six, eight and twelve week scenarios, being paid is not a given.

The one {very important} perk of having worked in social services for more than 12 years was this fringe...cashing in all of my accrued sick and vacation time to, essentially, be paid to raise G for his first half year.

But, as the saying goes, all good things must come to an end.

My heart is already heavy thinking to July 6th and my return to career outside of our house, without G in my arms. But, mostly, I really like what I do. My company worked out a 21 hour position in order to keep me with them. They get me three days a week on a flexible schedule, according to the needs of the program. The job I'm moving to is with a very exciting, energized group of people who are passionate about what they do, growing the program and making a difference. It's a positive move with a much, much longer commute. That will allow me to be home four days a week doing what I really, truly love.


I'm hoping after the initial shock of my return to the office wears off and I get somewhat used to the commute in and out of the city that I'll feel this trade-off is the best of both worlds. The majority of the week home with sweet G and a few days doing something that matters in the grown-up world.

Time will tell.


nfaband said...

Aww Jen, it is sad to leave our little ones and head back out to work, I know that feeling of not wanting to miss a single second of their growing up. The good part is it gives the mom a bit of "me time" with adults, and it gives the little one some time to adjust to other scenarios in life, other people and you can bet that it'll make every single minute you do get with "G" even more special. My baby turns 21 this week, and I was a mom that went back to work when she turned 6 weeks, yes I may have missed a few things, but man I've so enjoyed being her mom for every other minute I've gotten to be with her. Good luck on that transition, you'll all do fine.

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