Parental Leave and Going Back to Work


My partner is now on parental leave and it is AWESOME! Seriously. I couldn’t take parental leave because I spent the last three years in college and had Monster six months after I graduated. Now he is six months old, and I have been home every day for the last year.

I went from keeping an impossible schedule and being on the go to being stagnant and waiting to give birth. I felt better once Monster was born and I was able to spend time with him. I began writing and was busy with him, but I had a constant itch to get busy again!

Therefore, Josh gets paid to sit at home (which I was not) and I get to go get a job. Freelance journalism sucks because there is never a reliable amount of work and it is hard to become established in such a competitive field. So here I am getting a “for now” job.

The whole month of June it felt impossible for me to get a single thing done with my partner being home all the time. The dishes and laundry pile up, the gas tank runs dry as we gallivant and enjoy the summer weather. Now, I am doing a training period for a call centre that I am working for and although it is not what I want to do, nor are my talents used to the best of their abilities, I am enjoying it.

At the end of the day it is a paycheque. I am not ‘stuck’ at home and I get to actually talk to people who understand what I am saying! On the downside, I cannot ever think straight because I am always worried about what is going on at home and wondering what I am missing out on.

That is the hardest part. I am missing out. I always complained to my partner about his lack of initiative when it came to getting up and leaving, and now I can say I truly know why he never wanted to go.

I have a half hour lunch every day and during that time I race home just to see my family and spend ten minutes with them, and to breastfeed Monster. Josh is captain now. He is the one who gets to take over and watch our Monster grow. Some part of me feels like my spotlight was stolen.

My first day I was upset because I thought they didn’t even notice I was gone. I came home and the house was clean and quiet and it was like I never existed. I think that I was secretly hoping for him to fail and beg me to quit so that I could stay home with him and take care of the both of them, and I was sad when that request never came.

As I finish my first week I reflect back on my time alone with Monster and wished that I did more with it, but in my defense it is hard to do many things with a newborn. Still I feel as if I squandered that time and now the rest of the summer, and all its glorious weather was taken from me by my own, slightly selfish, need for independence.

Regardless, it is a transition that is for sure. Although I am quite comfortable with being out of the house and keeping busy, it is difficult to leave my family at home and gaze out the window of a stuffy office building wishing I were with them and loathing every second I have to endure without them.

Days pass quicker and time is untraceable as it slips through the day and I arrive home and start dinner. Then Monster’s bath. Then bed… Where is my time to play? To swim? To enjoy all that is the youth of my baby.

Maybe next week will be filled with more adventure. Maybe not. Monday is Monster’s six-month needles and a trip to Peterborough, which surely means adventure, right? RIGHT?!

How did you feel when you returned to work after having a baby?

Comment (1)

  • I did not want to go back to work. I wanted to spend every day with my baby, and it was hard. But once I got back and started to enjoy going to the bathroom without someone on my lap, and eating a meal at lunch that was actually still hot, things started to look up. But, I didn’t go back until he was 11 months old, and it was two weeks before Christmas, and then I had 2 full weeks off while work shut down over the holidays. It was an ideal transition really.

    The first few months at home with a newborn are such a blur, and an amazing bonding time. But it’s easy to feel you didn’t “do enough” because of the exhaustion and the baby’s developmental stage. It’s all about the cuddles and nursing and getting to know each other. I’m sure you’ll look back on it fondly as time goes on 🙂

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