My return to work date is fast approaching, and the other day I had the taboo thought you’re not supposed to have as a working mom – “I can’t wait to go back to work”. Now, gather your jaws from the floor, sanctimommies, and let’s chat.
I love my job. I mean, let’s be real, I don’t love every second of every day at my job, but I love what I do, and I’m very good at it. This isn’t me being arrogant, it’s simply a truth from years of hard work and stumbling over my two feet that I’ve learned how to be a good nurse for my doctors (and still learning), how to support and build my associates up (and still trying), and how to advocate for my patients and families (always improving). I work hard to do well – some parts of my job come very easy to me (spreadsheets and agendas are my jam), and some parts of it are a daily struggle (putting the resting bitch face on pause, for example). I find my work very rewarding both in regards to patients and families – being the support to a family with a chronically ill child is a blessing and a role I hold dear – and in the logistics of ensuring patients get seen safely and efficiently in my office.
I miss my work. I miss the adult interaction, and the thrill of solving a problem. I miss drawing up medication, and educating families on their new ones. I miss meeting with management, and doctors, and my own staff to find ways to increase patient satisfaction, associate engagement, and generally improve the area we work in. And I’m excited to go back to work.
There, I said it again. I’m looking forward to returning to work – I’m ready to go back to life as a working mom. I know, I know – I’m supposed to say I’m dreading it. I’m supposed to say, “I wish I could stay home with my girls all day, every day”. I’m supposed to try and find a way to make the budget work without my income. I’m supposed to cry on my first day back. And yet, I’m not dreading it. I don’t want to stay with my girls all day, every day. I don’t want to make the budget work without my income. But, letsbereal, I will probably cry on my first day back.
Because here’s the thing – looking forward to going back to work doesn’t mean I don’t love my girls. It doesn’t mean I don’t think about them all day, or that I don’t miss them throughout the day. It just means that, for me, there is more than being home. The challenges that come from being a working mother are aplenty, but the challenges that come from staying home are just as bountiful. The patience that stay-at-home-moms have is knock-me-out impressive, and they are saints in my eyes. There are Sunday evenings where I am so grateful to be getting a break by going to work the next day. There are rough weeks where I am legitimately worried that the weekend will be more exhausting than the entire work week was. Staying home is, by no means, the easy way out.
So, there, it’s out there. I’m looking forward to going back to work.
(But I’ll still probably cry on my first day back.)
Photo from my first day back to work, three years ago, after I had Emma.