When my daughter was four months old, I began a new job. Because I’d been laid off shortly before delivering Annalyn and was scraping the bottom of the budget barrel, I was relieved and ready to start right away.
But first I had to find someone to take care of my tiny baby while I went to work.
Thankfully, we quickly found a babysitter who became an extended family member and made my transition to work seamless. But while I felt secure in my daughter’s care and was thankful to have a job, I still missed that sweet face during the day!
I know many of you feel called to be stay-at-home moms. I’ve had several friends share that when they worked, they felt guilty for spending so much time away from their family. And when you’re feeling that pull from home, but unable to leave your job – for financial reasons or otherwise – I can only imagine how frustrating it must be.
That wasn’t the case for me, though. I enjoy working and did not necessarily feel that staying home with my daughter was the right choice for our family. I’ll admit, though, that at that point it was an easy choice when faced with bills that well outweighed one salary.
Nevertheless, the tension I felt when I thought of my baby girl as I sat in my cubicle wasn’t borne of guilt or regret. It simply stemmed from missing her while we were apart.
To be honest, I’d forgotten about that time until my friend Sarah e-mailed me. She’d just returned to her job – that she loves – after her maternity leave, and she wanted to know how to deal with missing her baby. Since my days are currently filled with hour upon hour of in-my-face, on-my-lap, talking-without-ceasing quality time with my darling girl, it took me a moment to truly remember how it felt back then.
But I do remember. And even if you love your job, it’s HARD.
My way to cope was to fill my desk space with photos of Annalyn. Some framed, some taped, some on my computer screen – I surrounded myself with her little face. I also was fortunate enough to spend many lunch breaks with Annalyn and Mark, which really helped me. (And, I’ll be honest, thinking of how hard it was to listen to her cry during bouts of teething or time changes kind of took the edge off, too.)
It’s been a few months since my friend asked me about this, so she’s probably figured out her own coping mechanisms for making it through the day without baby snuggles. But I can’t imagine she’s the only person dealing with the issue of missing her kids while she’s at work. So will you help out and share your experience?
What helps you feel connected to your kids and avoid missing them (as much) while you’re at work?
This post will be linked to Works for Me Wednesday at We Are THAT Family.