|sometimes life is all rainbows and rottweilers|
On the anonymous parenting question list at work, every couple of months someone posts about "lacking inspiration", "losing their mojo", "complete disinterest" about their work after returning from parental leave.
It's not surprising, is it? Especially for first time parents, whose lives have been completely upended by the arrival of a delightful (mostly, right?) baby. Not to mention the lack of sleep, the fact that your brain is probably still mushy, and the complete hijacking of your brain to worry about how your child is eating/sleeping/developing etc.
I don't have a solution to this problem besides advising people to go easy on making Big Decisions in that first 6 months back. For a long time, I was really unsure about returning to work, even part-time. I loved my schedule and liked my work, but still would have been perfectly happy to stay at home with T 5 days a week.
But now, 2 years after returning from that first maternity leave, I am really happy to be working. I'm not sure when that happened.
Part of it was the good fortune to join a team that is full of ridiculously nice people who believe there is more to life than work, while still doing an awesome job at work. That combination is very hard to find - I've found tons of teams full of workaholics with no outside lives and have also heard of (but thankfully not worked on) teams with people who definitely value their work life balance but are completely useless and unmotivated at work.
As much as I grouse about corporate life, I want to be good at my job. I want to work with people who are happy to be there, and are doing the right thing for our customers. Today was one of those days I was all "hell, yeah" about work.
On the face of it, it was an ordinary day and everyone was a little regretful about coming back to work after a glorious long weekend. But today I picked up a new responsibility that is in line with stuff I've done before, and the sort of project managementy goodness I like doing. I was busy, and happy about it. I'm thinking about increasing my hours just a tiny bit.
And I realized I hadn't felt that good more than a handful of days since returning from mat leave 2 years ago. Of course, this is all moot when I go out on leave later this year, but I'm happy to wallow in the goodness right now.
The other part of it is that T is getting a lot out of preschool. Even if I was a SAHM, I'd have enrolled her in co-op or some other part-time preschool by now. She, like me, loves structure and order. She tells us enthusiastic (but often incomprehensible) stories of what happened at preschool and is always happy to go there. So happy that she often has to be reminded to say goodbye to us when we drop her off.
Don't get me wrong. If the circumstances allowed, I'm sure I could still be perfectly happy as a SAHM. Especially with all those crafty projects I have on deck and the tons of projects I want to do with T.
But I am also loving work right now. Take that, Mommy Wars.