For years and years, Nick and I have talked about what our family would look like. It always had me at home with the kid(s). Always. We both were convinced that was our ideal. But, things happen, and I went back to work.
Here is the biggest shock of my life. I love being a working Mom. Love it. But, I also know that there are many reasons why I can say that. First of all, I love where I work. I haven't been able to say that in a long time. The school that I work for is amazing and I have great coworkers. I look forward to going to work everyday. I feel appreciated and enjoy what I am doing while I am there. Plus, working with students is very rewarding (even though I am not in a teaching position). I am so very thankful that I sent them my resume on a whim; I feel like it was meant to be.
Secondly, I was able to stay home with Penelope for her first 15 months. She was like a 5th limb to me! I know that if I had to go back to work when she was still tiny, it would not have been nearly as easy. I feel like we really got to know each other in that first year and she truly trusts that I will do whatever is best for her. I think this really helped when our routine changed. And now, she loves spending her weekends with Momma!
Third, and probably most importantly, the childcare that we have is the best we could hope for. Nick's Mom watches her twice a week, and one of my oldest friends watches her in her home daycare for the other 3 days. Penny loves both of the people watching her, and they love her. She gets to play with her cousin a few days and week, and with several of her friends, too. While she still cries a little when I leave, and the first few weeks were really hard, I love leaving and seeing her cuddling with my Mother-in-law or friend. She knows that she is safe with them, and we didn't even have to think twice about sending her there. That kind of stress was totally taken away from me.
Overall, the last few months have been an interesting adjustment. We don't spend too much time together on weekdays, but I try to make up for it on weekends. We are still figuring out how to time things in the morning before work and at night. Mornings feel pretty hectic with showering, lunch making, and making sure I have my stuff and Penny has everything she needs for the day. I look like a bag lady when we walk out the door, and many times I am eating breakfast and doing my makeup in the parking lot at work. But, we will get the hang of it soon. And in the meantime, we are all happier.