So, I'm not quite a working mom yet. Let's say I've been a part-time working mom, in this sense: though I've been on leave, I have the kind of job that never leaves. For those of you just tuning in, I teach 7th grade. So I've been in touch with my leave replacement, sometimes daily, about various issues with the students. I had to write the reports. Even in my time at home, with Jo, there is this other thing that lives in my head. It didn't affect my time with him negatively, by any means (well except I wish I hadn't had to do the damn reports!), it's just there.
I did go back to school once before, for a meeting in mid-January. I was stressed about having to go, about leaving Jo and Co. I was really a mess about for a few days beforehand. And then I went...and it was fun. I enjoyed being back with my colleagues, talking about our students, being in that role again. I probably stayed a little longer than I needed to, although of course my plan had been to dash in and out as quickly as I could. I called Co while I was walking to the train, to let her know I was coming home, and heard Jo in the background, and totally fell apart. I had missed hours with him, I was sure I had missed entire crucial stages of development.
This pattern has been pretty consistent; I've gone to my Hebrew tutoring job several times since he was born (that's around the corner and for an hour at a time) and I've been grim about leaving him, enjoyed the work, and then panicked that I was away.
My first day back at work is February 25, and then I'll be a full-time working mom. (Co will be home with Jo full time 'til April.) I'm scared, but I do think I can do this. It's a transition, and I hate transitions, until I establish a routine. I know there are so many moms who have gone before me, many of whom (I hope) are reading this, and I know that if they do an amazing job, I can survive.
I seem to have two compartments in my head and heart, my job/career and Jo, and I love both. I love Jo more, I don't hesitate to say that. But I enjoy my teaching too. Right now it feels very schizoid, that when I am engaged in one it is hard/painful to think about the other. It helped to bring Jo to school, that I've now changed his diaper in my classroom and introduced him to the class hamster, that everyone there has met him in the flesh.
This working mom is definitely a work in progress.