Some of you might remember that, a couple of months ago now, I was torn with the decision of whether or not to go back to work.  It was an honest to God struggle to decide what was best for our family – the money would help, the daycare was a question mark, and my options in my field were looking slim.  Then, it all changed.

I decided to take a leap of faith and return to an old company.  They were more than willing to help craft a situation where we both felt comfortable, and I’ve been working part-time for several weeks now.  It has been a huge adjustment on several levels, but I’ve learned something important in the short time I’ve been back: working is in me.

I’ve always worked, since my 14th birthday when I took the job at the local drugstore.  I love to meet new people, contribute to something, be part of a team.  While these things were happening at home on a smaller – although to me, more meaningful – scale, I missed working and didn’t even know it.  It took me a full year to give myself permission to work outside of the home.  I thought that I could make myself be a great stay-at-home mom, but the reality is that I wasn’t great.   I was happy, but also restless, sometimes irritable, and was essentially forcing my square peg self into a round hole.

I got my groove back the minute I put on a new suit and walked confidently into a client’s office.  I felt like myself again, and it equally exhilarated me and made me feel incredibly guilty for enjoying my time away from my precious Bean.  I still struggle with that, and probably will for the duration.  At least now, though, I know what it takes to make me feel whole again.

So, to conclude this update and give you all a break from my waxing confident, I wanted to let you know that as a mom, the most important thing you can give your baby is yourself – so you’d better be that woman!  Don’t hide her – be who you are meant to be!  Some of us are just made to stay at home with our babies, and others can bring more to the table when they are in a different environment once in awhile.  It’s okay – no, better – to admit where you stand than to walk around being yourself at 50%, 75%, or even 90%.  We put our babies first when we put ourselves first.  I just wish it hadn’t taken me so long to realize it.