My first day of work has come and gone. I went to work today and am now officially back at the office.
As far as transitions go, this was an easy one. I only worked a half day, then will work only 1.5 days next week, before going up to 2.5 days the following week. So it was more like a reintroduction to the office and a trial run.
There were parts I liked. I received a small promotion and will be earning a tiny bit more. It was great to be around adults, to be in such a clean office (I’d cleaned all the piles of paper before I left), and to be able to focus on a task. The free bagels on Friday made it easier, since I didn’t have to prepare breakfast, and it was nice to catch up with some people I hadn’t seen in a while.
But some things will take adjustments. Pumping is going to be the biggest issue. Though I must have put in at least five requests before and during my leave, there was no lock on my door. They promised they would install it next week. But for today, I had to pump with a “Please do not enter” sign on my door, and an inner terror that a colleague would see me with my nipples sliding through plastic shields and my body attached to my bright blue pump.
Also, sitting in one place for up to 8 or 9 hours is going to be tough. I found that challenging before my maternity leave and know it will be again. I left today at lunchtime, picked up Willow, fed her and put her down for a nap, prepared some food, ran an errand, and realized that people at work were still sitting at the office. It will be a couple of months before I have to work two or three days in a row, so hopefully alternating active with sedentary days will help early on.
Whether or not I can meet Willow’s milk needs remains to be seen. I pumped for about 50 minutes today and got only 3.75 ounces of milk. I was sure Willow would consume double that during my six-hour absence. But a great caregiver was able to keep her happy on only 3 ounces, so I did replace her consumption. I’ve commandeered the car from Mark so that I can drive to work. My plan is to come back and feed her at lunchtime on my full-days of work, and pump twice at the office in addition. This can only be temporary though, since Mark is anxious to get the car back. So we’ll have to see how it goes.
Willow must have known I was heading back, because last night was a horror. Lately she’s been waking up twice between 1 and 4 a.m., then gets up for the day at 5 a.m. Last night she seemed to be up one time after another, starting at 11 p.m. At 5:45 I had to hand her to Mark and beg for an hour of sleep. I got an hour and a half, which was great, but that gave me a later start than I’d planned on.
I’d had trouble falling asleep the past few nights and I think part of it was anxiety about going back. Now that the first day is over and done with, hopefully I will be able to relax a bit more. Nevertheless, even working only half-time, between working on a personal project, trying to get River’s baby book done, meeting my daily exercise goal, and doing other normal household management tasks, I feel like I am consistently short on time. I suppose this is part of the adjustment to having two kids. I have to identify the places where I can cut back (so far it’s cooking) and prioritize what I most want to accomplish.