"I wouldn’t say I’ve been missing it, Bob."

Now that peanut’s a year old, it’s also been a year away from work from mama. Granted, this time last year I was on maternity leave and struggling with the decision about whether to go back or not. I suppose I always knew I didn’t want to go back since I never really seriously researched day care options. My excuse at the time was that I worked from home anyway and would have some buffer time to figure it all out. The truth – I was completely daunted by it and too enamored with the little guy to even contemplate the reality of leaving him for more than five minutes.

Now that I’ve been away a year, it seems I finally have some clarity of mind to even think about whether I want to work or not (don’t even get me started on how the U.S.’s policy of 12 weeks UNPAID leave after the birth of a child is ridiculous on so many levels as it pertains to women in the workforce). And the fact of the matter is, I don’t really miss it that much.

I do miss my colleagues. I miss my clients. I see stories on the news and wonder if it’s one I would have worked on if I was still at work. I miss the “free” lunches/drinks/dinners. I miss the challenge of finding the right answer to a problem and then watching it implemented to successful results. But the day-to-day grind, the office politics, the dreaded sales goals, the struggle to get ideas heard, the presumption that I needed to be available all day/night every day/night (sorry, I just don’t need to feel that important)…can’t say that I miss it.

All of which makes me stop to think was I even doing the right job for me after all? PR is a vast field and I think if I could find the right firm with the right clients and the right schedule for me, I’d be all over it. At the same time, I think maybe it’s time for a career shift, time to explore different options and outlets for my skills. What a wonderful gift peanut has given me — not just the honor to be in his presence everyday, but the opportunity to explore the world with him and rediscover parts of myself that I had put aside because I was so busy being a grown-up.

And what a wonderful gift the hubby has given me. Not only by financially supporting our current household arrangement so I can be home with the peanut, but by also encouraging me to find my passions and providing the emotional support I needed (um, still need!) while adjusting to several new roles (and honey, I know this hasn’t been easy to do!).

So a year later, I still don’t know where I’m headed, but I finally feel mentally and intellectually prepared to actually think about where I might want to go and how to get there. I feel confident that I will return to some sort of work at some point. A year ago, that type of vague comment would have sent me over the edge (as my sister recently pointed out, pre-peanut, I was a lot more high-strung. I’m glad to see he’s mellowed me A LOT!) A year later, simply knowing that “someday” is out there is enough.

In the meantime, I’ve got a pretty fantastic day job to keep me going!

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One thought on “"I wouldn’t say I’ve been missing it, Bob."

  1. Maternity leave might be one of the rare times in our adult lives when we can get away from the daily grind like we could when we were kids. I too began to rethink my professional choices when I went on leave. But I wasn’t able to figure out what else I could do that would bring in the same amount of money and require less work. I haven’t given up my search.I really envy all the movie stars who have had babies recently. I’m sure they can spend as much time with their babies as they want, pay for help and work out a lot to get all the pregnancy weight off. And they don’t have to work if they don’t want to. I’m definitely envious.

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