I’ve been back to work for a few weeks now. It feels like I never left. I jumped right back into the busy rhythm of work life. I spend 9-5 typing away at a computer, sitting in meetings, and breaking for lunch with colleagues– same things I did before my maternity leave. Only one thing has dramatically changed: me.
My sense of self is completely different these days. While everything at work has remained constant, everything within me has shifted. I’m a mom now. This new title has changed the very core of my being. It’s hard to describe, but I feel like the world has kept moving and I’ve lifted off onto another planet.
Every fiber of my body exists to support another life.
My arms are there to swaddle him, rock him to sleep.
My hands are there for him to suck on, keep him pacified.
My legs are there to bounce him, hold him steady.
My face is there to comfort him, kiss his sweet cheeks.
My hair is there for him to pull, keep him entertained.
My body is there to nourish him, make him grow strong.
Watching a 9-pound newborn grow into a 20-pound infant solely on the consumption of your milk is a humbling experience. I work harder to pump 16-ounces of pure gold every day I’m at the office than I ever have in my life. Pumping is a pain. Any mother would much rather breastfeed her child. But when you aren’t with your child (or other complications arise), pumping is the next best thing. I feel a sense of pride when I reach my daily goal, knowing that every ounce of chunk on my child comes from me.
When I was pregnant, I always thought about how I was lucky to bring my baby to work with me every day. I miss not having him in my lap. I miss not being able to rest my hand on my belly and feel him move around. I miss not being able to sing to him on the ride home. I miss a lot of things. But I don’t miss my old life. My pre-baby life. This one is just right for me.