I was so excited to go back to work. After being cooped up in the house for 7 weeks with a dog and a baby, I was craving some adult interaction and social stimulation. I couldn’t wait to not have a baby hanging off my boob every twenty minutes. I couldn’t wait to feel like the person I was before Beau was born. I only planned on going back for a few days at a time, so the thought of just having a brief break from my new life was comforting.
Today, I went back to work. Beau granted me a five hour stretch of sleep last night that made me feel I could conquer the world. I feel like I’m 21 again; going into work hung over on few hours of sleep. Because being a new mom feels a lot like a hang over. You’re tired and have a headache, but it was worth it.
I bought a special backpack specifically for my breast pump in an attempt to make pumping at work go as smoothly as possible. It almost felt like the first day of school as I finished packing my bag with mother’s milk tea and breast pads while a knot thrived in my stomach. Maybe going back to work wasn’t going to be as seamless as I had anticipated.
Of course as I went to pick Beau up to say goodbye, he looked at me with his bright brown eyes and shot me one of his award winning smiles. Why couldn’t he just cry or fuss to make this easier for me? Why did he have to be so damn cute just moments before I was leaving to be a free woman? After a few tears later, mine, not his, I was out the door and on my way to work.
After I got to work, my husband texted me and told me that I forgot all the parts to my breast pump on the drying rack next to the sink. Part of me thinks I subconsciously forgot them, just so he and the baby would have to come visit me at work. I find it funny that my breast pump backpack was filled to the top with shit I didn’t need while I forgot the important stuff at home. Mom brain.
Pumping at work was weird. I did it in the basement. It’s the only place with an outlet that’s not in the kitchen. Ironically enough, I should be able to pump my milk in a kitchen as it is a food, but I just don’t think that’s good for business. So I sat downstairs in a dank basement anxiously listening to the footsteps of customers and the clatter of dishes while trying to efficiently empty my boobs. I hate how I had to take time away from work to pump, but I figured that there’s times I’ve spent more time pooping than pumping so what’s the big deal.
I was starting to feel like I was getting into a groove. My first at work pump session was a success, my muscle memory of work tasks was kicking in and as far as daddy was letting me know, Beau was doing great. I was at a table talking to a customer for a few minutes and all of a sudden I could feel something dripping down my stomach. Oh no, I thought to myself, it’s not, it can’t be. I stood there idly half listening to the customer, but mostly trying to figure out if my boob was actually leaking and trying to stealthily look down to see if that was apparent through my shirt. The bad news is that I was leaking milk the good news is that I had a black sweatshirt on. This is the nightmare all breast feeding moms warn you about. This is the one thing you try to avoid. Needless to say, I need to stay away from the tables with crying babies.
The day carried on and many people inquired about the baby and myself. But there were some customers who were clearly not regulars that didn’t even seem to know that I just had a baby. Which is an amazing indirect compliment to me, because I was seriously bracing myself for the first person to ask when the baby was due after he was in fact born. Luckily, for me and for them, I dropped all of my pregnancy weight quickly. I couldn’t help but to feel unfairly offended by the people who did not ask how my baby was. How did they not know that I just had a son? Did they miss the parade in town in his honor? I mean it was a big event. At least in my eyes it was. I thought I was eager to get my identity back and be who I was pre pregnancy, but I soon realized that I’ve been exactly who I want to be; Beau’s mom. That’s who I want to be known as now. Going back to work and visiting the old me, made me realize that I’ve never been a better version of myself. I’m not afraid to admit that being a mom is the best part of me.
I only plan on working part time right now, but I would say day one was a success. I mean I got the most embarrassing scenario out of the way already, so it can only get better from here. That and I learned that absence does make the heart grow fonder. I couldn’t wait to go home and be my favorite thing in this world; Beau’s mom.