New Moms: To work or not to work?

Me with Katherine

To be or not to be…a working mom? Every professional woman entering the novelty of motherhood is faced with the decision whether or not they will return to work after their bundle of joy is born. For some women the decision is a profound crossroads, and others do not have a choice at all. They must work.

When I was pregnant with my daughter I was not sure how I was going to feel about returning to work after my maternity leave was over. Some friends told me I would be running out the door with my briefcase in hand, eager to get to work and have adult conversation. Other friends insisted I would never want to return to work after my daughter arrived.

I chose to return to work three and half months after Katherine was born. The first day back to work was emotional and awful. I cried behind my office door probably five times that day. I felt guilty. I missed her smell (not the diaper smell). I missed her soft skin and the sound of her sweet baby noises. My dear husband visited my daughter on his lunch break during her first day at daycare and he called me so I could hear her voice. By the end of the first week I wasn’t at all sure that I had made the right decision to be a working mommy. But by the second week it got easier. Slowly but surely we settled into the groove of a new morning and evening routine. Don’t get me wrong…I was tired. Since I was nursing I was still getting up with her in the middle of the night and I was exhausted at work, as all new parents are with an infant. Eighteen months later I am glad to be a working mom and thankful to work for a company that is supportive of women with children. I even earned a promotion while I was pregnant!

Life is balancing act and as a military spouse life is a balancing act while juggling at the same time. It is about to get a whole lot harder as I prepare for the birth of my second child in the next two months.  I will soon be a working mommy of two small children under the age of two. Because of my husband’s unpredictable work schedule I am often playing the role of a single mom. But I know this; I am just where I need to be…a working mom.

The Department of Defense recognizes April as the “Month of the Military Child,” celebrating the sacrifice, service and unique contributions that military children make on behalf of their country. So join me in honoring all military children who rise to the challenge of military life everyday.  To military children and to the moms who work inside and outside the home – we salute you!