Know what tomorrow is? Tomorrow is officially my first day back to work. Except that I'm not working. I'm on vacation. I had enough vacation time available that I was able to extend my maternity leave through the Christmas break and start full time on January 3rd. Awesome, right? Except that I'm a crazy person, so I'm going to work part-time in December. So really, my first day back to work is Tuesday this week, then I'm off for the rest of the week. Why am I doing this? Well, to help my co-workers through what is traditionally a crazy month at work for one thing. Also to help transition Vivian and I into the world of waking up early and being at work/daycare all day long. And the most important reason? I'm losing my freaking mind.
Don't get me wrong - I'm very grateful that I've been able to have this year at home with Vivian. Not everyone is able to take the full year, so I'm definitely appreciative of what I have. That being said, if this year has taught me nothing else, it's that I'm just not cut out to be a stay-at-home parent. I'm sorry, but I need to spend time away from cutting up grapes, the constant chaos of my house, and the damn Toopy and Binoo theme song that is constantly stuck in my head. I need to be around grown-ups. I need to use my brain.
I love Vivian, and it is amazing being with her all day, but I think I need to miss her. I need to look forward to seeing her at the end of the day, and to get excited about spending time with her doing special things on the weekends. I need to be my own person away from her.
This year has been much harder on me than I thought it would be. I wasn't completely prepared for how difficult it would be mentally. Dealing with the isolation, the depression, the sobbing into the sink while I do the dishes - it's been hard. For a million reasons, it's been hard. And I know that it's going to be hard going back to work. I know that I'll deal with that fantastic Mommy guilt where you can't wait to be away from your baby and then the second you are away from them you feel like the worst person in the world for wanting to be away from them, and you feel like you should miss them more. It's a terrible thing.
So while I feel like I should be sad, and wishing my maternity leave would stretch on forever, I just can't. I can't help it, I'm excited to go back to work. I'm excited to wear grown-up clothes, to wear makeup and to do a job that I enjoy and that I'm good at. I'm excited to get a little bit of my old life back. I'm excited to feel like my old self, even if it's only a little teeny tiny bit of that old self.
This doesn't make me a terrible person. This will make me a better Mom.