People ask me so often about going back to work. It is probably the most common question I get about having a baby along with "How is he sleeping?" (a post for another day...)
I feel like deciding to stay home is a decision I have been deferring for a while. When I got pregnant I said I would decide when the baby arrived. Now that the baby has arrived... I am not ready to go back but I am also not ready to call off returning to work. Fortunately, my company allows a 1 year unpaid leave of absence after maternity leave which I have decided to take advantage of. I feel grateful my company offers this... it almost feels like I am given more time to procrastinate the decision.
I really enjoy my work. I love solving complex problems. I love crunching numbers on an analysis and building complex spreadsheets. I love managing and working on a team. I most especially love building client relationships. I have done well at my job and work for a great company.
But then... there is this sweet little man at home with me. Who would care for him if I did not? What scenario is there that I would not miss him desperately and not worry for him all day? How could I balance it all?
We have friends with babies 1 month, 3 months and 6 months older than Bennett. I am in constant wonder how much babies develop in their first year. I feel like Bennett changes day to day and week to week now. For us as adults, one year passes and not much may change. But for a baby... they are completely different people in a year with completely different abilities and needs.
So for now, I am excited to stay home and watch as Bennett grows this first year. I will continue to re-assess and if I feel time has come to go back to work, I will go. Sometimes I feel like decisions like this are one and done... but life is seldom that black and white. I often forget we can try something out, change our minds, tweak our approach.... the beauty of life is how it changes and evolves and how we are given the opportunity to adapt to it.
I feel grateful to have the opportunity to stay home. I know this is an enormous blessing and that we are fortunate to be in the position where I can take off work for a while.