This marks one year since the end of my maternity leave. I can’t believe that Zhining has been in our lives that long or that Robbie is that old or that I’ve been a working mom all this time. I remember the night before I went back to work; I was a crazy woman. If you don’t believe me, just ask Justin.
Before I went up to bed, I yelled at Justin, telling him what a horrible man he was for forcing me to go back to work. Even while I was doing this, I knew it was terrible of me. Justin would have loved for me to be able to stay at home, but going back to work was what was best for our family.
And then I stormed upstairs to Robbie’s room. I picked him up from his crib – he was still so small then – and took him into bed with me. I cuddled with him, cried over him, and told him how sorry I was to leave him. I panicked a little bit, wondering if this crazy Chinese lady was going to be nice to my son. Sure, she seemed decent enough. But what if he cried and she just left him in his crib in a wet diaper without a bottle for hours on end? And what if, God forbid, he didn’t understand her because she was only speaking Chinese? Like I said, I was panicked.
Justin came up to bed and found me cuddling with the baby and asked me what I was doing. He calmly took Robbie from me and put him back to bed and then let me cry my way to sleep, which was exactly what I needed.
And here we are, one year later. I’ve survived working full time, finishing grad school, and being a wife and mother. In tact. My child is well-adjusted and social. My marriage is strong. My career is exactly where I want it to be. I’ve graduated. Sure, my house is messier than I would like it to be, but it’s cleaner than it would be if I was home with Robbie all day. My time with Robbie is more precious, and so I enjoy him more. As angry as I was with Justin for “making” me go back to work, I couldn’t imagine my life without all these things to juggle. So, here’s to another fabulous year as a working mom!