It dawned on me last night that today is December 3rd. I go back to work on January 3rd. That gives me just one more precious month at home with Ella.
I'm really resenting going back to work, but I know that it needs to be done. My husband and I can't live on his salary alone--at least not at this point in our lives. I work in education, so I make less than half of what he does, but at least I contribute with the better-than-decent insurance. My husband is finishing his masters degree this spring, at which point he feels that he can either ask for a raise and/or look for another job (there is another facility at which he could potentially work that is just six miles up the road from us, rather than his current job which is sixty miles south of us). We've run (well really I should say "he ran") the numbers, and it makes sense--financially--for me to return to work and Ella to go to day care. (If and when we have a second child, then it would probably makes more sense for me to stay at home, rather than have two children in day care).
I do love my job and I know that I am effective at helping my students, but I love my job of being a mom so much more. It's just not the time for me to be a "stay at home mom"...at least not yet. My husband asked if there were any jobs I could do from home. Sadly, I don't think I would be very effective. When I do something, I want to do it right, so for me, "working from home" and "being a stay at home mom" are two independently exclusive roles. I know that there are plenty of amazing women out there who do it, but I think I would suck at it. I know myself--I would want to play with Ella all day, and would totally slack at the "work" I was supposed to be doing. So as much as it breaks my heart, I know that the best thing to do is to put her in a day care facility where people will be able to focus their love and attention to her all day long.
Until then, I'm going to simply enjoy this last month I have at home with her...and what an exciting month of holidays and celebrations it will be!
Today's blessing is recognizing that even though it feels too short for me, it is such a blessing to have this time at home with Ella on maternity leave. I've been working at the University for seven years now, so I had plenty of vacation and sick time saved up. Even if I had simply taken FMLA unpaid, it would have been worth it.