One of my colleagues invited me out to lunch today. It seems like about half of my coworkers took the day off, and the other half all decided to go out to lunch together. It was very sweet that they reached out to me and asked me to join them, but I told them that I was going to see Ella.
This has been a crazy busy week (actually, it's been a crazy busy month!), and I didn't get to spend my normal lunch hour with Ella on Wednesday or Thursday. If I had missed just one day or the other, perhaps I would have taken my colleague up on the offer, but I wanted to see my baby!
The colleague graciously understood, and promised to invite me along next time. When I was lamenting to my closest friend in the office that I feel like a bad colleague for not hanging out with others in the office, she sweetly pointed out that I'm being a good mother (and assured me that I'm not a bad colleague). But I can't help but feel a bit bad. We hired three new staff members right before I went on maternity leave, and I haven't really had a chance to truly bond with them. And I admit that I kind of miss the break-room conversations that I enjoyed on a nearly-daily basis. But I want to be a good mother, first and foremost, and for me, that means spending my lunch break with Ella whenever I can.
Today's blessing was the chance to leave work early (though I'm sure it also contributes to my feelings of being a bad colleague). I worked almost a full day on Saturday, came in early all week, left late two nights, and worked through most of my lunch break on two days, so I think that I definitely earned the right to leave two hours early today. It feels so nice to come home and not feel rushed for once. Once my husband gets home, we're heading back into town to meet up with some friends for happy hour (yes, I will be "that person" with a baby in a bar...though they tell me it's a "family-friendly establishment"...and my very-dear friend will also be there with her baby boy). No drinks for me, but it will still be a blessing to visit with our friends.