I’ve been back to work for two days now. That’s two days of dropping Ada off with her grandma and dropping Elizabeth off at daycare – the first time she’s ever gone to a “regular” daycare. That’s two days of pumping four times a day and all the washing and drying that goes along with that. It’s two days of harried evening preparations; packing lunches, making sure the diaper bag is ready to go, getting the crock pot ready so I just have to turn it on before I walk out of the house for the day.
It’s also two days of more adult interaction than I’ve had in months. It’s two days of figuring out a problem more complex than “How do I take this shirt off without getting poop in Elizabeth’s hair?”. It’s two days with a concrete reason to put on something besides sweat pants. It’s two days of a guaranteed warm cup of coffee.
In other words, there are a lot of mixed feelings here.
I feel tired, the preparation is a lot to handle!
I feel happy, it’s nice to be back in the world.
I feel lucky that I was able to go to Ada’s two-month check-up before coming back to work. I wasn’t able to do that with Elizabeth and it was devastating.
More than anything though, I really do feel frustrated. I feel frustrated because I really just want to be home with my girls. I want to be able to nurse Ada when she wants to be nursed – instead of pumping on a very strict schedule. I want to dance to “Wannabe” with Elizabeth when it comes up on my iPod.
I also feel frustrated because we can do so much better! Paid parental leave makes good economic sense and supporting families might mean that the idea of American Exceptionalism has some substance to it.
This certainly isn’t my first time encouraging you to advocate for paid parental leave, and I suspect it won’t be the last. If you’re not sure who your Representative or Senator is, just click here and here.
It’s just like the late, and great, Paul Wellstone said; “We all do better when we all do better.”