December 6, 2014

The Dreaded Returning to Work

Nothing could prepare me for how bad I did NOT want to leave my baby and go back to work. Weird thing is, I've always liked working. I never saw myself as wanting to stay home all day. The thought of leaving my baby, though, was so beyond terrible that I felt like my heart was breaking. Sunday night, I basically pulled an all-nighter. I was so filled with worry and dread. All I could do is stare at Savannah and feel ever so sorry for myself. I truly, truly hate money. I hate it. I hate what it does to society. I hate the feeling of needing it. I hate the feeling of wanting it. I've always been pretty content with my financial situation. Crazy, right? I'm a school teacher. I don't have a problem living more of a simple life than many of my friends. It's really a decent living. I mean, who really NEEDS cable/satellite? And until a month ago, I drove around my payment-free 11 year old Honda with 200K miles and was perfectly fine with it. We live in a nice, but modest home, and I am able to afford my groceries every month, along with a  few other "pleasures." Enter Savannah. All of a sudden, I found myself resenting the fact that I'm the bread winner, insurance holder, and main financial provider for our family. I'm at a place where I don't want to work. Or maybe I should say that I don't want to leave my baby. And then there's coaching. If you've been following this blog for any sort of time, you know how much my coaching means to me. I have worked so hard to get where I am. And right now, I just want to throw it all away. Coach C was fired (yet again), and I was offered head track position… with $1200 raise. How could I resist that? I've found myself between the rock and hard place of desperately wanting to stay home with my baby, but needing money to pay for all of her needs. All the while helping the hubby look for a better job (with no luck). It SUCKS.

Once I got past Monday, school was actually kind of nice. I still missed Savannah like crazy and texted the baby-sitter 100 million times, but it was good to see all my teaching friends and get back to teaching. (I would still LOVE to stay home, but teaching wasn't so miserable.)

The training took a major hit this week, but it could've been worse. Monday I did nothing. I was basically a train wreck emotionally, and all I wanted to do was hug my baby any moment I wasn't working. I even had a pity party for myself when I got home and said that I wasn't doing Boston. Just to screw it all. I was quitting running and becoming a couch potato. (So I could hold my baby all the time.)

Keith (The Voice of Reason) reminded me of all the times I didn't want to run, but felt better afterwards. He reminded me how I felt when i skipped runs, and how I've worked so hard to get "back" the past two months, and why would I quit now?

Tuesday morning I did one of my favorite types of workouts- the combo of tempo and track. I had a warm up (2 miles), followed by 2 tempo miles (6:51 pace) and 7 x 300. I'm still really struggling with my leg turnover and foot speed, and only ran the 300s at 6:07 pace. Then I cooled down by running home.

Wednesday I did an easy 8 miles.

Thursday I ran with Savannah in the Bob stroller for the first time! She LOVED it! We did 3 miles together, and then I passed her off to daddy at home while Sam and I ran more to total 8.

Friday… enters the Crazy Train. So hubby has tickets to the SEC Championships this weekend. He left Friday around lunch and won't be home until tomorrow afternoon. SO… I did my 14 mile long run before work Friday. Yep, 14 miles, starting at 3:45 a.m. BOOM! 8:11 average for the run.

And this morning I took Savannah on a 5 mile run. I would've done more, but we had to go to a birthday party for our nephew.

Tomorrow I plan to do my tempo workout with hubby gets home from his trip.

And that's  how life rolls now. Any mammas out there struggle badly when going back to work after leave?


  1. I'm sorry. How conflicting! Of course you want to hold your baby all the time...she's adorable. But your students and athletes need you, too. You're doing the right thing, it's just not always easy to do that!

  2. Hi,
    Love your blog. First time commenter but I've been lurking away for a while!

    Maternity/parental leave is scandelously short in your country. My heart hurts for you having to leave your little girl so early. We complain about it here in Ireland where we get 26 weeks paid leave (and can take more unpaid) This seems like a lot and I'm sure it is for the employer but long term it's better for baby and better for families. We have been pushing here for a more Scandanavian model so the leave is shared with both parents to give dads a chance to bond more with their babies too. I think that's a great idea and evens out the impact on careers especially if mom is the main breadwinner.

    Well done on keeping it all together and remember that it won't always be this hard!

  3. Those kids in your class are blessed to have you back.

  4. I struggled with the return to work with Patrick a bit too. I don't remember how I felt with Maddy...write everything down because you FORGET everything! When they sleep through the night, how much they ate, when they first started talking, eating real good, etc. I do remember Maddy crawled before 6 months but a lot of the stuff I really want to compare, I have no idea what she did.

    Why do moms struggle with working and dads don't? I'll never figure that out. We all just need to stop feelings so guilty! We can't do everything!

    Which is why you really need to think about that coaching raise. If that position is not going to eat up more of your free time, take it. If it is...maybe you shouldn't do it. After all, your hourly rate for "free time" just went up about 700%.

    I sometimes dream about what it would be like if I didn't have to work and I could stay home with the kids. Like you, I'm the bread winner (even though my husband works 60+ hours a week an travels all the time) so it's really not an option. I still drive my honda civic too :) actually this year we planned on replacing it, but my husband didn't get the raise he was told he was getting...and with two kids in daycare, well I'll drive my little Honda a few more years I guess.

    I hate money too. Unfortunately time is money and we really don't have as much of it as we need. Working mommy's really miss out. Just hold on to those little moments with her...they will end up being EVERYTHING although I think you are there already.

  5. I'm so sorry for how you are feeling. I like what M Fanks said... You've waited a long time to be a momma. Treasure the opportunity!
    Nice running, BTW. :)

  6. This is something I can't totally relate to, but I can only imagine how it feels. It really is a shame that money has a way of influencing almost every important decision we make, but you're putting a quality investment in the bank, and somehow I see your fitness along the line benefitting too. Great progress, you'll get that turnover back, neuromuscular stuff is so w times a bear to train.

    I need to meet this precious girl still!