I suppose this is more of a vent than anything.....for every working woman in the world, choosing between motherhood and a work life.
I'm about to go on maternity leave early next year and I'm worried that the whole time I'm off, I'll wish I was back at work because of missed opportunities and promotions etc. I don't want to think about my job while I'm off. I just want to soak up having a new baby instead.
There's another two girls there around my age who have had their babies and now they're in daycare so they are at work every day now and able to take on additional projects etc etc. I'm just hanging on till I leave and will be able to take on the additional projects when I'm back, but I feel left behind now :-( I suppose a bit of jealousy is part of it too. I see them working on their exciting projects and think if only I wasn't leaving, I could be a part of that project. having said that though, when they went on leave, they probably looked at me working on projects and felt the same way.
It's awful to think and feel this way. Especially since we ttc so long and have now been successful. I just want to look forward to this new baby, enjoy my time off and being a mom and then go back to work part time with a new life. I've been so excited about this for so long.
30 years old, part time , Living in Australia with my DH and with IVF bubba #1 after a long long time of ttc. Very grateful we've made it this far. Due March 2012
I enjoy these activities:
Oh I feel you completely!! I was so stressed about leaving my clients when I went out on leave. The good news? You are going to be so exhausted for at least the first couple of months that you wont even have time to WORRy about work ;)
Lactivist-athiest-feminist wife to DH , mommy-in-training to beautiful DS Kai, 9/2011
I understand why you feel worried, but it might feel like a bigger deal right now than it will when you have a baby in your arms.
I've invested a good amount of time and money in grad school and when I got pregnant, I did initially feel worried about the ways in which the pregnancy and maternity leave and my entrance into parenthood might make me fall behind my peers. I planned to take some leave and then return part-time and I was very aware of the ways in which my professional opportunities would be limited by that schedule. (Some of my friends were getting fellowships to do health outreach overseas...others were doing exciting policy work...none of the "cool" opportunities would work well for me as a mom to a young baby)
But when my daughter was actually in my arms, so many of those worries faded into the background. I did try to go back to my job part-time when my daughter was a few months old, but the job wasn't willing to accommodate some of my needs as a mom (My hours were chaotic and constantly changing, and I needed a more consistent schedule so that I could plan childcare, and plan pumping breaks) and I ended up resigning after just a couple of days. Its a little weird to not be using my degree on a day-to-day basis and to not have an active professional life. I do anticipate returning to it someday. But it was SO much easier to let my competitive side relax and to let go of worries about "falling behind" once I had fallen in love with my baby. Its not to say that I never have moments of feeling jealous...those happen occasionally. I guess I'm just saying that its totally understandable that these worries feel big right now, because you are actively immersed in a job you care about...but when your sweet baby is gazing up at you, you may still worry but probably not nearly as much.
Mom to DD born March 2010, and someone new March 2012
I kinda have the opposite feeling this time around. I know my job will still be there and since I'm going back part time till DC is 1, I'm actually more worried about pumping again then anything else. I remember feeling like you do when I had my daughter. Of course now that she's a bit older I wish I was able to stay home with her for longer and not have to work at all.
I think the thing is to remember that your job will be there and you can't control promotions and stuff like that.
Also, motherhood is a huge identity adjustment whether or not you plan to return to work or SAHM...might be easier if you know you have a workplace to return to and an old role to slip back into. Either way you will feel like you are missing something, but I think as PP have said, once you have your baby you'll be so busy and enamored you won't really miss work that much. You didn't say how long your maternity leave was but if it is 3 or 6 months that is not actually that long...you won't have trouble picking back up at work as long as you have good childcare.