I often fantasize about going back to work the way one might daydream about a trip to Bora Bora. Long, leisurely cappuccinos at my desk without a kid on my lap. Journeys to the bathroom in complete solitude. And the best part? Coming home to a clean house, kids bathed and fed and ready for bed. I know that the real, un-photoshopped version of this fantasy wouldn’t look quite as pretty, but the idea of a few hours to myself every day and getting paid to use my brain is high up there on my list of #goals.
I once had a very glamorous job. I flew around the world and drank champagne with models and celebrities. I threw parties, got sent boxes of clothes and spent more time than I care to admit at the spa (not to mention the bar). Then I had a baby, and then another, and all I wanted to do was live in a beautiful little bubble with my growing family. But that bubble can be a little claustrophobic, what with all of the laundry to be done and toys to trip over. I don’t want to sound ungrateful, I know how blessed I am to have this opportunity. I’ve been around for every first, I’m able to cuddle all day when they’re sick, purée the hell out of their organic steamed veggies, and keep precise records of the contents of their diapers… I know I’m the lucky one, but my God, I sometimes envy the mothers with “real” jobs, who work on spreadsheets called something other than “Poo Schedule, August.”
But then I wonder whether I could handle being away from them all day. One of my best friends went back to work three months after her first baby and she was a total mess. She was so emotional about it that her husband secretly made a pact with the daycare that they not tell her about missing any of the baby’s “firsts” while she was at work. Miraculously, this little baby crawled for the first time on a weekend! And her first steps came after dinner on a Tuesday. Her first word (“mama,” thank God) was uttered on a family trip to Hawaii. Maybe her mommy FOMO was a bit out of control, but I totally get it.
My current job can be described as a long list of things, but glamorous is not one of them. Sure, I’m up late popping bottles (of milk), and I do get sent boxes of clothes (from Baby Gap… that I paid for) – but sometimes I miss my old life. Or maybe I wonder how my old life would look with a couple of kids to rush home to. I guess the grass is always greener, though sometimes all I see is brown.