I didn’t even get half the month of May in photos, but to be fair we were out of the country for part of that time. And I didn’t take any outfit photos while we were away. I get a pass on all the yoga pants and stretchy jeans I wore on vacation because CHEESE.
This has been a helluva month. I posted about the awesomeness surrounding Hannah’s first birthday, but then I basically needed a break. I found out a couple days before her birthday that my district isn’t renewing my contract next year. I’m up for tenure at the end of the year, and…that’s the end of that. They don’t have to give a reason, but they did, and it was frankly more insulting than if they just hadn’t told me why. So that was a blow to the juggling act that has been returning to work after having this glorious little lady, and it all happened very fast, and I still had to try and pull off her birthday party despite being terribly distracted and frustrated. Then I spent the week between Hannah’s birthday and spring break trying to finish Battle of the Books with my 4th graders and deal with my job posting going out and telling folks I will not be back.
I’ve been off the grid since the first day of school, it’s been HARD.
I was doing fine last Tuesday when the teachers started back to school; Adam stayed home with Hannah that day. I was doing great the first day of school, when Hannah went to her sitter Diana’s house for the first time. But then I picked her up on Wednesday and realized she’d spent an entire day with someone else. She had a great time, but it felt so surreal to me. Then I got a horrible night’s sleep, woke up in tears about the daunting prospect of another day with this new reality, got through Thursday, and had a complete breakdown after putting her to bed that night. The time with her after school just went too fast. I’ve never cried so hard in my life.
I went back to work today, and I did much better than I thought I would. Adam stayed home with Hannah, and I got lots of photos and updates about her during the day. But I also just felt surprisingly good to be working again. Using that entire catalog of brain functions and social skills again just made me feel like a better mom when I got home. Yes, it sucked not to be able to give her hugs at any moment. And yes, I may get hysterical tomorrow when I drop her off at the sitter’s and see how she reacts to being left with someone she doesn’t know very well yet. But today I was able to leave home at home to get stuff done for the kids’ arrival tomorrow, and then I was able to leave work at work, zero in on her when I got home, and then do whatever prep I had left for tomorrow after she went to bed. I was one of the first teachers to leave the building today, and I did not feel guilty about that.
So it’s now officially the last night of my maternity leave. The baby’s been put to bed (although at the moment she isn’t sleeping, just rolling around in her crib), I’ve done all the cuddling and smooching I can do now. It feels a little like skydiving or cliff jumping or something, this whole back to work thing. You know it’s probably not going to be the end of you (but hey, it might be), and you’ll feel really good and strong for having done it, but it doesn’t make taking that first step any easier. It doesn’t make it easier to see an “after,” all you see is the first step. So the best thing to do is not think about it, just dive in. I’ve been trying to get my desk organized, my back to school existence in working order, things are arranged, outfits are coordinated. But I still have a knot in my stomach.
Last Friday I took Hannah to my school for the first time. I had to drop off the last of my library orders for the year, and since Hannah’s officially old enough to be out in public now I thought it would be a great opportunity to show her where Mommy works.
I don’t have my Halloween decorations up yet, but I do have all of my October displays out.
I love my displays so much more now that I’m doing the signs in color. And work has been so great this month, I’m tackling a ton of projects that are so satisfying. My brain is working pretty well during the 2nd trimester, so I’m taking advantage before it turns to mush again in a couple of months. I’ve totally revamped the Battle of the Books program at school, I’ve got the schedule finished for the library moms, I put in another great book order, I finally tackled the filing system my predecessor left behind, and all my lesson plans are written through the first week of November.