After writing that post title I feel like singing the dwarves' song from Snow White. "Hi hooooooo! Hi hooooooo!" My grandparents had a Disney Sing Along VHS when I was little and I LOVED it.
Turkey may have some bizzarro policies, but I have to say I really appreciate their maternity leave. Between paid leave, unpaid leave and my vacation time last year, I ended up with 10 months off, half of them paid. If I have to come back to work at all, returning 9 months after giving birth feels just about right.
My school was moved to the main campus the week after I left for maternity leave, so when I came back I didn’t have a desk and all of my stuff was in a box. I had to ask where the restrooms were and had to be shown how to use the phones. My computer didn’t work and I learned that everyone was issued a new laptop while I was gone and I had to exchange my old one out for a new one that was “on the network”. In some ways it felt like starting a new job, except I already know almost all of the people.
Coming back to work after an almost 10 month “break” has been way easier than I had imagined. June 2nd was a date looming over me since I wrote my petition for unpaid maternity leave in November. How would I leave my little Moonpie? How would I spend all day with other adults? Some days I thought it would be great to go back to work, mostly the days she cried all day. But as June approached, I began to savor every little thing she did. I realized that at work no one would cry if I left the room. They probably wouldn’t even notice. And at work I would sit down and eat lunch with coworkers who are not nearly as cute as Moonpie and don’t smear banana all over their faces. I realized our afternoon walks had come to an end, and waking up whenever she did and getting dressed and showering whenever I had time were a thing of the past. So, on Sunday night I set my alarm, which wasn’t necessary because she woke me way before that anyway. I put her back to sleep, took a shower and ate breakfast, double and triple checked her three (yes, three) bags, then got her up and ready, and headed out the door. I put on some worship music in the car to maintain an atmosphere of peace for myself on the drive to my in-laws. I took her inside, sat down and chatted a while, kissed Moonpie and left her for longer than I’ve ever left her before. And she didn’t cry! And I didn’t cry! I did get a little choked up, but reminded myself that she was in great hands and I wasn’t leaving her for that long, and millions of mothers do this every day, etc. etc. And…SHE WAS FINE, of course. Didn’t cry or fuss at all, took a two hour nap and gave me a big smile when I got back. That’s my girl. I am now a working mother!
So, here I sit, in my quiet office, all alone, typing on my brand new laptop (yay!), which is sitting on a nearly empty desk. I decided I didn’t need most of my old stuff in the box anyway, so I’m going for a fresh start, because I know my desk will be full of books and papers to grade and random scribbled notes in no time!