I’ve been back at work for 2 weeks.
Long enough for the shellshocked feeling to wear off and the fatigue to set in. I am not going to lie: things have felt a little turbulent over the past week. The personal goals that I felt so passionately about during my maternity leave have gone by the wayside, and even though I hate the term — I have totally entered survival mode.
I realize that this is reasonable. Back at work, currently on call with a not-quite-3-month-old and 2 year old? Pumping 5x/day and getting up at 5 each morning to take advantage of that “better” AM supply? Getting unreasonably obsessed with pumping volumes for some reason that I do not fully understand (because pumping 18oz makes me an awesome mom and person and 14oz makes me a failure!?). Who wouldn’t be in survival mode?
I am doing okay at work. I’m behind on documentation (and I hate that!), but I feel that I am still able to give patients my all. I am actively engaged when I am there, and this feels good. I actually feel like I am failing more at home, when I get home and my head is still stuck in get-it-done mode. Long stretches with Cameron have completely disappeared from my life, and my milk supply preoccupation has even made breastfeeding stressful. And poor Annabel — now she has both C and work to compete with for my attention, and I know she is getting the short end of the stick.
I’ve been really lucky this week in that Josh took off from work to study for boards, so he has been home each night. But he will be away all weekend, and I’m just feeling terrified of what is to come. Because if I’m feeling spent now — and I am — how will things feel when I’m back to being alone many evenings?
I find myself retreating to the usual arenas of self-critique, but I think right now is one time I just need to give myself some time and space to adjust to what is the new normal.