I woke up Friday morning and put on my black comfy pants, you know, one of the two pairs I have worn every day for the past eight weeks. My entire maternity leave has been a rotation of these pants to every single place I’ve gone.
So, as I was putting on my black comfy pants on the last day of my maternity leave, I thought about how the days of comfy pants were over. I thought about how this was my last day of my maternity leave, and suddenly I was mad. Not because I have to go back to work, I actually really like work and some routine will be good for me. I was mad because this isn’t how returning to work after maternity leave was supposed to be!
- I’m mad that I was on my maternity leave and visiting my son’s grave simultaneously.
- I’m mad that my “real clothes” still don’t fit because of the baby weight, but there is no baby.
- I’m mad that I’ve spent my maternity leave working on a memory book of Enoch, instead of holding him.
- I’m mad that I’m worn going back to work, not because a baby has been keeping me up all night, but because grief takes a toll on the body.
- I’m mad that my friend’s interaction with Enoch is them sending me a picture that they visited his grave that day.
- I’m mad that we didn’t have to find child care, because there is no child to care for.
- I’m mad that I’m not crying about leaving my baby to go back to work, rather I have cried everyday because he was never here to leave.
- I’m mad that I ended up reading books on grief rather than parenting and leadership like I planned.
- I’m mad that the question people will inevitably ask “do you have kids?” has no easy answer.
- I’m mad that I will use my lunch break to visit Enoch’s grave rather than visit him at home.
- I’m mad that I can’t put a picture of my son on my desk, because nobody wants to see a picture of a dead baby.
So tomorrow I’ll head to work, excited to be with the team, but mad from the void of what this return should have been.