I returned for work for multiple reasons. Finances played a role. I am proud to contribute to my family financially. Although my husband makes more money than I do (he works in a completely different field), we still could not easily get by with just his salary alone, mostly due to our student loans. However, my job does have good health insurance benefits, so that is another reason why I returned to work.
But besides the financial reasons of working, I returned because I love my job. While I miss my daughter greatly throughout the day, I don’t think I would be happy if I didn’t work. Perhaps part of this is because of the nature of my job; I work for a cancer institute, the same cancer institute that saved my husband’s life and made my daughter’s life possible. It’s something that has a lot of meaning to me personally.
When I was home on maternity leave, I loved being with my daughter but I hated being home all day. As much as it was nice to not have a strict early morning routine like we do now, I didn’t feel fulfilled and was constantly looking for time when I could stimulate myself intellectually, to do things like read or write. I don’t feel that as much now that I am back to work. My intellectual/social needs are met at work and when I am with my daughter, I live in the moment and spend time focusing on her. Our time together is very special because it is limited. I am much more excited to go home at the end of the day than I used to be because I can’t wait to see her.
I also believe she receives a number of benefits by going to daycare every day. She spends time around babies her own age and slightly older, something that wouldn’t happen if I stayed home. I believe it will also help her be more independent.
I believe every woman has to find what works for her, what makes sense for her family financially and what makes her most happy. I’m glad that right now, I believe I’m living my best life. Now if I could just find a way to fit in time to exercise and clean!