It's 9:30 p.m., the evening before my first day back at work.
I think I'm ready. I think. Laundry is done. Work clothes are ironed. Shower is taken. Hair is dried and straightened to require least possible morning maintenance. Lunch is made. Tomorrow's outfit is ready to slip into...
Am I forgetting anything? In my experience, no matter how prepared I think I am, no matter how organized - there are always little things that pop up at the last minute - always. Maybe one of the girls will have a bad night and I'll start off my day with less sleep than I was hoping to have. Maybe I'll spill something on my pre-picked outfit. Then again - maybe nothing unexpected will happen, maybe tomorrow morning will go smoothly and the entire day will go off without a hitch.
Think positive, right? Right. It's not like this is my first "first day back". I've been here before. I've felt the anticipation (both good and bad) of returning to the office after being off for a year (a whole year!) on maternity leave. I've worried about my choices, and hoped I was making the right ones. I've debated the pros and cons of staying home, working more, working less. I've stressed over everything, from leaving my girls in daycare and whether they're napping enough (or not) to picking the right outfit and managing to jump back into my professional roles and responsibilities... all while hoping that no one will notice that I'm worried or stressed about any of it!
With that said, it actually seems easier this time around. I've known this day was coming for a while, it didn't just creep up on me. The idea of going back to work has had the time to sink in. A spot opened up for Meaghan at the same daycare as Layla (in my office building!) a few months earlier than expected and her integration over the last few weeks has been an absolute dream. Meaghan's happy, Layla's happy (as I was putting her to bed tonight she actually said she was happy I would be working upstairs while she was at daycare!)... they'll both be less than 2 minutes away from me as I go about my day... and so I am happy.
At the moment I'm mostly anxious to get the first day (or the first few days) over with. Ignoring the fact that I will miss my girls and continue to worry about whether they're napping enough. Ignoring the fact that my home is what will probably suffer most (laundry will pile up, chores will get put off to the weekend...) I know this change is coming and I want to get the transition part over with. I want to figure out the new morning routine and to have the chance to re-integrate and prove myself at work. And to be completely honest - I'm anxious to have a reason to dress up, to indulge in adult conversation and bring my expertise to new and ongoing projects.
Wish me luck!