Posts Tagged ‘maternity leave’
Dropping off my daughter at preschool this week, I noticed a different attitude and demeanor in one of the moms. She is normally unhurried, lugging her 4-month-old daughter in the baby carrier while she removes her son’s all-too-big backpack and ushers him into the classroom. This time, however, was a little different. She was focused, she was no-nonsense, and she was dressed, well, not in jeans! She looked nice, with more makeup and donned in smart business-casual attire.
After 4 months of maternity leave, she was back to work.
And it reminded me all-too-well of my first day back, only a few short months ago. I was lucky enough to stay at home for six whole months after both my daughters were born. But that first day back to work was a big jolt into the working-world reality. I remember driving to a meeting with my manager. While on the outside, I may have looked the ultimate professional, a further inspection would have revealed cracks in my professional façade.
The smart pin-striped suit? Just a tiny bit of baby drool on the shoulder. The shell underneath? A nursing tank, complete with pads to absorb the leaks. The boxy briefcase on the passenger side floor? My trusty breast pump. My portfolio with the calendar? Well, let’s just say it was a little outdated. With a 2007 calendar. And it was already May 1st. Oh yes, I did have the 2008 calendar in my bag, but it was filled with contact lists and phone numbers for moms’ group members instead of customers!
*sigh* At first, I felt like such a “poser.” But then my imagination went a step further. Poser? Pshaw. More like “action hero.” I could hear the announcer’s voice in the background (you know, the “faster than a speeding bullet . . .”): “She can leap over strewn toys with one quick step! She’s more powerful than a tantrum-throwing toddler! She’s faster than a crawling baby toward an uncovered outlet!” I was SUPER MOM!
Who needs Wonder Woman’s magic lasso when one deeply furrowed brow and “the look” would coax the truth from a reluctant child? Like Clark Kent’s suit and tie covering his cape and tights, my jacket and heels were masking the new mom’s staple attire! Sure, Batman keeps all his tools in his signature yellow toolbelt, but we all know that moms’ diaper bags can fit even more essentials! And I saw a T-shirt (and flair on Facebook, too) that said “I Make Milk. What’s Your Superpower?”
Like these superheroes, we working moms sometimes live in alternate realities, too. Or sometimes in both realities at the same time (every try changing a diaper while on a conference call?)! But working outside the home or not (or like me, a little of both), we all have our SuperMom powers and SuperMom moments (notice I said “moments” because sometimes they are fleeting!)
Kids are crying for me, so I’ll have to go. I’m off to save the world . . .