I expected to feel really anxious about wanting to get back to work. I thought I would feel fomo about what was going on at the gym with all my teammates and about the fact that someone else was training with my clients. I love what I do and connecting with my clients and coworkers is a big part of that. Somehow I surrendered. Once Ace was born it was crystal clear to me that I needed to be there with him. To bond, to protect, to comfort, to feed on demand. My anxiety about having anxiety disappeared. I knew that if I spent these first weeks and months with my mind halfway at work, I wouldn’t be fully soaking in all they had to offer. I also anticipated that when I did go back to work, I would be longing for those days again. Having this foresight was helpful & comforting.
The day came that I was headed back to work. Ace was 13 weeks old exactly and I had been gone for 15 weeks. It felt good!! I felt confident that he would be ok at home with my mom because we had established peace and trust together. I knew him well enough at this point to know that he would take his naps and eat pumped breastmilk from a bottle if offered.
Walking into work again was wonderful! I was greeted with enthusiasm and had tons of chances to talk about the little guy that was currently my entire world. My longtime clients were eager to work with me again (another thing I doubted). The energy was high and I so missed being in this place! I texted my mom once throughout the day to check in, but knew she had everything under control. And I was back in the swing of things. Busy and with lots of catching up to do. It felt like I never left, honestly. It felt like I was back home.
The hardest part of the day was most definitely pumping. There is not a single spot in the entire gym for me to pump except the ladies locker room. So that is where I set up. I wasn't quite on a schedule yet so I pumped on every break I had. I also didn't have a system in place because I hadn't had much practice at home. I fumbled with all the parts and it took me over 30 minutes to get everything done every time. Plus, pumping is no fun compared to the beautiful experience of holding your baby to your breast. But it was necessary and I was fully committed to breastfeeding for one full year.
All in all, my experience was positive. Little by little I built my schedule back up to being busier. To this day (about one year since I've been back) I am still not taking on as many clients per week as I was before and during my pregnancy. I have reallocated my time to be able to work from home and spend extra time Ace. I have done so by starting a teacher training program, creating online programming, affiliate marketing, selling merchandise, and most importantly, giving in. Rather than comparing myself to what I was capable before Ace, I embrace what is possible now. I make a point to spend plenty of quality time with Ace so on my busier days & weeks I don't feel guilty. It takes constant effort, but both my family and my work mean everything to me and I will always strive to make sure they are both taken care of.