Guilty or not guilty?

Update from last week.  I went to Bravado for the test wearer program and was there for two hours.  I guess they don’t have a lot of 38 g/h size women for the program.  For my time I received two free bras (one of which is a prototype).  I had a great time when I was there.  The time passed so fast that I hadn’t even realized that it had been two hours.  I brought Marcus while Sophia was at home with my mother-in-law.  When he would fuss, one of the women, who I assume is part of the design team picked him up and watched him.  Again, I highly recommend if you are pregnant or currently nursing to sign up for this program.  Here is the link http://www.bravadodesigns.com/about/become-a-test-wearer

Lately, I have found myself thinking about work.  I wonder how my team is doing in general and how they are doing without me, and other random thoughts that spring up throughout the day.  Yesterday, cuts were made in the department I worked in .  I received a Facebook message and 2 phone calls from various members of my former team.  I wanted to rush to them and help.  I wanted to make everything better for them.  Show them that there is a light at the end of the tunnel.  But I am on Mat leave and will be for a year.

Marcus is not even 2 months old yet and I am thinking about work and my team.  I love my staff and would do just about anything to help them.  The road techs are hardworking and compassionate guys.  After all, fixing mobility equipment is not for everyone.  The technicians see a wide variety of people in various stages of decline.  They go into homes that are not always well kept as there owners are unable to cloth themselves, clean, cook or buy groceries.

Additionally, they fix children’s mobility equipment.  Being exposed to children who are in such need must illicit heart wrenching compassion.  Some of the toughest guys on my team felt compelled to share and confide in me their haunted experiences.  The simple act of repairing equipment that empowers individuals to live independently is no simple thing.  They touch many lives this way.

I think that is why we’re so committed to what we do and to each other.  Of course, I want to reach out and help them after all they help so many people.  They deserve it.  Then I think…I AM ON MAT LEAVE.  I am not there anymore.  I cannot help them.  I was replaced and I need to let that person take the reins.  They need to hold the fort.  It is not my job anymore.  My job is to be a stay at home mom.

I then find myself thinking… does this make me a bad mom?

It is difficult for me to admit that I returned to work when Sophia was only 7 months old.  I still had 5 months left of my Mat leave.  It all started when I was bored one day and decided to apply for jobs online.  My husband encouraged to me test the waters.  As I worked mainly in Retail at the stage in my life, the varied schedule, evenings and weekends, and long hours were not conducive to a stable home and burdensome to my growing family.  There were some days that I would only see Alexander for an hour or two before he went to bed.  I know that I could not continue like that especially since Alexander was going to start school that September.  So, testing the waters as my husband had said, I selectively applied for opportunities that were Monday to Friday 9-5.

I didn’t really think an opportunity that matched my requirements would arise so quickly.  Not really thinking I would get the position, I went through the interview process.  Not really thinking I would accept the job offer, I found that I did.  I did accept it at the expense of leaving maternity leave so early – at leaving Sophia so early.  I took it for the good of my family.   Or at least, that is what I told myself when the guilt bore down.

I think the only thing that allowed me to make this move was the knowledge that my mother- and father in-law would be taking care of the kids while Johnny and I were at work.  They would not be watched by strangers but by family – people who love them as much as we loved them.

I felt guilty then and still feel guilty now.  I vowed that I would not do that again.  I will not return to work early this time… but yet, I feel guilty about leaving behind my team.  Why am I beating myself over it now?  I know that for most, this would not be a struggle or even a thought in one’s mind, but the members of my team are amazing and the work that they do is both meaningful and important.

Maybe it is because I am in a sense leaving family behind at work – or maybe a part of myself that shared in their hardships and haunted experiences.

It’s hard to shake off that feeling.  It’s made easier though every time I hold Marcus.

Until next time.

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