Ready or not, here I come!

I’ve labeled all the bottles. I’ve packed the endless bags. And at least one child is crying upstairs. But I’m relaxed, sipping on a glass of red wine with sheer excitement in anticipation for tomorrow.

Ok, that last part might be a little bit of a stretch … But in less than 24 hours – ready or not – I will be back in the office, officially ending my maternity leave.

For me, it’s the best of both worlds. Homelife. Worklife. That’s what we call #HylandLife.

At home, with (another) baby

My time off has been a roller coaster. A balance of unbelievable wonder and sheer exhaustion. Before maternity leave, you think three months is an ungodly amount of time off. What the heck will I do with my time?!

And then, the days fly by so fast … At the end, you are still unsure of what you did with yourself. I know I developed (or strengthened my already existing) sleep anxiety.

You spend every minute thinking about sleep, running to bed as soon as the baby falls asleep (even if there are only 10 minutes left of the movie you were watching or you haven’t talked to your husband all day). I have caught up on my fair share of 2 a.m. episodes of Diners, Drive-Ins & Dives and crushed season after season of Shameless (which has been on my to-do list for a while now, so I guess that is an accomplishment).

I logged on from time-to-time just to feel the soft glow of my laptop. And, of course, I snuggled and took many daytime walks with my beautiful new babe. Some days, I think all I did was kiss the top of her head to get a quick high from the euphoric newborn smell.

And socks … who needs them? I could play with those little toes all day long. I will miss the slow afternoons that gave me time to just stare at her, waiting for a smile and simply being together. I will miss it so very much.

Meanwhile, back at work

Hylanders have handled some projects without me and I am disappointed to have missed them, while they’ve finished others without me and I am beyond thrilled! There will be work that is exactly how I left it … next to a stack of new initiatives ready for take-off.

During my first maternity leave, I had such a fear of missing out at work. While that fear hasn’t completely gone away, I now know that plenty of work will be waiting just for me. But I’m ready to head back. I am ready to work. It is extremely fulfilling and important to me. I miss the interaction with my team, Hylanders, and frankly, the big world outside my house.

I am ready to tackle the pile of work no matter how challenging it may seem. I want to be challenged!

I am lucky to have a job I truly love and even luckier that all three of my girls get to come with me and are in great care at the Hyland Child Enrichment Center (CEC). Coming back to an incredible place to work with my girls in tow is something I am beyond grateful for.

Sure, there are days when you feel like you just cannot get it all done or you feel the guilt of missing special moments with your children. However, most of the time, I honestly believe the time away helps me be a better parent. I cherish the time and the moments that I do have with my kids a bit more, and it increases my focus at work – ensuring the time I am away from them is worth it.

Tips for working parents

I have a long way to go at mastering the balance; but when I need a reminder, I tell myself:

  • Be present. At work and at home.
  • The important stuff will get done. It always does.
  • Lean on others for help. Build a network to help with activity drop-offs and pick-ups.
  • Plan your time out of the office for special days with your kids (or for yourself!).
  • Write stuff down and stay organized.
  • Reset when you need it!

Thank you to the people, place and purpose at Hyland, you make all of it just that: worth it.

But for now, I will try to get some sleep. And as far as tomorrow, I plan to stay away from pants with buttons, curl my hair, chug a coffee … and get after it! See you tomorrow everyone!

If you’re a working parent with some tips you’d like to share, feel free to leave a comment. We’d love to hear your thoughts!

Kathleen Vegh

Kathleen Vegh

Kathleen Vegh works in the Human Resources department at Hyland as the employee engagement manager, a position she’s held since 2008. In her role, she leads a team that is responsible for attracting and retaining top IT talent within the Northeast Ohio region by working to strengthen employee relationships and create a positive work environment with happy, healthy and engaged employees. An Ohio University graduate, she lives in Bay Village with her husband Dave and daughters Hannah and Clare.

7 Responses

  1. Brenda says:

    You nailed it, Be Present, an every day practice (which I learned on a yoga mat many many moons ago!) . Loved this post, thanks for spending time to share. Welcome back Kath, we’ve missed you!

  2. Nicole says:

    LOVE this article!! Your reflection on having a newborn and being a working mom made me tear up! Welcome back!!

  3. Paula says:

    So very true, great article Kathleen!

  4. Michele says:

    My sentiments exactly, Kath! Well said.

  5. Liz says:

    Welcome back Kath! Excellent tips, thank you!

  6. Erica says:

    Couldn’t have said it better myself. Welcome back girl!

  7. Mary says:

    Love this Kath! It’s a bitter sweet battle working mothers face everyday but you’re right, being present and quality time both at work and with your family is so important. Thanks for the reminder!

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