Let's talk about two "C" words that saw a lot of attention in our household this past month: Career & Childcare.
As most of you know I finally went back to work in December after 16 months of maternity leave. The biggest challenge that came with that decision to return to work was the balance between career and childcare.
Before I gave birth to Brooklynn, I mean literally up until the day, if you had asked me what my career life would have looked like after she was born I would have told you "I'm taking 6 weeks maternity leave, I don't need 12, and then I want to be right back to progressing my career." I absolutely loved the company I worked for. From the people, to the atmosphere, to the importance they found in establishing a charitable foundation that gave back to the community it thrives from.
I still feel as incredibly strong about Berg and undoubtedly always will. I truly found my "career home" with Bergelectric. But my heart found it's forever home in our beautiful daughter the moment she was born. And she is my true calling.
It soon became evident to me that my life would never be the same. Everything I do is for her. Everything I find success or failure in is for her. Every challenge I accept or defeat I pick myself back up from is for her. She is my purpose now.
Because of her health conditions and extensive surgery and recovery I decided that my career would be on hold until she was well enough for me to go back to work. That time came in December when we financially needed the additional income. I was on the verge of launching my clothing line Love Lesson Clothing, which I had developed to not only supplement my income but give back to the NICU community, when the opportunity arose and it was too good of an offer to turn down. This company had patiently supported me through every single step of my daughter's journey from the moment I found out about her Esophageal Atresia in utero all the way through her extensive NICU stay and transition home. The outpouring of love I felt from the company and it's employees were the greatest I had experienced in my career.
They graciously took me back after 16 long months and supported my need for a slow transition back into the workforce as Brooklynn adjusted to having a new caregiver.
Brooklynn adjusted pretty well from the start, children are incredibly resilient like that. I on the other hand struggled immensely. I had heard that it gets easier as time goes on, but the experience I had was quite the opposite. Not for lack of great childcare and loving caregivers but for fear of not being able to protect her. The weekend before I went back to work she had the worst choking episode of her life. The kind that sent me as her mother ( a usually well equipped emergency situation individual) into a deafening panic. Despite my fears I had made a commitment I needed to uphold and so I went back to work the next week. It was crushing. I cried A LOT. I felt like I was losing the absolute most precious thing in my world; my time with my daughter. And I know that this is a decision we as mothers all face, some of us just handle it better than others. I was no such person. I broke. Not a day went by that I felt better about my decision and when a few months in she had another bout of choking episodes over a week period, I knew something needed to change.
I didn't have postpartum depression after Brook was born. Or during the long 6 months she was an hour away in the NICU. But these past four months back at work had depression written all over them. And maybe that's not a real thing "late onset postpartum", but let me tell you it was my reality.
So I quit.
Ok, it wasn't just that easy, but ultimately that's the conclusion that I came to. I just can't anymore. It was one of the absolute hardest decisions of my life, but the one that has felt the most right to me. My daughter needed me, my sisters and family needed me, hell, I needed me. And not just this hollow shell of me I had become, but me!
So I did, I quit.
With incredible support from my office, my family and my friends I moved on to the next chapter of this story called motherhood and nothing has ever felt more right. So stay tuned and follow along as we see where this adventure takes us !