"On the night before I go back to work."

On the night before I go back to work, I am filled with dread.

I’ve been here before. I should have expected this incredibly heavy heart. I had to do this with your big sister, only she and I didn’t get a full three months together. Nope. The short-term disability and all the money saved from not taking any holidays/sick days while I was pregnant with her ran out after 10 weeks, so it was back to work for me. You and I should feel “lucky” we got a full three months. Isn’t that crazy? That we live in a society where we should feel lucky and acknowledge what a privilege it was that we even got three months? Or that we should feel lucky and acknowledge what a privilege it is that your dad gets three months paid paternity leave? And it is a privilege. It really is.

On this night before I go back to work, while I'm filled with dread and sadness, I can't help but feel a little twinge of excitement. Please don't misunderstand me, my sweet girl; I will think about you every single second I am gone, but I am looking forward to using the parts of my brain that I use in my job as a high school counsellor. I miss the conversations and laughter and community I've worked hard to build with my colleagues and students at work. It means a lot to me that I have them as a support system. I need that support system as I set forth to juggle the life of being a full-time working mother of two.

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On the night before I go back to work, I will remember to listen to your Aunty Jackie's voice, reminding me that the work I do is good work and the example I set as a goal-driven woman sets me up as a positive role model for you and your sister. And I promise to try really hard not to give a snarky answer to anyone who comments on and/or questions my life choices regarding being a working parent. I gave snarky answers when folks questioned me after going back to work when I had your sister, and you know what? It didn't actually make me feel better. It made me feel like an a**.

So, on this night before I go back to work, above everything else and all the other emotions, I will acknowledge that what I'm feeling the most -- more than the dread and the sadness and the exhaustion and the fear and the anxiety -- is love. I'm feeling all the love.

What would you say to your kids on the night before you go back to work? 

This post was originally published on The Huffington Post. You can read more from Whitney Fisch on her blog and follow her on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. 

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