I have officially returned to work for three days a week. It took two hours into my first day and the first project landed on my table, so I’m swept up again in my very weird but best ever position at my family business- jack of all trades, master of none.
But going back means leaving something behind, a 10 month long period of being at home with my baby. Thanks to the Finnish healthcare and social security system I was able to do so without having to do it with no income. We are extremely fortunate, (and honestly if you plan on breastfeeding for longer than six months like I did, it’s almost a must, at least it was for me)
But being a modern parent, or actually a modern mother, there is a lot expected of you. You are supposed to be main caregiver AND main or at least co-provider. If you decide to stay home you’ll have a hoard of feminists hoovering over you and lecturing you about traditional gender roles, and if you go back to work you are heartless and cold and even admired by some for some sick reason. And god forbid if you hire a nanny! I was once told that “people who have nannies shouldn’t have kids at all”. It’s a very cruel thing to say to someone like me who has commited herself and her life to her familybusiness and just because I happen to be a girl also would be the one giving birth and nursing my child to be.
And the poor men, a few dare to go on fathers leave or let alone become a stay-at-home dad, only to face the scrutiny of other men and future employers. I am so proud of my husband who took the leap and is staying home for a while, because in the midst of work he kind of missed the first half of our daughters exsistence, well maybe I’m exaggerating, it wasn’t that bad, but still!
I sincerely believe that it takes a village to raise a child. The more people who are involved on a regular basis, the better, grandparents, nannies, kindergarden you name it. I also believe that women need a home-something else balance. For some this something else can mean the gym, going to work, a hobby or all of the above. Point being, getting away from the baby, the four walls of your home, frenetically googling and pinteresting baby stuff, reading baby books, shopping baby clothes, babybabybabybaby!
For me being able to balance these two, home and work is a blessing. I came home filled with energy, having to be able to sit for a whole day (!) but letting my brain do the work. As I came in my daughters sparkling smile met me and as her nanny let her down she crawled to me as fast as she could and gave me the two biggest kisses she could with her minimouth and let out the happiest Geeeeh! (Her excited sound). Nothing beats that feeling, of being so loved and getting such a warm welcome.