On Monday I return to work. To my 3rd grade classroom. As a regular teacher, not a sub. My return is really two-fold. My family leave is over. My dark time is over. They are not one in the same. Let me explain.
These last 9 weeks with Andrew have been wonderful. Well, the first couple were a little rough with all of the emotion over severance and the doomed pregnancy, miscarriage and surgery. But since then each week has been more wonderful than the last. We have bonded in amazing ways. We have learned about each other. We have had lots of fun. I'm lucky to have been able to take this time for family leave, especially since family leave is unpaid. And now it's time to get back to work.
The dark time is over too. I sat out the last two school years. Initially the decision was made for me to leave teaching for a year so that I could pursue fertility treatments and actually have the baby we dreamed of. And one school year was surely enough for that, we thought. We were wrong. Way wrong. Instead, while yes, I did pursue treatment, I also entered a very dark time. A dark time where my dad suffered a devastating injury and my parent's lives were changed forever. A dark time where treatments weren't successful, and losses and expenses were high. This time changed me, and it wasn't for the better. Over time I became somebody who I didn't even recognize, let alone like, anymore. I didn't know if I would ever come back.
I slowly began my way back. It started when our home study was complete. Sure, it was a waiting game, but there wasn't anything left for me to do. The waiting had nothing to do with my being a failure. My parents were managing better with their new lives. I returned to work as a sub. And found my groove in teaching again.
So now I leave the dark time behind me. And I'm back. The me that I was before I knew about infertility and loss and family tragedy. Sure, I haven't forgotten about these things, but I'm not crippled by them anymore. I'm not beaten down by them anymore. I have this family leave to thank for the transformation.
I'm back. And I like it. My family and friends see it and they like it too.
So Monday marks a new beginning. As a working mom. Andrew will go to a babysitter 3 days a week and be with Brian and my parents for the other 2 days. Wish me luck.