Going back to work is different for me than for the regular 9 to 5ers. I’m a PhD student and I chair a not-for-profit. I told myself I would take one guilt-free semester off of school, so I don’t really have to worry about that until January. I told my board of directors with the NFP that I would take one month off and then be back to chairing meetings and putting out fires.
When month two came around early October I sent a last minute email to my secretary asking him to cover for me again because Avery was extremely fussy every evening and all I could do for her was lie down and nurse. Our next board meeting is coming up early November and I am super nervous. This will be my first time leaving her for more than an hour and previously I only left during her sleep.
I will pump enough for my wife to be able to keep her full for the 2 and a half evening hours I’ll be gone, but she fights the bottle anyway. She nurses in the evening for comfort as much as for food. In general she eats every 2 hours still because I have a small milk storage capacity.
I could take her with me but it would mess with her bedtime routine as we would be under fluorescent lights and not home until 9. And if she fusses like usual, I will be a useless chair as I try everything in my arsenal to calm her. I am dreading this meeting already and I really feel like neither she nor I are ready for this. I just don’t want to ask for another extension because I have all new board members as of June and they need strong leadership right now to stay motivated and informed. I’ve received some upset emails already from overwhelmed and unprepared directors.
My anxiety is made worse because of the first (and last) meeting I tried to attend with baby in tow. She screamed from start to finish and I was trapped out in the hall for the whole hour because I left my diaper bag in the room. I am afraid of a repeat of that.
It’s one meeting and I’m freaking out. How do parents who go back full time at 6 weeks do it??