My sweet boy. This morning, for the first time since you’ve been born, I left you to go to the office. To partially return to the life I lived before you existed. I say partially because before you I was capable of going to work without leaving a piece of myself at home. I didn’t feel pain during my morning commute. I didn’t long for what was left behind. I only looked forward at the day ahead and what I could accomplish. I quietly enjoyed my commute as I laid out a perfect plan to attack the day. Now I feel as though I am already counting the hours until I can see your face and hear your laugh. I’ll have moments through the day where I can’t help but wish for the comforts of home and your adorable hugs, all the while knowing that this is where I need to be at this time in my life.

Before you, I worked for selfish reasons. I set personal goals and challenged myself to meet them as if I were putting numbers up on a score board. When I wasn’t performing to my maximum capacity, I was only robbing myself of success and experiences. Now I have a new motivation to be the absolute best version of myself at work. A reason to strive for better, to work harder, and to accomplish more. Now I am doing this for us. For all of us. For you, and for papa and for me. I want to be a positive role model and inspire you to pursue your dreams. I want you to witness your father and I sharing the financial and household responsibilities equally. I want to teach you independence. I want you to learn the value of quality family time. I want to show you that I am smart, and talented and capable so you will seek out friends and partners who demonstrate these same qualities. It’s not that I think a stay at home mother can’t do or be these things. It’s just that I don’t know how to do or be these things without being a working mom.

And so that’s just what I’ll do. I’ll be the working mom. The one who is tired and survives off of coffee and the occasional all knowing nod from other working moms. The days will feel long, and our evenings together will be far too short for my liking. I’ll learn what it means to live for the weekend, something I’ve never felt before. My priorities on the weekends will change. I’ll be focused on soaking up as much Luke time as possible before the cycle starts again. But I will have the courage of my convictions to see me through. I also won’t beat myself up for enjoying the benefits that come along with being part of the working world. Hot coffee, quiet commutes to work, adult conversations and uninterrupted lunches are all small rewards when compared to the sacrifice of time lost with you, but I will enjoy them as much as I can. And of course, with your photo on my desk, I’ll look at it more times per day then I should, and on my hardest days, when I begin to question if it’s all worth it, when I miss you more than I think my heart can take, I will look at your face, my sweet baby, and I will remember that I am doing this for us.