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Dear Momma Returning to Work...

Photograph by Getty Images/Brand X

Dear Momma Who Just Went Back to Work,

I see you, and I know today is a tough one. You've known this day was coming since the moment you held that sweet baby in your arms. You've had a mini countdown in the back of your head the entire time, knowing the days of being with your baby 24/7 were numbered.

Maybe you've dreaded this day. Maybe part of you has looked forward to it because you miss your old routine.

Either feeling is allowed. You're a good momma.

You're waking up this morning, sleep deprived as ever, and finding clothes to fit your new momma body. Maybe you're wearing maternity pants. Maybe you've packed pump supplies along with your lunch. Maybe you couldn't be happier to be in "real" clothes again.

You're doing great already. You're a good momma.

Maybe you're dropping your baby off at daycare. Maybe you have a nanny or a sitter or a family member to watch your little one. Maybe your husband is a stay at home dad. Regardless, it will be hard to hand your baby to someone and drive away for the day.

This person or center was carefully and lovingly chosen by you. You're a good momma.

You're getting to work and taking deep breaths. People will feel excited to see you (especially your backfill). They will ask about the baby. They will ask how you are. And some will acknowledge how hard this day is. Those are the ones to lean on. Go in their office and shut the door and shed some tears if you need to; they will understand.

You've made it to the beginning of the day. Your baby is still being loved. You're a good momma.

You'll spend most of the day getting your bearings and catching up. And maybe part of it pumping milk for your little one. Remind yourself as you use the pump, or check in with daycare, or schedule the next appointment with the pediatrician that you are still mothering, even when you're at the office. And those moments when you're doing actual work and not thinking about your child? You're mothering, then, too. You're providing for your family. That is mothering.

You're still a full time momma. You do not cease to be a momma when you walk into that building. And you're a good momma.

You'll watch the clock all day. Watching the hours tick by just like you watched the weeks tick by when you were on leave. When it's time to go home, I want you to take a deep breath and congratulate yourself. You did it. You're now in the sisterhood of working mommas—you'll know us by the spit up stains we're trying to conceal, or the dark circles under our eyes, or the fact that we're wearing mismatched shoes.

And we're here to remind you that you're a good momma.

But you'll learn that for yourself when you pick your little one up from daycare or your aunt's house or greet them again at your own home. That baby will snuggle into your neck and know you. You're momma. You're the end-all be-all for that little one and always will be.

Your baby won't forget that when you're at work. Not now, not when they're a toddler, not ever.

Because somewhere deep down, they'll know. They'll feel it.

You're a good momma.

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