first day jitters

I loved the first day of school.  Thumbing through crisp new notebooks, freshly sharpened pencils and new beginnings full of promise and opportunity.  There’s a certain smell associated with school, don’t you think?  Kind of like a good library book, the musky scent carries a hint of adventure and unknown.

The preparation for day one begins early.  Wondering who’ll be in your classes.  Carefully picking a new outfit (okay, actually trying on EVERYTHING in your closet and throwing it all on the floor until you find exactly the right thing), and counting down the days until that first morning.

I love the first day.

The first day back after maternity leave is just like the other firsts but, as my co-host Lindsey pointed out, with a glaring difference.  While your career temporarily pauses, it continues for everyone else.  It’s this odd universe, walking back into a world that has carried on in your absence.  The only way to make it work is to dive in, head first, and swim like hell.

I’d be lying if I said I’m not anxious and terrified of the months ahead.  I know, I know.. I just said I love the first day.  And I do!  It’s day two, day three, day 100 that make my stomach turn and my heart start to race.  There is so much to coordinate with two kids and two working parents.  Lunches, bottles, naps, laundry, baths, preschool, teething, exercise.. it’s one thing after another needing to be tackled.  And that’s just the present!  Our oldest starts school in the fall, and it won’t be long before the baby is on the move (and then the whole game changes).

I learned today that I’ve got to keep moving.  Handle one event at time, then move on to the next.  Remember a few deep breaths here and there.  Eat “nervous tummy friendly foods” ha! Smile, even when I’m freaking out on the inside.  It’s amazing how much of a difference a smile can make to my whole outlook.  Drink more water than I think I need.  Call my partner when I’m overwhelmed, talk it out.

How do you handle change?  Do you have any advice or words of wisdom to pass along?