This morning started unlike every other morning of the last nine months. Sure, I woke up, showered and fed Jessica, but then I ate an amazing breakfast Scott cooked for us (Dutch apple pancake baked in our new cast iron skillet – so yummy!) and after seeing the twelve-year-old off to school I kissed Scott and little eight-month-old Jessica goodbye and went to work. My first day back at work after nine months of maternity leave.

It actually feels pretty good being back at the office. My desk is so tidy. My phone is rerouted to my old phone number, my computer is hooked up again and I’ve gone through my email (actually I just archived everything from 2008 without reading it) and my paper mail (mostly catalogues). I’ve been figuring out my schedule for the spring. I’m teaching into the web design course, HUIN105, with Eric Rasmussen, who’ll be substituting for Scott this semester. I’m also supervising a few students who are doing independent practical projects in HUIN305. But I’m only teaching for a couple of months, because I’m getting a bonus few months of sabbatical since I missed part of it being on maternity leave. And thanks to brilliant Norway I only have to work 5 1/2 hour days: I get two hours paid leave every day because I’m still nursing. I love Norwegian parental leave.

I’m also giving a couple of talks in the next weeks, both for librarians, who are some of my favourite people when it comes to genuine interest in using social technology and the web to connect with readers. The first talk is at Neptunseminaret on January 21 here in Bergen, which is an annual meeting organised by various regional library associations. This year the topic is “Human meets machine”, and the other speakers look really interesting. I’m looking forward to attending this. My second talk is in Oslo at Kari Skj¯nsberg-dagene on Feburary 9, and is organised by the Faculty of Journalism, Library and Information Science.

All this is good.

But walking to work I realised that I may never again spend all of every day with my baby. She’ll be with her daddy for the next semester, which is fabulous. But our days of me being there always are over.

I’m already looking forward to going home and holding her close again!

6 thoughts on “first day back at work

  1. Stephanie

    Welcome back! I know it is hard in the beginning, but just think what a strong, smart mom you daughters have to look up to :-).

  2. M-H

    Awwww… yes, it is hard. But everything’s a trade-off, it seems, and you will adjust. And yay for Norwegian maternity leave! How cool is that?

  3. William Patrick Wend

    Seriously, I’ve commented this before but how cool are Norway’s paternal leave laws?!? As for librarians, I completely agree with you Jill that they are often very interested in social media and finding new ways to use the Internet. I’m finding myself drawn to them more and more as I become less pulled in the direction of English…

  4. Jill Walker Rettberg

    Thanks, guys! Jessica was absolute fine with her dad yesterday – not really a surprise since she adores him but I was a bit worried because she’s been kind of clingy with me lately in typical 8-9 month old fashion. Unfortunately she’s still very jetlagged and has been awake two-three hours each night which is beginning to draw its toll on me…

    But it’s quite nice being at work again too!

  5. Liz Lawley

    Hope the transition back to work goes smoothly for all of you!

    BTW, I’m going to Sydney for the first time next week, and would love suggestions from you of places or people to see while I’m there (just blogged about it).

  6. Lilia Efimova

    Jill, just a word of caution about two hours paid leave (we have the same in the Netherlands). I eventually realised that although I could legally work two hours less every day the expectations of what I had to do haven’t adjusted much…

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