I like working and I like my job much more than I thought I did. I loved being with my son for the first year, but I am generally much less stressed being at work than being home all the time. I like using my brain to solve detailed technical problems. I like spending time with adults and discussing systems, processes, politics, etc.
I need and want more me time, but can survive without it. I have always spent a lot of time alone, and liked it. Prior to Baby, I had alone time, since Husband & I have always worked different schedules. Since Baby, I don't have alone time, maybe once a month I get a couple of hours. I do have the subway ride to and from work, which is about half an hour alone in the middle of a sea of people. I still miss having more alone time, but it isn't killing me.
I really am a clean freak, even though my home is a disaster (my opinion that it is a disaster, not everyone agrees with me). There is never time to do the cleaning, evenings are so busy and short and I can't vacuum after Baby goes to sleep. Husband works on Saturdays, so it is me and Baby alone, and near impossible to get anything done. Sundays are the only day we have together as a family, so we want to spend time together instead of doing chores. There are so many times when I hate my home, it makes me cringe how bad it is (to me).
I don't have to work brutal hours to do a good job and receive props. Before Baby, I used to work really long hours during projects to make sure everything got done. Since being back at work, I have been leading a team working on a huge very important project. I leave work before 5:15pm every day, now I am also in earlier than I ever was before, but still, I am putting in less hours in the office. Things are getting done, I am prioritizing better, spending less time gossiping and doing a better job of delegating instead of doing everything.
I don't think that work is the most important thing and it doesn't define who I am, even though it is a big part of my life. Just like being a mom isn't the only thing I am, it is a part of me. I am able to balance work & the rest of my life much better than I was expecting.