Wednesday, March 11, 2015

And then I went back to work

I went back to work on Monday.  I knew it was going to happen.  I kept trying to mentally prepare myself for it to happen, and to get myself all geared up to spend my days back at the office while my daughter spends her days with grandma.  I swore I wasn't going to be one of "those people" who cried while dropping the baby off in the morning and then spent the day freaking out, sobbing at her desk.  For the most part, I wasn't really that person.  My meltdown came the night before I went back to work.  The night when I started thinking about all of the things I was going to miss, and that feeling got mixed in with all of my anxiety about going back to the office and having to catch up after being gone for so long.  I cried because I was afraid she wouldn't miss me.  I cried because I was afraid that, although my mother is perfectly capable of taking care of an infant, she wouldn't know how to do the things I do for her.  She might not know how to calm her down, or what kind of music she likes, or how she likes to be bounced.  I was afraid that someone not knowing all of those things would put stress on her while I was gone, and I felt guilty because I know that if I was there, I'd know how to help.  I cried because leaving her with my mother comes with pros and cons.  Pros being that I can contact her all day long and ask for updates, or photos.  Cons being that if my mom gets to witness all of her milestones, she'll spend the rest of her life reminding me about how she got to see it and I didn't.  That will be like a knife to the heart that will keep getting stabbed in over and over and over.  At least daycare people don't spend a ton of time reminding you about what you've missed out on.

I was ok on Monday.  I held it together.  I made it through my work day.  Then I got in the car to go home and it was like a switch flipped in my head.  Must. Get. Her.  It literally became my only thought.  I had to drop my husband off for the class he's taking two nights a week, and then I was going to go get her.  Except that traffic was a nightmare, and I kept getting caught in traffic jam after traffic jam.  I burst into tears while stopped on the exit ramp that was backed up to the highway because everything was standing between me and my girl.  I just wanted to go see her and hold her and everything was making it take too long.  I sobbed like a toddler.  It was nearing 6:00 when I finally got to her, and she was asleep on my mom's chest.  I kept hovering, waiting for my mom to hand her to me, but she didn't want to.  She didn't want to wake her up.  It was everything I could do not to rip her away and run.  I had waited all day.  Didn't she understand that I couldn't wait anymore?  I just needed to hold her and kiss her face and be with her for a little while.

I thought the next day would be easier.  It wasn't.  It was a million times harder.  Things at work had frustrated me on my first day back, I was annoyed and bitter, and I didn't really feel like going back into the building again, and then she cried the whole way to my mom's house.  All I could think was that she didn't seem to want to go there, and I didn't want to go to work, so I wanted to turn the car around and just go home to snuggle her back to sleep.  It made being frustrated with work even worse.  It's hard to feel like it's worth staying when you know there is something awesome that you're missing out on.  I cried.  I sat in my cubicle crying.  I just wanted to leave.  Yesterday felt bad.  Then we got her home and she was over tired so she went to sleep and I didn't really get any time with her.  That felt bad as well.

Today has been ok.  No tears so far.  She smiled at me as she woke up from me putting her into the car seat.  She was fine on the way to my mom's house this morning.  She fell asleep in the car and stayed asleep for an hour and a half after that.  She has been less fussy for my mom (so I'm told) and I've done a better job of holding it together, but the truth is.....I miss her.

I'm not sad about working.  I'm probably going to be happier in the long run if I work, but I'm sad about what I'll be missing out on.  I wish I could work shorter hours, or fewer days.  I don't want to miss out on all of her moments.  I want to have the opportunity to be there.  I'm also sad because I went back to work just as I was starting to feel like I was good at this mom thing.  I had just hit my groove and didn't feel like a total fuck up, and then it all got messed up.  I feel like I quit something right as I was starting to master it.  I'm also sad because I'm afraid I'll stop being the person who knows how to calm her down, or what music she likes, or how to bounce her, because someone else is stepping in for those hours during the day and taking over.  I still want to be the one who knows her best, and it's hard to think that I might not be anymore.

But then on Monday night I pulled her out of the car seat and she nuzzled her face into my neck and let out this big sigh, and I knew she was happy I was back, and that she had missed me.  Nothing has ever felt so awesome.


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