I returned to work today. After 3 glorious months home with my newborn son. I cried as I said goodbye to him, because in 3 months I have never left him for more than a couple of hours. I cried when his dad sent me a video of him that I requested after he woke up because this was the first time my face wasn’t the first one he saw when he opened his little eyes. I cried while I was microwaving my lunch because I was alone in the break-room and felt it was a safe space to let it out. I cried because I felt guilty. I cried because I am sad. I cried because I know from experience, they grow up so fast. But like many women in this country, I don’t have much of a choice in when I return back to work. Yes, I love my career, I probably wouldn’t do well as a stay at home mom on a permanent basis, but 3 months in my opinion, is just too soon to go back. Take a look at this LIST you’ll see the top countries for maternity leave, the U.S. is no where on that list.
When I returned home I couldn’t run fast enough through the front door to get to my baby. I didn’t take off my shoes or coat, and just snatched him up and cuddled with him. Before I knew it, it was bedtime. I dreaded laying him down in his bassinette. When he woke up at 1AM I fed him his bottle, I didn’t want to have my boyfriend do it because I wanted my boy all to myself. In the wee hours of the morning, it always felt like just me and him in the world.
There was a little snafu this morning at my house. There was a two hour weather delay at my daughter’s and stepson’s schools that caused all sorts of complications. Instead of the baby staying home with daddy, I had to bring him to my parents house. Because of this I was running late to work, and I didn’t really have a chance to give my little guy a proper goodbye (ie, crying, squeezing, kissing, leaving, coming back for more kisses…etc) So I left the house, and much to my surprise, I didn’t cry.
At 10:30 I stopped what I was working on and texted my mother. Was he doing ok? Was he happy? She reported back to me that he pooped and ate and was smiling, along with a picture of him in his glider happy as a clam. Then I felt it. The tears start to well up in my eyes. I walk out of my office to the bathroom and cry. Was he forgetting about me? Will he not bond with me because I went to work too soon? The hours couldn’t go fast enough now, I had to get home.
I picked up my boy at my parents house, he was sleeping. I wanted to wake him up, but didn’t. When we got home he was starting to wriggle out of his sleep. He caught my eye and gave me the sweetest half sleepy smile. This is what I waited all day for.
I woke up at 4 am with the baby. Fed him, changed him and went back to sleep for a few minutes before I had to get up again for work. It was snowing and dark and miserable. all I wanted to do is stay in bed and snuggle with my little guy, but instead I was heading into work. Work was busy for me this day. Lots of emails and meetings. Lot’s of prepping for days and weeks to come. The day flew by, I didn’t text home as much. I didn’t have the time; and that made me feel guilty. I didn’t cry at work today; and that made me feel guilty.
I have been noticing my son has begun to favor his daddy already. We are pretty fortunate that between my mom, my boyfriend and on occasion his mom, our son can stay home with family while I go to work. So I should be thrilled that he is bonding with dad, right? I notice he gives up his smiles more easily to dad now than to me. His dad can comfort him a bit quicker than I can when he fusses. I should feel blessed that my little guy feels safe and loved when he is with dad and I can’t be home with him, then why do I feel so crappy about it?
For those of you in a similar situation, here is a great article.
I have never really been a TGIF kinda gal. I mean yes, I love the weekend, but I have not dreaded going to work in over 10 years because I have a great employer, but for the first time in a long time, I am counting down the seconds to 5 o’clock!
I get home and scoop up the little guy. I don’t think I put him down for hours. I didn’t even cry today. I know things will bet better. I know I will get into a routine; but for now, I am just going to hold him, and not ever let him go…(Well, at least not until Monday morning rolls around.)