Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Savor, Savor, Savor (Week 8)

Being my last week of maternity leave the name of the game this week is SAVOR. I'll be very honest. I never imagined myself as a working mother. For as long as I've wanted a baby, I've wanted the opportunity to stay home and raise them. But alas, this is not possible at the moment. So, I'll learn to roll with this too, just like I've done with so many other things that have happened over the course of the last 8 weeks.

When I was in college (?) there was this little book that was hugely popular in the business community. It's called Who Moved My Cheese and is basically about dealing with change and learing to roll with the punches because in the rat race of life it constantly feels like someone is moving the cheese at the end of the maze. I feel like my life has been a moving target for the last few weeks and I constantly find myself wanted to yell, "Who moved my cheese... AGAIN!"

I've gone from being insistant on having a natural childbirth to getting a highly medicalized birth including Pitocin and an epidural. I've had to let go of my dreams of breastfeeding my child for a minimum of the first 6 months of her life and now am a proud formula feeder. I thought I'd be a hard core Attachment Parenting baby wearer and yet I find myself thankful when she is willing to take a nap in her swing or crib so that I can have my body to myself for a few minutes. I thought it would be easier to parent "compassionately", always putting myself in my daughter's shoes before making any judgements on her behavior until she screamed for 3 hours straight and I got to the point where I had done everything I possibly could think of to sooth her and I didn't really care what was wrong with her, I just! And now I find myself going back to work next week.

Thankfully, I've had a long time to adjust to the idea. We figured pretty early on in the pregnancy that it was going to be impossible to live on one income. I fought and fought and fought. I insisted that there was some way to make it work. But alas, there was no way. Right now our expenses require two incomes. It is what it is. So, I had no choice but to figure out a way to make it work. We are so lucky to have my mom who not only loves Lily like her own, but is available to watch her during the day. My mom is a professional tutor and therefore has a flexible schedule. She is going to be able to come over and watch Lily at the house keeping her (and me) from having to be bundled up in the morning and taken somewhere.

I've tried to look at the bright side of going back to work. I look forward to going to the bathroom by myself, to being able to ensure that I get lunch every day, to having some adult interaction, and to be honest I get very bored at home alone all day. But just thinking about being away from her makes me cry. I'm thankful that I was able to hold off the feelings until the last week or so. I worked very hard in the first few weeks to keep the saddness away so that I wouldn't ruin the time I did have with her. But here we are at the end and it's hard not to be sad.

I worry about a lot of things. I worry that she'll forget who I am. I worry that she'll get so attached to my mom that she'll cry for her in the evenings. I worry that she'll feel like I don't love her any more since I'm leaving her. I worry that I will be so miserable at work all day that it will make my life unbearable. Again... I just never imagined myself having to do this. :-( I feel very stuck, forced to do something I don't want to do but know I have to.

Mom took Lily over night on Sunday so that my first morning could be easy. Adjusting to getting up again is going to be hard since I've been sleeping when she sleeps in the morning. When I dropped her off I just kissed her head and cried and cried. I tried to explain to her that I loved her very much and that me being away didn't change that. Jay was very supportive and reminded me that she wasn't dying, I was just going to work. When we got home I took a big glass of wine out on the back deck and had a chance to breath deeply.

Hopefully, the anticipation will be the worst part.

We didn't get to take many pictures this week, but our friend Dan got this one with his cell phone on Saturday after we went to the gun and knife show. Yes, I'm the mother who took her 8 week old daughter to the gun and knife show. Just wish I wouldn've had an Obama 2012 onesie to put her in. Hehe!

I fall in love with that man a little more every day! Have a great week everyone!

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