I go back to work in about 10 days. I don’t even have words for how I feel about leaving my baby girl. I honestly don’t think I’m cut out to be a stay at home mom, but at the same time, leaving her at this stage just feels a thousand kinds of wrong. I just wish I could have a bit more time.
To make matters worse, Charlotte has reached a point where she just wants me. No one else can calm her when she’s upset. It’s honestly pretty awful. If she’s screaming, it will just continue to escalate until she’s in my arms. I was in denial about it for a few weeks, insisting it was just coincidence that she’d settle when I took her, but it’s pretty clear at this point that it’s not a coincidence.
I’m so afraid of what’s going to happen when I leave her all day. I’m afraid she’s going to cry all day and think I’ve abandoned her. I’m afraid her caregivers (my parents on Mondays and a nanny Tuesdays-Thursdays) are going to be frustrated and tell me they can’t handle it.
And as much as that frightens me, I’m equally afraid of how it’s going to feel when she adjusts to my absence (because I know she will) and it’s no longer my touch that calms her.
I’ve been lucky to add a few extra weeks onto the 12 (ish) weeks of leave that we get in California, but it just doesn’t feel right that I have to leave her at this age. We’re still figuring out this whole mommies and baby relationship. We’re still figuring out breastfeeding (more on that later). We’re still figuring out how to have a life AND a baby. It’s just too soon.
I know I’m being a bit of a drama queen about this. I know that people leave their babies and go to work every day. The three of us will adjust to this new change with some time. I think the hardest part is just that this is it. This is the last time in her entire life that I will have this much time with her. From here on out, it will be a day here and there and a week maybe a few times a year. That’s just so sad to me. At least Catch will be with her during school breaks. That’s something, I suppose.
I was talking to my lactation consultant the other day, and she told me that this is why she changed careers. She had been involved in production at Disney, but after she had her (IVF) twins, she realized she needed more time with them so she started on a new path. That really speaks to me.
My company has changed over the fifteen years that I’ve worked there. We’ve gone from being small and family-oriented with a female-heavy executive team to large, corporate, and male-dominated. I know that when I return to my position having now added “mom” to my resume, that change is going to be more evident than ever. I really worry about how it’s going to be for me when I have to duck into the closet to pump every few hours or the first time I balk at working late or traveling.
These are all things that only time can provide answers (or relief) for. In the meantime, I am trying my hardest to put it out of my mind and enjoy every last moment of these ten days with my beautiful girl. (It would help if she would PLEASE SLEEP FOR THE LOVE OF GOD.)