Tuesday, August 3, 2010
Killing Me Softly
Yesterday little boy had his first day at daycare. Actually, it was his first two hours. I go back on contract on the 16th, so we're staggering the amount of time he spends in daycare every day to build up both our staminas of being away from each other. In the past four and a half months, I have spent at the maximum four hours away from my fella. Some of the reasoning behind that is that it's physical; I've got two ticking time bombs on the front of my chest and he's the only one who can diffuse them. Most of the reasoning though, is that I just plain want to be around him. I made him; I grew him in my body. He's mine. It seems unnatural to be away from him.
I've had days though, let me tell you. I've had days in these past four months where I wished for stimulating adult conversation. I've had days where I just wanted to blow my hair out, put on eyeliner and use that degree that I worked really hard to earn. I've had too many days where sweats, t-shirts and ponytail holders where the only things I wore. I've had days.
Of course, those days I felt really guilty, after all, I made this guy and anxiously awaited him every second until he was born. And now I want to do what? And honestly, I think if I were given the choice between going into work or staying at home with him, I would choose stay at home. But how can I know? I don't have that choice.
High ho, high ho, it's off to work I go.
I've wrestled with this every day. Does it make me a bad mom to work? Am I shirking my responsibility? I am surrounded by working moms, most of whom did not get a long maternity leave like me. They are all wonderful moms and their kids are perfectly fine and well-rounded. I also have a husband who says it makes me a better mom because I work, because in our specific situation, I have to work. He's right; we have a nice life; we have nice things and we do nice things. That monthly mani-pedi? That bi-monthly trim? The monthly threading? Visiting family and friends that live out of state? A housekeeper? A brand spanking new car? Yeah, we can do all of that and it ain't no thang. And I have to admit, we like all of it.
But we love our son more and I would freely trade it all to stay with him. However, our quality of life and the amount of opportunities we could offer him would plummet significantly. So there's the rub. It's never going to be perfect, but I will always make sure my son is perfectly loved. Everything I do, from breastfeeding to working, is because it's best for him.
It is like slowly ripping my heart from my chest to bring my baby to daycare. They all say it will get easier, but each day I wake up with a pit in my stomach. Maybe it is already getting better though; I've been up for two and a half hours (back to 5am wakeup time, woo!) and I haven't cried once...and this is day two.
I've also never had the pleasure of coming home to a precious baby. They say those first cuddles and smiles after a long day at work will blow your face off.
And and and...I finally have an excuse to leave school right away. You better believe when 3:30 hits I'll be out that door, keys in hand, making a conscious effort not to speed.