Every night, I lay a sleeping baby down to rest in his crib. I kiss him on his forehead, on his cheeks and I whisper how much I love him. I lay him down and he immediately rolls over and pokes his tiny hiney in the air like babies do. I tiptoe out of the room, close the door and retire downstairs, where I hang with hubs. Most nights, I feel good about bedtime. He's had a full day and he's tired. He needs sleep and I need some mama time.
Sunday nights are another issue though. Coming off of an uninterrupted 48 hours with him, I develop a little thing I've named "The Sunday Night Sads." It hits me right as I start to rock him; "Man, I have to go to work tomorrow. He has to go to daycare. Our playtime is over."
I get a little teary and I hold him a little longer and squeeze him extra tight. I whisper what a great time I had this weekend and I love him so so very much. And while he is perfectly happy and adjusted, I always tell him how I wish things could be different; how I wish I could stay with him all the time. I say a gratitude prayer that I am able to have the ample vacation time that I do.
I started the working mama thing when he was 5 months old. Those first few weeks were terrible for me; I walked around with a constant pit of dread and fear and sadness. I was always anxious and the "Sunday Night Sads" were more effectively known as the "Sunday Night Pit of Despair". I would literally sob on the way downstairs and hurl myself into hubs' arms.
While it's gotten easier and I've accepted that this is our life, it hasn't gone away and I've stopped thinking that it will. That I'll magically be completely satisfied with sending him to daycare. That I won't pretend that taking care of my family and home isn't my number one priority. I don't think it will go away but what's made it better is that I've accepted it.
I get that I'm really lucky. I earn a great paycheck and I get great vacations. I am very, very blessed and grateful.
But the Sunday Night Sads? Those still manage to sneak up on me every Sunday.