Monday, February 7, 2011

Leaving Baby

At 36 years old, I became at a Mom for the first time. My husband and I were overjoyed with the birth of our daughter, Elyse, in September 2010. I was so excited about taking time to stay home with my daughter, but as exciting as it was, I knew I would dread going back to work.

You see, I have worked for as long as I could remember. I got my first job about two weeks before I got my driver's license. The first day I drove to work coincided with cashing my first paycheck. Freedom! Independence! Pride! I could get used to this! I went to college and always held part-time jobs. I have always worked and the longest I could remember not working was for the two and a half weeks I took off in September 2008 for my Fiji wedding and honeymoon. I've worked hard at my career and feel proud and confident in where I am today professionally.

Fast forward to New Years 2011. Everyone is celebrating. Me? I'm literally weeping into my little girl's hair telling my husband, "I just didn't expect to love her so much!" I felt selfish. I felt guilty. I questioned our decisions. I worried that I wasn't doing what was best for my daughter. It killed me that we would be away from her more than we would be together. How could this be right?

The night before I went back, it didn't get any better. I was a mess. I was so upset, I was literally sick and felt embarassed I was this emotional.

Let me tell you. It did get better! The power to make decisions, even sacrifices is what made all the difference. That first Monday was awful. I had two measly hours with Elyse and I found myself crying into her head again.

Fast forward to today - about five weeks from when I first went back to work. I've worked out a schedule where I can have more time with my little girl. This has meant the world to me. I've had to be pretty creative with my work hours to make it work, but it is all worth it. Now, our baby has more time with her parents, than not (given both of our schedules). She gets three days a week with two of her Grandmas and her Grandpa - it couldn't be more ideal.

It is never easy leaving her - don't get me wrong. I enjoy our brief time in the mornings. Diaper change. Getting dressed for the day. Sniffing her head (am I the only weird Mama who loves that?). We get good playtime in at night. I get fun text messages (even pics) when I'm away from her that help a lot and keep me feeling connected to her routine, schedule and just what she is up to. Next thing you know it is the weekend again and we are back together.

We've found a way to make it work. I've come to appreciate my time at work too. Now that I can set that guilt aside, it is fulfilling and a wonderful balance for me. Plus, I don't sacrifice a minute of the time I do get with my daughter - that time has become much too precious!

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