Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Going back

One week from today, I return to work. I'm dreading it with every fiber of my being.

Yes, there are lots of plusses.

We really (REALLY!) need the money. We did not have the savings to take a year off of work. That was never the plan. But as they say "God laughs at plans." We've borrowed from our retirement, we've lived in credit cards, we've played "shuffle the bills" to keep us out of bankruptcy and we've made it as best we can. God has seen us through. There's no way around it because we really only had enough money for about 4 months at home and we've managed to stretch that into 12. But we're officially at the end of our rope. If I don't go back to work now, we'll be bankrupt. Period.

Daycare will provide great socialization for Robbie. His therapists all agree that no amount of therapy or parent-lead activities can replicate the benefits of being surrounded by peers.

Regularly speaking to adults and seeing the outside world will be good for me as a person, as opposed to me as a mom. I really have become consumed with raising Robbie. And while I don't think that is a bad thing, I do miss the interaction with adults that doesn't center around a child.

At dinner with some friends (all of whom are infertile) I found myself struggling to have something to talk about that wasn't "God, Robbie just won't nap!" which really isn't what a bunch of infertile women want to hear about. It will be good to expand my horizons a bit.

But all of those benefits really pale in comparison to how incredibly sad I am to have to leave him. The longest I've been without him since he's come home from the hospital is about 6 hours. And that was only twice- once for a long medical test at the hospital and once out with some girlfriends. The only person who has ever babysat is my MIL and that was only an hour or so while David and I had a date.

And now I'm going to have to leave him for 9-10 hours a day. Most of his waking hours. Depending on which shift I work, we might have a couple of hours in the morning- mostly spent getting ready and working through his pukey time of day. Most days I'll get home just in time to put him to bed.

It breaks my heart to know there will come a day when he wants Julie (the daycare owner) or Katie (her assistant) instead of me.

And I know I'm so, so blessed to have spent a year with him. That is SO much more than most working American women get with their babies. But it still just doesn't feel like enough.

I worry, too, about germs. While we haven't lived in seclusion since May, we are still pretty careful about hand-washing and germ-spreading. And now he'll be in a daycare with 4 other small children who are too young to understand not to rub their snot on each other. He's GOING to get sick. There is just no way around it.

My biggest fear is that he gets sick and dies and I'll know that if only we could have managed our money better, I could have stayed home and he would have been okay. Yes, my mind is dark and twisty like that.

I think about little things, too. Will I get to see his first steps? Hear his first real word? Will I really get to know him?

My coworkers tell me things are slow at work and they're giving a lot of time off. I'll probably be taking a fair amount of it. But that is a catch 22 as well. The more I work, the more I earn, the faster we can pay off our (massive) bills and the closer I am to being able to stay home with his permanently. But that's such a lofty goal, so seemingly unattainable, that it's going to be hard to turn down the opportunity to come home and kiss his beautiful face when given the opportunity.

I know I'm not the first women in history to struggle with balancing work with child-rearing. I know many women truly embrace their jobs and love the productivity it brings and even find that the time away from their child makes them a better mother because they get a break. Maybe in time I'll feel the same way.

But right now? Right now I'm just sad. I'm going to miss him so much.

--Trish

15 comments:

Jenn said...

Gah. I really wish I has something brilliant to say. But I don't, so I'll just be a little cheerleader. You're working FOR Robbie, to better his life. And no matter what - you're his mom and no one holds a candle to you. He will never love anyone like he loves you. ((((hugs))))

Christine said...

The first month back is the hardest. You will cry alot. You will race to get him when you get out of work. You will probably call all the time. Robbie wil probably get sick. Cold.... Stomach virus etc...If you can get throgh the next 4-6 weeks it will get much easier. Hopefully he will eat ok for them and he will really like it. My 10 month old daughter has so much fun that when I pick her up she looks at me-waves and then crawls in the other direction to play. She loves the other kids. Like you said it will be good for the both of you. I have no idea if this is an option for you but I work 32 hours (Wednesdays off) It is great because I get to get out and so does she and we are never away from each other more than 2 days. It will be hard but try to enjoy this week with him and good luck

Mommy Shoes said...

I go back next month and I am dreading it. Will be praying for you as you get through this transition time.

Anonymous said...

I am sorry your heart hurts...it will be ok : /

Patti B.

Sara B said...

Oh, Trish. I don't envy you starting back now. I find it harder to leave Marino at daycare now than I did when he was younger, just b/c we have to much fun together now. When he was a colicky 4 month old...not so much! Some days (like today) I spontaneously burst into tears when we go.

The good news is, he LOVES it. When we started walking into the building, he kicks his legs, squeals, points at the door and looks at me like "do you SEE where we're going?!" He loves it - I can rarely get him to give me a hug goodbye!

It will be good for you as a separate entity, not just mama, to have some time to remember who you are without a baby on your hip! It sucks, but you'll get through it!!

Lisa said...

I'm sorry hon. It just sucks- there's no way around it. I love my job and wanted to go back to work after both kids, but I still sat in the daycare parking lot and cried for an hour after I dropped them off. Sometimes I still hate being at work when it seems like all the 'good mommies' are out at the playground with their kids chasing rainbows and scampering with puppies. Even though I know that I am a much better mommy because I work and they love going to 'school' with their friends, some days it still just sucks.

Rest assured though- neither of my 2 have EVER wanted a daycare teacher over mommy. Mommy always wins. And if he does take those first steps at daycare, a good daycare teacher will lie about it and let you think you see it for the first time at home ;)

Ivory said...

I'm getting ready to go back to (when I find a job that is) and it's SO hard. I struggle with all the same things. the thought of only seeing her for a couple hours a day just kills me :(

Malloryn said...

I'm sorry that your heart is hurting over this. I'm not even in this situation, but it's already something I'm dreading when it does arise. I look at my friends and neighbors who have kids in daycare, and each one is thriving (which makes me feel a bit better). It will be tough but as you said, there are benefits to it as well.

Adriane said...

I'm sorry your year has come to an end. Working and having kids is just so hard. And, I bet staying at home full time is too!! I don't know how everyone does it.

Please know you have given him a great year. And, he is going to have FUN at daycare. And, hopefully, you will reap rewards from your job that provide balance. It is so important. Enjoy your last week! And, yes, the first month back is the hardest.

The Gonce's said...

((HUG)) I have no words that I think would comfort you. so a ((HUG)) will have to do.

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