You Are Not Alone

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Shhhh! Don't Tell!

Lately, I have been fantasizing about going back to work. What kind of deranged person would do that?! A twenty-nine year old woman who has been staying home with her baby for the last seven months, that's who.
I have been daydreaming about putting on work clothes, dropping my Son off at a Daycare and collaborating with adults over spreadsheets. In this fantasy, I have a routine, a reason to polish myself up and a steady paycheck. In my fantasy work world I have people to talk to, real live people standing or sitting with me, discussing issues and coming up with solutions, making jokes and swapping office gossip. I get a lunch break and eight hours of clearly knowing my duties and responsibilities and knowing how to execute them in an optimal way. After the daily grind, I get to pick up my Son, who is so happy to see me, go home, have dinner and relax with my husband. Sometimes, it makes me sigh with longing, but guilt and anxiety are never far behind that sigh.

When I truly think about leaving my Son for work, my heart is wrenched with guilt and sadness. Thinking about handing over his sweet little chubby self to another person to take care of takes a chunk out of my heart. In my mind, my Son needs and deserves to be with his Momma. I probably could find someone else to take care of Colin, and that person would probably take really good care of him, but that person is not me. That person cannot breastfeed my Son, console him as only I can when he's fussy, or even really know what he wants or needs like I can. I made the choice to stay home with him for as long as possible, knowing that by doing so, I’m giving him a wonderful and happy start to life. I feel so fortunate that I am able to, when I know so many people who wish they could stay home with their babies, but have to work. I am also fortunate enough to have an opportunity to earn money from home, and as appealing and convenient as that is, it is also difficult to apply myself to that opportunity when I'd rather be spending that time with my Son, or my Husband.

Truly, when I think about it, the window of time that is open for me to enjoy my Son's babyhood is small. Colin is already seven months old and hitting milestones like a rock rolling down a hill. My sweet little boy is going to be walking and talking before I know it, and I get to be here to help him and witness those special moments.

So, I put those daydreams away, and focus on other ways to expend my energy, to feel competent and valued. Sure, spreadsheets are easy compared to rearing a child, but they're not nearly as fun or rewarding. I have the rest of my life to spend working; the opportunity to go back will come soon enough. I only get one chance to enjoy Colin's babyhood.

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