I’ve been back to work for three weeks, and I still get asked everyday if I miss my daughter. The short answer is “yes.” The long answer is that yes, leaving my three month child for 8+ hours each day is the most unnatural feeling in the world. I went from having her literally feeding off my body to leaving her during her most awake and alert times of the day. She was beginning to see me as the person to calm her when she was sad, make her feel comfortable when she needed a diaper change, and feed her when she was hungry. I was just beginning to feel more like a mom and less like a lump of a postpartum zombie.
I miss her terribly every minute I am away from her, but there are a lot of good things about our “situation” (I guess we can call it that). Here are some pros and cons:
–CON: Every time I pick her up after work she is sitting in some kind of device. A swing, a rock ‘n play, a bumbo.
— PRO: She is constantly surrounded by other kids who have crawled up to her. They’re usually babbling, smiling, touching her toes. She loves it.
–CON: She smells like her daycare teacher every night. I guess this is somewhat of a pro, since her teacher smells good, but we don’t want our baby smelling like another woman, do we?
–CON: The cost. It’s insane.
–MAJOR CON: She is exhausted every evening. I bring her home, feed her, and she falls asleep for an hour. This equates to getting an hour of time each day with her when she is awake.
–MAJOR PRO: She is surrounded by toys toys toys. Her environment is so stimulating and mentally enriching.
–PRO: Her teacher does things with her I would never have thought to do, like put her foot prints on a keepsake paper in the colors of candy corn for Halloween.
–PRO: I’ve grown to LOVE breastfeeding. I actually look forward to waking up in the morning (gasp, I know. ME?) to feed her, and I get excited for sitting down with her every evening after our busy days. It’s one thing that only I can offer her. I think I appreciate it so much more now that we spend time apart.
And with being back at work:
–PRO: Three times a day I get to sit in a closet to pump breast milk…which means three times a day I get complete silence to do paperwork. This helps sooo much with time management. I get out of work closer to “on time” than ever before.
–CON: Three times a day, I sit in a closet.
–PRO: I LOVE my job. It’s great to be back with patients. It’s rewarding to make people feel better every day. I missed it when I was away, and it feels good using my skills again.
–CON: That guilty feeling I get from leaving my daughter every day and actually enjoying myself.
So this is where our little family is right now, and it is good. As good as the “situation” can be.