Before Evie was born I was certain I wanted to go back to work. I knew what I wanted out of life and this whole motherhood experience. Then she was born and my life was flipped upside down in so many ways. The sleepless nights and the stress of figuring out this tiny human whose only way of communication was crying was the expected insanity. What was unexpected was this change in my mindset.
I want to constantly hold her. I don’t want to miss anything. Especially the last month as she’s grown and changed so much. She’s no longer a newborn who cries for everything, even sometimes when everything is okay and she just needs to release energy. Now she smiles, waves her arms and gets easily fascinated by lights and the faces of her loved ones, especially her Mama and Papa. This little human now coos back when you talk to her and smiles while playing. She flings her legs and arms with purpose, really trying to figure out what these crazy limbs of hers can do. The world is so amazing to her and once again it’s amazing to me as I watch her learn how it works.
Going back to work was something I didn’t want to think about. I didn’t want to go back to the world of the grind. Where you type away, meet, organize, plan and pull it all together. It no longer held the same passion for me that it once did. I was terrified that I would miss something Evie was learning about. I would miss a smile. And each smile is so precious to me.
My husband went back to work when she was only a few weeks old and I could see it in his face when he left each morning. It was the hardest thing he had to do. I can see it when he returned in the evenings and immediately went to Evie. He wanted to hold her, sleeping or awake, crying or calm. He just wanted to be surrounded by the presence of his child. I didn’t want to have to go through that range of emotions that he was experiencing – knowing that it would be doubly hard on me because of the breastfeeding.
I am back at work (day two) and those feelings haven’t changed. I long to have her in my arms, smiling up at me. I detest the sterility of the pump while being very happy that it exists so that I don’t have to wean her before we’re ready. I rush home, gather in my arms and then refuse to put her down for the rest of the evening. Sitting her down when it’s time for me to go to bed makes me understand completely why some parents let their kids sleep in their beds for so long. I feel like I’m missing out.
I don’t feel guilty for leaving her or like I’m a bad mother. I just miss her. They say it gets easier but for me I’m not sure that it will. I will always miss her when I’m away. She is my first-born (and currently my only). I’m happy with the change that has come over me. I’m not the same person I was 11 weeks ago and that’s a good thing. But it makes this whole working thing much less appealing knowing what awaits me at home.
*Any mother who feels differently than what is stated above is not a bad mother. They’re different. I lay no judgement on other mothers – simply expressing my feelings based on my experience.*