Posted by: mindyourknitting | September 4, 2009

Nose, Meet Grindstone

This week was my first week back to work after maternity leave.  While I was on maternity leave the prospect of going back to work didn’t seem like such a big deal, and a small part of me looked forward to the freedom it would afford me during the daytime.  For those of you questioning how much freedom I possibly could have at my government cubicle-bound day job, let me just say that I now define “emancipation” as the ability to eat, pee, and talk on the phone when I want to.  Yet the closer I got to the end of my time at home with Abigail, the more anxious I became about leaving her, and wondered how we would manage the logistics of it all.  I didn’t really address the emotional part of it, and that was a mistake.

I guess this week went pretty smoothly, all things considered.  Childcare is being shared between Abigail’s grandmothers, and although one of them lives a bit of a distance away, we’ve sorted out a system by which we all get to the required places on time and try to disrupt Abigail’s schedule as little as possible.  For some reason I thought this would make Abigail’s transition easy, but what I didn’t count on was how much she seems to miss being at home with me.  The fact that I would miss her like crazy was a no-brainer, but it still didn’t prevent the mommy-guilt meltdown I had on Tuesday night because Abigail was having a fit in her high chair while Erik was trying to feed her, I was trying to make dinner, and all she wanted was out of that damn chair and into my arms.  And I knew that her crankiness, so unlike her usual temperament, was my fault.  Not in any intentional way, but I went back to work and left her with someone else all day, all week, and when I finally came home I tried to do other things (dinner, cleaning, etc.)  than pay attention to her.   That was a hard day, and I know I shouldn’t feel guilty about working, but I do.  I miss our routines, our daily patterns that we both enjoyed and that Abigail knew.  She’s a pretty adaptable child, but this week rocked her world in the sense that she spent every day in a different way than any day she had spent before I went back to work.  Her grandmothers are trying to stick to her schedule, but some changes are unavoidable.  I’ve been told that she is perfectly happy during the day, but she’s certainly not her usual self in the evenings, and it’s frustrating and disheartening.  I only get a few hours with her on weekday evenings, and tonight her bedtime was a relief because she was so miserable, which compounds how guilty I feel.  I always questioned whether I had it in me to be a stay-at-home mom (because, for the record, I like my job and find it very fulfilling, and I’ve always, always worked), but if it meant that Abigail would be happier and not have to face this type of disruption, confusion, and separation, I would do it in a heartbeat.  If only it were possible.

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Responses

  1. Ohh.. I feel for you. It is tough and I too wonder how woman around the world do it…oh yeah.. did I mention I am only working part-time?? I can’t even imagine for those of you working full-time.


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