A year ago

I still remember that empty feeling in the pit of my stomach; that feeling of absolute guilt.  I remember watching the clock count down the minutes thinking it would all be over soon enough.  It was a year ago that I went back to work, leaving my then 16 week old behind.
First day back to work

Those first few months of motherhood were hard.  I was sleep deprived and lacked human interaction.  I spent my days and nights only having a newborn to talk to planning my life around feeding and nap schedules.  I would stare at the nice clothes in my closet while my frumpy girl in PJ's stared back at me in the mirror.  I longed for the days that I would actually get dressed for a purpose.  The days when I could throw on the cute heels and skirts.  Those days when I would have adults to have actual conversations with.  And then the 16 weeks were over and I had to face the reality that I was not just going back to work but that I was leaving my child behind.

I remember those first few days where I would just stare blankly at the computer.  My mind and my heart where somewhere else.  I remember all of the mini-breakdowns in the bathroom where all I wanted to do was "go home"; some days where harder than others.

I was lucky that Nathan had an amazing person taking care of him.  It made the transition back much easier because I knew he was well taken care of.

Eventually I learned to deal with the fact that my going back to work was an evolution for both of us.  In order to be a better mother I needed to work and Nathan has flourished because of it.  He has been exposed to so much culture and life that I would have never been able to give him as a stay-at-home mother.  He is exposed to other children, and he gets to live and play in a different culture and environment.

That isn't to say that there are still days when I wonder if it is all worth it.  The days when I think that I could just give it all up and stay home.  Then I see his face light up at school.  The days I see what he has learned and know that this was the best decision for both of us.

Those first few weeks I don't think I could have seen the end of the tunnel. The day when the guilt would have subsided.  The day when I could just be OK with being a working mom.

Mama’s Losin’ It

Submitted as part of Mama Kat's writing workshop.
Prompt 3: What were you blogging about last year at this time? What has changed?
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Justine said...

you are stronger than i am, momma. it's tough to leave behind your little one, but knowing you are doing your best to provide an awesome life for your kiddo is so awesome. good for you and congrats on making it through the first year. i'm sure that is the toughest.

Sugar Mama said...

I could relate to this post for 2 reasons. One, I've been a work out the home mom and had to drop my sons off at their provider's house. I'd leave crying. Some days I'd leave happy knowing that they'd have a great day. Two, I've been an in home daycare provider for several years now so I see the moms leaving my house torn over their decision. I reassure them often that they are going to be just fine... better than fine! They'll be great!

You do what you know works for YOU. You are past the hardest part. ;o)

va_grown said...

Oh, I feel for you! My heart broke like this each time I left one of our little ones at the sitter's house (and we LOVE our sitter, btw. LOVE her!). It never got easier than the first one.

It's great that you've been able to leave the guilt behind, although I have no doubt you still miss him. Guilt is just a useless weight to carry around. And it's wonderful to see them growing up healthy and happy and know that you've made a good decision and they are doing just fine!

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