Thursday, May 15, 2008

Lamentations of a Working Mommy

Last week I returned to work after three blissful months at home with my beautiful new son. Being at home alone with your first child is trying. The first day Travis had to return to work and I was officially on my own, I cried most of the day. I felt lonely and inadequate and very, very scared. Not that I didn't know how to care for an infant. I've done my fair share of sitting and nannying. But then I could defer to the parent when an important decision needed to be made. And if it's the wrong decision, well Damn The Man, baby. Wasn't my idea to do it that way. But now I am The Man. I am the one to whom people consult to make decisions on how to care for this perfect little baby. I am the one that has the potential to make or break the foundation on which this life will be built. How freakin' terrifying is that?!

And a newborn isn't exactly a sparkling conversationalist, so I longed for another adult to sit and chat with. Travis would come home for lunch and then at the end of the day, and I would talk from the moment his shoes hit the back hall Pergo until he closed the bathroom door for some privacy. And then I'd start up again when the door opened, before the toilet even finished flushing because I'd been hovering outside, waiting very impatiently for him to listen to my reports about how many naps were taken, how much formula was consumed and how many diapers were changed. I'd ramble on and on, all the while Travis just looking for five minutes of solace and quiet at the end of a long day at the office. The man deserves an award, I'm telling you, cause I'da punched me in the beak.

So I thought the adjustment of coming back to work would be a relatively easy one. I'd have the best of both worlds. I'd get to hang out with my friends at work (and maybe do a little work here and there) and then come home to spend quality time with Walker. Oh, how misguided was I?! My first day back, it was reported to me, Walker cried most of the day. And the separation anxiety was torture on me, as well. Since then Walker's done really well. He loves spending the days with Uncle Chris and the girls and even seems to enjoy Sofi, the Chihuahua's, company.

For me, however, it's gotten progressively worse. I thought that the first day would be the worst, but then it would get easier. Not true, my friend. The second day I cried the whole way home, and I could see the thought running through Travis' mind: "increase your Zoloft, increase your Zoloft." When I originally thought of the eight hours I put in at work, I neglected to take into consideration my lunch hour and then an hour travel time each way. I'm away from my baby almost twelve hours every day! And when we finally do pull into the garage and I throw myself out of the barely stopped car and run across the driveway to my sister's house to fetch him, I have to share our time together with Travis. Now, I know he misses the baby as much as I do. But I've gone from 24/7 to 4 hours if I'm lucky. I want to bogart.

Anymore a woman is crucified for wanting to stay home with her kids. She's looked at as only a mother. Yeah. Cause raising the next generation of humans is cake compared to building a career that ends with a cheap gold watch. Raising my children is all I want. I felt lonely at home with only the baby to keep me company, but I feel more alone here at work, surrounded by people, without my son. He was with me every minute of every day for 11 months. To suddenly be separated from him is almost unbearable. I want to have tummy time and spit up on my shirt. I want to fold laundry and change dirty bums. I want to clean the house and make dinner for my husband. I want to teach my son to clap and hold things in his hands.

Call me provincial or old fashioned. I don't care. It's far more important to me to be with my son than anything else in the world. We do have a plan to make that happen. I keep telling myself that this arrangement is only temporary. That, even if it's a year, we'll pay things off and I'll be able to stay home. Until then I'll just plaster the walls of my office with pictures of Walker and wait, though impatiently, for the day to arrive when I can quit and be a full time mommy again.

1 comment:

Yancey Family said...

oh kelly--I'm sorry. I still have mother guilt and heartache from when COLBY was in preschool and then day care from ages 3-5. I can't imagine leaving Jolie all day! I hope the time goes by fast so you can be home with your sweet little noodle.