Posted by: thatjen | August 11, 2006

The Elephant in the Living Room

We’ve had a lot of haircut fun and photoessays here of late. What we haven’t talked about is this: I am going back to work on Monday. And it’s killing me.

I know I have to do it. I know it will get easier. I know Natalie will be in good hands. I know that if I stayed home full time forever, I’d lose my mind. I know that as American mothers go, I’ve been damn lucky to get (almost!) four months home with my girl. (And that right there is a horrendous fact in and of itself.) But I yearn for Canada or some other place with intelligent, pro-child social policy. I wish we had more flexible jobs or more savings so we could afford a year or two of both of us working half time. I wish we lived in a place where the cost of living weren’t so insane (but that such a place could still have family nearby, job opportunities, and cohousing – there is no such place). But we live where we live, our finances are what they are, and summer is (for me at least) over.

So we pore over our child-care calendar, I work out the logistics of pumping & storing milk, I spend a lot of time smelling Natalie’s head, we find ridiculous things to obsess about just so we can avoid thinking about next week, and I cry without warning at inopportune times. And Monday, I will leave behind the best four months of my life.

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Responses

  1. Ugghhhh… it sucks so bad. I know that at this point I can have no idea how you really feel, but I know that it is awful. ((hugs))

  2. it’s hard. really hard.

    I have no other words, alack and alas. I keep trying to win the lottery, but it’s not working.

    I know Malka will eventually have lots of fun at daycare, being around all of those other kids, but OY is it hard!

  3. I know. I go back on Monday too. I know I’m lucky to have had 4 months with my twins. I know that I feel like I wish I had been less frustrated at times with my very colicky son. I know I feel like my world is not right when I can’t be home with them. I know that financially we need me at work and it will probably be good for me too. But I can’t help but cry indiscriminately when I think about it. We were lucky enough to find a nanny (day care for 2 infants is insanely expensive), and DP will be spending 1 full day a week plus most mornings. Yet I long for a winning lottery ticket or some other answer to the fact that I just can’t bear the thought of being gone 10 hours a day. I never realized it would be this hard.

  4. Ugh. I can’t believe it’s that time already! You go back so early! I am so sorry and hope the transition goes as smoothly as is possible.

  5. Jen,

    We just went through this the beginning of last week, and the only solace I can offer is that it is way worse on you guys than it will be for Natalie. And, if it is any comfort at all, it was actually worse for me thinking about how much I would miss it BEFORE going back than it actually was to go back… which is weird, but I wish you guys the best of luck (and hope to see you at the playgroup next Sunday!)

  6. Really sorry that you have to go back 😦 I can imagine how you must be feeling.

    Thinking of you

  7. Its really wrong that our culture makes women leave theri babies! I feel for you. I am so lucky to be able to stay at home with mine, although we have to live carefully. Its tough work being a fulltime Mum but despite a wonderful career and lots of travel prebaby this is still the best thing. I don’t miss the career! I don’t know if you are going back full time (the thought of it must kill you) I just hope that you can manage to get some part time arrangement or something. I wish you and your beautiful girl all the best.

  8. **hugs** to you, girls….

  9. I’m sorry. It must be really hard. I haven’t had to cross that bridge yet, but I’m not looking forward to it. Sending hugs your way.

  10. Hope that the first day isn’t too awful for you all. (((((hugs)))))

  11. OY indeed. It sucks. I went thru it x2. In 18 months. So hard.

    But here’s something to mull over…to little kids, 5 hours is like 5 minutes. So as far as she knows, you just ran out to put the stroller in the car, and Wow, here you are, right back!

    And think of the reunions you’ll have every day. Hey, moms, there you are! Nice to see ya! Hey, quit kissin’ my neck so much! I just saw ya five minutes ago, when you went to put the stroller in the car, and you covered me with kisses THEN, too!

    And they instantly have fun at daycare, have no doubts. You know how she loves to see new things, and is so interested in new objects? Day care is just SO exciting for them! What new learning experiences she’ll have!

    But oy, when your thinking brain starts to mull this new phase over, it’s hard.

    CHIN UP! Trust. It will work out! A positive outlook and feeling will be conveyed to her, and she’ll pick up on it.

    HUGS and best wishes. It’s definitely harder on the parents than the kids.


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