You know, this title is really inaccurate. I certainly was a “working” mom during the past 10 weeks, even if I wasn’t at an official place of business while I was “working.” That aside, this week marked my return to the world of working-outside-my-house and ended my unofficial time as a stay at home mom.
I really thought this day would never come. I guess I just thought April would stretch on indefinitely and that Monday morning would never arrive and I would continue my little routine of cuddling, nursing, loving on Amelia 24-7 with no interruption for reality. Of course I was wrong.
I cried. I mean the sobbing, snotty, blotchy kind of crying usually reserved for something truly devastating. I cried Sunday night when I washed and prepped all the pieces of my pump so I’d be ready to do that at work. I sobbed Monday morning when I left her at my mother-in-law’s and I broke down at school when a friend asked how the baby was. I arrived in the parking lot on Tuesday morning with a tear-streaked face but managed to get hold of myself when I walked through the doors. On Tuesday night my friend Chastity told me to suck it up and quit looking so sad. Apparently I was depressing others.
So, I tried. I smiled at Amelia on Wednesday morning when I left and she rewarded me with a big ‘ol dimpled grin. I made it through the school day thinking maybe life wasn’t so bad after all, but I crashed when I got home and realized I had coupons to clip, laundry to fold, dishes to load, and church to attend.
I think I might set unreasonable expectations for myself. Or unattainable goals. Or both.
Anyway, I survived. And so did Amelia. Even though she refused to sleep on Thursday night and I had a bit of a temper tantrum at about 3:30 in the morning. Did I mention we found out on Tuesday that she has an ear infection?
As hard as this is, I keep trying to remind myself that in the grand scheme of things, I’ve got it pretty good. I only have to work for 22 more days (and only 19 of those involve students) before I get to have her all to myself again. Her and the Sissy Monsters who can’t wait for summer because summer means “we stay home with mommy and eat popsicles and go to the water park.”
I’m not sure why this has been so much harder than the past. Probably because she’s younger than the girls were when I left them. Likely it’s because me having to return to work was not part of the original “let’s have another baby” plan. Definitely because I think she’s the last and I want to treasure all these moments that I appreciate so much more because I really understand how fleeting they are.
We can do this. I’ve just got to re-establish our routine. Of course, once we get used to that it will be summer and routine gets packed away with the school supplies. And I won’t mind one bit to have to get used to being home again.