I find the older Charly gets, the more time I want to spend with her. The day vanishes so quickly; she has 3 short naps, we play, sing songs, tell stories, bath, change and feed and somehow it is 5 o’ clock. I think babies have an effect on the fabric of time, like their being absorbs time itself.
Brett gets frustrated and cannot understand what it is I do all day. I don’t think anybody who doesn’t spend 24/7 with a baby will ever understand, most days I don’t even understand. It is the most difficult, challenging, fulfilling and rewarding full time job anybody could have and it leaves you exhausted on every level – physically, mentally and emotionally.
I am beginning to get quite anxious at the thought of starting work again. I’m really struggling to find the time to write and since that is my job, I think it’s worth a little worry. And then, even though I know that I only actually have to be away from Charly for a maximum of 2 hours a month for meetings, (the rest of the time I will only need her to be in another room with my mom for an hour at a time so I can do my research and write my articles) my heart pounds uncomfortably in my throat at the thought.
Last week I went on my first solo outing since December last year; I just went to the shopping centre up the road so if needed I could get home in under 5 minutes. There were a few errands I had to complete and in the beginning I was fine; I collected the show tickets for my mom, I bought the ingredients for the dinner I was cooking for Brett and his brother and a few new 3 – 6 month babygrows from Woolies and then I needed to go into Checkers for Charly’s nappies. That was when the anxiety started building – I wanted to go home, I wanted to hold my baby, what if she was hungry or crying for me and I wasn’t there – but I sucked it up and fought my way through month end crowds to get what I needed.
By the time I got home, my heart felt like it would explode out of my chest. And then I still had to prep and cook my too-elaborate dinner that took me a further hour. I never wanted to leave my baby again by that evening and we remained snuggled in bed with sporadic tears the whole of the next day. So the thought of consistently having to spend hours away from Charly seems inconceivable to me right now.
I know there are plenty of mommies who would rather be working in the day; they thrive on the challenge and stimulation and a thriving mommy means a thriving baby so everybody wins. I am apparently not one of those mommies. My heart aches for mommies who don’t want to work away from home but don’t have a choice.
I keep relearning the lesson that I need to stop making promises; more for my own sanity than anything else. Every time I write a post, I promise the next one will be forthcoming and then I torment myself over the inevitable delays. I have the month of June to try get some kind of routine together to make returning to work first manageable and then, once established, allowing me to love it again – starting that routine last week was another promise I shouldn’t have made to myself. I feel like there are more than enough feelings of failure related to motherhood without adding promises that mean nothing to anyone but yourself. One step at a time I guess, it’s the only way forward.