So, tomorrow is my first day back at work and away from my baby. I’m trying to be ok with this, but it’s hard. It’s really, really hard.
Just to be clear — I love my job. Even on the worst day, I can say that I just really like my job but had a rough day. I love the people I work with, the company culture, and being able to be productive and creative all day. All of that means a lot to me, and it took me a long time to get to a place where I can make a living with my writing. That’s huge.
But you know what else it took me a long time to do? Become a mom. And all of the platitudes and cliches about motherhood are feeling pretty fucking real right now. I can’t believe how much I love this little human. Like, I’m kind of obsessed with him. In the past month, he’s really started to smile a lot and it makes my heart explode into a million tiny pieces every time I see his ridiculously adorable dimples and that goofy grin looking up at me.
I don’t want to lose that. In my head, I know that he’s not going to forget me or love me any less, but try telling that to every other part of me.
I’ve also been campaigning REALLY hard for him to laugh for the past few weeks, but he’s such a tough audience. He’s so close to laughing — we even got an ALMOST giggle tonight. I am going to be devastated if I miss his first laugh. For the next few weeks, he’ll be home with my mom, who is still in town, and I’ve gotta say, Nana is pretty funny.
I’ve been struggling a lot in with anxiety and guilt leading up to my return to work, even though I’ve never judged any other mom I know for going back to work. Why can’t I give myself the same break I give everyone else?
Jesus, this post is all over the place, but so am I right now.
It’s going to be really hard to leave him tomorrow morning. I’m not worried for his well-being at all — he’s gonna be with my mom, who did a pretty great job raising me and my brothers. I’m worried for mine. First of all, the fact that I am still healing from my gallbladder surgery 11 days ago and am still pretty sore (and am still not allowed to pick up my baby!) is a bit of a concern. But mostly, I’m concerned about being so overwhelmed with guilt and anxiety that I won’t even be able to be present at work and then I’ll bring all of that stress and bad energy home for the two hours I’ll be able to spend with my boy before he goes off to sleep, and rinse, repeat every day.
Thankfully I have an incredibly supportive partner, an amazing mother who is making the transition a lot easier (and then in three weeks she’ll be gone and I’ll have to deal with leaving him in daycare – a whole other ball of anxiety just waiting around the corner), and the amazing community of working moms at BuzzFeed to lean on.
Now I’m gonna go eat some vegan “ice cream” because I still can’t have any dairy or fat in my post-gallbladder surgery diet and try not to stay up all night crying/freaking out.
And yes, I’m starting therapy on Tuesday.