Since he was born, I love watching Little Brother, wondering what he’s thinking. He’s such a little miracle and I often marvel at the tiny fingers, pink lips, and perfect dimples that grew inside of me for nine months or so. He is amazing and his big, blue eyes are so full of wonder that I can’t imagine what’s going on inside his sweet, bald head.
Tonight, I watched him while he nursed before bedtime, and it struck me what he might be thinking tomorrow. Because, tomorrow, I’m going back to work. And he’s still at the age where he thinks I’ve actually disappeared when I hide behind a blanket, so tomorrow, what will he think? That I’ve abandoned him completely? Where is my mommy and who is this lady holding me and why do I have to drink out of a bottle all day?
I KNOW it’s ridiculous. I know that he will be fine and we will both survive and I am being completely irrational. But I can’t help it. Familiar panic and anxiety well up inside of me and I can’t breathe and the tears burst from eyes before I can stop them. I get angry. I hate my husband and the fact that he doesn’t make enough money so that I don’t have to work. I hate my friends who are able to stay home with their children. I hate the women who work because they want something to do other than being a wife and a mother. I hate myself for starting my maternity leave two days before giving birth, stealing time away from the precious baby boy I’ve spent nearly every second with for the last 88 days. I hate my life.
I know that everything will be okay. Little Brother will be at a home daycare with a woman I know and I trust and I love. The Hubster and I will both be only a few miles away if we’re needed. I know that millions of women before me have endured and overcome this same obstacle. But tonight, I am still sad.
I am sad and angry and anxious, and I rocked Little Brother long after he had fallen asleep, dreading the moment I’d have to kiss him goodnight. I am avoiding my bedroom, avoiding sleep. Agonizing over waking up tomorrow morning and deserting my son, if only a few hours. Tonight is impossible.
(I’m sorry. I don’t really hate anyone—I am just feeling very, very sorry for myself tonight. I am SO grateful for the time I have been able to spend with him, and I know that many women aren’t able to do the same—I have been there, too. With Little Sister, I was on bed rest for 2 months, and I went back to work when she was 4 weeks and 6 days old. When that day rolled around this time, I sent up prayers and thanks that I got nearly two more months with Little Brother. I know I am lucky, but this is still so, so hard.)