Today I found out that my cousin has left her job (as a teacher) to stay home with her daughter. I have to admit, I’m feeling pretty jealous. I wish I could stay home with Isa. Knowing that my cousin will be home all year with her daughter makes me realize how much I’ll be missing while I’m away.
I oscillate dramatically in my feelings about returning to work. For the first three months I cried almost every time I thought about it. I was sure it was the worst thing I’d ever have to endure; I felt desperately sad, and many times angry, when I thought about going back.
At around 4 months the days started feeling longer and more monotonous. I was beginning to wonder if it might be okay to go back to work, if I might actually appreciate being out in the world again, returning to spend three or four hours of intense time with my daughter. While I knew that the best case scenario would be a part time position of some kind, I hoped that I would not loathe being back at work full time. There were even moments I was eager to return to work. Of course these moments occurred over a month before my return, but I hoped that excitement would linger as my start date crept closer.
But as the month of my return to work looms large I’m starting to panic once again. I can’t believe how much I’m going to miss. I can’t accept that someone else will spend more of her waking hours with her than I will. I can’t stand that my daughter might actually want to be with her aunt than with me. It’s just too much, it’s just too overwhelming, it’s just too disappointing.
The thing is I don’t have a choice. I have to go back to work. I have to work full time so I can pass most of my check right along to my child care provider and use the little bit that’s left to help pay the rent (and the insurance and the other bills and everything else). I have to leave my daughter every morning and drive 30 minutes to work and then I have to engage middle school students who’d rather be anywhere else, and then I have to grade papers and attend meetings before finally braving traffic all the while wondering what my beautiful daughter is doing without me. All the while asking myself how many times has she smiled today? How many giggles have escaped her lips? How many firsts took place in my absence? How many milestones did my sister-in-law hide from me so I’ll think, when I see them, that they’re happening for the first time? How much of her precious little life passed me by today?
My friend told me that life is hard and there are difficulties we just have to endure. I guess, in the end, that is what it comes down to. This is a difficulty I have to endure. I’m not going to like it, in fact, I’m going to loathe it, but that is beside the point. I’m going to have to live with it and maybe even try to make the best of it. What do I preach on Mindful Mondays? About impermanence and acceptance… I guess I’m going to have to give those a try even when returning to work tears me up inside.
BUENAS NOTICIAS – I kind of let “Buenas Noticias” (Good News) fall by the wayside but I want to pick it back up again. And today I have very good news to share. A good friend of mine at work, whose been trying to have a baby for over eight years, was matched for an adoption today. Her little baby boy is six months old and waiting for her in Korea. They should be able to bring him home in four to six months but they are hoping to do so sooner. I’m SOOOOO happy for her and her husband. They will be such amazing parents. I can’t wait to meet their beautiful baby boy.