Oh, he’ll do it plenty more times…

I got the following text from Mi.Vida today. I read it sitting in front of my class, as they went, row by row, to put their papers away.

photo-25{We call Monito Fry a lot. It started with Small Fry and has morphed into many different kinds of fries. 😉 }

His parents must have called him to let him know.

And that is how I experienced one of my son’s first major milestones.

I have to admit, it stung. It stung a lot.

Today I read a post by a woman in Canada who is starting her maternity leave tomorrow. Not only does she get a year off, but for EIGHT MONTHS she gets paid her full salary.

I read that today and I cycled through so many emotions. At first I was shocked. Flabbergasted really. I just couldn’t believe it. Then I was sad for myself and all the other women in this country who have to go back to work too soon, some of them MONTHS too soon (and yes, I recognize how lucky I was to have three months off). And then I got angry, that this country–that claims it is family and child-centric–does so little (nothing really) to support the families of young children. Blerg. It just makes me mad.

It’s so hard to miss so many of his firsts. I saw a lot of this stuff with Osita because I didn’t go back until she was six months old (I took my maternity leave after summer break). This time he was so small when I went back–I’m missing out on so much more.

I think we’ll ask our in-laws not to tell us when he does something for the first time (this is what SIL suggested when she watched Osita when I went back), but I wanted to know as soon as he rolled over so I could make informed decisions about our swaddling situation. I’m glad I know he can do it now–he has been so close for so long–but it’s hard to know I missed it, that I wasn’t there to comfort him when his arm got stuck and he freaked out.

I told my mom about it and she just shook me off, assuring me that I’d see him do it tons more times. But this is not about all the times I WILL see it. This is about all the times I WON’T.

I haven’t mentioned it yet but I been struggling this week with the feeling that my son is already starting to like my MIL more than me. When I come to get him he barely looks at me, but when he looks at her he smiles so wide, and laughs and coos. It takes almost an hour at home for him to warm up to me, and respond to me that way. It’s heartbreaking. And I didn’t want to write about it because I fear it makes me sound crazy or something, like I’m too sensitive, or over-reacting, or seeing something that isn’t even there. And who know, maybe all those things are true. All I know is that he seems different when I pick him up. He shows my MIL the love I want him to show me. And with me he acts distant and reserved. And it breaks my heart a little every day.

I know my heart will become calloused to it, that eventually it will get easier. I know it’s Friday and I’m exhausted from my first week back at work, and now I’m upset that I missed a “first” in my last baby’s life. I know everything is going to be okay. But right now, it’s hard

If you are a WOHM, is it hard for you to miss your baby’s firsts? Do/did you ever feel your baby loves his or her care giver more than you?

{Also, now that he can roll over do I have to stop swaddling him immediately? Can we start in a week, when I have some days off for President’s Day? Ugh, transitioning out of the swaddle is going to be rough…}

10 responses

  1. I don’t work outside my home, bit I did for 7 weeks, so had to find daycare, etc. I chose a center, instead of in-home, for a VERY selfish reason. I was worried that my son would love an in-home provider, or nanny, more than he loved me. I wanted there to be several care givers so that he would know that none of them were his PRIMARY caregiver. How sad is that? And honestly, he sure did love his primary gal at daycare very much… But he lived me more. Or equally. Ha!

    I’m sorry you missed it. I worried about those things too. It’s upsetting. I ser on FB that you already got a “he’ll do it again” comment. Blerg.

  2. I’m Canadian, got a full year off, and still missed some firsts. I missed my son’s first steps since they happened at daycare. I think no matter what stage you leave them, you’ll miss something!

  3. I already have a plan that if I miss something I am going to pretend that it didn’t happen until I see it. That way it doesn’t even have to be something that happens at daycare- it could be something that happens when she is with my husband. We can’t be with our kids 24/7 so we are going to miss stuff…

  4. I feel a little differently because I missed so many milestones since E came home at 7.5 months instead of as a newborn, so I think I just adjusted to the idea each milestone being “new to me” better than I otherwise might have. I am a little ashamed to admit that I get jealous when E goes through daddy phases & it absolutely drives me bonkers when people suggest she’s a “daddy’s girl.”

  5. Charlotte’s favorite person in the whole world is my mom, by a huge margin. She squeals with joy when she see her and SCREAMS when my mom leaves or I take her from her. While most of the time I think it’s cute/funny, I do sometimes feel a little (irrationally) hurt. I am sorry you didn’t see the first roll, and you may miss other firsts. That would really hurt me too.

  6. I remember feeling so many emotions when I heard that V or E had done a milestone without me being there…cause ya, know…I was working. I was furious, upset, depressed, sad, crying!, to just accepting the fact, that yes, there will be many, many milestones and events that I won’t be there for…but the ones that I am there for…those are the ones I hold special in my heart.

  7. I was reading a book when the kid took her first steps at any length. She walked across the room, squealed with delight, and then walked back to me (which I saw). This inspired me to decide to enjoy the firsts I get and to recognize that no matter what, it’s very easy to miss that very “first” of just about anything because life is like that (and my baby is sneaky and often off just out of sight around the corner). American maternity/parental leave is such a joke and we must fix it soon. You’re doing a great job, even if this isn’t the most fun time in the world. It will get better.

  8. Oh! And I wanted to add that I feel your heartache at not being the favorite. Little Monster’s favorite person is the kid and even other people moreso than either of us parents. I think some of it is that she feels safer at home with us so she expresses her full range of emotions (including grumpy and “just leave me alone, I’m stimulated enough for a few hours!”) while with others she is either too busy taking in everything to be grumpy or she gets overstimulated and then needs quiet wind down time when we get home (when she ignores everyone and either plays alone or naps).

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