I found out yesterday that a coworker has been going through a health scare for two weeks. The whole office knew except for me, and I felt awful for unknowingly not being supportive. I also felt really isolated, which I’ve largely avoided by being part-time for my whole leave. Still, it was bound to happen eventually. The parental balancing act is tricky, and I am very prone to guilt. I promised myself I would enjoy every minute of my maternity leave, as Tess is growing so fast and leaving her for the office is hard. As I told my boss, I love my daughter and I love my career: the tugging match going on in my brain/heart feels permanent, and I know I’m not alone. All the mommylit I’ve seen addresses the same dilemma, as have most of my friends.
Still, there’s always an upside. Yes, I may be a revolting Pollyanna at heart! I know that I’m not at my mommy best on days when Tess screams nonstop and won’t eat. Dave’s experienced the same thing (it’s really rare – don’t worry!). Your spouse comes home and you immediately hand them this child you adore and need to get away from for a minute. Even on days when I need that reprieve, I can hardly restrain myself from running back downstairs and scooping her up again. On the days I go to work, I come home ecstatic to snuggle our daughter – even a screaming, poopy daughter! That is the best mommy in me, the patient, calm, excited to be home with my family mommy. Having a job that allows me time as an individual does make me a better mom when I’m home; I just wish I could be home more than I will be when I’m back full-time. From what I hear, that’s the universal dilemma. I’m joining the ranks!
Tess rolled over again, and looks like she’s starting to figure out it’s cause and effect. We’ll see where that leads! Lately she’s wanted more singing and rocking before sleep, and is awake more and more. I saw a group of moms in the park, and wanted to tuck Tess in the stroller and go make friends! Soon enough I suppose. In the meantime, I’ll focus on all of the quality time we’re getting. 🙂