Thursday, July 11, 2013

Having a working-mom's heart in a Stay-at-home-mom's world

It's been two weeks since my last day at work.

I don't miss it. I don't.

I had a generous 11 weeks of maternity leave after Gillian was born and then I was back at work for 14 weeks, the last 3 of which were part-time.

I did not like being away from my baby.

The best thing about working full-time was that it gave my husband a chance to be a stay-at-home full-time dad. This is not something that he ever wanted. But he was soooo good at it. Every day he and Gillian came to see me for lunch and I got to feed her in the front seat of our car while Landon listened to me talk about my day. See, he is not only an amazing dad, but the best husband I could hope for. So Gillian wasn't suffering for one second once I returned to work. She took to the bottle easily, and I was able to pump twice a day while working, which was important to me. So my child has never had anything touch her lips except for breast milk.

I was so blessed to see Landon taking over the roll of primary care-giver in Gillian's life, even though I wished so badly that it was me. He taught her to roll over, and had her on a nap/feeding schedule. Every evening when I would get home, he would place her into my arms and she would be all mine until her bedtime, which was 2-3 hours later.

I lived for those 2-3 hours all day long. While I was working, Landon sent me pictures of Gillian playing with her toys, and video of her being her cute self and I looked at them over and over. This sounds desperate and pathetic, certainly, but that was exactly what I was. At 2 months old, I hated leaving my baby. Sitting in the hall closet with a "do not disturb" sign outside of the door twice a day while I saved my child's life source in plastic bottles felt so against nature, so contrary to everything I felt within me. I ached for her.

I remember her 4 month appointment, her pediatrician directed several questions at me: "what is her nap schedule like?", "how much is she eating?", etc... and I had no clue what the answers were. I just differed them to my husband. and I left with a weight of guilt and a broken heart.

These last 2 weeks have been heaven. I got to see her roll over for the first time. I am experiencing several "firsts" and I have felt like I have gotten to know her so much more! Although, there have been times that I have found myself looking forward to her next nap - I can't believe that. I remember the not-so-long-ago life I lived where I wanted her present with me always. So I decided to do my best to apply my perspective as a working mom to my new stay-at-home lifestyle:

1. Be fully present as much as possible, not distracted.
2. Every moment is a bonding moment.
3. Every moment is a teaching moment.
4. Every moment is a chance to love her.
5. Savor every second

With a baby as precious as this one, it's not difficult at all to follow this creed.
my Sweet Pea, playing and laughing with puke on her face.

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