The first time I dropped my son off at daycare, I was excited. My first week back at work was part time, and I was eager to see my coworkers and students again. I was told I would cry, but I didn’t believe I would. I was pumped to return to work.
I clocked in and gave my two month old to his new teacher without batting an eye. “I am super mom.”, I thought. “I am the ultimate working mom.” I had no idea why other moms dramatically told me to prepare myself. Prepare myself for what? A great day at work? The other moms must not have loved their jobs like i did. They must have been too sensitive. I was fine.
It wasn’t until about a month later when I started to notice the pit in my stomach every Sunday night and right before my lunch breaks ended. Every time I thought about going to work while someone else watched and loved on my baby, I felt like I could throw up. I clearly trust the teachers he is with everyday. They’re my coworkers. I love them to death. But the fact that someone besides me has the opportunity to be with my child all day… it slowly began to eat away at me.
Every time I drop Gideon off now, I have to choke back tears. What changed from the first day back to now? Honestly, I’m not so sure. I do have a few guesses though:
My whole life I’ve wanted to be a stay at home mom. That’s always been my goal. Maybe now I’m coming to terms with the fact that I will never have that opportunity. It’s sinking in that I will have to continue to drop my son off at day care until he’s in middle school. I’m realizing that my dream of staying at home with my children will only ever be that; just a dream.
I also think another part of my newfound distress is the fact that I learn more about Gideon each day, and each day I fall more and more in love with him. It’s so hard to leave my happy, tiny, boy every morning because I love him even more that day than I did the day before. It’s overwhelming. Maybe I just need time to navigate these feelings. Maybe in a year or so I’ll be better adjusted to these daily goodbyes. I can only hope.
I love my job. The people I work with are some of my closest friends. I love my students. They’re my babies, and I would do anything for them. My workplace is my second home. I just wish there was a way for me to spend as much time as possible with my son, while also continuing my full time job.
I wish I had a better conclusion for you; an explanation or answer of how I came to terms with my feelings and conquered them. I don’t. Every morning drop off is just as gut wrenching as the last. There is a silver lining, however, small as it may be: Every evening pick up seems even more sweet and satisfying. I guess the one positive thing I’m finding in all this mess is I now make sure that I am actively soaking up all the time that I do have with Gideon. Every second with him is precious. Even when he’s crying, I find myself thanking God for each moment that I have with my son. I may not ever get to be one of those moms who stays home with their children, but I will be one of those moms who cherishes every second she has with them. And right now, that’s the best I can do.