Thursday, December 1, 2016

More changes. More feelings.

As the days of my parental leave dwindle away, I can't help but feel loads of feelings. Mostly guilt. Some regret. Some hysterical joy when I make Margie giggle or she just wants mama snuggles. But let's go back to the guilt and regret, shall we?

I feel guilty that I'm going back to work after only 12 weeks home with her, when I have 6 more weeks of paid leave left to use. I can use it within the next year, but why not use it all at the beginning? It's a choice I made, and stand behind (when I'm not getting emotional about leaving my baby for 9 hours a day). I love the work I do, and I am looking forward to being back at work. Heck, it's two meals a day where I'll get to sit and eat! I'll probably gain 10 pounds in the first month. I might even get to nap on the bus. But truly, I'm proud to work at Disqus, and I'm looking forward to getting back to business. But I'm sad that that means being away from Margie.

I feel guilty that there's a part of me that's looking forward to not being a stay at home mom. I used to think I wanted that; I thought I'd make a good SAHM and that I'd enjoy it. And I do. I just think I'd do better at 100% Mom Time if I could do that but *also* have a nanny or sitter a few hours a day. It's a long day to be home alone with the baby, and it's really hard. Like, way harder than I thought it would be. And with the whole not-napping-well-anymore thing, being at work might just feel like an escape. And I feel guilty about wanting that escape, and I'll probably feel guilty if I enjoy being gone.

I regret the things I haven't done. I had all these ideas that while on maternity leave, I'd send thank you cards and get the house in order (and keep it that way) and cook fun meals and take walks to visit Will at work and go to baby yoga and music and swim classes. I've done none of those things. I have been busy. So busy. My new parent support groups keep me sane, and I get out of the house every day to at least take a walk. But I haven't made it as far as Will's work (30 min walk from our house). I haven't done a single baby yoga class. I haven't made it to Aquatech baby swim time. I went to one music class because a friend canceled last minute and we were available to take her spot. This morning, we went to an art event to make some handmade gifts. It's not like I've done nothing. But the house is still a mess (my hospital bag is still sitting on the floor full of magazines and books I never read). I can count on one hand the number of times I've cooked anything. Caring for an infant is way more time consuming than I had imagined.

Anyway, I know this is all normal and I know I'll be full of feelings for a while longer. I'm taking a couple weeks off for our holiday travel, and I may take some time off in January or February as well. So I won't lose those 6 weeks I have left. I will make use of them eventually. And I know there will be time for fun things on the weekends, and I'll have a few hours in the evenings with Margie before bed. But man, this is hard. For now, I guess I just have to soak up the time I have and buy stock in Kleenex.

Sleepy snuggles after a long day of art workshop and mom group

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