The countdown begins for when I return to work. I'm so dreading it. I'm not going to sugar coat my feelings and pretend I'm excited about this. Becoming a working mom is going to be another huge transition for me (again). I feel like I was just faced with a MAJOR change when I became a first-time mom. And now I have to change my lifestyle once again in a very BIG way.
I went from selfish Christie - the girl who could do anything whenever she wanted for the past 32 years. To selfless Christie - the mom who gave up everything to put her son first in a blink of an eye (major major change for this girl). To the working mom - the woman who has no idea how she's going to balance it all or even knows where to begin.
Today I had a nice email exchange with the awesome person who will be watching Jackson. It made me feel TONS better. She made me feel really good about everything. It's so crazy how we met. The older I get, the more I realize that God is working in all of us and does have a greater plan. Sometimes we are at the right place at the right time and magic happens. Anyway, her kids are amazing and I know she's going to surpass my expectations, but I'm still sad. I have to let my baby go...a little at a time. He's only going to be three months!!! I already have to start letting go??? I'm just getting used to him and getting to know him.
I'm sure the weeks leading up to going back are the most anxious of times just because I don't know how I'm going to be or how Jackson will adjust. Will I bawl my eyes out that week I'm back at work?? Will my coworkers think I've lost it? Will I be okay? Will Jackson? Will I get enough sleep every night? (So much for making up for lost sleep with naps anymore.) Will I be angry that I can't be at home with Jackson? Will I be ticked that I can't work from home some days when I know it's totally doable? Will I be frustrated that I can't win the lottery? Will Jackson cry the entire day? Will he miss me like crazy? Will he feel abandoned by his mommy? I really have no idea what to expect and that's what's killing me. I'm sure I'll feel all these things and more.
For two years I saved up enough so I could take 12 weeks off work and not worry about money. I knew my work didn't have the best maternity leave, just short term to cover 2 weeks at 60 percent. Now I wish I had been saving since I graduated college so I could take an entire year off work to raise my son. But I can't go back in time and I need to learn to accept this is how it's going to be. I'm going to be a working mom, unless we win the lottery or we move to Roscoe, Illinois, and move in with my parents. Ha. Or...maybe, just maybe I can come up with some genius plan.
With that said, I'm trying to find a way to make all my dreams come true! I'm officially on a mission. I've had four nights of 6.5 hours of sleep (in a row) and have been back to taking long morning walks with Jackson...which means one thing. I'm back to dreaming big. I still have ideas that I'm going to start putting into place. But that's a post for another day.
Right now, I feel the only way I can get rid of some of this anxiety is to write out my fears of being a working mom and leaving Jackson at daycare.
- I feel like Jackson is going to forget me (or stop recognizing me) overtime because we'll be apart more than we are together. Why, oh why, must this be??
- I hate the thought of someone else raising my son. Isn't that my job?
- What if he turns into one of those crazy bratty kids who spits and bites and acts out because he didn't have a mom who paid enough attention, and needed someone else to do it?
- What if he cries the entire day and drives our daycare person crazy?
- What if something bad happens and I can't be there in time to fix it or save him?
- What if he gets mixed up between houses and schedules and is so overwhelmed he becomes lost and unhappy? He's such a happy baby right now!
- What if all I think about is him while I'm at work ... and become depressed to the point I can't get out of bed because I can't do anything about it??
- Am I going to miss out on major milestones??? Laughing. Crawling. Talking. Walking. I will die!
- When I get home from work, I'll want all my attention on Jackson...what about cooking? Eating? Cleaning? Working out? Time with Karl? Meeting up with friends? Volleyball league? Will there be time for any of that?
- How can someone love Jackson as much as me...or give him all the best???
- What if Jackson doesn't take to the bottle, and is starving? Or what if he loves the bottle and loses interest in me?
- What if my milk production goes way down and I have to turn to formula? Will he get sick more??
- We'll be able to save for Jackson.
- We'll be able to add to his 529b accounts... College paid for? Check!
- We'll be able to take Jackson to fun places because we can afford to.
- I'll get more adult interaction
- I'll feel challenged in my career and will continue to have outside hobbies and not feel like I'm losing myself.
- Jackson will interact with other kids (wonderful kids) and will be exposed to people and be accepting of others at a young age.
- Jackson will learn things from a really great mom with experience...things I probably wouldn't know to do. And she can help me along the way!
I'm sure there are more... I add to both lists every day. But this is all I can think of right now. For now, I'm trying to ENJOY the PRESENT. I still have three weeks to enjoy Jackson full time.
Basically I'm telling myself this isn't permanent. Anything can happen. I keep praying something will. The only way things won't change is if I sit here and worry and complain and do NOTHING about it. So I'm going to DO something about it and make this work. Let's see what can happen if someone has a dream and wants things to work so bad. Watch out world, here comes Mama Christie.