May Seventh

Thursday, May 09, 2013

So I've had this all written in my head for awhile and was supposed to post this on Monday. But I was too busy pouting and snuggling with Charlotte to get that done. So let's all jump in our flux capacitors and pretend that it's Monday {but really, Thank God it's not} and that I'm starting work tomorrow...

I go back to work tomorrow.

The date of May 7th has been a dreaded circle on the calendar for months and I've spent the last few weeks whimpering {ok, sobbing} at the idea of returning to work.

If I'm being completely honest, I don't think I really understood stay at home moms before. Once you have two, three, four kids, sure...it's a matter of necessity, child care cost vs. salary...a practical, budget-based decision. But one kid? Aren't you bored? Don't you crave adult interaction? Don't you want an identity other than "Mom?" I didn't get it.

And then I had Charlotte.

And I relished every single, solitary second with her. I didn't miss work. I didn't miss adults {okay, I'm half recluse anyway...}. I was completely, utterly fulfilled by being a mom. And I didn't want to do anything else... including going back to work. 

And it had nothing to do with working, in and of itself. It's not that I didn't want to work because I was lazy. And it's not that I didn't want to work because I worry about Charlotte. She'll be fine. But I didn't want to go back to work because I didn't want to leave her. I didn't want to miss those soft smiles after nap time. I didn't want to miss those finger clutches during her bottles. If I was at work, I wasn't being her mom. And I don't want to do anything but be her mom.

So the closer and closer May 7th came, the bigger the knot in my stomach and lump in my throat. My sweet friend Cora, who will be keeping Charlotte, would come over to see our routine and spend time with Charlotte. And I'd be fine, showing her where we keep things and how I burp her. And then I'd close the door behind her and sob. As every week got closer, I'd tell myself "This time in two weeks... This time in one week..." Being at the beach last week was a nice distraction because work seemed so far away. And by then, I just pretended it wasn't happening, rather than sitting around making myself sad.

And now, here we are. May 6th. {Remember, we're in the Flux Capacitor.}

"This time tomorrow..." 

And my heart breaks. I love this dear, sweet child with every fiber of my being. I've fed her nearly every bottle. And witnessed every cry. I know every diaper and every ounce, every outfit, witnessed every milestone. And now I have to leave her and I hate it. 

The rational side of me {that's deep, deep, deep down inside of me} keeps saying, "She's not dying...She doesn't have a terminal illness...you're just going back to work." "She'll only be awake two times while you're away..." "You'll be with her more days per week than you'll be away." And it helps a little. mA little.

But somewhere deep down, if I quit working completely at this moment in time, I think I'd always question that decision, even if I adore my time at home with Charlotte. Fiscally, it's the most responsible decision for our family.  And I worked so hard for my degree and I spent a lot of money on it. And the Lord has given me talents that shouldn't be squandered-- I have felt called to this field and to work with children for a very long time.  And I LOVE my job.  And I want to be an example to Charlotte...of what, I can't find the right word for.  But I'm sure you get what I mean.

So who knows what's going to happen.  But tomorrow is going to come and I have a commitment to work.  So I'll wake up and suck it up and get dressed and go.  And I will praise Jesus that Charlotte is able to stay in our house, in very capable, trusted hands while I am away.  And I will praise Jesus that I am so, so, so lucky to be her mom in the first place.

So here goes...

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