You think you know how things are going to go. You know you have a baby coming at some point, and you know that for the next few years they are completely and totally reliant on you for everything. You know that you will have middle-of-the-night wake up calls and blowout diapers and your activity will be limited to your house for a few weeks/months. You’re given advice whether you want it or not, and people try to prepare you for what they think will happen. But, in all honesty, nothing can ever really prepare you for being a parent quite like fumbling through it yourself.
It took me a few days to somewhat recover from childbirth (being able to sit down without cringing, leveling out my high blood pressure, and heaven forbid you sneeze!)
It took me 2-3 weeks to recover from the initial shock to my system of running on 2-3 hours of sleep at a time…I’m now super excited when I get 5 hour chunks of sleep at a time!)
It took about a month to get over my severe Postpartum Anxiety…and when I say severe, I mean not eating, not sleeping, crying constantly and “fight or flight” mode 24/7.
It took me 6 weeks to finally get in a routine we could manage when I went back to work, only to realize I only had a few days before that was the new reality.
It taking me a few weeks to get back in the routine of being “work Allie” after only talking to my infant 24/7.
But the one thing I don’t think I’ll ever get over? The overwhelming feeling of guilt for leaving my beautiful little girl with someone else while I work.
This is my morning routine:
Get up, get dressed, let the dog out, get hubby up, fix bottles for the day, finish up cleaning the kitchen from the night before, get baby’s medicines ready, then wait for my mother-in-law to come to the house to watch the baby while I’m gone. All in 30-45 minutes time.
Starting Thursday, we will be taking the baby to my mom (she’s a teacher so she’s out for the summer) so that routine will be thrown out the window and we’ll have to get a very grumpy 3 month old in a car-seat and out the door before she realizes she’s not in her crib anymore.
I don’t say all this to complain, because I’m truly thankful that my little monster is happy and healthy. I’m blessed to have a good job to come back to with awesome co-workers. But for those first 6 weeks, my days were filled with cuddles and playing with my cute kid. Now, I focus 8 hours of my day on work, try not to miss her too much, and come 5:00 I can’t wait to get home to her. When we finally do get home, I start supper and play with my baby in hopes that she hasn’t forgotten who I am through the day. I have this insane fear that she’ll not recognize me as her mom since I’m no longer with her every day. While I know that she DOES recognize me as mama, i still can’t help but worry about her forgetting who I am in those few hours I’m gone every day. Switching gears from work mom to home mom is difficult, and I’m still adjusting…
The Mom Guilt is insane, you guys.
I feel like I should be able to handle it all: work, home, kid. But, there are days I really struggle. There are days where I’m purely on auto-pilot, just going through the motions. Then, there are those days where I feel like I’m SuperMom and handle it all. Those days are the best, because I don’t feel like I’m floundering…
My husband was hit with “Dad Guilt” the first week he was away from us. But he quickly got over it and returned to his normal routine. He loves playing with our daughter once he’s home but he isn’t wracked with guilt while he’s working like I still am…
She’s three months old, and honestly I just hope it gets easier. She’s a great baby, she has the best temperament and is always smiling…but that just makes it even harder to leave her in the mornings. For now, I’ll just get in as much snuggle time and enjoy those sweet little smiles…because I know that even through all the worrying I do, at the end of the day she’s waiting for her mommy to come home.