One week from now, I have to return to work. The very thought of having to leave Stella makes me feel weepy. Understand that I’ve always been pretty career-oriented. I felt funny leaving the office for the last time before my c-section, understanding that this would be the longest hiatus from a job that I would have since I was in high school. I imagined myself mastering mommyhood in 8 weeks then waltzing back into the office as if nothing had ever happened. Yeah, right.
I know I’ve spent a lot of time the last couple of months writing about bodily functions and screaming (cacking), but this time with Stella has been absolutely remarkable. There have been days that seemed interminable. At the same time, these weeks have positively flown. I have gone from having a tiny (to me) infant that I was afraid to pick up to a creature that now interacts with me to a large degree – is happy to see me (most of the time). I can’t believe she’s 9 weeks old already. I can’t believe she’s only 9 weeks old.
She changes so much and so quickly! Each day she makes new sounds and new facial expressions. Each day she comes closer and closer to holding her head up full time by herself and rolling herself over. I already think of the stuff she doesn’t do anymore and it feels like I’ve lost very important things. I now have this fear that I’ll pick her up from her nanny’s house (fortunately, I have a dear old friend who will be watching her 3 days a week while I telecommute 2 days a week, thereby avoiding the germ pool of daycare) and she’ll be sitting primly in a chair, legs crossed, martini in hand greeting me with a “Well, hello, mother.” I know there will be milestones that I will not be there to see.
I’m trying to savor all of this and to etch in my memory all of these very ephemeral things: the warm little body tucked under my chin, that soft little hair on that warm little head, the smile while she looks at me during nursing sessions.
Realistically, I would not want to quit working. However, I also want my kid with me. I want it all. I want to be able to just go into the office when I want to and work from home the rest of the time. I want my little girl with me. If that means taking her up to the office, so be it. Too bad it’s not a perfect world.