Monday, November 14, 2011

coping

I found a torn-out corner of a pamphlet someone gave me at the hospital, some time in 2009. I don't know if it was originally in the giant folder of crap we got with our paid admission to the pregnancy/labor/baby care class, or in the giant packet of crap we got with our paid admission to the maternity ward.
Either way, I distinctly remember tearing off this corner of the page, just after returning to work. I remember thinking, "if I can just keep this in mind, I'll be OK."
COPING 
Many mothers returning to work hit a wall of exhaustion and frustration with their manic schedules, and they experience a sense of guilt from leaving their baby behind. These feelings are universal, and with the support of your partner and a sense of perspective, you will soon feel better and settle into a routine.
Let your partner take responsibility for the meals and household chores so that you can focus on working, nursing, and resting. Save the laundry, heavy cleaning and shopping for the weekends, when you can rest and then do these chores together.
Use your nursing time to relax and reconnect with your baby. Sit or lie in a quiet place, and enjoy the experience. Remember to keep a sense of perspective; this is a relatively short span in the length of your life and your child's. A meaningful relationship with your healthy baby will outweigh a rough couple of months.

(emphasis mine) 

It is so true. So, so true. I still think about how hard those first few months back at work really were. I was not a good employee. I was absolutely in survival mode. It was such a struggle, every day, leaving him at day care to go to work. I hated every moment away from him.

But, I treasure every memory I have of sitting quietly with my tiny baby. The fact that those moments were not only fleeting but few and far between, while we adjusted to our new life, made them all the more special to me. It was the best decision I ever made, even if I was lacking in other areas of my life, to stop and just be present with my boy.

That time went by so fast, and it was so worth it to let everything else go for a while.

Now? I'm so proud of Oliver, I could burst. He's so smart, and sweet, and beautiful. I made it through that toughest time, and came out on the other side with an amazing little boy who, I have no doubt, knows just how much his Mommy loves him.