Sunday, November 30, 2008

T-minus 7 days until I go back to work

This blog doesn't have very good flow and is definately more like free association of my thoughts, but I have lot of things that I really need to get out of my head. Well, just as I knew BBZ would eventually enter the world, I knew I would eventually have to go back to work, and that day is almost here. I'm trying not to think about it, but I admit that thoughts of how he and I will both adjust are consuming me.

I never thought of myself as being a stay-at-home mom. I really, really love my job and have worked hard to get where I am. I underestimated how hard this would be. I still don't like the idea of staying home...I notice that I don't have as many things to talk about in mixed company as I did when I was working, and N and I keep our money separate, so I have been relying on his income for the second 6-weeks of my maternity leave, which my independence is hating! We planned ahead for it, but I like having my own money and spending my own way.

So I said I love my job, well I love my son too. I know many women work and have a family, but I can't help but feel that since I brought him into the world, shouldn't I be the one responsible for him? Should I really pay someone else to do something I am perfectly capable of doing myself? That being said, I am ridiculously bored at home. BBZ is bored too. We go for walks or to the mall (since it's gotten cold) just because he gets so stir crazy. I think he will love daycare and really have so many of his social needs met that I can't do at home. At least I hope so.

I am so torn about this. I also plan to continue to breastfeed, at least until BBZ is 1, maybe longer if we both want to. I have been feeding him on demand since he came home, which means he doesn't have a feeding schedule. It is pretty much every 1-2 hours when awake and every 3 hours at night, besides a 6-hour initial sleep time. Basically, if he acts like he wants to eat I feed him, regardless of the time and when he last ate. This obviously cannot continue when I am gone for 8 hours. How will he cope? Will he need a bottle every hour? Will he even take a bottle? Will he cry the whole time? I know that answers to these questions all come down to the fact that he will adjust eventually and he will be fine. But I can't help but feel like I will be denying him the comfort of breastfeeding so I can be at work. Even though I will continue to breastfeed in the evenings and on weekends.

One thing that makes this even worse is that N and I could afford for me to not work. We live below our means and have only good debt (our house, student loans, and N's car). We do have things we hope to do one day like buy our forever house in a nice neighborhood in U City and have money to give BBZ all that he needs, which we wouldn't be able to do if I don't go back. Basically we could afford it if I wanted to, but I'm not convinced that I do. I've thought about returning part-time, which is something I will continue to consider as I return and see how things go.

The best part of this is that my mom will be here on Saturday to watch BBZ here at home for the first 2 weeks I have to go back. Then I have 2 weeks off for Christmas, and BBZ starts daycare after the new year. So I will have my mom here at home helping BBZ with all the adjustment issues that worry me rather than some stranger. That certainly gives me comfort. I know she will be able to help him figure things out and maybe get on some feeding schedule that will work while he is at daycare. So I have the answers to all of the concerns and I feel like I have the best situation to ease my way into working again...but I am still sad about not spending all day with my little boy anymore.

BBZ just started sleeping in his crib on Friday night. Before that he slept in a bassinet in our bedroom. I knew he would be fine in the crib, but I wasn't ready for him to be that far away from me. It was definately more my issue than his, because he is doing great in the crib. It hasn't upset his sleeping pattern at all. Hopefully my return to work will effect him the same way - not at all. It actually felt sort of good to see him be independent and happy in his own room. After all, at work I am an Independent Living Specialist and help people live independently for a living, it makes sense that I would find the same satisfaction helping my son be independent as I find with the people I work with. Hopefully I will find that same satisfaction when I leave him next week and next year at daycare. I hope, I hope, I hope...