I return to work on Monday, and we've been doing trial runs at our day care center all week. I love our day care center. I thought that dropping the Chicklette off there would be easy. It turns out that the way you feel about day care when you're 8 weeks away from going back to work is a little different than the way you feel when you're 7 days away from going back to work.
Here's how it went down:
Monday -- Bring the Chicklette to the center, and sit with her for an hour. Surreptitiously inspect the the other infants, and try to hold back tears the whole time. Finally break down on my way out. Call husband. Cry more. Call mom. Cry to mom. Mom says, "welcome to motherhood." Spend rest of day questioning my worthiness as a mother. What kind of mother leaves her kid with other people ALL DAY LONG?!?
Tuesday -- Bring Chicklette to center, stay 15 minutes. Leave her for 45 minutes. She is smiling when I leave. She is still smiling when I return. Hey, this isn't so bad!
Wednesday -- Husband brings Chicklette to center. Leaves her there for an hour. Sits in Safeway parking lot close to tears the whole time.
Today was better, and I'm guessing tomorrow will be fine as well. Monday? I'm sure I'll be a mess again.
I thought that the fact that my going back to work was not a decision for us -- financially, there's no other option right now -- would make things easier. I wouldn't have to agonize over the choice, right? I treated my maternity leave as a break in the normal routine.
Turns out that there are plenty of other things to agonize over. I'm starting to realize that I can now ALWAYS find something to worry about. I think that worry is the new normal.
As my mom would say, welcome to motherhood.