Monday, November 25, 2013

Reality Check

This time next week I'll be back at work. I never expected in a million years that I would ever consider staying home. I honestly had no idea I'd enjoy being a mom so much.

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To say I was reluctant to have a baby is an understatement. John had been ready for kids since the moment I met him. He couldn't WAIT to be a dad. It was an occasional subject on contention between us because I was a holdout for so long.

Then I was a grumpy pregnant lady. I'm fortunate enough to have had a an easy pregnancy, followed by a not so fun delivery. Even with it being so easy I really didn't enjoy it. I couldn't wait to just be done already - especially there at the end when it was a thousand degrees outside in August. Let's not even talk about when I went past my due date. John worried about me there at the end because I was just so indifferent towards everything. I don't handle change all that well and it was really hard for me to just go for the flow. I knew there was no way to prepare for everything so it was a big step for me just to let it all go. We joked that the baby was half John after all so it's no surprise some of his easygoing nature passed on to me. There at the end though? I seriously went all mama bear. I was so overprotective. I didn't even like people talking about the baby or trying to guess things about him. He was mine and would be absolutely perfect in his own way.

Now Bud is here and to say a baby changes everything, it doesn't even come close. That overprotective mama bear is still around, and I do still get bothered by people trying to guess his personality or what color his eyes will be. I know it's my own weird thing, but I just love seeing his personality develop on its own. His features change every day, and I really still don't know who he looks like. I guess it's my own way of not putting any labels on him. I want him to grow and figure out who he is on his own. I do hope for many things for him. John and I talk about who he will be in school. He really is adorable and I believe he will be a good looking kid. With good looks come many things. While I'd love for him to be popular, I want him to be kind, and to stick up for the little guy. I had a close friend in high school and during his senior year, if there was a "king" for something he was it. It wasn't because he was the most handsome guy, or because he was captain of the football team, it was because he was just a genuinely nice person. He greeted everyone as he passed through the halls, he was active in all different sports and organizations, and I consider myself so lucky to be one of his countless friends. When I think of who Bud will be, that is who I hope he will be like.

I know going back to work will not be the end of watching him grow and develop. In fact he's probably going to learn so much at daycare and there will be so much more for me to see. He'll start making friends and I'll appreciate even more the time that I do have with him. I'm only going back part-time for the month of December. The good news is that my tests all came back normal and they think I just need more time to heal. I am so incredibly fortunate to have been able to have 14 weeks with him, and I'll still get a good chunk of the day with him when I am working. There are several kids in his class that are younger than him. I seriously cannot fathom leaving him any earlier than this.

Last week I spent a few days at his daycare. Totally for me and not for him. I got a lot of my questions answered and got to witness the whole, all the babies need all the things at the same time. I feel confident that I'm leaving him in good hands, but to say it will be any easier? Ugh. Last week I had several times where I just cried. I couldn't function or even go anywhere. I just want to soak in every minute I have left with him. Even when he's up for an hour at 2 in the morning screaming for no reason. I want the cuddles to never end. I want the smiles and grins and little laughs to never go away. I've cherished my time I've gotten to spend at home with him. More than I ever thought I could, and my heart is so torn at leaving him.

Staying home is not an option. I've crunched the numbers every which way and for a second thought, oh, we could do this. We could live with just $40 leftover. Then I realized I forgot things like groceries and gas. Having food to eat is kind of a big deal.

Did I ever think I'd ever sit down and look at our budget to see if something like this was feasible? No. Never. I used to tell John that I would work and he could stay home. I've never been against anyone staying home. I always said that I didn't have it in me. It's hard. It's sometimes lonely. It's often unappreciated. I'd do it in a second if I could make it work.

6 days and counting.

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