Thursday, July 28, 2011

365 Days And A Brief Rant


Ben turned a year old a couple of weeks ago. He's amazing and adorable and I love him with all my heart, more than I ever possibly imagined I could love someone. When other moms told me about this I nodded enthusiastically and agreed, but I never really got it. I am completely enamoured.

I'm fortunate enough to have some extra vacation time, so even though Ben's first birthday has passed, I'm still at home with him. Thanks to a generous maternity leave policy, Canadian moms are entitled to a year off; thanks to a generous employer, I had a great "top up" which I now realize many women don't get when they take maternity leave. I mention all of this so you know that I understand my fortune, and appreciate it.

I thought it would be enough time, but it's not. I feel sick at the thought of going back to work. It's not that I don't enjoy my work or love my co-workers. I do. But I have this knot in my stomach when I think about leaving my Bento behind every day. And I'm angry and resentful and bitter that it has to be this way. I'm thankful that we have the best possible babysitters (grandmothers) but I wish it could be me. It's not fair that someone else gets to live the best part of my life, as someone else once put it. It's not fair that someone else gets to snuggle my baby, and watch him grow, and see all of the things that I should get to do, and the reason I say I should get to do them is because I AM HIS MOTHER and it's the natural order of things. All I can think about is the things I am going to miss, and the days that will fly by, and the fact that this little amazing person that I love so much is going to spend his days with someone else other than me.

I know it's good for him to see other people. (Hahaha, I guess we're not going to be exclusive anymore?) His dad says he would like to stay home with him too, and that he's been leaving every day since Ben was three weeks old. I say. It. is. not. the. same. Until he's been pregnant and given birth and nursed a baby and had that same baby reach for him in the middle of the night, curl his body towards him and tucked his little arm into his to fall asleep, he can't possibly know.

Only a mother can know.

It's the same way that only a mother can feel like this when she has to go back to work. And only other mothers can feel sympathy for her, because they've all felt the same way.

4 comments:

Irene said...

Totally not the same Val, I hear ya! I see most of the father at work and in my circle of friends mostly don't understand this point either.

Dave did stay home on parental leave a couple of months, and I went back when Lucas was 10 months old. It was to let Dave at least understand a little what it was like to stay at home, but it still wasn't the same. As much as I love my little guy, I really am not meant to be a stay at home mom, so going back to work did save my sanity!

Wait until "NO!" becomes Bento's favourite word, that's funner! :)

Make Mommy Chic said...

Hi, very nice post- as a mother it sucks to have to go back to work and leave your kids behind. I had to do it twice, and both times were just gut-wrenching. But at least you have the support of the grandparents (better then leaving them in daycare which is what I had to and listen to them wail in there even when you're out the door and across the street). Thanks for the sharing your thoughts :)

Miss Chopsticks said...

Aww so cute.

Louise said...

Hi Val, I hear you on how hard it is to leave your baby behind to go to work. I had to do it last year and I was totally panicking and teary eyed after leaving E at the daycare. I started to relax a bit after a week or so, but looking back, I still feel like I completely missed out on that part of E's development (from 12 months to 18 months). Anyway, trust in Ben's resiliency and your's. I'm sure you will be okay - best wishes!