As I was doing my normal “phone storage cleanup,” I came across two “journal entries” in my iPhone notes. One from 2016 and one from 2017. The reason the years are important are because it was 2 major milestones in my life and because it is crazy to look back and see that things always get better and time truly does help us heal.
Here are the two entries. And then I’ll explain my thought process.
October 2016 – Today is my last day of maternity leave and I have literally been dreading this day even before my boy was born. I keep reminding myself that I am working for him but it doesn’t make it any easier. For the last 90 days it’s been us. He went everywhere with me. When I wasn’t with him even for 2 hours I felt lost. Now I am going to be away from him for 8-9 hours a day. How am I going to get through this? I did think – Oh my, he’s going to think I left him and I’m not coming back. But honestly he’ll be fine. He will be with the best grandparents- I just selfishly want to be home with him. Now don’t get me wrong a break would be nice, but a break like a pedicure and then I’m home an hour later. Everyone says it’s healthy for me to be away and let him interact with others, but I want to do it. I’m his mommy. All I can think about is how hard it was to go through the baby blues when he was first born and we are finally in the groove of life and now it’s going to drastically change, once again. I really hope this panic and anxiety goes away. I hope this new routine becomes our new normal. I’m sure there is a light at the end of the tunnel but I don’t see it. I don’t even see a dot.
May 2017 – Well…I did it. 6 days away from my baby. It was not a easy. I felt naked. Something was missing. I need my baby boy. I’m so happy to say I am in the airport about to board my plane to get home. T minus 5 hours until I see my booboo. Luckily I was working from sun up to sun down so I definitely kept busy. But the nights were hard – when everything settled and I was just sitting in my room. Alone. I wanted to hold my baby. I wanted to hear my dogs bark. I wanted to give Chris the look of death when he wasn’t listening to me talk. But I couldn’t. I have control issues and I couldn’t control ANYTHING. Chris was right. This was good for all of us. I learned to not be so codependent on my boys. My baby is now sleeping through the night. And Chris realized he could do it all. I just found my note about maternity leave and it’s crazy how life changes so quickly. 8 months ago I was saying wow how am I going to leave my baby for 8-10 hours a day? I did it! And I just did 6 days! Yes I did it…yes, I made it through. We all survived. Do I want to do it again anytime soon? No, thanks.
Here I am, 6 and a half years later from that first journal entry. It is crazy how in that moment, going to work and being away from my child was the worst thing in the world. Cue a worldwide pandemic, second baby, being the wife to a new small business owner, loss of a pet and all of the other things that have happened … leaving my kids for 8 hours does not seem that bad. But in that moment, being a new mom, leaving your child seemed awful. I am proud of myself for making it through all of the trying times I faced, whether they are big or small to others, they were big for me. As they say, it is all relative.
I will leave you with a quote I found that rings true now more than ever:
“As I grow older and wiser, I’ve begun to understand how little I understand” – Unknown