Monday, March 8, 2010

Achy Breaky Heart

Would you want to be away from this precious face?

That catchy song by Miley Cyrus' dad is also the current state of my heart in regards to going back to work, or more specifically, leaving Hayden at daycare. I never thought I would feel this way when I was pregnant. I didn't fully understand how much more I would love my husband and want to provide a peaceful home for him and how a piece of my heart would be forever attached to our sweet son.

I know there are positives and negatives to staying at home and working outside the home. I know that Hayden will be fine. We very carefully chose a school that we feel will provide the best care and curriculum for him. It isn't far from my work and it is super secure and safe (they scan your fingerprint - that is how you are able to get through the second set of doors and into the center). He will learn baby sign language, do baby yoga - and as he gets older - learn French and Spanish. I know he will learn important social skills and will be on a better schedule (hey - he may even sleep in his crib at home eventually). I know it will be good for me to have more adult interaction and not be so isolated. His immune system will get built up and he won't be sick as often when he is in elementary school. We will have better financial stability and be able to pay off more bills (specifically - Hayden's conception), put money away for Hayden's college, save for another baby (which we plan to have in a couple of years) and build up our savings.

And yet...

I had a breakdown Friday and sobbed in the shower for thirty minutes. I threw up last night because my stomach is in knots about going back to work. I'm scared. I know Hayden will be fine - he won't love me any less and he will be excited to see me when I pick him up. It will be better on him to be around people other than just Chip and myself. Chip and I talked and, if I honestly cannot do it, I can stay home. My work is being awesome about all of this - I have been very honest with them and they are supportive. I can be off and telecommute from home when Hayden is sick. I got a promotion that will give me more flexibility in hours. Our insurance for our entire family is paid for by work (no premium for us - which is so rare) and it's great insurance. They match my 401(k). We get bonuses and it's a good work environment. It is still work though and the time I am there is time I am away from Hayden.

And yet...

The root of this is being away from Hayden and also be scared of NOT being able to do it all. I have a handle on things now. I can take care of the house (granted - we still have our housekeeper come every other week since it wouldn't be fair to let her go until we knew for sure if I was going back to work), the laundry (which is my Achilles heel), cooking, seeing friends, and, most importantly, being a good wife and mom. Chip still has the same commute (45 - 1 hour each way) so that means I will be responsible for taking Hayden to school, picking him up, getting dinner ready, taking care of the girls and Hayden until Chip gets home. It is the nature of Chip's job and I know that.

Since I am breastfeeding and Hayden isn't sleeping through the night yet, the night responsibilities are still mine when I am working. I don't function very well on little sleep - I tend to get upset easier. But hey - that's what coffee is for right? I know we could give Hayden formula, but truly, I feel really strongly about giving him breast milk exclusively as long as possible. Especially if I'm working, I feel that is the least I can do. The downside to that decision is that all of the milk I pump will be for school so Chip won't be able to feed him until I figure that out (I am thinking he can feed on weekends and some nights once I figure out how much milk I'll need for Hayden - right now, I'm freezing everything I pump to make sure we have enough).

To be honest - I am just afraid that I won't be able to be a good wife and mom if I am working - that I will fail Chip and Hayden. I put a lot of pressure on myself - being a good wife and mom is something that means more to me than any amount of money. It is the way I am wired - I am not a high powered career driven type person - to me, family is everything. Family and friends really mean a lot now that we are so far from a lot of them (not all - our PA friends are great!). I am afraid of missing the firsts. I know the first time Hayden does whatever it is will be the first time for us, but still...

I'm afraid of having to go on anti-anxiety medicine again. When we moved here, I had to go on them because I couldn't handle Chip being away and having to deal with the girls, packing, selling the house and all of that. I went off of them a few months after we moved here. I know I am stronger than I give myself credit for, but I'm still scared. My friends who work and are mommies - they are these incredible women who CAN do it all and they do an AMAZING job! I don't know how they do it! Maybe I can just clone them?

I can do this - I know I can. I just need a LOT of encouragement right now. God will give me the strength to do this. He gives me the strength to get through each day. Friends, expect some teary phone calls next week!

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