Thursday, May 7, 2009

Reality Bites

Yesterday Charlie and I had a visit at the daycare he is going to be going to. We went and sat in the infant room for a while and I asked questions while he stared fascinated at the other kids. Then I talked to the business office about payments and forms and all that. And then I went home and cried. All day.

The end of my maternity leave has always been something far off in the distant future and not to be worried about yet. The first six weeks of Charlie went by pretty slowly - probably because I've never been awake for so many hours in a six week period before. Since then time has started to move faster and faster and right now I would do anything to slow it down. I savor every moment, each smile and coo, cuddling up for a nap and being able to feed him during the day. Somehow savoring isn't slowing anything down though.

Going to the daycare yesterday and finalizing the arrangements made me realize the end of my leave is not too far off and we are about to have a whole new normal. Just as soon as I get used to this normal it's going to change on me. It also coincides with Charlie getting easier to take care of and really just loads of fun to be around. He sleeps at night and we have fun during the day. It's not even that bad having Brad out of town for work - I've finally figured out how to manage on my own! So right as the fun begins we have to throw full time work and massive daycare mommy guilt into the mix. I mean, not right away. I go back June 8 and my mom is coming for the first week I go back to work so I don't completely melt down. There is still time before Charlie will spend a full day in daycare - he is just going to go for brief periods of time starting in a couple of weeks. But it's a SIGN the end is near. How hormonal do I sound right now?

I can't imagine how hard this must be for moms who hate their jobs. I have a great job. I work with nice people that I enjoy being around. The work is at least interesting, if not exciting or sexy. And they are really flexible with hours so in my head I'm already thinking about how I can maximize the time I spend with Charlie on any given day and still get all my work done. 

Mostly, though, I daydream about the Holy Grail of working motherhood - the part time career. The kind of flex scheduling that Business Week likes to write about as a growing trend but you don't really know anyone who actually does it. But I say why waste your time on daydreams that have an actual chance of happening?? I would have never made out with Brad Pitt if my daydreams were so steeped in reality. I can hope though that one day I can have one foot on either side of the fence of career and motherhood. And then I will have attained the perfect balancing act in life and no one will be let down, least of all Charlie, who in my head is about to be 'abandoned' at daycare soon. I know that is silly and I really hope that perspective goes away soon.

I think no matter which option a mom chooses it's not all that easy and sometimes the grass looks awfully green on the other side. Maybe not green when you get there because what we really want is everything. 48 hour days where you can give everything you love and want to do adequate attention. All without having to sleep! Do men go through this at all? If they do, I doubt any of them would fess up. I know Brad misses Charlie a lot when he's gone but he is very pragmatic about daycare and its benefits. I mean, thank God one of us is. He's been anticipating this being pretty hard on me so he is showing up prepared. 

I don't really know where this post is going. Just a brain dump of the last 24 hours. I'm going to follow it up with a cute video of little Charlie. 

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