Saturday, September 20, 2008


How does one collect oneself after giving birth and get ready to leave a baby barely 3 months old with a babysitter for 9 hours a day?

This was a nightmare I was faced with 2 years ago. I thought it would be easy. After a whole month of staying at home, I felt bored and thought I was ready to go back to my "old" day schedule. Surprisingly, as my 78th day of leave slowly approached, I found myself dreading the thought of walking out of the house at 730 in the morning leaving my baby all day. Although blessed with a bay sitter who had been with us for 4 years, I knew it was still my role to primarily watch over and take care of my children.

The day did come and I tell you, I was filled with an insurmountable amount of guilt. At work, my stomach felt queasy and I would feel my heart skip a beat every once in a while. A lot of my officemates assured me that that's the way things really are now a days, that both parents really have to work to support the family. Words of encouragement would make me feel better for a split second.

I would rush home for lunch to feed the baby and leave as much milk as I could for the next 5 hours I would be away again. B the time I would get home, I would be exhausted from work but I still knew that there would still be so much to do until both children would finally settle down to sleep. And then of course, there would be the wee hours in the morning feedings until the baby was about a year old.

2006 was a tough year. I felt the need to prove myself to myself and to many other people that I knew what I was doing and I could manage to do what I knew I needed to do. And when I would feel I would fail, I felt I would spiral into a depression -- a feeling of not being good enough.

It was a dark period in my life. As if I were drowning.

I dread having to feel that way again. March is just around the corner. Before I know it, the 3rd baby will be in my arms. And soon, I will dread the countdown to my last day of maternity leave before 2006 will flash before my eyes again.


Heather said...

I know I wouldn't be able to do it.

Midas said...

Louann, maybe it will be different this one. Sure you'll still be worried, still dreading the day you have to leave your baby with a sitter while you work. I think being a mom will always have that worry.

But maybe, this time around, you won't feel like you're drowning. This time around, you won't have as many stresses as you did before.

I certainly hope and wish that you'll have an easier time of it.

Sophiagurl said...

I completely understand how you feel. That's how I felt when my last two kids were that age. And sadly I feel the same way till now...guilt leaving them behind, guilt having a career and guilt when I sometimes have time out for myself.

But that's the pay off working moms have to put up with to give a better future for the kids. You're lucky to get a chance to see them at lunch break, me, I just content myself with phone calls and re runs of what happened the day with the baby.

Don't worry dear it will all work out. We, I mean you and I, are products of working moms and we turned out okay right? Don't worry ... God will find a way.=) God bless!

C said...

Awww, Louann...That has got to be the hardest thing a woman has to do. I run my own business, so in a way it's nice that I'll be close by. My Mom will watch the baby while I teach ESL...but I will be pretty much in the next building. I feel comfortable knowing that I'll be so close, but at the same time, I also wish I could do nothing but be there with my baby. I have a feeling once this little one arrives this winter, I won't want to do anything BUT hold him or her and watch him or her sleep! :)

I'm thinking of you...


Karen MEG said...

Louann, I hope you don't let this dread consume you ... you didn't fail, you shouldn't feel guilty, try to think about the special time you will have at home with your babies. You've done an incredible job so far.

I think it's amazing that you did what you did; and I know it's a mother's lot in life to feel the guilt of going back to work. I didn't go back for my first until he was about 8 months (our maternity leave was 6 months back then), but that's still a lot longer than you had off. I was blessed with the option to stay home with my kids after the girl, but even today, as I'm sending her to daycare for 2 days a week so I can get some work done, (yes, starts today so this post is hitting me a bit) I feel the guilt.

You are more than good enough. If you let yourself believe that, don't worry about others ... what you are doing is the absolute best for your family, and there's nothing more that can be asked of you.

Sandy C. said...

Oh hun, I am so sorry. Especially since you've been through it before and are anticipating it already. I remember that feeling. I went back to work after 6 weeks...I cried for 2 of those just thinking about it.

Hang in there. *Hugs*