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.