For two weeks now I’ve been hearing this phrase repeated to me over and over again, “It’ll get easier.” But you know what, it hasn’t. It hasn’t gotten any easier leaving my little girl with someone else to care for for the day while I go off to work. My heart breaks every morning. And every day we spend apart, I wonder if it’s worth it. I know it’s only for three days out of the week, but those three days are painful. Yes, I still enjoy teaching. Yes, there are moments when I’m glad to be back in the classroom. Yes, there are even times when I’m so preoccupied that I don’t think of my little love bug. But it doesn’t mean it’s any easier. Yes, I know it’s only been two weeks, but do I even want it to get easier? I don’t think that I want to get to the point where it becomes easy to leave my bug with another. My baby is my world. In my mind, there is nothing else I have to do that is more important than caring for my child. Except we need the paycheck.
My daycare provider says she greatly admires working mothers. She believes they’re stronger than she is herself. She tried returning to work after her little guy was born (he’s almost 2 years now) and only made it a week and a half before she quit. And she had left her boy with his daddy and grandmother! On the other hand, she claims there are days she would give anything to go to work now and have her husband stay home. Even if just for one day.
I don’t know, maybe it will get easier. Maybe I’ll start looking at my days at work as rewarding, fulfilling and welcomed again, instead of just seeing them as a chore taking me away from my real job. I count down the hours, the minutes, until I can leave my classroom. Never have I left my job on time before, but I can’t imagine spending any extra time away from my love bug. I rush out the door and can’t get to daycare quick enough, while in my mind I’m screaming, “Baby! Baby! Baby! Baby! I must have my baby!” And as I sweep her up in my arms, I imagine my Sweet A has been screaming something similar, “Mommy! Mommy! Mommy! Mommy! I must have my mommy!” Although, after a day of unsatisfying bottles, I’m sure it’s more like, “Boobs! Boobs! Boobs! Boobs! I must have my boobs!”
7 thoughts on “"It’ll Get Easier"”
Idon't have “real” children, just two furbabies but I understand your longing to be home with your daughter. I was fortunate to have a stay at home Mom while growing up and I thank God every day for her. I know I am the strong, independent woman I am today because of she and my Dad. My Dad traveled most of the week and only saw us on the weekends but we are extremely close even now. I hope you win the lottery so you can be a full time Mommy!
Gotta admit, I went back to work when son was 8 months old and was ready. He had great day care buddies, and I needed to get out and back to work; I love him but I was ready to be a teacher again. He's almost 23 now and well-adjusted and smart and musical and adorable and hard-working and disorganized (OK he couldn't be perfect) but we all survived even though I didn't stay home forever. I guess it all prepared me for NOW when I don't see him for months and months and have to trust that all is well..
Count your blessings that you were able to work out a part time position…you truly have the best of both worlds–both of you. My kids are 6 and 3 and I have been teaching art for 12 years. I HATED to leave them at first–thinking that I was being selfish to go back to work just for the money–thinking that my babies needed me and I was leaving them for the brats at school. As it turns out, 7 years later, I can look back on it and say that I am glad I did what I did. I honestly don't know how wonderful of a stay at home mom I would have been. I like the routine and satisfaction I get from working. I can also say that I have the greatest babysitter of all time and that to me was the key to our success. She taught them social skills and how to play with other children–and that is something they would have not received at home with me. My kids are comfortable in situations with all people–I don't have to worry about them hiding behind my legs while meeting someone new or going to a new place. Because of their experience with the sitter they are adventurous, outgoing, smart, and compassionate towards others. She is my angel and she has been a big part of the village that helps me to make my children the best they can be.
Give yourself this school year–think long term–keep leaving work as soon as the bell rings and take nothing home–spend every waking moment of little A's babyhood with her when you can (and take tons of pictures), but know she's becoming a strong, independent person when you're not there as well. If, after that year, you are still miserable consider doing just as your sitter did and watch other teacher's children (so you still have a great schedule). Look hard into yourself and you will find the right answer. I've been there, done that and staying at work is what worked for me, but ultimately the decision is yours.
Good luck with whatever you choose–and hang in there–it WILL get easier, but maybe for different reasons than you'd expect.
My kids are in middle school, and it took quite a while to figure out how not to resent how much time I spent working for other peoples' children and spending the most time with my own. I agree with artmom77, Don't take things home. That's important.
Excuse me, I meant…and NOT spending the most time with my own.
I came back to work as an art teacher this fall after having a baby boy in March, so I can offer a bit of empathy. The timing of your post really resonated with me because I came back to work with a lot of energy, feeling ready to get out of the house and back into the community. Now was November rolls around, that initial energy is wearing off a bit and I have a tough time leaving my little guy each day. I try to remember how lucky I am to have a great job that I really do love. I also try to make the most of the time that I can spend with my baby each afternoon/evening. And of course, it's not easy. Good luck and I hope the days get easier for you!
I'm right there with you. I had my little girl in September. I extended my leave through Christmas break but I'm dreading January 😦 I don't want to go back to my classroom – I really don't miss it at all 😦