Tuesday, January 6, 2015

A survival story

We survived day one of daycare! I was so worried about Dalton. Everyone else was so worried about me. But we both made it with significantly less crying than expected. I actually didn't cry at all! I had a few breakdowns over Christmas vacation, so I think I got it all out then.

The truth is, my first day back to work after maternity leave sucked. I had weeks after he was born where I couldn't even think about it without crying. I thought there was no way it could be as bad as I imagined. And I feel guilty for thinking it was, because I could not have asked for a better situation. I only had to go back for two days before having 12 days off. Dalton stayed home with Eric, so it's not like I had to worry about him (and I didn't).

I got to ease in along side my friends who had subbed for me, and really they did everything, and I basically was just "working" in the sense I was in the building. It is ridiculous how amazing my coworkers are - everyone helped me get through, from bringing me coffee, watching my class while I pumped, or had a crying meltdown, or did both, and just providing general emotional support. So I realize that the fact that I still wasn't happy just makes me an ungrateful jerk. But I was a miserable mess and hated every minute of being away from him. I was also stressed out about pumping not going well. I was pretty sure I would have to quit and eat ramen and live in my car just so I could spend every minute of every day with Dalton.

Then there's the sleep factor. It's fine to be sleep deprived if you just have to hang around at home in your pjs all day. I could do that forever. But having to be up, out the door when it's still dark, dressed professionally, expected to converse intelligently, and being responsible for the literacy education of 50+ kids - that's a different ballgame. Then being sleep deprived is a bit of a problem.

Long story short, I did not have high expectations for enjoying my experience of really being back at work this week. Really being back meaning actually teaching, sending Dalton to daycare, and that whole 5 days of work and only a 2 day weekend deal. It was the first time in Dalton's whole life staying with anyone who wasn't one of his parents for more than 2 minutes, and I felt like I was throwing him to the wolves to be terrified and confused and lonely all day.

He was fine though, and most likely he didn't experience those feelings because he's 3 months old and just wants to be fed and changed and kept warm.

Give him something colorful and he's a happy camper.

He took his bottles and even napped well, a surprising bonus, although I probably just jinxed that now by mentioning it. Kids keep you pretty busy so I was occupied at work and didn't have time to dwell on things, and seeing him at the end of the day was the best.

I even managed to run 2 miles. I know my former running snob self would have scoffed at that, but even a 20 minute workout required a 4:30 wakeup call. That gave me just enough time to pump, run, shower, get ready, get Dalton up, feed him, get him ready, pack my stuff, pack his stuff, and get out the door and to work as early as possible so I can leave as early as possible and see him again. I'm hoping I can stick with this routine and over time get ready faster and get more time for exercise. I'm just not willing to wake up earlier than that, especially since, as I mentioned, I'm still getting up for middle of the night feedings.

Today was a wonderful gift from the universe - a snow day! Thank god, because after that one day of work, I was certainly ready for and deserving of a break.

I was not about to go outside and take an actual picture.
I really appreciate Mother Nature waiting to dump snow on Baltimore until it would benefit me personally.

I remember when snow days meant extra sleep. I would have liked that, but I think the new snow day activities are even better.

Snuggling - he liked it more than his expression indicates.

I also ran on the treadmill and baked cookies. A perfect day all around. How can I permanently get on this schedule of only leaving Dalton to go to work for maximum one day at a time?

Do you suffer from the problem of the anxiety being worse than the actual thing you fear? I often have this issue so it was a surprise when the first day actually lived up to my terrible expectations. But now I'm over my whiny bad attitude and it's fine. This also occurred when I thought an epidural would be awful because it's a needle and it turned out to be a wonderful magical gift from the gods.



  1. Yay, you made it! And I think it will get better as he gets older. My coworkers' kids are 3 and 5 now, but for as long as I've worked there (3 years), she's said that they love their daycare. They have friends there and like their teachers and activities. If she's done at 4, she actually waits until 4:30 to get them because 4pm is "recess" time and they don't like to leave then. So I'm sure this will get better with time!

    Also, I'm jealous of your snow day. They anticipated a "dusting" to 1"....we got 4". The roads were a total clusterf*ck bc no one salted or plowed, and all schools were open. ick.

  2. Seeing the baby at the end of the day is the best feeling in the world!

    Let's just get on the schedule where we never have to work and always hang out with the babies.

  3. OMG! Anxiety is the worst! When I was a kid, my mom would never tell me about dental appointments until we were in the car on the way. If I knew ahead of time, I'd make myself sick worrying. So, yeah, I'm a veteran worrier! I get where you're coming from, but he'll be fine and being around more people in a different environment than just his own home will benefit him in the long run.

  4. Awwww, that's the very nature of anxiety. Don't feel guilty- it sucks no matter how you slice it. You're doing great and look at how happy Dalton is, he's obviously thriving. Lack of sleep sucks, but it will get better. Good for you for working out- A actually does sleep and I still can't bring myself o wake up early and work out.

  5. I STILL hate having to send my kids to daycare/preschool/first grade and being away from them (and I've been doing this parenting thing for 7 years). It's a different feeling, less guilt and more just a sense of missing out on quality time.

    I worry and obsess about EVERYTHING! It's probably not healthy, but I've lived this long, so oh wells!


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