So here I am… a fresh latte next to me… The sounds and smells of a bustling Starbucks infiltrating my senses. Just me and my laptop. I feel like I’m missing a limb. Why?
I did a very difficult thing today. I dropped my sweet baby girl off at “Mother’s Morning Out.” They have her until noon if I want- the possibilities of what to do with my time are endless, so naturally I will probably just sit here at Starbucks and think about all the things I could do with my time, without actually getting up out of my chair. I’m literally paralyzed with freedom and choices.
Is is normal to want to call the nursery every 5 minutes to see if she’s ok? I’ve blogged a lot about how attached to me and shy Claire is. That is part of the reason why I finally decided to give this program a try- not only does Claire need to learn to be taken care of by people other than myself, and not only does she need some independent socialization time, but also… mama needs a break.
I went back and forth all last night about whether I would go through with it. She’s still my little baby, it’s okay if she’s attached to me! Which for the record, it totally is ok. I selfishly love that she wants and needs me above all else. But lately it’s gotten intense and because my husband works such long damn hours, I don’t get a ton of help until dinner time, so I really need a little bit of time to myself. I’ve been assured it’s a healthy thing to need for oneself. Currently it just feels like mom guilt.
So, after getting a pep talk from my best friend (all the way from Japan, might I add), I decided to not think too much about it and got us out the door by 8:45 and drove to the church. The facility is excellent and full of happy little kids, which put me more at ease. The women running the baby room were extremely nice and not worried at all about dealing with separation anxiety (I warned them several times it might be rough). They had an electronic check-in system where they print you a ticket and will not let anyone pick their child up unless they have the matching ticket (which also was very reassuring). I had been explaining to Claire all morning that she was going to go “play with other babies” and that mommy was going to leave but then she’d “be right back,” to which she’d reply “be right back.” She’s very smart for her age so I thought she would in some way understand what I was explaining. So then I snuck out while she was being distracted by one of the caregivers. I waited out of sight in the hall to hear if she would be okay, and when I didn’t hear any crying after a minute or so, I decided I should leave because if she did melt down, it would be even harder for me.
So I walked out, sat in my car… And called my mom for reassurance. I’m such a cliché.
I’m also in no way the kind of mom I always told myself I would be – you know, the career mom who sacrifices nothing about herself to accommodate her children. HA! How stupid I was. Now that I have a daughter, not only do I know that working moms sacrifice just as much as stay at home moms, but I also learned that I’m a total softie, an emotional blob when it comes to babies and children, and I would sacrifice everything if it were in the best interest of my child.
Which is why it was hard to drop Claire off this morning. I knew it would be hard for her and she would probably cry (and I might too), but I also knew it would be good for both of us for different reasons. And it would only be a couple of hours, one day a week or so, and if we both hated it I wouldn’t have to do it again… Although let’s be real, I hope she does great so that I feel like I have a resource at my disposal when I need a break, have appointments, etc.
So now that this if off my chest, I hope this caffeine fuels me enough to get me out of this Starbucks and do something with the next two hours.
If the coffee doesn’t get me out of here, the sound of the man next to me who keeps sniffing back a nose full of snot probably will. So gross.