Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Separation Anxiety

Bo and I spent a lot of snuggly time on the couch yesterday morning. He was unhappy every time I put him in his cradle but slept peacefully (and long!) on my chest. As I held him and listened to his little contented puppy noises (when he's not really sleeping, just dozing, he makes this whimpering puppy sound of pure contentment), I cried.

I cried because I knew I was leaving him to go back to work today. I feel like an ass because it's not really going back to work. It's like fake going back to work. So many of you out there have gone back to work for real already and here I am crying in my boy's hair over a few hours away from him.

Work and I have made arrangements for me to come in physically to the office 2 times a week and otherwise sort of telecommute; handling phone calls and emails and such from home. I'm also working on a large project at home that was supposedly started while I was on bed rest except...notsomuch. This arrangement wasn't going to officially start until September once the kids get back in school. Unofficially, I'm simply going for a few hours today and tomorrow to spell the girl who has taken my place, to spare her from working 100 hours this week. Which meanwhile, nobody gave me a break when I was working 100 hours every damn week of my life. It's little wonder I ended up on bed rest.

This is no big deal. I agreed to do it because I knew it was no big deal. I'm really only going to be gone for a few hours and Frank is home the next two days. It's not the first time I've left Bo home with Frank. I've gone to the doctor and the grocery store and even a morning at one of the kid's schools already. I'm not even dropping the boy off at some hellish day care*. Frank knows what he's doing. Sometimes I think he knows more than I do. The tears, they make no sense.

But I was so anxious yesterday and I'm still anxious today. Like, sit on the couch, hug my son and cry anxious. I was worried about being able to pump and leave enough milk for him. I was anxious all day today that what I did pump was enough. Because of course I don't have any storage bags yet and therefore don't have milk stockpiled in my freezer. Because of course I don't. I'm super anxious about pumping at work. It's not exactly the most friendly environment for disappearing from my desk for 15 minutes and it's really not a conversation I want to have with my psycho boss - with whom I share an office. I know it's the law that he has to let me pump and whatever. Even so, I'd rather avoid pointing out the fact that I have breasts at all, although that's probably moot, let alone tell him I have to go hook myself up to a milking machine for a little while. I brought my pump with me today but I don't know if I'll have the guts to actually do it. Also anxious about how the pumping will disrupt the whole supply and demand, sleep cycle, balance thing which I already did on our trip to the beach last week that I'm still trying to fix.

I'm really just anxious because I don't want to leave my boy. Going back today, even for a few hours, just means I'm one step closer to the time I have leave on a regular basis and that makes me saaaaad.

I like being home with him all day. He's changing so much every single day. It's joy to watch him discover is own face in the mirror above his swing. It's freaking magical to hear his developing giggles and laughter. It's fun to play with him, singing silly songs and making eye contact, seeing in his eyes that he recognizes me now. I'm even liking the housework, although I admit I still suck at it. I hate leaving all of that to go sit in an office. An office where my presence is so essential I spent an hour creating a Facebook quiz about myself this morning.

Not that I'm complaining because again, totally aware that a lot of you are working 5 days a week, 8 hours a day and I realize I have a pretty sweet arrangement going. And if I have to be at work, putzing on Facebook beats the hell out of you know, having to actually work on stuff.

If you told me when I was pregnant that I was going to want to stay home, I would have called bullshit on you before you could finish your sentence. Not because I particularly like my job. I don't do anything IMPORTANT (see: Facebook). The world is not a BETTER PLACE because of my work. It's definitely not anything I BELIEVE IN. But I always liked working and having a job, even when work was at its absolute jerkiest and I was on my 85th hour. The thought of being Home. All. Day alone with a baby, even my baby, made me itch. Then I got pregnant and discovered that yes please, I'd love to stay home.

So isn't it a bitch that I find myself happy to stay home and can't do it? And really, we just can't do it.

I suppose this is the universe having some more fun with me. Or punishing me for my smug, judgey, insufferable knowitall, prepregnancy self.

I don't find the irony amusing.

We all know what happened last time I wrote about this. Could my magic work again? Perhaps without the medical issues and hospital stays this time?

*We have no arrangements for child care yet. Because you know, that's not the sort of thing you take care of before the baby gets here or anything. We do have a couple of options. My mom works as a nanny a few blocks over from my office and she thinks she might be able to take care of Bo while she's taking care of her two boys. This would of course be absolutely ideal but it depends on how that mom feels about it. Which I totally understand. Our other option is a lady in my mother in law's neighborhood who watches a couple of kids in her home. She's really flexible about our fluctuating schedule. We know people who have used her and she comes highly recommended. She'd be like Grandma Babysitter. What we're avoiding at all costs is Daycare Incorporated. Hellish might be a tad harsh. It just seems like baby jail to me.


Lora said...

every time I read someone's going back to work post I laugh because I literally tossed Jake thru the door the first day back and just about ran to the subway to get the hell out of my neighborhood.

I'm not so good with the sitting. all. damn. day. long.
Maternity leave was torture for me. I was so bored and restless. Jake didn't do anything cute, he was practically retarded the first four months of life. When he would discover himself or start to smile or whatever, I'd be all like "hmmph. maybe he's not retarded now that he's doing normal baby things" and return to my regularly scheduled program of feeling sorry that I couldn't just get up and go do something that didn't include sitting or pushing a stroller.
I am the reason why you should have to get a permit to have a baby.

And I loved housework after Jake was born too. I still secretly do, when I get a minute away from my "helper"

Rinny said...

In complete contrast to Lora's comment, I get it. I bawled my eyes out the day I left Harper to come back to work. And I wasn't even the one dropping her off at daycare. I left her sleeping in her cradle, content and making similar puppy noises. It was heart wrenching. I bawled to work, at work, during work, and only stopped when I skipped to the car to go pick her up. I still tear up some mornings. People told me that it gets easier.....I thought they were crazy. However, it does get easier, but it is never fun. You just don't cry. Just like anything that you grieve. As for work...I am right there with you sister. I would much rather be at home playing Donna Reed than here.....but at the moment it is a necessity. Virtual hugs to you. I understand.