People often ask me how I’m feeling about going back to work in January. And the truth of the matter is that I go back and forth. Some days I’m looking forward to a little time talking with other adults and thinking about things other than naptimes and diapers and laundry. I think about how it will be nice to have some time to myself. And then other days I feel like I’ve finally hit my stride as a mom. We have playtimes filled with smiles and belly laughs and long cuddles after restful naps. We take walks and thank strangers who stop me to tell me how adorable Owen is. We cook dinner and the house smells delicious. Those are the days I wish I could just hit pause and stay there for awhile longer. Those are the days that make me dread January 3rd, when I put on heels and head into the office again.
I know there will be fabulous things about Owen starting daycare, and challenging things. There will be moments when I doubt my decision to return to work, and there will be people who will make me feel like a bad mother for deciding to do so. I imagine there will also be days when Owen will come home all smiles and showing off new tricks and new words that he learned from his friends and teachers. He will make friends and engage with others in a way he probably never would if I were around.
I think Owen has his first cold. He’s been sneezing and coughing a little and is a bit congested. Nothing serious, but his first run-in with germs. Since he’s starting daycare in a few short weeks, I know it won’t be his last. I’ve been using a humidifier in his room when he sleeps and it’s helping with the stuffy nose, but sometimes the clogged nose still wakes him up. He just woke up crying from his nap and I could hear the congestion in his nose. I rocked him back to sleep in my arms and then snuggled down in our rocking chair and let him sleep on my chest for awhile. I almost never do that. It was just another one of those moments that I wanted to pause. Another one of those moments that I will miss once he starts daycare.
I feel like I’m over the hump. I’ve made it through the incredibly challenging, overwhelming and difficult early days. And while I know there are hard parts about every stage of having a child, I feel like we’re in such a good place right now. And I kind of just want to hit pause and stay here awhile longer.