If you could see how sweet and smiley and cuddly Charlie is this morning, you would feel what I’m feeling.
When I was pregnant, I figured I’d only take six weeks off. I was a career woman; I had to get back to my job! But then a coworker got real with me: “How many times in your life will you get the chance to stay home with your baby? You should take advantage of it. And believe me, you won’t be ready at six weeks.”
Hot damn, was she right.
I feel so grateful that I took nearly three months off, that Charles and I could make it work financially. I’ve been with Charlie nearly every moment. I’ve seen him grow from a pinkish, sleepy newborn to a chunky, animated and curious infant. By his side, I learned how to be a mom.
I want to go back to work, I always knew that I would, but I wish there were a way I could go back to work and be with Charlie. I ache for all of those moments I’m going to miss, all of the discoveries he’ll make without me there. I have never loved anything close to the way I love this guy.
Charles and I are unfathomably lucky that his mother will be watching Charlie. She runs an award-winning Montessori preschool in her home, so Charlie will not only be cared for by someone who loves him dearly, but he’ll also be in an enriching educational environment. It would have been monumentally tougher to leave him with a stranger. Still, I am jealous that she’ll experience all those moments with him. Why can’t it be me?
I’m also lucky that I have a job that I love, that I work with incredible people. My work is fun and challenging and worthwhile. I’m looking forward to returning, to recapturing a part of me that existed before Charlie. And, inevitably, I know I’ll be a better mom if I’m a working mom.
But when I look over at this precious boy and he gives me that smile that lights up my heart, all I want to do is bury my face in his soft tummy and sob.