Saturday, September 21, 2013

On going back to work... and a letter to my baby girl

It is 11:06pm Saturday night and I am crying my eyes out I can't sleep. I am sitting in Anna's nursery. I want to hold her, but I am too afraid she will wake up, so I will settle for hearing her breath in person and seeing her sweet face, instead of experiencing it through her monitor. It is 11:06pm... I am sitting here in tears because of what is coming. I am already heartbroken and I still have a day. I start back to work a week from Tuesday... October 1st. Anna starts daycare this week on Monday because I can't even fathom dropping her off at a strange place with strange people, smells, sights, and sounds without me a single recognizable person on my first day back to work. So I had the brilliant heartbreaking idea that I would start her a week early and during that time I would get a lot of work done. Monday she is only going for part of a day, same as Tuesday and Wednesday, but Thursday and Friday she will be there all day.

I love teaching. I love working with children and inspiring them, helping them to learn and grow. I love seeing their faces light up when they understand something that has been difficult for them. I love seeing them treat each other nicely. I love the bond I create with a class. I work for a great school district, in a great school, and with a great team of teachers. I love the grade I teach and I worked so hard to get this job. But those thoughts are the furthest things from my mind right now. I just want to be home with my baby girl. I love the changes and the growth I see from her every day, and I am so afraid I will miss something because I am at school.

When we tossed around the idea of daycare vs in home, I would only go with in home if it was someone I knew and trusted. Unfortunately, all of the people I knew and trusted that watched kids were no longer doing it. So daycare it is. My mom was wondering if she might be able to retire soon and watch her. It would be "perfect" because my parents live only a few minutes from Jeff's work and he could drop her off and pick her up every day. She would be with someone that would love her and want her to grow and I do. I put perfect in quotes for a reason. While it would be the almost next best thing, the perfect thing would be me staying home. I don't want my mom to watch her (sorry mom). I want to spend my days with her. (I said almost, because I wish I could just take her to school with me, which would be the next best thing! Great way to promote literacy... start them early and my 2nd graders would love to read to her!). I try to help myself feel better by telling myself that I have holidays and weekends and summers with her. That is more than my husband has. He isn't even guaranteed weekends. That thought helps a little. But it is a long way from a holiday, and it isn't even close to summer! I know am told it will get easier with time. I know that I will probably always wish I could just stay home with her, but that other things will fill my time to make my day go faster and that once I am allowed to leave I will be out of school. Gone are the days that I stayed until 5pm. Now I will make the most of every second I have in school, and when I am home and Anna is awake, I will do my best to have schoolwork put away.

And so I sit here, heartbroken... not able to sleep... listening to her breath and make noises in her sleep... very tempted to face my worry of waking her just to hold her. I want to write her a letter (which will probably only make me cry harder). And so here it goes:

My dear, sweet Anna,

You are so little and so loved. I've learned so much about you from the minute you were born. I love to watch you grow and learn. I love to watch you do new things. No one else knows you the way I know you and no one else has the bond we have. 

I am heartbroken to have to leave you during the day, but it is to help provide for you so that your Daddy and I can give you the experiences and the things you need for a happy, successful life. I wish we could live off of love, because if so, we would be set for life and I could stay home with you! But we can't. I know that you won't know the difference growing up, because I never knew the difference. I hope you can learn a lot from me working. I hope you see me a strong. I hope you see me as someone who can work to provide for you, while being a loving mother to you. I hope you learn how to be kind and gracious to others when you are learning how to be around your peers. Wow... peers. Even someone as little as you has peers your own age!

We are asked whose personality we think you have. Daddy's, very reserved and laid back, or mine, very independent and strong. It seems like no matter whose personality we say, the person seems surprised that we say that. The truth is, I hope you have both of our personalities. I hope you are like your Daddy in that you don't let things worry right away and you think before you speak. I hope you are like me in that you are strong and you aren't afraid to speak up when you need to and you aren't afraid to stand up for yourself. If you have both of our personalities I know you will grow to be a strong woman who can take care of herself and doesn't need others to take care of her, however I hope that you love and allow others to take care of you once in a while. I hope you don't feel you need to be with someone to make you happy, however I hope you do find someone to make you happy, the way your Daddy makes me happy. I hope that one day you get to experience the love of being a mother, just as I am experiencing it now. It is the most amazing feeling in the world and I am so thankful I have you. 

Anna, Mommy and Daddy are always here for you. We will always love you, like no one else can ever love you. We will love you for you. I hate that I have to leave you during the day, but I promise to make the most of every second we have together when I am home. 

I love you, my sweet miracle.


1 comment:

Melissa said...

I felt the same way, but fortunately, my parents both retired and moved about five minutes from our house so my mom could watch Rowan while I work. We are lucky in that Scott is off two weekdays as well. This may be one of the hardest things you will have to do, but just wait until Winter break! At least you will get a good chunk of time with her :).