Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Guilt - its not just for breakfast

So last night J and I were online looking for childcare options, because even though I am not going anywhere near work until January we live in a ridiculous part of the country where childcare is hideously expensive and hard to come by so we have to start very early. At first I will be working from home and only in the office 2-3 days a week, but we are determined not to put her in day care until she is 3 months old. We think the one on one care is the best thing for her.

As we were looking, I felt myself start to cry. I have long known that I would go back to work after the birth of our child. There are two reasons: one, we need my income to keep C in designer binkies and, oh, say, housing. Two, I have worked long and hard on my career, am in a place now where I am in a senior position, and I completely love my job and working in general. So it is partly necessity and partly keeping me happy. I fully plan to have a flex work arrangement so I can be home early to feed, bathe and love her up, but will continue working.

I felt such incredible fear and guilt last night about leaving her with someone else. I worry so much that whomever we choose will shake her, or ignore her, or not smother her little face with kisses every ten seconds like we do. What if we hire a sociopath? What if we hire someone who will steal her? And it will be all my fault because I went back to work. The guilt and shame were overwhelming.

Being here, with nothing to do but pay attention to her, has been excellent. However, without my computer and link to the outside world and emails from work coming in, I think I would've gone nuts. And I know that staying home for me full time is not an option but I completely understand why people do it. In addition, all my working mom friends say that they feel awful when they leave their babies at home, and I used to nod and try to understand but without experiencing it it is impossible. I will rely on my working mom friends to help me feel ok about our decision and to help me continue to balance being there for my daughter and also being there for myself.

I think this is just the beginning of the conflict and guilt. I think if it wasn't this it would be something else. I know that a happy mommy makes a happy baby, but I want to install nanny cams in every nook and cranny of our house to make sure our childcare professional is just that.

NO ONE will put our baby in the corner.

BTW my favorite time with her right now is after we feed her - she closes her eyes and goes limp (which of course scared me at first, thinking I killed her with feeding, but now i understand it is milk coma) and then she starts to smile - sometimes with both sides of her mouth and sometimes with this smirky one side thing. Her cheeks are filling out and she will definitely be a FatBaby which we LOVE. I tell her all the time I am going to eat her. We sing to her and talk to her and I make up stupid songs about Charlotte and Charli and Chuck and whatever. She is going to think her mother is an idiot. And about her, I am.


Blogger Tracy said...

I'm SO happy for you.

I know it will be hard, but having a happy mommy will be the best thing in the world for her. One day at a time...

1:14 PM  

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