I need purpose and routine to feel like myself. I need to be able to get up, get ready and leave the house. I worked at my previous employer for almost 8 years and had no intention of quitting. I got pregnant, went on maternity leave and had my sweet baby girl. While on leave, I cherished every moment with her because I knew I only had twelve weeks of all day cuddle time. Twelve weeks to adjust to our new addition and find our new normal.
We thought we were on top of it. We toured several daycares and decided on the one we felt the most comfortable with. We put our deposit down to get on the wait list while being assured there would be a spot for our baby when the time came and we went about our merry way thinking, “daycare, handled.” SURPRISE… it didn’t work that way AT EFFING ALL. A month before I was set to go back to work, I called to check in with the daycare and they told me they would not have a spot open until the beginning of the year. Ummm what? Apparently my husband and I misunderstood how this works. What a sham, man. It’s March, and still no open spot, FYI. FUN TIMES.
We had to make a decision quickly. What the EFF were we going to do? I knew I needed to go back to work so that I could be the best version of myself, but how was I going to do this? Luckily my Mother was able to watch our sweet angel. I went back to work ready to get back into the swing of things. That did NOT happen. All I could do was think about what Penelope was doing and all the things I was missing. I would FaceTime with her every time I pumped and text with Mom throughout the day. My heart simply couldn’t handle it.
Real talk, this was one of the hardest decision I’ve had to make. Also, I know what I sound like when I say that. I know that the first thing that probably runs through your mind is “why is this lady complaining about being able to stay at home with her baby?” or “people have real problems, please stop whining.” Several Mamas have said “OMG I would have loved to have that opportunity to stay home with my kids, you’re so lucky.” I’m grateful, every day but it was still a hard choice for me. Others have said “wow, your husband must make a lot of money,” or my personal favorite “what are you going to do with yourself all day, you’re going to get so bored.” For the record, all of those comments made me feel about this big (-). My husband sets the world on fire every day and I just couldn’t imagine being someone who stayed home and had nothing to show for my “work.” I felt every insecurity you can think of. I was pre-mad at my husband because I just knew he would start expecting dinner on the table by 6 and a spotless house when he got home. This is NOT me. I am NOT a housewife. I only watch them on tv. I fought and fought with him over things that hadn’t even happened yet. My insecurities almost cost me my healthy marriage. The love and support he has given me is everything I could ever wish for in a partner. He’s my biggest cheerleader. A tall, dark and handsome one nonetheless.
The daycare not having an open spot was a blessing in disguise. Me quitting my job was what was supposed to happen. This has been hard. I have bad days where I question myself. But, oh… those good days. Those days where her eyes sparkle when she looks my way. Those chubby baby arms wrap around my neck and I know I’m right where I’m meant to be. I do miss the challenges my work days used to bring. I miss girls lunch and mani/pedi breaks too. These days I straight up get down to some Mickey Mouse Clubhouse. I’m using all of my old dance team moves to make my daughter laugh and giggle and thoroughly enjoy my thrice warmed coffee.
Here’s to the single parents. I see you. You need to know that you are doing the best you can and you are everything to your babies. Keep that hustle game strong. It’s all going to pay off one day when you’ve raised amazing kids who know their worth. I no longer worry about nothing to show for my “work.” You can just look at our happy baby and see that her heart and soul are being tended to and she’s loved beyond measure. That’s my definition of a good Mama.