Somebody Punch Me

This Thursday, my little one hit the 12 week mark.  Have 12 weeks really gone by?  Really?

I’m feeling all sorts of emotions lately because I have only a limited time left with the Little Dude.  How am I going to survive leaving him with someone else?

I feel very fortunate (very, very fortunate–I’m seriously not trying to be obnoxious here) that since he turned 8 weeks old, my baby has pretty much been sleeping through the night.

I know.  Punch me.

I should be refreshed, right?  I should feel great waking up at 7:30 a.m. with my baby, no?

This may shock you, dear friends, but I’ve been too busy worrying to sleep.

Again, punch me.

What could I possibly have to worry about, you ask?  I have THE best baby, I have THE best husband. I’ve lost my baby weight (even though I’m lumpy and bumpy in places I wasn’t before). My Daddy is in good enough health to be causing trouble daily.  My family is happy and healthy.  I have a great job and benefits that I’ve worked really hard to earn so that I could be with my baby nearly every day of his first 4 months of life.

Ya’ll, even when life is peaches I can find something to worry about:

  1. Is my baby still breathing?
  2. Is he getting enough stimulation?
  3. Why won’t he tolerate being put down for naps during the day?
  4. Am I producing enough milk?
  5. Am I stockpiling enough milk for the first few days that I return to work?
  6. Am I doing the right thing by sending him to daycare?
  7. What if I miss him?
  8. What if I miss all the cool “firsts” he still has left to do?
  9. What if my bosses aren’t as flexible as I need them to be and I find myself facing hard decisions?
  10. What will work be like when I get back?
  11. Will I still be good at it?
  12. Will I still like it?
  13. Will they be mad at me for being gone so long?
  14. Will they understand when Samson gets sick and I need to leave?
  15. Will I ever get any vacation days to take a real vacation with my family?
  16. How on God’s green earth will I manage to make it all work?

And that’s the short list.  See, it’s a gift really.

Mostly, I lie awake at night and make plans.  I calculate things.  I create very elaborate word problems that would make my 11th grade Algebra teacher proud.

My baby can take a 5 oz. bottle during a feed and eats roughly 5 times during the hours he will be at daycare.  If I return to work full time and use handkerchiefs instead of kleenex, how many loads of laundry will I have to fold in tears before I pass out on a weeknight after rush hour, making dinner, and putting my cranky son to bed because he won’t have any energy left for me at the end of a day?

See what I mean?

Everyone in my close circle keeps telling me it will be ok.  Intellectually, I know this.  I know this because having and caring for a baby is hard.  I know this because I’ve survived the past 12 weeks.  Hell, it’s not even survival at this point.  My days–even the crappy ones when I can’t shower and I’m at the mercy of a tiny little tyrant–are pure joy.  My two-week-old-new-mom self would not have felt that way, I’m sure.  So I know it’s all going to be fine.

It just doesn’t feel fine right this minute.  I’m not sure what I can do to give my worry the swift kick out the front door.  Furthermore, I’m not sure I want to spend my last weeks of leave that I’ll ever have with my son feeling like this.  Somebody punch me.

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