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:
- Is my baby still breathing?
- Is he getting enough stimulation?
- Why won’t he tolerate being put down for naps during the day?
- Am I producing enough milk?
- Am I stockpiling enough milk for the first few days that I return to work?
- Am I doing the right thing by sending him to daycare?
- What if I miss him?
- What if I miss all the cool “firsts” he still has left to do?
- What if my bosses aren’t as flexible as I need them to be and I find myself facing hard decisions?
- What will work be like when I get back?
- Will I still be good at it?
- Will I still like it?
- Will they be mad at me for being gone so long?
- Will they understand when Samson gets sick and I need to leave?
- Will I ever get any vacation days to take a real vacation with my family?
- 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.