Friday, August 3, 2012

When We're Apart

Monday was Gracie's first day going to daycare.  I took care of her as a stay-at-home Mom for 4 months, the longest stretch being away from her being about 4 hours.  That was awhile ago (June 11th) on our 1st date night when we went bowling and inhaled 25-cent wings at North County Tavern + Bowl.  99% of the time, if I was "away" from her, we were at most a whole room apart.

I took care of Gracie at home on the weekdays by myself for a total of 3 months, because I had Greg there with me for the first 2 weeks and the last 2 weeks of leave.  I say all this to paint a picture of how attached-at-the-hip we were.  I was feeding her almost every 2 hours for about 3 months... now at 4.5 month old every 3-4 hours.  This includes nighttime (she's still not sleeping through the night but she's goes down so easy now!).  I was always with my baby, and honestly didn't know how to do/think/talk about anything non-Grace related.  To make a long story short, returning to work was HARD.

I raced home after being away from my baby for 10 hours on that first day.  My Mom cared for Gracie my first two weeks back at work, and then this week is the first week in daycare.  Daycare was like the first day of going back to work all over again.  You don't know what to expect... you don't know how your baby will feel in the new environment, around toddlers and in someone else's arms all day... and will she be held enough?  Turns out Grace had a great day.  One of her caregivers told me that she is "such a happy, smiley baby".  Greg said she seemed very happy when he picked her up.  She sang in the car the whole way home (her new thing... so cute dangit!).  Now she sings on the way to and from daycare each day.

Monday afternoon, when I walked through the door after work and greeted Grace in Daddy's arms, I was blessed with one of the best feelings a Mom can have.  An experience that you go, OK, that was it!  A "first", and a definite one.  Grace put out her arms for me... and I had one of the HIGHEST moments of my life.  Who needs a drug when you have Baby Love?  Haha, I kid!  Anytime I need a "hit" she's there to lift me up with her generous giggles or a song ("aaaaaaaaaaaaaah!").  The sweetest voice my ears have ever heard, the softest, most angelic face my eyes have ever beheld, and to hear her name is to feel my heart burst -- Grace.

Yesterday was Day 14 of being back at work.  It was honestly the first day that it physically hurt me to be away from my daughter.  I looked at her picture, and it made me so sad to be staring at her on a screen, at one moment captured in time, rather than seeing/hearing/feeling/breathing her in real-time.  It's hard being a working mother.  I pray it's not like this forever.  I'm thankful, though, that Greg and I are able to both have jobs, and that we have found people we can trust to watch and love our daughter for a time.  Also thankful that Greg can take leave and be home with her in the afternoons all the way until November.  See that?  Counting my blessings. :)

Vintage image courtesy


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