When I went back to work 6 weeks after Asha was born, I was relieved!!! This was the first time in 6 weeks that I had taken a shower before 7pm, the first time in 6 weeks that I got into a quiet car and turned on my own music, the first time in 6 weeks that I was getting adult interaction during the day. You get the picture!!!! Of course it helped that this was also the last week of classes, the next week was exam week and then I would get another 4 weeks at home with her.
When I went back to work 4 weeks later, I felt much worse. This would be a whole semester and I would leave her home every day. By this point she was about 2.5 months old and over the worst of her colic. She was starting to smile and focus on us more and it was much more difficult leaving her. I thought about her all the time I was at school and called about 5-6 times during the day to check on her. Gregg was just starting to get irritated when my parents arrived and they were only too happy to fill me in on all her gestures, sounds, bowel movements etc. every time I called. Shortly after they left, school was done for the semester and I did not have to irritate Gregg for long.
The last few nights have been very difficult for us. We phased out Asha’s middle of the night bottle because it was clear she did not need it. She was drinking a maximum of 4oz at night and then spent another 45 minutes pulling our hair, smiling, examining our teeth etc. She just wanted to play. She has not had a night bottle in the last 4 nights and while she still wakes at least twice, she has stayed up only 15-30 minutes each time. However, I find myself waking up at 4am and unable to go back to sleep. This is very bad because we go to bed around 11pm, we get up with her twice and so waking and staying awake at 4am means I get almost no sleep. I wondered why this kept happening even when I was exhausted. Then it occurred to me – this is separation anxiety. I do not want to leave Asha home on Monday. She is now 10 months. She is crawling, standing, saying mama. She loves me to sit on the floor so she can crawl over me and around me to grab toys I hide. She loves playing hide-and-seek. She loves grabbing my leg, pulling herself up and hanging on while I take mini-steps. She is making new sounds all the time – testing different inflections with the same word. I will miss all this while I am at work.
I have never even considered being a stay-at-home mom (and not just for financial reasons). I love my job and love adult company and interaction. But now I know why they make this decision. I do not want to miss her milestones. I miss her company. It is getting more difficult to leave her as she grows because I love her company and her personality. Oh well!!! I am trying to console myself with the thought that when she reaches an age when she will not want my company, I will feel glad I kept my job!!!!