Sunday, nov. 29, 2009 | 4 comments
Starting at 9am tomorrow, I’ll be back at work after a little over four months bonding with the baby at home. On a perhaps related note, my back appears to have gone out, so as I launder my work clothes and pack up breast pump, there’s a depressingly aged stoop in my step.
With my return to my cube looming large, it occurs to me that this past four months with the baby are probably the longest solid stretch of time that I’ll ever spend with this kid. From here on in, his day-carers and teachers and parole officers will enjoy more together time with him than I ever will.
It makes me sad that I haven’t enjoyed this once-in-a-lifetime togetherness more. I spent the first nine-tenths of my maternity leave in a “fumbling to keep baby alive” sweat, feeling like I was faking my way through a job for which I was vastly underqualified. It’s only in these last few weeks that the panic has started to thaw into some kind of glimmer of “maybe I can actually do this“ness. So of course, just as I start to get my sea legs, it’s back to the sea-salt mines.
Part of me wishes that I could take more time off, enough to really start feeling competent, maybe even confident, about this whole motherhood thing. On the other hand, when I watch the nanny we’ve lined up for our nannyshare sit with the baby, I’m striken by how much more attentive a babysitter she is. No watching So You Think You Can Dance over the baby’s shoulder for her! No teetering the baby in front of the computer while she checks email! She’s engaged and upbeat, where I’m stressy and overtired.
So maybe Desi’s better off with me at work? And maybe it’s better for me that I’ll be going back while my maternity leave is hitting a good note, a la Cheers going off the air when the getting was still good?
Or maybe America does it wrong, and I should move to some scandi-land where new parents get six thousand weeks of m/paternity leave, and all the children end up multilingual and well-adjusted and tan. And buses are made of marzipan! And the streets whiff of sun-warmed kitten fur! And new mothers walk perfectly erect!
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