Back to Work
I made it through my first day back to work. I cannot say the same for my mascara.
I recently learned that human internal organs have a dual function. There is the physiological aspect as well as the emotional. Apparently, the lungs hold grief. This may explain why I could not catch my breath today; not once could I lull myself to peace via deep breathing. I am guessing I had a few things to mourn.
107 days ago, I became a Mum. When I began maternity leave, I intended to go back to work, but my position was trimmed (I was fat, apparently). I then planned to just stay home and suck it up - as I was never convinced about what I wanted to do anyway. I was then offered a 4-week contract that I decided to take. That contract work began today.
When I accepted the position, I was thrilled and in serious need of a break from Mommy-hood. I was lucky enough to line up Jessica as Bowie's nanny, so the pain of leaving her would at least be that little bit easier. However, between then and now, something strange shifted with Bowie and I. I found myself enjoying nursing, craving time with her, even wanting to peak in and snuggle her while sleeping. Before, I was way too exhausted to do anything but exist. Since I could leave for dates with Joel as soon as she was 1-week old, I figured maybe I wasn't as attached as a Mother is supposed to be.
This of course was a direct result of Bowie beginning to sleep consistently through the night. I was much more capable of loving her. But it still seems like I blinked and suddenly motherhood has engendered a choking kind of love. It sits on the back of your throat, somewhere between your heart and your mouth. It's as if I am perpetually watching a deeply-moving cinema and stuck on the part just before the flood of tears.
I'm stuck at the edge of catharsis.
I was fine most of the day. I couldn't breath, but I was managing. But then night. Oh.God.Awful.Night.
After an hour in rainy traffic, after feeding and changing Bowie, after washing and organizing all the shit from pumping breast-milk at work all day, after an hour of trying to get Bowie to sleep (that NEVER happens), and after more pumping, I had to lie down on my bed and weep like a baby. Dinner was not made, relaxation was nowhere in sight. Bowie cried in her bedroom and I cried in mine and the poetic symmetry broke my ever-lovin' heart.
Joel rescued with a cocktail and a hug, and I lost it even more. It's just so much work to get to and from work, even though I am leaving Bowie with my best friend. I still don't get to spend the day assessing her every little movement. I come home and feel like a stranger and read WAY too much into the fact that she won't go down easily and has to cry it out for up to an hour (don't judge me!). She finally drifted off to sleep somewhere between my Negroni and 2nd pour of Chardonnay, but man - I just had no resilience left.
I am so glad this is a short contract. I think I needed this to realize that I am happy at home - and that whatever structure and mental stimulation I need, I need to provide it for myself - income would be nice too.
Time to dream again.
Tonight, Joel went in to comfort Bowie and as soon as she saw him, she not only stopped fussing, but looked at him with a huge grin. He said he had no idea how much she had hooked him. Looks like I am not the only one being manipulated by biology.
I just returned from peeping in on her as I make my way to my own bed. I never used to do that. I never wanted to risk waking her. Now, I am so enamored of her smell and personality and cute little jammies that it's almost worth the risk of losing sleep just for that one last cuddle. I might have to go in and sniff that head.
Yeah. I'm 'effed. This picking up of a soul only to let go of a soul - it may be my undoing. My body cannot contain it. Mothers, how can you walk around and not be completely undone by one prick? I guess we all get used to it - like I've become accustomed to Bowie's varying cries and therefore less traumatized by them (hell, she almost never cries anyway).
Moms are my new superheros. Yoga pants aside.
Monday, I am not sad to see you go. But I am glad to see that Motherhood is happening to me, just as it should and in its own time.
Worry not, Candace. Your biology will not betray you. It's supposed to hurt this much.