Tuesday, December 4, 2012

first day back

Yesterday was my first day back to work, and also Linnea's first day at daycare. Of course, she did spectacularly (ate fine, slept relatively well). She spent her first bit of time in the space just staring around the room as I tried to say goodbye. Oh well.

I've been super conflicted about this. On one hand, I was nervous to leave her with someone else. What if she didn't like the caretakers? What if she liked them too much? Did I leave enough bottles for her? Did I give the caretakers enough information about her? What if she didn't sleep? What if she didn't eat? Etc., etc.

On the other hand, I felt a little bit of relief to not have to "be on" all the time anymore. I looked forward to feeling competent about my day-to-day life again. I really looked forward to being able to get coffee, or a sandwich, or go to the bathroom whenever I wanted. I also was excited to leave Linnea with people who are used to babies and know what to do with them. While I struggled each day to find the right balance of stimulation and independent play for Linnea, these caretakers are experienced in figuring this out. Plus, Linnea would get to "hang out" with other babies, which I really wanted.

However, despite the above, there was something almost viscerally traumatic when I got home, picked Linnea up to cuddle, and realized that she smelled completely different. She smelled like someone else, someplace else, and it was clear that she had had an experience that were separate from me for the first time in her life. I wound up holding Linnea for a quick evening nap just so I could feel connected with her again.

As Kanye says, "It's a process."

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