Wednesday, August 29, 2012

First Day of Daycare

It's late, but I wanted to post anyway. Today was Max's first day at daycare. I knew it would be hard for me, and it was. His daddy stayed home with him for my first three days of work, so I was eased into the “back to work” pain of leaving my baby. Leaving him at home with your husband and leaving him at daycare are two completely different things.
I had always thought that I would be bored at home with a baby. That I would be dying to go back to work. I don’t like being stuck in the house all of the time, and I like feeling like I’m contributing to something. For some reason (which I can’t understand now) I thought that staying home with a baby would be hell for me. I thought I was the career woman who would love to be working hard and earning money, while leaving my child at daycare. Well, once Max was here, the whole story changed. I didn’t want to return to work. I wanted to stay home with my baby. I was busy at home. I wasn’t bored. I felt that I was contributing to something far more important than what I would be doing at a job. Coming back to work was tough, but it was inevitable. I believe that in the end, our family will be far better off because I returned to work. Unfortunately, that doesn’t make it any easier right now.
Sean and I both went in to drop Max off for his first day, in separate cars. Sean held him while I talked to Max’s teacher and unpacked his bag. My voice was shaky and my hands were clumsy with his things. I was trying to push through it and not lose it, but I eventually started crying. I didn’t communicate everything to the teacher that I had previously planned. I forgot half of it, and the other half wouldn’t come out of my mouth because I was trying so hard to not cry. I didn’t want Max to see me cry, because it upsets him (he saw me crying last week about having to return to work, and he started screaming immediately). It was tough.
I grabbed Max from Sean, and handed him to his teacher. I said good bye and kissed him on the head. He was just looking around the room, oblivious (of course) to what was going on. He warmed right up to his teacher, he was fine. He was thrilled to have new stuff to look at. He would be a happy little boy there, but mommy was devastated. I cried on the way out, rushing by the administrator who was trying to be kind. I hugged Sean in the parking lot, which only made the tears fall faster. I hopped into my car, and cried the first half of the drive. Not the whole drive though, so I was able to look partly normal when I arrived at work.
People were telling me, “It will be okay.” Yeah, I know it will be okay. I am not worried that something bad will happen, or that the world is going to end. I know it will be just fine. Heck, he’ll probably have more fun there than he was at home with me. But that doesn’t make it any easier for this new mom. This is hard. I hate it. But it’s what we need to do.
I can't explain how it felt to hold him for the first time after work. It was like a piece of me was missing, and that I was finally whole again. I kissed his forehead a million times and took a picture in the parking lot to show his daddy that we were both fine. All night long he wanted me to hold him, and I loved every single second of it. He was his happy self, and it seemed that he hadn’t skipped a beat.

Max and I right after pick-up

Daycare isn’t the end of the world. Going back isn’t the end of the world. It’s just different. We’ll adjust. He’ll have better social skills, our family will be in a better financial position, I will have an outlet (my job) for my need to organize/plan/etc things to death in a way that won’t drive my husband mad and the world will go on. It will take time to get used to this new life. It will get easier. It will be best for our family.
Oh, and his teacher sends me pictures and updates during the day. That is totally awesome! It makes these days a lot easier.

Max during his first day at daycare

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