Today is my first day back to work. It’s the wee hours of the morning, and I’m the only one awake. Just me and the birds, who are chirping away as if an entire world weren’t crumbling within these very walls.
I don’t have coffee, can’t even bring myself to eat a bowl of cereal. All I can do is sit here in the dark and watch my baby sleep. I might as well be leaving forever for the heartache I feel, which I know is ridiculous. But it’s not fair that I have to say goodbye, even for just a workday. It’s not fair that I should be walking out that door to do something that could never make me feel even a fraction of the happiness I feel when I am home with her.
And as I sit here, I realize…I am angry.
I’m angry because in my 34 years, I haven’t planned for this moment. Haven’t thought about what I would do once I had a baby, if I might not want to go back to work after a short three months.
Because three months is NOT a long enough time to be with the life I created, to nurture her and get to know each other.
Because when she wakes up, it will not be me smiling at her.
And I will miss our morning conversations.
I am angry because I didn’t work harder to build my life, instead settling on(barely) making a living.
Because I promised her I would be happy, so she would always know that happiness was the most important. And leaving her makes me the most unhappy I’ve ever been.
I am angry because three months isn’t long enough to build the life I dream of leading. I will still do it, but it’s going to take so much more.
I am angry because I know what I want in this life, and not being there already makes me feel like a failure.
I am angry because there is no one to blame but myself.
I am angry that there are other mothers like me out there who are dealing with this same heartache. That horrible feeling of being forced to do something you adamantly do NOT want to do, to provide for this perfect life you are responsible for.
We are taken away too soon, just as the routines begin to settle in, just when you are learning how to function in a mother/child relationship. But ‘you gotta do what you gotta do’. That’s what everyone says. But it’s not fair.
I will go to work today, and I will do what needs to be done. And I will cry. Because I shouldn’t have to say goodbye, even just for a little while.