#ARoseyOutlook: Lily Does Daycare
I think I have cried more over the last week than I ever have in my entire life.
You spend an entire year getting your baby ready for this moment: helping them become mobile, introducing solids, doing all the things you need to do to help them slowly become independent beings. All so you can go back to work (if you are), and they can start their independent life somewhere else and WITH someone else. You spend ALL YEAR preparing them so they are physically, mentally, and emotionally ready to be able to do that. But no one prepares YOU for it. And let me tell you, it is like a sucker punch right to your heart.
12 months ago, this day seemed like an eternity away. Even 9 months ago, when I was still in the difficult newborn period, time seemed to drag on in such a way that I THOUGHT I'd be BEGGING for this moment.
But here we are and this little world that Lily and I have is about to change forever. Someone else will be holding her when she falls down. Someone else will watch her clap for the first time, and walk for the first time. Someone else will get to spend all day making her smile, chatting with her, and hear her perfect little voice. I will no longer be Lily's person, and the intensity of this realisation has caught me completely off guard. Of course, I will always be her mama – but the intense love that Lily has to give will now be spread further than just Tom and I... and I am just SO not ready to share it.
So many 'lasts' in that first year happen without forewarning (the last time your baby sleeps on your chest for a nap, the last time they wear a certain sleeper, the last time they use a certain baby toy). But in these past few weeks I have been fully aware of all our lasts – the last time I get to go into her room in the morning and see her standing, waiting, smiling up at me. The last time I nurse her after she wakes and she pops off, milk dripping on her chin, to give me a smile. The last time we have a morning family cuddle.
I am so lucky I am going back to a job that I LOVE. I am so lucky that I will spend the first month (at least) of this transition working from home so, at the very least, I can SEE my baby before she leaves for daycare. I am so lucky in general, and I know that.
But I struggled so hard in the beginning to navigate this new role as a mom (I talk about it in this blog), and now I feel like I don't know how to exist in any other context.
Who am I outside of this little bubble?
Everything that was so familiar before now feels so foreign.
I don't even feel like I function the same anymore (mom brain is a real thing, btw).
Will I be able to pick up at work where I left off or have I set myself back?
And what do I do when I look down and don't get to see my favourite person looking up at me, waiting to be picked up?
Look, I know I am not a special case here; I know moms and dads do this every day.
I just don't know HOW.