Friday, July 22, 2011

Ask the Host Q2: Get back to work!

I have been back at work for two weeks and I'm pretty sure the care provider we picked for my son is excellent, but he still cries every day when I drop him off. It breaks my heart. He is so young (4 months) and I don't think I can afford to stay home but it is so hard to leave him every day when he's upset. People keep telling me it gets easier so when does it get easier?

Oh, mama. It's going to be hard no matter how old your baby is, and they will always be your baby. Whether you're dropping him off at daycare while you go to work or it's the first day of school, some day we all have to leave our kids sobbing in a puddle of their own tears. It hurts. Sweet Jesus, does it ever hurt. But the damage isn't permanent - for either of you.

"People" are right, it does get better. If I told you it would be perfect two weeks from Sunday would you believe me? Probably not, because how could I possible know exactly when it's going to get better, or even what "better" means to you? I bet if you really think about it, things are "better" than they were two weeks ago. You just have a hard time seeing the improvement because you're in the middle of it all. Two weeks from now it will be better than it is today. There will be days that are harder than others. I have been back at work for over a year and there are still days I wish I had just stayed the hell home to play with my kid. But I also enjoy the finer things in life, like food and clothing and shelter!

He's little and you're all he has ever known. Take it as a compliment that he prefers your company above all others. Have you called your care provider an hour after drop off to see how he's doing? Of course you have! He's fine, right? And the time from when you leave to when he settles down is getting a little bit shorter ever day, isn't it? If you don't know the answer to those questions, ask! If your care provider is really a good one, they'll take your interest in your child's day as a sign that you really care and will be willing to work with you to make the transition easier. Give yourself a break, you just had a baby a few months ago! Your life is very different now. When you get home, let dinner wait a while and just take some time to cuddle him and reconnect. Drop offs may be hard for a while, but they make pick ups that much sweeter.

There will be a day when you drop him off and he will barely give you a wave as he goes to play with his friends. Then you'll be upset all day because your kid doesn't love you anymore. Or maybe that's just me...

This post is part of a weekly series, Ask the Host, that allows you to ask any question you want as long as you're prepared for completely honest answers. Got a question? Send me an email with "I have a question" in the subject line.