I'm going back to work Thursday. Oddly enough, after my freak-out a couple of weeks ago, I think I actually might be ready. It helps that my hormones are finally starting to settle down a bit, I think. The emotional roller coaster that comes along with pregnancy and the weeks postpartum has probably been the worst part of the whole experience for me. I mean, I cry pretty easily as it is, but this has been ridiculous. As time has worn on, I've started feeling more like myself. I have also started looking at the situation more realistically. Sure, it's fun to stay home all day and do pretty much nothing now except snuggle with a newborn. I try to keep up with the dishes and laundry, but otherwise I haven't done much over these past eight weeks. I know I wouldn't be able to get away with that forever, nor would I enjoy it. I also think of the future. Sure, it's fun to be at home with a new baby who does very little but eat and sleep. But how will I handle staying home with a toddler? I don't know. Maybe I would love it, but it also might not be for me. And what happens when Jane is ready for school? It's tough to re-enter the workplace after being away.
I know that there are also some definite advantages to daycare. Jane will not just be taken care of, she will be learning. Our daycare has a curriculum that she will be following from the start. She'll be learning Spanish and sign language, among other things. She'll also have the opportunity to make friends long before she goes to school. All of these things are pretty important to me, and I think our daughter will be smarter and better off for it.
There's also the matter of money. Much as I hate to admit it, I like having money. I like nice things, and I like being able to buy my daughter nice things. So while I may not be tending to my daughter's every need during the day, I will be providing for her in another way.
I also believe it will mean that my daughter and I will never take each other's time for granted. Although I will be sad to drop her off, when I come home every day there will be a joyful reunion. I'll spend my day thinking about what I'm going to do with her tonight or this weekend, rather than spending the day wishing I could get out of the house and have some time to myself.
Still, I'm going to savor these last few hours and minutes with my baby girl. It's been a magical time in my life. One I know I will never forget.