Everly calms down as the car gains speed and she's lulled to sleep by the motion. I, on the other hand, keep crying. Only now, I'm trying to muffle my sobs so as not to wake her. The day I had been dreading had arrived. It was like for the past 12 weeks I had clicked the pause button on any responsibilities outside of keeping this little human alive (which seemed daunting enough). And I liked it this way. I didn't want to unclick the pause button and have to resume my normal work activities.
Maybe I didn't get tired of staying at home because there was an end date, so I knew I needed to soak up all the precious time we had together during the week. I really think, though, that I could stay at home full time. In fact, I would love to. Lazy mornings in our pjs and afternoon outings with my mom. Sounds way better than trying to cram in quality time for a few hours at night. I did not understand the guilt and sadness working moms experience until I had to kiss Everly goodbye last week after I nursed her and she had already drifted back off to sleep.
Instead of taking a nap myself, I threw on the one pair of pants that fit me and rushed off to work since I was already running late. My mind was fuzzy as I tried to remember my computer password and worried about where I would pump. That first day, I pumped in a large conference room and sat at the head of the 12 person table, feeling like anything but a powerful career woman.
Today is Everly's 3 month birthday. I opened the app that tells me what my baby should be doing week by week, and it happily announced that my baby was no longer a newborn. The tears started flowing again, because my little squishy baby was entering infantdom and I suddenly felt my pictures and videos of her so tiny were lacking. Enter more mom guilt.
Wade brought her to me over lunch today, and I nursed her in the car of a Walmart parking lot. We ate Subway sandwiches, and I watched her big cheeks seem to get impossibly bigger and cuter as she ate. (Sidenote: she seems so satisfied when I nurse her, but I don't get as much milk when I pump. Any advice for pumping? Have you tried any of the Fenugreek products?) We watched as a woman parked her 1992 Nissan minivan across the way from us and proceeded to put a club on her steering wheel. She still nervously looked back at her car as she walked towards the store. Wade laughed harder than I've heard him laugh in weeks. Must have been some pretty precious cargo in there.
It's not all bad. The people I work with are nice and understanding. It just seems strange that we undergo this huge life change by bringing another tiny human into our family and then are expected to go back to "normal" after a few months. That reality doesn't exist anymore. Now, there is this new world that is so much better and more challenging because she is here. I still struggle with how much weight is placed upon women's shoulders. We're expected to nurture the babies, be a cutthroat career woman, fit back into our pre-pregnancy jeans, and also fit in time for date nights. We're expected to be all things to everybody, and it's exhausting. I don't think it would be that different if I stayed at home, though. Stay at home moms have just as much on their plate, and I'm sure I would have added pressure to become a great cook. Wade has been staying home with Everly the past week, and he agrees that staying home is its own job. Except the boss is tiny and unreasonable.
I know that there is no perfect solution and that it will get easier. Life keeps rolling along, and there is so much to look forward to. I may be late posting her 2 and 3 month updates, but they will get done eventually. She is changing every day, and I don't want to miss capturing how she is right now.
I guess the one bright spot is that I may get out of changing so many dirty diapers. Even though I think her poop smells like popcorn. Must be a mother hormone so that I don't get disgusted by my baby:) Who could not love everything about this sweet face?