On the positive side, I had never before left a 12-week-old baby at home and gone to work. On the negative side, I have now. Sunday was my first shift back. I'm grateful that my employer didn't expect me back after six weeks. Apparently, because I'm part-time, that would be the minimum that state law requires. I'm glad they allowed me more unpaid leave than the minimum allowed by law.
That didn't make Sunday any easier. As I prepared to leave home, I felt like I was going to throw up. I cried as I drove there, was able to pull myself together to enter the building, but cried pretty much any time I tried to talk. By the end of the shift, I was having sharp pains in my stomach. All this, even though during the seven hours I was there, my husband brought Turtle to me so I could feed him!
It was the plan all along that I'd keep my part-time job. I'm not going to say I have to work because it is a choice. I'm just not willing to give up the things that my employment allows us. That makes me feel bad, but we want to keep our house, I want to pay for things such as ballet lessons and soccer, and I want to buy food at the store whenever we need food without worry, and I like to heat the house warmer than a true miser would.
I got to stay home with Gameboy and Princess. I returned to work when Cookie was 9 months old. She was too young, I thought, and now I'm doing it to a 3-month-old.
Of course the baby is at home with his father, who is a very good father, and siblings, who all love him lots. It's just two nights a week. He's taking a bottle well and falls asleep in the car. These things should make me feel better. But if he's crying, I want to be there for him. He doesn't understand that I'll be back later. He doesn't think seven hours is a short time.
I'm aware that some people might think I'm overreacting to the situation or not recognizing how lucky I was with the other kids. But that's all neither here nor there. I'm just wallowing in the current situation, knowing it will get better as he gets bigger. And I do like my job — just nowhere near as much as I like that baby.