It’s been a rather lackluster week. The weather has been gray , and so has the overall aura of the past few days. After days of not seeing the sun for significant stretches of time, it’s starting to take a toll on me.
I’ve been in rather a weepy and dull mood, a funk. One day just blends into the next without much distinction. By now, I think I’ve been on leave for too long, and as anxious as I feel about it, I am ready to go back to work. I need routine, I need responsibilities, and I need interaction with adults to help to keep myself sane. Not having these make a “Type A personality” such as myself spiral down into Alice’s rabbit hole.
My old position (thankfully) still awaits me after several months of medical leave/maternity leave/school vacation. I love my job as a teacher, and I am also fortunate enough to work in a school where I not only respect but get along well with my coworkers, principal, the administration, and the other employees. For the most part I also love the students (they have their crazy, not-so-good moments and antics, but overall they are a great group).
Nevertheless, this school year, I am returning somewhat more apprehensive and definitely more conflicted as I will have to leave my son back at home while I work a full day/work week.
I know that I am lucky to A.) have a job, B.) have a job that I like and find so fulfilling, and C.) have had so much time off to take care of my son in the beginning of his life and adjust to motherhood. Moreover, Fede will be a “stay at home dad” of sorts, at least for the time being, so he will be Seba’s caretaker, not some sketchy, germy daycare or nanny who we would be entrusting with our house and our only child. It seems that all the ducks are lined up in a row… so why do I feel so bad? What’s with this persistent, nagging feeling that I have gnawing at my brain?
Frankly, I feel rather guilty that I am not going to be the one who will be with Sebastian for the majority of the day. I feel sad that I am going to miss out on a lot of his “firsts” while I am away at work. I feel concerned that returning to a great but demanding job (plus all the work that I typically bring home) is going to be too draining and overwhelming, and that I won’t really have enough energy to spend any meaningful time with my son, who is already growing up too fast.
Yes, I know that I am not the first (and will not be the last) mother who has gone through this emotional tug-of-war… which only makes me marvel in wonder at how so many women, especially single mothers (including mine), are able to to manage. I acknowledge now more than ever how important the role of a mother is in a child’s life (unique and apart from any other person’s), and although this particular arrangement is the best (and pretty much only) answer to our situation, I still feel a notable uneasiness about it all. And conflicted? Hell, yes. I’m honestly worried that I won’t be able to prioritize my time well enough or step it up when it is most needed. I know that in my case, it will simply have to be a matter of the quality of our time together, since unfortunately I will not be able to offer him much in terms of quantity in the near future.
Three more weeks to get this inner dilemma sorted out. And… go!