*I just found this post from last week sitting in my queue. Thought I’d post it anyways.
One time, a few months before Clara was born, I stood in our church sanctuary after the service and chatted with two of my girlfriends. My friend Macey was also big pregnant with her little girl, and our friend Rachael had recently returned from a trip to Mexico. We were talking about vacationing together, and I argued firmly for leaving our children behind (during said hypothetical vacation). Macey and Rachael laughed in disbelief and told me I would feel differently when my baby arrived. I was like, yeah right, fools! I’ll be packing that kid off to Grandma’s for long weekends and summer breaks before you can say pina colada.
Tonight I am packing lunch and dinner and my school books, getting ready to leave for a 12-hour day on campus tomorrow. I have big projects and papers due this weekend and I need some concentrated blocks of time to work- which I find impossible when I’m at home with my sweet little distracting family.
I have never been away from Clara for this long. Ever. And I know people do it all the time. And I know she’ll have a wonderful day with Sam, who has been gone a lot lately and is excited for time alone with the baby. And I know I need to finish my school work.
I don’t like it.
I don’t want to miss out on a whole day of my daughter’s life. I don’t want to miss out on one minute, if we’re really letting our crazy hang out here. Because this is first child syndrome, this is my privilege as a first time mom, this is Clara’s right as our first baby. She may be in line to receive an unfair share of our parenting mistakes, yes. But also: We covet time with her. When choosing between ‘leaving the baby’ or ‘taking the baby,’ let’s just say Clara Horney doesn’t see a lot of baby-sitters and I haven’t seen a movie since last summer. She is sort of everything around here right now.
People tease me about this all the time and tell me I’ll get over it; and I know I will. Someday I’ll be glad to leave her for a weekend at her grandparents, and she will have a grand time being away from us, and we’ll all be better for it. But today is not that day. Today I am still taking twelve pictures of her ‘sleepy face’ in the morning and packing two extra outfits in her diaper bag just in case. Today I still get to be that mom.
And- surprise!- I’m pretty happy doing it 🙂