A new opportunity came along that professionally made perfect sense, and it came upon us fast: I heard about the opportunity on Monday, and signed up on Friday, with a commitment to start work on Monday. Tomorrow. And that means for the first time in my daughter’s life, I won’t be sharing an office with her tomorrow. No more trying to balance a bottle in my left hand and a phone in my right. I hate the fact that I ever thought that was a bad experience. I wish I had known on the first day that it would only last a few months. I would’ve savored it so much more.
In a way, my daughter and I were the best of co-workers. When I had writer’s block, my daughter had a baby smile or a laugh to clear the clutter from my brain. I’m sure I haven’t been as productive overall as I was before baby, but I have never, ever been happier. And now while my professional side is jazzed about a new gig, my heart hurts a lot. Not just because I won’t have my partner at my side as I work, ready for another rendition of “Disco Baby” (a song I made up that always–and I mean always–works). But also because I now face the uncertainty and stress of leaving my daughter in someone else’s hands.
My wife had to head back to work after three months, and I’m sorry to say I didn’t fully appreciate how hard that must have been until now. And suddenly, without giving this the massive thinking and obsessing that’s come with every other aspect of babyhood (let’s talk strollers again, babe… let’s made a pros and cons list), we had no time to plan for child care, because we didn’t expect to need it. In a long weekend of research and frantic phone calls, we’ve learned this: it ain’t easy and it ain’t cheap.
So to you Moms and Dads who’ve done it, you’re amazing. And maybe, if you have a minute, could you tell me how I’m going to get through Monday? And then Tuesday? Who’s going to record the feedings and naps and take iPhone photos to send my wife at work? Who’s going to send pics to me?
Most of all, I hope my junior office mate understands.