Motherhood is a strange thing. Imagine the feeling of loving someone so much that the thought of anyone harming him makes you nauseous. Imagine that when you're away from this little person for only a few hours, you pine for him like it hurts. And when he smiles at you--light dancing in his eyes--the rush of adoration is indescribable.
Now, imagine wanting to get away from this tiny human, because he's a constant reminder that your independence is officially no more. This has been my experience as a mom: a confluence of emotions, ups and downs and the feeling of being totally overwhelmed.
Next week marks a year of being back at work post-baby. Dropping off Elliot at daycare was a confusing day. Was I doing the right thing by going back to work? What was best for him? What was best for me? And then going back to work; the guilt-infused freedom of sitting at my desk and surfing the web whenever the hell I wanted to. I never equated work with "freedom," but that's certainly how it felt.
I have to admit something that I'm not proud of: before I had Elliot, I looked down on stay-at-home moms. "What the hell do they do all day?"I often thought to myself. Well, Karma's a bitch, and maternity leave was not easy. An entire day would go by without any tangible "accomplishment;" and for someone like me, that's turns into a swamp of crazy.
Being a working mom is also a hard job. Like stay-at-home moms, your battery runs all day, and the idea of "me time" is truly just an idea. Sometimes, it's so overwhelming that the mere thought of bath time evokes anxiety and dread.
But more importantly, how do you reconcile the fact that you only spend a few hours a day with your child? What kind of parent are you?
n my case, I'm a better parent. Maybe in my case, the qualitative trumps (hate writing that word) the quantitative; however, until Elliot's a grown man, the inconclusiveness will remain limbo-like maddening.