The joy of becoming a new mother is a completely amazing and miraculous feeling. Your body goes through metamorphosis and your emotions go along for the ride. You are on an extreme high one day and a miserable low the other. The upbeat “work professional” image I had constructed went straight out the door; as I was suddenly overcome with urge to say exactly what I was feeling at any given moment. Conversely, I had an uncontrollable need to let the tears pour out at random commercials and sappy love songs.
At the end of the nine-month process, you have co-created a new life and it’s a glorious process. Over the next few months, you bond with your baby and relish at all her milestones. The thought of leaving your child for even a moment seems unimaginable…. Nevertheless, you know that that time will come, so you enjoy every second with your child.
It was important for my partner and I for one of us to stay home with our daughter for the first year and that person was me, due to my totally crap job and poor employment choices. Then I became an awesome “full-time” mom, but the cost of living on one income in one of the most over-priced cities in the US was starting to take a toll on us and our finances.
No sweat, I’ll just go back to work… during the worst economy or country has known in over a generation. Great!
Miraculously I was able to secure a job working for a great organization within walking distance from our home. Then the daunting task of finding care for my child became a 24/7 research project. I interviewed nannies, visited countless daycares and in a moment of insanity, considered moving my mom to the state to provide fulltime care.
In the end, I found a wonderful daycare close to home. Given that my daughter has spent nearly 100% of her time with one or both of her parents, I thought she would have some sort of mental fit; and I would be around to come a retrieve her for the care provider. I decided to enroll my daughter a week early as a mutual trial for all parties.
I drop her off on a cloudy Monday morning, and thought I would go home and read and do some cleaning. In my mind, I was waiting for the call to console my baby who missed me senselessly. I waited – no call.
When we went to pick her up on her first day, she was laughing and playing with the others babies. I thought to myself, “good – she enjoys being here.” As the week progressed, my daughter was becoming adjusted quite easily, me on the other hand, I was going through some sort of psychologically breakdown (yet again). My daughter is moving on and what does that mean for me?
On the last day of her first week, I dropped her off and she smiled at her care provider and rested her head on her shoulder. My heart broke, I mean she rarely does that for me and now this woman has reached that level in less than a week.
Then the realization of motherhood kicked me in the butt. I realized that she is my daughter and therefore, we will always have a special bond, but she will also make new relationships throughout the course of her life. The relationship with her care provider is just the first of many new relationships. I am happy that she is a loving, open child.
Now that she is happy and secure, I will focus on my new work and the ever-evolving nature of motherhood.
About CC our guest blog contributor. Former community organizer, worked for SEIU, CHANGE (Industrial Areas Foundation), Leadership Conference on Civil Rights. She is an active blogger, writing about personal stories and reflections on various topics relating to race, class and gender issues at www.causereaction.blogspot.com.