Life is a series of seasons. Some seasons are longer than others. Some seasons bring about a lot of change and growth, while others are quickly passing and sometimes leave us wondering, "What in the world happened?" Some seasons are joyful and others are full of sorrow and hardship. Some seasons require a lot of work while others are slower paced and easier to handle.
All this to say, there is nothing quite like the season of life that begins when you become a parent. I won't go on and on about things I've already spoken of, but I will say that I am finding myself eating my words quite a bit these days. I finally, FINALLY truly understand what it means to be a mommy and what it means to feel that ache inside you at the thought of having to leave your child to the care of someone other than yourself. It's not a lack of trust or even worrying that something will happen to your baby. It's knowing that it won't be you. It won't be you who gets to hold them when they're crying or who will get the first chance to witness their first real laugh, their first step, or even their first word. Sure, it COULD be you. You might be so lucky as to witness all these special moments and milestones in the off chance it will occur during the very short period of time per day you now get to spend with your child. And for that you feel hopeful and also grateful for the precious time you do have.
It won't be me....And he won't remember the time we DID have. He's too little to be able to have those kind of long-term memories. I want more than anything for him to be able to remember. I wish I had a way for him to be aware of just how badly it hurts me to have to leave him every morning. I guess I could tell him when he's older, but it's not the same. The feelings won't be fresh anymore and by then I will be long over it and have gotten used to the way things are. It will be a totally different season. But right now the season I've been in and have so come to enjoy is coming to an end. And I am heartbroken. I have shed a few tears in the last few days, but they've been small and short-lived. Today I had my first good cry and I can already tell it's definitely not the last good cry.
I know it'll be okay. I know "this too shall pass". I know that I will be so busy with my work that the days will pass quickly and I'll get to see him every evening and every weekend and every holiday. Being a teacher means I get more vacation time than the average working mom....So I definintely need to count my blessings. But that does nothing to change the fact that I no longer have the luxury of being with my baby 24/7. And he has no ability to understand why or what is going on. All I can think is, "What if he DOES know what's going on and thinks I am just leaving him?" or "What if he doesn't even care that I'm leaving and gets more upset when he comes home in the evenings?" I know all these negative thoughts are the many methods that Satan uses to get to me and to make me lose faith. I know that he is trying to keep me from feeling God's peace. I have to be honest and say that right now Satan is totally winning. I feel horrible inside.
I wish I had a way to view this new season that I am entering (the season of becoming a Working Mom) as a very positive change. But as someone who has NEVER liked change, I can't help but dread it. I'm dreading all the stress and the endless hours of work that await me. I'm dreading grading papers every single weekend instead of getting to spend time with my baby. I'm dreading the silent eyerolls I'm sure I will receive when I use my baby as an excuse at work for not getting everything done on my to-do list. I'm dreading the endless guilt I will feel when I do choose to put my family first over my job. I've never understood why anyone ever even bothers saying "Family comes first" when few people actually live that out, truly believe it, or allow you to live it out without making you feel bad about it.
This blog wasn't intended to be controversial or lashing out at anyone. I guess my emotions are just super raw right now and I can't help but express everything I am feeling and thinking. I already feel misunderstood and I haven't even been put in a situation to feel misunderstood yet. It's hard to be in a spot where you never pictured yourself in the past. I never really could picture myself as a mom. And now, not only am I a mom, I am a mom who has grown completely 100% attached to her child and feels defensive of anyone who tries to make me feel guilty about it.
Right now I just need lots and lots of prayer. I need to be praying every second of the day that I will feel the peace of Christ. I need my friends to pray for me too. I need to be thanking the Lord for my perfect son and wonderful husband who make me so very happy and whom I do get to spend every evening with. I need to be thanking God for my mother-in-law who is sacrificing the new freedom she has after retiring to keep our baby boy for us so we don't have to put him in daycare. I need to focus on all of the blessings I have and let the Lord fill me with His mercy and goodness. I can't let negativity and anxiety run me into the ground. Because they do and they will.
So please, friends, say a prayer for me as I enter this new season of life.