Since his birth, I have curled up with him in our rocking chair. Hours – too numerous to count – have been consumed coupled in wonder and frustration. His first smiles and giggles, the frequent protests in refusal to sleep. Together we watched each other cry, a silent exchange of understood perception. We experienced a lot of firsts together, bonding as we rocked back and forth and back and forth some more. At this very moment, in this rocking chair, he rests in our little nook. The space that only a momma and her children share. The perfect space in between where his head fits perfectly on my folded arm. It is the place where he feels most safe and where I, as his momma, feel overwhelmed with joy.
I inch my head ever closer to his forehead. He smells of soft lavender from his bath. In one deep breath, I let the endorphins rush in. This sweet little human of mine provides more gratitude than I can absorb. I continue to hold him close and work on remembering this moment. Stockpiling each sweet fragrant inhale in my mind to get me through the next transition of motherhood; returning to work.
There is much to do and yet I linger. I delay my domestic tasks for a few more minutes of cuddles and sweet baby breaths. The lamp fades into the dark hush. He is finally asleep and transferred into his bed. I have a few precious moments of drowsy silence to collect my thoughts before falling asleep into tomorrow.
The shadows cast by the blue hue of the video baby monitor reveal a heavy feeling of apprehension. I sit alone in our chair as I rock back and forth, back and forth. I think about every drop I pumped, every song I sang to lull you to sleep. All of those moments have brought me here, closer to the minute when I will start to miss him. I am about to cross the threshold of #ArchiMom into the transition of the unknown. Ironically, it is the slow postpartum healing which has caused my tentativeness instead of the widely speculated and societally accepted feelings of mother-child separation.
The day has come.
I am returning to work.
Holy mini-panic-attack, I am returning to work – nine weeks since delivering my first born.
The time seemingly flew by, but now that I look back on it, nine weeks is a black hole when measured on the career spectrum. So much has changed in a fractured reality of time. To aid in the transition, I begged for a soft return in which I will gradually work on building up my hours and endurance from four-hour days of 20-hour weeks all the way up to eight-hour days and 40-hour weeks. Two weeks to build up (hopefully) to the socially expected balanced levels of domestic, familial and career responsibilities. Anxiety creeps into my mind. “Will I still be respected; will my responsibilities still be mine? I hope I haven’t been left behind.” The anxiety is becoming too difficult to process. I need to calm my mind.
The hour is here, my eyelids are heavy, time to retire.
By the light of the baby monitor moon my return came too soon.