Take my child, please

I’m sure many of you will think I’m a terrible mother after this post, but so be it. I was 32 years old when I had Brandon. I got married when I was 29. That’s a lot of years of being selfish and doing what I wanted. Getting married was huge for me. I met David at a time in my life where I loved being single, poor and not knowing what was going to come next. I was working two jobs, skinny as shit and generally being a Goodtime Charleena. Fast forward a few years later and things were very (happily!) different.

When I got pregnant, I was working from home, but in a sporadic fashion. I loved being at home, watching Lifetime and procrastinating, although in some ways I will admit it was probably not good for me. I am someone who suffers from depression and that is a tough thing to deal with when you are at home all the time. Not to mention I had been laid off from two jobs within one year. So I wasn’t the happiest kid on the block. I had gotten off birth control and also gotten off antidepressants and anti-anxiety medications in anticipation of possibly conceiving. Turns out being pregnant was a magic bullet for me–I was a pretty happy pregnant lady!

Then the baby came. And as I’ve written about before, it was not easy. I had a horrible labor and recovery, as well as severe postpartum depression. Awful. But I worked hard to overcome it. I had so much help because I genuinely needed that help and that helped me let go a little bit. I did not even change a diaper in the first month. David and his mother did everything for me. I was a mess. But things got better and I started working again. Due to the nature of my work, I was home a lot and sometimes not working. That’s when I started thinking, “Maybe this is what I’m meant to do, be a mom.” I could not have been more wrong.

I admire stay-at-home moms. It is so hard. And I realized very quickly it was not my calling, despite my desperately wanting it to be. First of all, I have never been a housekeeper or a cook. And when it came to spending all day with Brandon, I wanted to pull my hair out. I didn’t know if I was doing enough for him, and the times I needed to fold laundry, etc., I felt guilty for not interacting with him enough. And I missed people, other adults. I missed wearing something other than pajama pants, having clean hair and wearing high heels. I missed all of it. Every time David’s key turned in the door at the end of the day, it felt like I was being released from a prison.

Don’t get me wrong. I ADORE my son. But as I learned from my postpartum depression, your baby cannot be happy if you are not happy. And that is so true. I wasn’t happy. So I started looking at daycares and fantasizing about what I would do if we had extra income (more than what I was making working from home). And it seemed to be a pretty glorious scenario. I decided I wanted to enroll Brandon in daycare full-time and find a full-time, out-of-the-house job. Luckily, David was on board.

So Brandon starts daycare Monday. I am so happy. I think it will be so good for him and me. And I have been going through the frustrating task of searching and applying to jobs. But hopefully I will find something soon. In the meantime, while I will miss my little man, I feel like an enormous weight has been lifted from my shoulders. Sometimes we just aren’t cut out for certain jobs. And me trying to be a stay-at-home mom is akin to me trying to up and be an engineer or something else I’m completely unqualified for.

Wish me luck! (Or wish Brandon luck…I’m sure you are thinking he needs it more than I do.)

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April 23, 2012. Uncategorized.

4 Comments

  1. Diane replied:

    You are not a horrible mom. When I went back to work, everyone told me “you’ll cry when you leave her at the sitter’s.” No. Not at all (and then of course, I felt guilty about that). I walked back into my office and felt like I was reclaiming part of me. We’re not just moms or wives or housekeepers. We’re women with something to contribute to the wider world, and that is an equally important lesson to teach our kids.

    Good luck with your job search!

  2. cheron replied:

    Going back to work when the boys were 4 months old was the best thing that ever happen to all of us! As much as I love staying home now (since they were 2 1/2), there was no way I could have done it when they were younger! This mama needed a break….and there is NOTHING wrong with that! Enjoy your time away and you will enjoy your time with him so much more. You can always reevaluate later, you never know where you will be at that point in your life! Love you!

  3. Julia replied:

    You are doing the smart thing. I have been a stay at home mom for 12 years and it is the most thankless job on the planet. I think my kids would love it if I could send them to daycare, but unfortunately I have arranged my life so that the only thing I am qualified to do is change diapers and make lasagne. Good luck to you!! XO

  4. Katy replied:

    So much luck to both of you!

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