I felt like I had worked my entire life. Babysitting in my tweens and teens, a part time job at 16, and throughout high school, and a full time one during college. After college graduation I did a free internship for a company that wasn't hiring or even looking for an intern. "I'll work hard, and for free," I told the Event and Entertainment Marketing company that I desperately wanted to gain experience with. At night I waited tables so I could buy a used car and take on its monthly payment.
So here I was, many years later, 40 weeks and 1 day pregnant- knowing I was about to go on Maternity leave for 4 whole months. I checked my work email one last time, after my water broke but before the contractions really kicked in. I am not stay at home mom material, I thought. What in the hell am I going to do EVERY day ALL day for the next four months? And more importantly, without work- Who am I? I had no answer at all. No nouns to desribe me. Because I didn't yet know what it meant to be "Mom", a title more important that any work title I had ever known.
Greyson was born, and two days later I find myself at home for the first time with him. And really, it was awful. It was the hardest, weirdest job I had ever had in my life. I didn't have a supervisor to consult. No job training- I mean babysitting someone else's child doesn't compare. Someone else has to make the hard decisions. You get to go home after your shift. I was anxious and exhausted, waking numerous times each night to feed and change him, or simply check to make sure he was breathing. My hands shook I was so scared, and so unsure of everything. I missed who I was at work- confident, secure, showered. At home I was a sweaty, pajama'y, flubbery, hormonal wreck. I couldn't stand the sight of my stomach, like a hot air balloon that had lost half it's air. I was busy ALL DAY LONG, feeling like I had accomplished nothing and had nothing to show for it.
And a week went by, and things got the tiniest bit easier. Like 3%. And then by week two I was approaching some sort of loose routine. Nothing complicated- like eat breakfast, shower (he will be fine in the bassinet for a quick shower- just do it! I would yell at myself). But I can still remember numerous times, hearing his cries and running out of the shower with shampoo running down the face and back- trying not to slide on the marble tile as I quickly dried off as best as possible.
And then, just like that- we made our way. My little buddy and me. It probably took six weeks before fear didn't punctuate everything I did. Love was now my driving force. We walked to the beach every day. We had conversations at the grocery store. I loved talking to him, reading to him, being with him and breathing him in. I couldn't imagine ever going back to work, and any time I tried to imagine it- I would start sobbing.
"I think you need to go see someone", Michael said. "I think you have postpartum depression or something."
"Why would you say that?" I asked, confused. Annoyed.
"Because you cry all the time", he responded.
"Only when I'm rocking him, and I try to imagine someone else doing it instead of me. Or when I think about going back to work. I'm pretty sure that's not postpartum depression!"
I ended up going back to work until Greyson was a year old. It never got any easier for me. It was then I took on my current position as stay at home mom. Most days are nothing like I ever could have imagined and certainly not story-book like or glamorous. Except for today. Today was amazing.
We got some much needed rain in the Central Valley today.We woke up to the steady hum of droplets on windows.
We went outside as soon as we woke up. Who can wait to open that gift?
This is Grey's, I love the rain, flap.
And his, I love the rain on the pool, flap.
The three of us suited up and went outside.
And the rain felt cold for at least five seconds. And then it felt like being alive.
Moming- it's still the hardest job I've ever done. But the best too. Especially on days like today when you get to be a kid all over again.