What They Don’t Tell You

This post is an effort to distract myself and to stop me from rushing into the house to make the world right again for my (almost) 4 month old little girl.

My maternity leave ends this week. Over and above the stress of having to leave my baby for the entire day, I also need to switch her from breast to bottle. I am sitting in my car outside our house listening to her cry. She is inside the house with her caregiver. We are trying to transition her to a bottle; it is not going as well as expected. The tiny human has taken a bottle from me quite willingly in the past. However, she is resisting it now that I actually need her to start taking it regularly.

This parenting thing has been an absolute blessing so far (even the tough bits have been OK). But this is really awful. I don’t know who is crying more at this point, me or her. I know we just need to stick it out and that she will adjust, but getting to that point is really stressful.

What you don’t read about

I’ve read a lot of “what to expect” posts about what to expect during pregnancy, before birth, during birth and after birth. I did my research on breastfeeding and what to expect there. I even wrote a post about what to expect when breastfeeding. Nowhere did I read just how much it would suck to transition the tiny human from being breast fed to bottle fed. Nor do I feel adequately informed or prepared for how stressful it is to go back to work and leave her with someone else.

I still have a few more days at home, but I am trying to take a step back and let her caregiver take over more. It is flipping hard to stand back and watch someone else take care of your child when you are willing and able to do it yourself. Especially when you only have a few days left to spend with her before you go back to the daily grind of work.

I did mention in my 3-month update post that I am looking forward to going back to work, and I am. But I didn’t realise how sad and stressed it would make me feel. I am quite surprised by how emotional I am about having to leave her. I knew it would be an adjustment and that I would miss her, but I’m not quite prepared for how shitty it feels. You know how you feel you’re coping marvelously with a situation and then someone asks if you’re OK, at which point you burst into tears? From an emotional perspective, that’s how my week has been.

Public service announcement

I feel I must warn you. If you are having a baby or plan to have one, and won’t be a stay-at-home mom, be advised:

  • Leaving your child in the care of another person so you can go to work feels horrible.
  • All the adjustments, like standing back to allow the caregiver the space to take over your daily duties, feels horrible.
  • Watching or listening to your child struggle to adjust to the new routine feels horrible.
  • Gritting your teeth and riding it out feels horrible.

I take solace in the fact that I am leaving her in the care of someone I trust and that she is in the comfort of her own home and in a safe environment. Children and babies are resilient. She will be fine. I will be fine. Everything will be OK. I know that this too shall pass.

In the meantime, send positive vibes. And wine. Send lots of wine.

P. S. I know the header image has nothing to do with this post, but KB and I are not sure whether or not we want to publish photos of our tiny human on my blog. The only photos I’ve posted were when she was born. Do you have any thoughts on this and how to protect your kid’s privacy? I do post pics of her on my personal Instagram, but my profile is set to private so the majority are not visible unless I allow you access to follow me. That’s a whole other discussion though…

Post update: I just got a call from a friend who has 2 kids, knows exactly what I am going through and can commiserate with how I feel. She offered some advice, comfort and support. It really does help to have people in your corner who are rooting for you. Tomorrow we start afresh, armed with some new tactics and a fresh pair of big girl panties. But send the good vibes and the wine in any event!

Nicky

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