I’m not ready to go back to work. I would much rather stay home with my baby.
I had no idea I would be this kind of mom. I thought that having a career was a good thing, made me more balanced. I secretly thought stay-at-home moms were sort of unfortunate because they only had one thing to do all day long, while working mothers had the best of both worlds. Now I’m finding myself jealous of them.
So here I am, (less than) three days before returning to work and I would rather stay home. All the days of cuddling John, watching him learn how to play (a little), start smiling, sleeping through the night (finally) – I don’t want it to end. Often I think I’m going to go back kicking and screaming. On good days I tell myself that work is the way I can help provide for John, make his life better. I tell myself that my dad worked all day, and I don’t feel that I missed out on time with him. So John won’t feel deprived from my absence. But I don’t believe it.
Honestly, it’s hard to imagine anyone, even Josh, parenting John all day long. After hours and days and weeks of being with him, seemingly non-stop, I know that I know him best. I know that laying on his back with his knees tucked into his chest makes his tummy feel better. I’m learning the difference between his cries – gas, dirty diapers, hunger. If I hear him in distress, I’m the one leaping out of my seat to find out what’s wrong. I am willing to sit and hold him until he falls asleep if he’s fussy, or even let him sleep on my chest if that will help. I would pretty much walk around with him most of the day if I could.
Everyone always said that you love your kids more than anything. I believe someone said, “Your love even surprises you.” And it does. I finally understand a little of how God loves us. I get how Jesus can say, “I will be dirty so you can be clean. I will go hungry so you can eat. I will be naked so you can be clothed.” It’s true. I would do all those things. But Jesus can go one more, even to say, “I will be sin so that you will be holy; I will be separated from God (for a time) so that you can be reconciled.” Wow. He was the embodiment of the heart of the ultimate parent, God. I started to get a glimpse of that love last night as I thought of how much I love John, how I would do anything for him. And certainly, I cannot love more than God, God who is love. Yea. Wow.
I know that God isn’t going to send me back to work, sad and forlorn, and just leave me and let me work it out. I know there is enough grace for this next season, as there has been for pregnancy and adjusting to parenthood. These past seasons have been enjoyable and even easy most of the time. I know that is the result of God’s grace, greasing up the gears so I can do what He has called me to do with ease and joy. I expect to have this same grace to enjoy the next season too. Thank you in advance, God.