Well, I started back to work this week. It wasn’t as bad as I thought it would be…it was much, much worse. To start, my employer was not prepared for my return and had to scramble for my security pass and temporary password to the network. Then when I finally got my security pass I got trapped in the stairwell because it hadn’t been fully activated. They hadn’t prepared any briefing material or notes to help bring me up to speed, so I basically sat at my desk all day digging around in my old files and reading the employee intranet, trying to get a sense of what’s been going on. Five minutes felt like thirty, and the hours dragged on. And, to make matters worse the only solution they came up with for me to pump breast milk in private was a dusty, stinky, windowless supply closet. There was an odd note posted on the door—“In order to avoid extreme trauma (and possible blindness), if this door is closed, please knock”—I’m not sure if it was created on my behalf or for some other reason. Perhaps this room has become the office “romance” closet. Gross!

Anyway, I took a picture of the note; it was the only thing amusing about the whole experience. I can just image what people on the other side of the door might have thought, hearing the yum of my electric breast pump.

But this is only part of the story. It was awful leaving Meebs for the first day. I put on a smile, kissed her and cheerily said good-bye, trying not to make a big deal out of me leaving and fighting back the tears, at least until I got outside. I cried all the way to the bus stop. As the day wore on, the tears dried and I was left with an aching loneliness.

As for Meebs, on day one she cried most of the morning too. She sobbed in daddy’s arms until she fell into an exhausted slumber. She played a little and fussed a little, but ate quite well (thankfully since I wasn’t there to breastfeed). When I got home from work, she cried again and we cuddled for a while. We quickly stepped into our typical dinner, bath, and bed routine and everything seemed ok. But on morning two, Meebs had caught on and started crying even before I left. It was hard on us all! Though, after a little while she settled in with daddy, and went down easily for her nap (like usual!). I hope the rest of the day goes as smoothly. I also hope this is all harder for me than for Meebs. I want her to be happy, loved and secure, especially when I can’t be there for her.

Everyone says, “It’ll get easier; the first few days are the worst and then you get used to it.” But, what if I don’t want to get used to being away from Meebs? Of course, I don’t want us joined at the hip and Meebs unable to function without me; I know it’s good for her to have a little independence and exposure to other people. But, it doesn’t feel natural leaving her for 11+ hours five days a week. As a partial solution I’ve put in a request to have my hours reduced to part-time; three days away instead of five seems much more manageable to me. My fingers are crossed that my request will be approved! Maybe then things really will get easier.