Exactly one year ago today, I left my sweet girl in the arms of a complete stranger.
I must have checked 12 different websites that morning. We had a light dusting of snow on the ground and I wanted nothing more than a government “snow day”, which would mean daycare was closed. Sadly, no luck. So, off we went on that cold, dreary morning.
I’m sure our daycare provider thought I was nuts. But, I guess all moms are that first (second, and third…) time they drop off their little one, right? I remember handing her the diaper bag, and along with it
a novel H’s schedule. I outlined exactly when she eats, when she sleeps, how to put the swaddle on her (don’t wrap her arms), how long to hold her after she eats, what she likes/dislikes, how much she spits up, when she spits up, what normal spit up looks like… oh, did I mention I was nuts? After our provider pushed me out the door gently assured me H would be fine, she probably laughed and proceeded to throw that ridiculous “schedule” right in the trash.
I remember asking her during phone calls and again at drop off “how she gets babies to sleep?” There was no way daycare could get her to sleep without a perfectly wrapped swaddle, white noise, and gentle rocking before placing her in the crib. Oh, and did I mention that she wouldn’t nap in her crib? Oh, and she HATED swings. No way my child would sleep in a swing. I made sure she wouldn’t let H cry herself to sleep. Again, I was crazy. As if she’d neglect my child. Not to mention the fact that she’s been doing this for over 20 years. Somehow, I was the expert – 13 weeks into motherhood.
I remember watching the clock all day. Longest day ever. I was a bit spoiled that during my first week back, H was with family. So, they sent me texts and reassuring pictures all day. That day? Crickets. But, I guess no news was good news, right? My daycare provider’s job was to take care of my child while I did my job. When it came time to head home, I nearly ran out the door. I met Logan at home and we drove to pick H up together.
We arrived to this.
This picture that made me all weepy when it popped up on Timehop this morning. Our sweet girl just waking from a nap with a smile on her face. A nap in the swing. The swing I swore she hated. Oh, and she napped in the crib, too. Remind me to tell you sometime how daycare helped with that transition. Basically, she told me my child was playing me…
Anyway, I’m so glad I thought to take this picture.That moment will forever be ingrained in my memory. It was the moment I realized we could do this. I could do the work thing, and someone else could care for my child just as well (honestly, probably better) than I could.
If I told you it gets easier, I’d be partially lying. While it does get easier, there are days where it’s harder. There are days where I want nothing more than to stay home with my sweet girl. What I wouldn’t give to take her to a weekday mommy and me class! Or just a stroll around the block while the sun is still out. There are days I still want to run out of my office.
But, there are also far more days where I remind myself why I work. Why I allow someone else to spend more time with my child than I do. I work to provide H and our family with more than I had. I work so I can show H what a strong woman in the workforce looks like. I work so she grows up with the confidence to know she can be whatever she wants – whatever that may be.
“Here’s to strong women. May we know them. May we be them. May we raise them.”
Oh, and that stranger I left my child with 365 days ago? Her name is Ms. V, and she’s now family.