I'm going back to work monday.
I've actually already been dealing with a lot of work-related stress that I can't get into here, for obvious reasons (although I always feel kind of douchey saying it that way, like I'm Heather B. Armstrong or something. But really, it doesn't matter that I only have, like, ten readers, I know, the internets are wide open and I need to be careful and blah blah blah, it still makes me feel like I have delusions of grandeur), so in some ways, it will be good to be on site, so to speak, and able to address a few things.
...but that doesn't mean I like it.
I keep saying, if/when we go for the Trifecta/aka our Caboose, I want to move to Canada or Sweden or some other civilized nation that gives a full year of maternity leave, because I just really, really hate leaving them this early. I hate leaving them, period, but I felt like the one year mark was when it stopped ripping my still-beating heart out of my chest. Obviously I'm not ACTUALLY going to do that, any more than anyone else who claims they're going to move to Canada if THAT PERSON becomes the president, but if all of those people can be all hyperbolic about it, then so can I.
Going back to work means working on sleep. We handled Katie's sleep toootally differently than Gracie's, which means that she actually has no real structure at all and I am woefully unprepared for the transition. And, look. I get it. Half the people around me think it's totally asinine that I've had her in my bed for the last three months, that she just sleeps in the carrier or on my chest whenever she sleeps (to my credit, she DOES have a morning nap in the pack n play...), and the other half will be happy to inform me that it's NOT NATURAL for babies to sleep away from their parents and I should continue to have her in my bed. Both groups can go pound sand. Maybe we DID form some awful habit, but? We also really, really enjoyed the last three months. Katie's introduction to our family was so pleasant and I have so many good memories of curling up with her each night. We've been fully functional, and oh hell, I already covered all the reasons why I think co-sleeping was just fine for us. I just don't make babies that sleep independently, and so we did what we had to do. And to the latter group, the ones who would tell me it's not natural, I say that it's also not "natural" for me to be going to work when my baby is three months old, but this is the reality we have, and we need to make it work. So enjoy your sand-pounding, I'll be over here teaching my baby to sleep in her crib.
So far, it is going...not well. I'm just starting to give her a bedtime (for the last three months, she either slept on my chest, or next to me on the Boppy in the evening), and that part is actually fine. Her best stretches in the crib typically come in the early evening. It's around 11pm when all bets are off. One night, we got three hours out of her, but most nights, it's just the jack-in-the-box routine, falling asleep in my arms, waking up as soon as I get back to bed. My cut-off point is midnight, when we get there, I just can't take it anymore, and she comes back in the bed.
We'll get there. And eventually, going to work won't feel like an occlusion of my left anterior descending artery. It'll all happen. In the meantime, UCH.