Fast forward to Day Four of Tallu in Daycare...she's doing fine. Eating, sleeping (especially since I starting bringing her little bed, so she can stretch out instead of sitting in the car seat), and generally enjoying herself. The word on the street is at this early age there's no separation anxiety because the baby doesn't know you're gone. It's harder on the parents than the baby. If she were six months when we would start daycare, then there would be an issue.
It was very difficult for me to put her in daycare. I didn't cry when I dropped her off, or when I got to work. I'd done my crying over the weekend, while everyone was asleep. We spent the weekend at the shore and in NYC, so I used the time to wean her from having me all day long. I only held her to nurse, and I'd try not to be in her eyesight. I was also weaning myself from having her near me all day long. It was awful, but I had to do it if I was going to go to work.
Meanwhile I was a horrid person to my husband the whole weekend. I think Monday he said I was acting as though I was blaming him for my return to work. I've never been so proud of him in all the years I've known him- he picked up on non-verbal clues! It only took what, nine years?
So did I really blame him? Yes. He wasn't insisting I stay home if I really wanted, which pissed me off- it made me feel like he really wanted me to go back. His being sad at having to put Tallu in daycare annoyed me, since he wasn't the one who had spent every day and night with her. And not once did he offer to work from home, a perk which he successfully lobbied to his boss to gain. He did work from home while I was on leave, but he didn't do much in the way of care for Tallu during the day.
But I blamed myself, too. I was returning to a job where, working part-time (but closer to full-time) I worked myself into an early labor, for a meager salary. If I didn't have student loan and credit card debt, I wouldn't feel compelled to go back to work after spending only three months with my baby. I'm also thinking of my career. I only have a Bachelor of Arts, and I've worked my way up in this institution, from volunteer, to consultant, to employee. I'm at the very beginning, and to leave now would be a major setback.
Was it worth sacrificing full-time motherhood to return to this place? Yes, believe it or not. I have switched departments as of today. It's not a glamorous job- I'm assisting with the reorganization of the collections- lots of administrative work, and data entry. But part-time means part-time. No more 25 hours-but-really-40-hours bullshit. And, my new boss doesn't see why I can't work from home! I'm going to see if I can get a laptop from work so I can do my five hours remotely twice a week.