Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Finding a "new normal"

I have written this post several times in my head. I know I am probably leaving out some of the thoughts I have had, and this may seem extremely scattered, but here goes.
I have dreaded this post for almost 6 months. Well, I shouldn't say 6 months because when Olivia first came home, I wanted to return to work and let John stay home with her. Work was the easy way out at that point. She was grieving so badly and didn't understand us. It was so hard. By June, as I have said before, Olivia and I bonded and attached to each other. Since February 19th, I have not been away from Olivia for more than 4 hours at a time. I have only done that a couple of times. I have run errands and been gone for a couple hours a couple of times, but we have pretty much been together 24/7. Today, I went to work and left Olivia here for what was our last 'real day of summer.' I went on to get some paperwork done prior to the year starting. I missed both of them all day.

Before I continue this post, I want to clarify that I love my job. I wouldn't want to be anywhere else. I am blessed to have the job that I have. This is my blog for Olivia and I am writing what is on my heart.
However, I am having a hard time returning to work. I will rise to the occasion when I have my students as I know I would want Olivia's teacher to be 100% mentally and physically there. So I will be. I treat my students as if they were my own.

But today and the next few will be hard. I dread leaving MY baby tomorrow morning. I dread not being the one to spend the most time with her during her day. I dread not getting to share breakfast with her, playing play-doh and enjoying each others company. In the last 6 months, my life has completely changed. It has changed in a way that I didn't know was possible. When I left for maternity leave, I remember saying, "oh, I will definitely not have trouble coming back to work. I would NEVER want to be a stay at home mom!"
I feel like I missed 18 (almost 19) months, and I don't want to miss another minute. She is such a precious little girl. I am very blessed that I will be taking her to my parents house to stay while I am at work, but my heart is still sad.
We have found our groove for the day and I am hesitant to see that change. I want to do it all well. My job, being a mom, being a wife, keeping a house, being a good daughter/sister, etc. I am worried that I will be doing many things, but what if I am not doing them well? My students deserve a teacher who is engaged and excited about the day. Olivia deserves a mom who isn't tired and ready to play pat-a-cake for the millionth time. John deserves a patient and happy wife. My house needs to be kept to my liking--clean and laundry done/put away. Meals need to be cooked. Not take out all the time. These are my concerns/fears of finding our 'new normal.' As I went to bed last night, John said, "I hope you have a good day at work tomorrow." I began to hysterically cry. I continued to cry until almost 1 a.m. I can't say that going tomorrow will be easy. I can't say that I won't cry all the way to work. I can say that I will do my best. I will try to leave Olivia in the morning with a smile and go to work and put a smile on my face. Really, no one wants to be with a 'Debbie Downer' all day, and I WILL NOT be that person. Fake it til' you make it, right? I think that saying helped me keep a smile and stay focused during our wait until we received our travel call.
I am not the first person to adopt a child and return to work. I am not the first mother that returns to work and leaves their child with someone else. I am not the first person to juggle so many things. I know that. However, I am entitled to my feelings and my heart is sad. My heart hurts for Olivia. She has had so much change and transition. I HATE that in such a short time she is now having to start a new routine. From the few days that I have been away (hours more like) I have noticed when I do come home that Olivia does not want to listen to me. She is more unsure of things and she is more likely to get into things that get her into trouble. I don't want to come home to a constant battle.
I know that in the long run, it will be beneficial for her to be away from me. I wish I could have it all....teach and stay home. It just isn't possible. I would love to have her home for the next year, but really, that is probably more for me. I know she will adjust and be fine. I know she will continue to learn. I know that she will laugh and be extremely well cared for and loved. I just want to be the one loving and caring for her. As I mentioned above, I never saw myself having all these feelings after my maternity leave and summer.
Tomorrow is a new day. I have to take one day at a time.

I guess I am having such a hard time because

this face and this girl

is someone I don't want to miss a minute of being with!

I love you Olivia Rae!


  1. Holy Cow, I just turned on my computer, read this and just about had to get in the fetal position. You are so precious, Laura. Thanks for sharing your heart. You will do a great job. I'm praying for you, sweet friend. Praying for peace, clarity, encouragement, joy, and fun for you all. Love you!

  2. And, this is the post I've dreaded for you. I dread this one for me already. Will be praying for you all...it will all work out, maybe not picture perfectly but as you already know life isn't about perfection...at least not OUR perfection. I do understand though...like I said I already dread those very things you mentioned and find myself on a daily basis saying to myself, "Well, when Grace is home....or, When Grace is here, we'll do this together...

    Thinking of ya, praying for ya and love ya.