This post has been swimming in my head from a couple of conversations I've had with experienced working mother friends and new working mamas over the past few weeks. Back when I had all the answers on parenting (you know--prior to actually being one), I made several assumptions about myself and about what being a mother would actually look like.
One assumption prior to being a mother is that it would get easier with practice. That is, in fact, false. It doesn't get easier--it just becomes the new normal. What do I mean by this? I just thought I was good at multitasking prior to motherhood. Now, between the baby, the husband, and my job, I realize I'm just now understanding multitasking. As I review some of my day's accomplishments, I realize that the only way I managed all those tasks was the Lord blessing my time. No, seriously. It can only be the Lord. It blows my mind.
For example: how did I have time to play with the boy, blog, keep the house picked up, and the laundry on schedule, plus I made dinner? After working 9 hours today with a doctor appointment on my lunch hour? Mystified.
Also, I think I underestimated the cuteness factor of my kiddo, or maybe I overestimated my own stoicism. (See also: tears that come to my eyes at the drop of a hat, post-baby. I rarely cried pre-baby.) I just thought he was cute when he couldn't do anything but lift his head up off the play mat for 1 minute. Now that he's mobile, he's talking, he's mimicking us (oh my gosh, cuteness factor off the charts), and he's especially reaching for "ma-ma", it's so, so hard to leave him every day.
I'm thankful my husband drops him off, because I would have run out of vacation days about 4 months ago. I miss him every day, but as I've mentioned before, it's not paralyzing. I still make it through the day, with occasional breaks to laugh at his iPhone videos. (This week it's of him dancing. Hi-larious, I tell you.)
I'm imagining that there is this double bell curve of missing your child. It climbs until the terrible twos, then experiences a dip, and starts to climb again around the 3 or 4 until maybe age 13. I have no idea though. I'm just making that up. Maybe it won't dip ever, and when mine graduates high school I'll have to go with him to A&M and study for some Masters degree.
Am I alone in this? What's your experience?