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Alas, WAIL AND MOAN, covering my eyes did not make time stand still and I am returning to work next week. Happy times are over. Sad times have arrived.

Because I’ve gone through this before, I know what to expect. I will be teary and miserable upon leaving the house for a few weeks. When asked about my baby, I will choke up. I will bring pieces of Bunlet’s clothing to snuffle into. On Fridays, when my husband is home with the kids, he will offer to bring my baby past my office and I will actually accept the offer despite it being silly. But wouldn’t you jump at the chance to snuggle this baby?


Mama, don’t leave me!

Then it will get easier.

At some point I may even be glad to have a scrap of my intellectual life back again, though I’m not counting on it. My research is in tatters after almost a YEAR of neglect and I feel exactly…*measures*…ZERO enthusiasm for my job. But I’m participating in a coaching program for “mid-career faculty women” (that DOES make me feel like I’m wearing orthopedic shoes, thank you) and perhaps the fire will be magically re-ignited by visioning exercises or some such total bullshit. Yeah.

It’s also conceivable that I’ll be a better parent on Mondays (when I’ll be at home) because I’ll have greater reserves of patience and enthusiasm for the joys of childcare…certainly it’s not likely to make me a worse parent.

I do recognize that I’m basically complaining about being asked to lie about on a silken divan while slaves fan me with great big fans made of peacock feathers and feed me the finest of cool ranch Doritos. I have a wonderful job, great child care, a luxurious schedule… It’s not about logic. It’s about an ache in the throat that comes with being separated from my warm, sweet-smelling, chortling, kicking, bundle of son.

22 Comments Post a comment
  1. Good luck. It is so hard. I will be cheering for you. (I am also on the silken divan but am absolutely terrified of going through that separation again – if we are lucky enough to have a second.)

    January 8, 2013
  2. Yeah, I hear you.

    And that IS one gorgeous bundle of baby.

    I just decided NOT to register for a workshop for mid-career faculty. I figured if I was lucky I could do RESEARCH during those three hours, instead of talking about doing research to get promoted. And then I told my chair I’d be happy to become an administrator for my program. What a moron…

    I hope your first day back is substantially better than mine was yesterday.

    January 8, 2013
    • Knowing what I know about your work habits, such a workshop would indeed be a waste of your time. I’m excited about the one-on-one coaching, though, because I did it as a junior faculty member, and it was actually helpful. Though also stupid. Things can be both! Anyway, what YOU need is Magic Sleep For Babies powder, not help with your research program.

      January 12, 2013
  3. cdg #

    good luck with this transition xoxoxo
    pic is soooo cute

    January 8, 2013
  4. SRB #

    That is a serious, pouty-lipped baby! If you are going to be coaching women of a certain age, don’t forget to include Kegels in your exercises. This baby-hoarding chick I know once cautioned me about that. And now my throat aches for Doritos. THANKS A LOT.

    May the force be with you! πŸ˜‰

    January 8, 2013
  5. Good lord, that is one so very sweet, chubby, sticky-haired baby! Perfect. Juuust perfect. I may be biased, since Stevie does the same Mulder impersonation with the lower lip. πŸ™‚
    And even though fanning slaves sounds like heaven, some of them do get cheeky and fan too fast or too slow, just to spite us. I swear they do. At least some of mine do. Fanning slaves problems are real.
    You will be fine. A bit of sulking and crying and pretending-to-work routine never killed anyone. Not that I know of. πŸ™‚

    January 8, 2013
  6. Ana #

    Aww. with a bundle like that, who can blame you! Mid-career—look at you! I’m still “early career” but its like “early career for geriatrics” around here, because it takes ages to move up.
    I’m with Mina “sulking, crying, and pretending-to-work” sound about right for the first week back.

    January 8, 2013
  7. bahhaa “it’s not about logic”. That is the truth. *sniffles* it is still kind of heartbreaking knowing that whilst being away from you kids can be nice, we are still missing so much snuggle time….sure sure, we are avoiding some poop and vomit encounters, but oh the snuggles.

    January 8, 2013
  8. Amy #

    I totally feel you, except for the decent job part. Exactamundo on the maybe not making me a better parent, but certainly it doesn’t make me a worse one. I almost felt badly for not feeling badly enough about leaving him at first (and still), but I guess that’s because I know he and my mom have a great time together. As much as I wish I could SAH, there is certainly something to be said for having to go somewhere and be an independent (not really the right word, but it will suffice) individual for several hours a day, most days of the week. I’m not sure exactly what is to be said about it, but it’s not all bad…though it does seem that way at times. It does sound like you’ve got a pretty sweet setup all…set up, so I hope it goes as well as possible for you!

    January 8, 2013
  9. You are completely entitled to feel any way you want!
    I still haven’t been apart from Monkey for more than the time it takes to do grocery shopping his entire 17 month life (well except for his surgery but that doesn’t really count) so I totally understand what you mean! I am very greatful I don’t have to leave him and go to work all day – it would be so hard.

    But occasionally it does sound kind of nice too!

    And omg I just want to nom those cheeks…

    January 8, 2013
  10. Misfit Mrs #

    I am so sorry that you are back to work so soon. I know exactly how much I whined and bitched after a baziliion months. You are not the ingrate for demanding warmed Doritos or the equivalent. Career and snuggle time with babies ought to just be on the menu everywhere. Like hamburgers.

    January 9, 2013
  11. Hol-EEEEEE CHEEKS, Batman! Oh that face. They don’t make it easy, do they? Perhaps if we had the ugliest babies ever, going away to work would just be sweet relief. But nooooo, they’re damn cute. Damn you all, cute babies with your huge adorable cheeks. Good luck next week.

    January 9, 2013
  12. I would be sad to leave that round-cheeked little bundle and the adorable tuft on his noggin, too.

    January 9, 2013
  13. He’s ADORABLE! No wonder it’s tough to leave him! I hope the transition back to work goes relatively smoothly. I agree that it’s likely to get better soon and will quickly become the new normal.

    January 9, 2013
  14. Bunny, he is a beauty. You can almost smell the baby from here. I am choking up just reading and gazing.

    Last night we were reading Richard Scarry’s “I am a Bunny” and the end made me tear up, and of course think of my Bunny friends.

    Smooth transition to you.

    January 9, 2013
  15. He’s beautiful. I can quite see how Enlightening the Young People might pale in comparison. And all that paper writing malarkey, I mean, really.
    Sorry Sad Times have come.

    January 9, 2013
  16. Oh, that transition sounds to be as comfortable as wearing burlap underwear. Bunlet-pangs will be hard to manage, but I am glad you are taking the long view on it: it will get easier the more you do it. So plan on a crappy first week back, and make sure there is access to doritos at work.
    My secret wish is that there will be other sensible-shoe-wearing-women-professors in that course who will make for great friend material.
    Bunlet gets more delicious in each picture.

    January 10, 2013
  17. I would totally be sad about leaving such a Bunlet like that for work. Such delicious cuteness!

    It’s looking like starting Gwen in daycare Jan. 15 won’t happen (why oh why won’t you just let me pay the first month from my Dutch bank account since I don’t have a German one yet, I promise you, I’m not destitute, I can pay!), so it will probably be Feb. 1 instead, which means another two weeks of trying to work partly from home, partly from the office with her there wandering around opening all the drawers and pulling everything out, and I’m doing my best to appreciate the extra baby cuddles and snuggles this means. But I definitely am a better parent when daycare is involved.

    January 11, 2013
  18. Bunlet is SO precious! And he’s wearing the punkin!!! It suits him. I know starting back to work is sucktown. I hope it gets to feel worth it in some way, and am glad that you at least have what you need in place to make going back possible. Yay? xoxo

    January 12, 2013
    • Bwa Ha Ha! I knew if I posted that picture you’d have to SHOW YOURSELF.

      January 12, 2013
  19. “It’s about an ache in the throat that comes with being separated from my warm, sweet-smelling, chortling, kicking, bundle of son.” –>YES.

    Just the other night N and I were talking about my eventual return to work–perhaps necessary more sooner than we’d like–and I was instantly in tears. The new baby isn’t even here yet. Sigh.

    Hope your return is going well (er, well-ish?), Bunny!

    January 21, 2013

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