Friday, January 15, 2010

Separation Anxiety

Here it is. The post I hoped and prayed that I somehow wouldn't have to write, but the part-time job didn't materialize and no one came through with a $20,000 check. I'm not a jealous person, but in my heart of hearts, I'm jealous of anyone who has never had to leave her children, who has never sensed the ticking clock from the moment her baby is born, never counted down the months, then days, until the end of a maternity leave. Please know that I'm not jealous in a hateful way. I just wish I had what you have, yet I know that we ALL have our struggles. That there are women who stay home with their children, yet some of those children live in Heaven. And so, I know those women would probably work six days a week, just to have that other day with their babies who left too soon. I know this, and so I remind myself that I'm really jealous. I just wish it was different. Then there's all this devastation in Haiti, and I think WHO AM I to sit on my couch and whine about having to go make money, because I have it so good. I know I do.

photo(15)
I wish I didn't have to make that list. I wish I didn't have to write out a feeding schedule for my baby that since day one, has been fed when he's hungry. Period. I wish I didn't face the task of using a cold, plastic machine to make milk for him, when I want nothing more than to feel the warmth of him, to wrestle his fingers out of my mouth over and over.

Truthfully, I don't know how I'm going to keep from falling apart on Tuesday. See, I can't even type this without big fat tears rolling down my face. My first day back after Luke was born was a day of meetings. I cried for two straight hours through our first meeting. This time, though, I will be facing a room full of 8th graders at 7:15, and if they see me cry, it'll be ugly.

I want to fall on the ground and scream, I CAN'T DO THIS. I have no choice. There's no escape plan, no "let's see how it goes" scenario. There's just this. Just me being so scared, wondering how I'm going to leave my babies again, wondering if maybe I'll never have another baby, just so I never have to go through this again. I know the boys will be okay. It's not them I'm worried about.

Also, I know this is a public forum, and perhaps I'm putting myself out there with this--and I hate that I even have to say it--but please don't leave comment sharing with me how you made it work on one paycheck. We've looked into that. It doesn't work for us. The state of Indiana pays teachers so little that we'd qualify for welfare if I quit my job. So, please. Just don't go there today. It doesn't help.

59 comments:

Julie said...

Biggest. Hug. Ever. Flying at you, right now.

Kaycee said...

Oh Erin, I hoped you would not have to write this post either but I knew I would cry along with you if you did. It's so hard. I wish there was something that could help. I'll keep praying for another part-time job to appear or that check. In the meantime, I'll be thinking of you.

Toni said...

Well, think of it this way...there are only about 4 more months left of school - remember how quickly the past 4 months has gone? Then summer break will be here...and you never know, maybe something will happen or you'll make a decision that will allow you to stay home. I can't say I know how you feel, because our choice was for me to stay home. Was it difficult with only one paycheck? YOU BET. But, we made it work because jobs are forever there...children aren't. I know that may not be feasible for all people - but somehow, maybe on a wing and a prayer, we made it. And thinking back, as difficult as it sometimes was, I would not have changed a thing. I do wish you the best. :)

Cameron said...

Oh, Erin. :( I am so sad for you right now! Sending great big huge hugs, and thinking of you constantly. :(

Christina said...

I'm so sorry that you have to leave your little ones. You seem like you were born to be a Stay at home Mom. I am proud of you for breastfeeding. I don't have a baby yet, but my sister's do and I know that it can take some work, time and mostly dedication to get the hang of breastfeeding. I plan on being dedicated to breastfeeding too. You are a great Mom Erin! Everything will be ok.

Crooked Eyebrow said...

i love you

Krista said...

Hang in there, Erin. You'll make it on Tuesday some how. One hour at at time through the first day, One day at a time through the first week - a shorter week. One week at a time through the first month....and so on. You will make it.

The boys will be okay, and you will provide for your family because it is needed.

I get to work each day at 7am EST. Email me if you want my cell number for a pep talk from one employed mom to another.

simplicity said...

I am sorry! I'll be thinking of you and this transition you'll be going through with your boys! Soak up the time you have!

--It's Your Movie-- said...

I knew this was coming soon for you, and I've been thinking about you. It sucks and I'm sorry. An enormous hug for you my friend.

Sara Joy said...

I don't think there's anything I can say here that you don't already know. My heart just breaks for you. So many hugs, SO MANY.

Lyndsay said...

I'm so sorry. I hated that day.

Melissa said...

I wish you didn't have to write this post also. I'll be thinking of you and your family.

ninibeans said...

It's just not fair..so so sorry! Sending hugs and prayers your way!

Carrie said...

I am so sorry, Erin. I will be praying for you - what a difficult transition. :(

jenny said...

Oh Erin. Oh, Erin. I send hugs and love but I know NOTHING makes up for having to leave your boys during the day. And yes, we all have or had have our challenges, but those don't diminish the heartache of YOURS. Please take extra good care of yourself, making sure to be extra patient and kind, and asking for help when needed. You are a wonderful women and wonderful mother and in time I hope you can be both in the presence of your children 24/7 (or, at least, as much as you wish to be!!). :)

Julie said...

PS- I just read the fine print. You know I feel that issue. I'm getting incredible hulk style, turn green and rip my shirt off angry FOR you.

annie said...

I really feel for you. I teach also, and took time off last fall when my daughter was born. I went back at the semester and it sucked! My husband is a radio dj, and even though I bring in a teacher's salary, I am the money maker, thus not being able to quit. Hang in there! People are praying for you! :)

Brianna said...

Sorry. Sorry. So, so sorry.

The breast pump and I have a love/hate relationship. Neither Ivy nor Sylas ever caught on with nursing. Stupid prematurity and hospital stays. So there! I'm jealous of you. Ok. Not really. I loved seeing the sweet relationship you have with Tommy. Love you, friend.

The Fritz Facts said...

Oh Erin, I am so sorry that you are going through this. I wish that person had walked to the door with that big fat check. I am thinking of you, and will on Tuesday as you face those students.

Many hugs

Jen@Scrapingirl said...

{{{HUGS}}} I will be saying many prayers for you. I know I don't "know" you, but my heart is breaking for you. I'm sorry you have to go through this. I wish their was some words of wisdom I could share with you, but there isn't. You can do it, God will help you.

Momma Good said...

Hugs and sympathy from a stranger, to you on the hardest day of being a working mother. I sympathize and I have been there (twice).

Sara said...

I am so, so, sorry that you are hurting so much. I had tears rolling down my cheeks as I read this. Hold on to every moment between now and then, and know that you are a strong person and you WILL get through this. I have been thinking of you tons this week, and will be sending strong thoughts to you on Tuesday morning. I will also keep hoping and praying that something will come along for you that will let you be with your boys more. You are a wonderful mama and strong woman. Hugs to you!

kristin said...

i love you. call me or text me or email me tuesday if you need someone to help get you through the day. my phone's always on. and i'm always online. *big hugs*

The Houser's said...

I'm so sorry that that time is upon you.. snuggle extra!! Will be thinking of you next Tuesday..

Laura @ Cameron Crazy said...

Praying for you and sending lots of hugs your way!

Ryley said...

I'm glad you added that fine print. I was cringing reading others posts about this subject and the people that were suggesting that. Of course you've tried everything you can.
The biggest blessing is that you have someone you love and trust watching your boys.
1 day a time.. you'll get through this. You have so many of us to lean on.
We'll all be there with you..
And when ever you need an inappropritate joke to get you through those tough times I'm sure @SaraJOY will be happy to oblige! :)
Love you..

Adventures In Babywearing said...

I hate you have to feel those things in your heart. I hope you'll let me know what we can do to ease when Tuesday comes, and the days to follow. I'll be honest, as a WAHM it's hard- our secret is that I can't give 100% to every area (including my marriage & kids) and we are in a lot of debt. We've yet to make it work on 1 1/2 incomes after all these years.

I hope this gets easier. Tommy is so awesome, you know he's probably going to be like, hey Mom! I love this change of scenery! :)

Steph

Sharon - Mom Generations said...

I love you for so many things... one, your great passion as a Mommy. As one who knows, this will be very difficult and very sad with lots of tears. I know. I care. I am with you. I love you.

Sam said...

Hugs!

Julie said...

Bright side of today: You won the Julie Vision Designs contest! YAY you, you are amazing and fantastic!!!

Mimi's Toes said...

I know it has to be the hardest thing you have to do. I am in tears for you just reading this. You do have a great job as a teacher with time off, so that's a plus. I know your 8th graders will be happy you are back.

Kim said...

Oh I wish I lived there and your cute boys could just come over here and play with my kiddos. I hate that you have to do this also.
Love you.

sarah said...

Big hug. Just found your blog through "You Capture". I have the utmost respect for your position; I was a teacher for 11 years and am in awe of women who balance teaching and parenthood. Awe.

You will make this work. Hope it helps to know that somewhere out there, a new reader is rooting for you!

~Mendie~ said...

wow...the time did fly by too quickly. I'm so sorry you have to go back. I literally have a sick feeling in my stomach for you. Hugs from Ohio and am in agreement that it sucks really bad.

Corinne said...

Sending you huge hugs...

Saj said...

I remember so clearly my first day back after my first son was born. I burst into tears as I called my first patient back (I'm a physical therapist) and had to explain to this person, who I'd never met, that I was a basketcase because it was my first day back from maternity leave.

It's hard, it sucks, the jealousy over not being able to stay home like so many other can be overwhelming. But each day gets a little easier. Just a little. But it gets easier.

So just take it one day at a time. Your boys know you love them, and you'll make every moment count when you're with them. Good luck!

Erin said...

My heart aches for you. I will be praying for you this weekend and extra hard on Tuesday! Hugs to you. :)

Baby Mama said...

Awwww mama I am so sorry :( I remember that feeling all too well. It's the worst. HUGS.

pendy said...

I went into both of my pregnancies knowing I'd only have six weeks of maternity leave, so I never had the hope of maybe staying home. Maybe that made it a little easier for me (also, my husband took them to daycare and I picked them up, so I didn't actually have to 'leave' them at first). Both my husband and I were teachers so I know what you mean about one income not being an option.

I'm pretty sure I've shared some of this with you before, but my children are now 27 and 30. Our son is a doctor and our daughter works for the athletic dept of a university...both are so well-adjusted and happy. Neither one went through teen-age craziness and both have had good relationships with my husband and me.

I'll add this: having been a teacher for 33 years is netting me a decent retirement check!

Clarey Family said...

I've been in exactly the same position as you are 3 times and did cry in front of my roomful of 7th graders and they were suprisingly compassionate! My kids are now 5, 8, and 11 and I hate leaving them after every break. We cannot make it on one salary either and I totally understand your feelings of "jealousy". I guess it is easier knowing I have the holidays and of course summer which many moms don't get.

Hang in there!

Elaine A. said...

Nothing but love and hugs for you right now my sweet friend. Praying for you to have peace on Tuesday...

indi said...

I think I said the wrong thing or it came out wrong in my email =(

My sentiment is that I love you and I support you and I am so sad for you that you have to go through this. I wish I knew the right words.

michgal18 said...

Ugh. I just wrote a blog on the same exact topic. And I feel the same exact way. Do you have summers off? Because that would be something to look forward to? I try to think about the positives. Yeah, everything about the work is going to suck, but it will make the time you do have with you kid(s) so much better!! Read my blog if you would like and know you are not the only one with those feelings!!

Megan said...

Tears for you. Unless people have been in this exact position, they have no idea what a heartbreaking, dreadful, anxiety inspiring moment it truly is. I know that you are going to struggle this weekend. If you need to talk, I'm here, always. Love.

Sarah Viola said...

I just love you, Erin. I wish I could make this easier. What I CAN do is listen and understand. And lower my eyebrows and look disapprovingly at the judgmental types. Tsk, tsk.

anymommy said...

I'll be thinking of you all weekend, Erin, I'm sorry, I know it will be impossibly hard.

InTheFastLane said...

believe me...I know about teacher's salaries...we did if for our first 5 years (in major debt).

And I am so sad for you. It is so hard. It is still hard for me. I am so thankful that I only have one more year until kindergarten. i am also thankful that our school recognized MLK day, so that you have one more day.

if you need counseling, call me, I will be over there in 6 minutes.

Such The Spot said...

I pledge to beat up anybody that gives you grief over the "we made it work on one paycheck" thing. I'll beat them up. For you. Cuz I love love love you and I hate that you have to leave your beautiful boys on Tuesday.

I know you've done every thing--exhausted every possibility. I have faith for you that there is a good reason for this and someday soon you will know that reason. For now, you just do the best you can do. And know those boys will be just fine. Really. Big hugs friend. Hang tight. XO.

Amanda said...

(((HUGS)))

I just found your blog. I read this and I swear I felt my heart break in two for you. I remember the first time I left my son at daycare. I sat outside in my car and cried and cried and cried. It literally killed me. And me not work... LOL yeah right! My paycheck was the big one... the one that actually paid the bills. Impossible for there to be any other option. I did find one though... I'm actually home with my kids now... and I'm making more than when I went to the office. I had a friend come to me and tell me how she was staying home with her girls, and I said... what the hell do I have to lose??? And I jumped w/a leap of faith and never looked back.

I'm here... if you want to hear of other options that are out there, and options that are kick ass options :)

Love your blog :)

In the meantime.... I'm so sorry that you are having to even leave your baby :( I know that nothing's harder.

Tasha Lehman said...

I'm one of the people you hate, so I won't pretend to know how you feel and try to sympathize with you. I am just SO sorry. It makes me feel horrible, actually, that I can stay home with my kids and other Moms can not. HORRIBLY. I'll say a prayer for you though, that I CAN do. Hugs.

melissa said...

my heart is breaking for you. it is so so hard to leave your babies - especially when you have no choice.
(actually even when you want to its still hard!)
you can do this, girl. mamas can do anything. ((hug))

Katy said...

All I can do is wish you some hugs and love.

Heather said...

heartbreaking. stay strong.

Trish said...

I had the same feeling and emotions you have right now. I went back to work a little over a month ago when my son was just 10 weeks old. It was so hard to leave him. Every day I sobbed to work. But when I got there I was so busy (I am a high school teacher) that the day would fly by and before I knew it was time to pick him up. I have learned to live for evenings and weekend and vacations! It will be ok!!

Mommy Melee said...

I went back to work when my first son was six weeks old. My heart absolutely goes out to you because I know to the bottom of my soul how hard it is what you're doing. And I truly ache for you.

I also know it will get easier with each passing day and that the time you are with your kids will continue to be precious and beautiful.

Treat yourself to lunch somewhere nice if you can. Or at least sit down on a break and try to indulge in having your brain and your time to yourself. I know it's only a small comfort but you gotta get it where you can.

I'm proud of you for doing what you have to do for your family.

Abra said...

i'm sorry. i ache for you. because i was scheduled to go back at the exact same time. i wish i could help. again, hugs to you. you are an amazing mom. dude, you caught tommy on the stairs. you rock. remember that, k? :)

amanda said...

not going to pretend i understand. i don't. so i am just going to say i am sorry. big time sorry. and that i am thinking of you. lots.

Megan said...

Oh do I feel your pain. Hugs and prayers to you today.

Kaycee said...

Oh this one still makes my heart hurt. And ironic that I read this with just one day of winter break left for me. I feel like, on a smaller scale, I go through this every time a break ends. Nothing, nothing was as bad as the return to work from maternity leave. But every single time I have to go back my heart hurts. I know yours does too.