Tuesday, 2 June 2015

And the 3am sequel

It occurred to me (after a surprisingly nice long spell of sleep, thanks AJ) that maybe I wasn't entirely honest with myself in my last entry. Isn't that an interesting thing about blogging? or any kind of journaling. Even with a very safe, anonymous space, it's hard to be completely honest. In fact I believe it's hard to be completely honest even when you're just thinking (perhaps especially when you're thinking). We always tell a story, always. And every story leaves something out.

So, yeah, I woke up at 3am and thought: When my leave was turned down, I had an emotional reaction. I wanted to have the extra time with AJ. I felt disappointed that one possibility that would allow for this was denied. Stabby sad disappointed. Emotions connected with AJ have their own particular weight and feel. What I feel, is visceral. I feel it in my very centre, not just from the head space, but in the place where she was made and grew. It has always been so, from the time she was....embryonic.  And will always be so, I am sure.

Am I being too quick to dismiss my "emotional reaction?" 

Because the emotional reaction is the one I usually wake up with in the middle of the night.

These days I wake up at night at least once. Sometimes a lot oftener.

I will still be waking up at night in August. September, October. Maybe because the 10, 11, 12 month old baby is waking me up, or just because.

Still have to live with it then. Still have to live with decisions at 3am.

It's always possible rationalize, to turn questions into a thinking problem. It's something I do very well.

Less well at 3am.

So what if I don't go back to work in September. I'll let myself consider it.

I can be with AJ a bit longer. I don't have to feel pressured to make childcare work at 10 months, 11 months. Mr. Turtle will be with her till she's 11 months, but we will have to transition to full time care. It feels like a lot of pressure. It would be nice not to have that pressure.

I will be with her for more big developmental stuff. I won't have to wonder about what I missed.

We'd probably spend more time with family, especially my parents.

But mainly I won't have to feel that gut anguish of separation. Or will I? I mean, she's going to grow up, grow away. It happens; it's supposed to. Does it get easier? Is there a better time? Is one year old a better time? Two years old? Part of me wants to think there's a better, easier time to make that separation. If I put it off, would it be better for AJ, for me?

I don't know. It's hard. I guess I just wanted to say that. 

Now I better get back to sleep, haha. 


  1. Such difficult decisions... And so much emotion. I originally wanted to take at least a year, when I would have more advance notice for that kind of planning. But now I carry the insurance, and so three months is it for keeping my lovely teacher health plan. After that we can do cobra, butt not for nine months. And three months seems just so painfully skimpy. I feel for you as you make this decision and weigh practicality and logistical stuff against that precious time with AJ. I was super glad to see that you have more time to make your decision. That would be SO awful to be rushed into something so...big.

    1. I know, as I fret over my options I am well aware there are many others who have to make do with less leave! but I think no matter the situation, everyone struggles to find what is best for their family. You do the best with what you have, I guess, and try to stand tall or at least stay standing whatever goes down.

  2. I would've had twelve weeks if I kept working, and then only because I had to have a c-section. The thought of leaving my longed-for and long-awaited baby and going back to work was more than I could bear. We're lucky in that, with some sacrifices and difficult decisions, we are able to be a one-income family for now. I feel terrible when I think of those for whom that's simply not an option. If you're able to stay home longer, I think that's wonderful. I think we should all have the opportunity to, so if you have it, grab it!

    1. I feel a bit guilty putting all my rants out in public, because I know that so many others, most likely ALL readers in the USA, have much less parental and maternity benefits. And that is crap, just crap! Six weeks isn't enough...or three months...12 months is much better! but I'm still struggling with it. I am glad that you had choices and were able to make the choice that is best for you. I agree that the worst situations are those where finances just don't leave a choice. My dilemma is more anxiety around what is BEST, which is still anxiety, but definitely a more privileged position than is common.