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February 27, 2014 / ginavoskov2013

Long time.

Where do I even begin? It’s like I forgot about this blog. I didn’t–I started a few posts over the past two months and realized I didn’t have anything funny to say. Or anything new to say. Or anything that I really wanted to share at all.

When I started this place, it was because I needed to find humour in the really difficult times of staying at home with Edie. When babies are really little, they really fuck you up. Especially because I’d had 34 years without one and I was pretty set in my ways. So having a place to write about how hard things were was kind of essential so that I could A) vent and B) come back in two years and read about them in order to prevent me from wanting another baby. NOT that Edie makes me not want to have another baby. She is really, truly the only baby I ever could have dreamed of and wanted. She is absolutely the most perfect person for us and we don’t want another. I don’t really have to defend wanting only one child, do I? It’s just that she is the baby I wanted. And I got her. #luckiestpersonintheworld.

 

But you know something? I stopped writing about the hard times because the hard times stopped. I mean, not every minute is filled with unicorns and puppy dogs, but at the end of the day when I am crawling into bed and writing in the journal I keep for Edie, every day has been a *good* one. Ups and downs and what have you, but things just keep getting nicer and sweeter and more fun.

When Edie was 5 weeks old, I brought her to a bridal shower. For most of the few hours I was there, I was stuck in a back bedroom, breastfeeding her and helping her fall asleep. My friends came back to chat and to bring me food and one of them said, “You know, Gina, every day gets better and better.” I honestly didn’t know what she was talking about. I couldn’t imagine a point at which each day would be better than the next. At the time, even though Edie was about the most gentle baby in the world, I was not sleeping, barely showering, and doing my best to keep my bodily fluids under many, many wraps. Not that I didn’t think things would get easier, but I just couldn’t imagine a day when I would rejoice everyday. I couldn’t think beyond the next feeding or diapering or bout of tears–mine or Edie’s. That’s what it’s like to be in it.

But suddenly, it is the end of February and I am going back to work in four days and Edie is nearly nine months old and I have cried twice today just looking at her because my friend was right. Every single day just gets better and better and better and better. And now I have to leave her. Just when things are so good and we know how to weather the storms and how to spend an entire day without crying because I know all of her signs and when to travel during the day so that she can get the most amount of sleep and how to keep her awake just those few more minutes so that I can give her a giant nap and how to kiss her forehead so I don’t wake her up and to give her mozzarella pieces at the end of a meal because if I give them to her at the beginning she won’t eat anything else, and what to do inside all day when the weather is below zero.

Every day is better than the one before. Even if they are really hard days, they’re better than they used to be. And I’m a mom, and I’m Edie’s mom, and I know her better than anyone else on the planet, and I just don’t want to leave her.

But let me get one thing straight: I do NOT feel guilty about going back to work. I feel SAD. Feeling guilty and feeling sad are two different things. In fact, I do not feel guilty about anything at all when it comes to parenting. I do not buy into the guilt that so many people think is somehow important for moms to feel. There is no room for guilt. I feel sad that I won’t get to be with her every day, every moment. But my going back to work means a few things: A) she gets to be with other people–a caring family with big(ger) kids; B) $$$ to help us do things as a family; C) I get to learn who I am again, as a Teacher-Mother; and D) work on my conversation skills. D is not a joke. I really have forgotten how to talk with people I don’t see everyday. So, long story short, please don’t ask me if I feel guilty about going back to work. Acknowledge my feelings of sadness and emptiness, but understand that I see the good things about being a professional, an equal wage earner, and a mother who also happens to enjoy her independence. 

 

Now onto a recap of The Amazing Edie’s accomplishments:

1) She is a badass traveler. She absolutely KILLED the trip to Belize. Air travel, sleep, time change, being without her Papa, being in the ocean, the list goes on…She is the raddest kid in the whole world.

2) She’s got a tooth! And I burst into tears when I realized she was getting one because it was only then that I realized that she would never again be my toothless little baby.

3) She crawls! The day after she got her tooth, she took to moving around the floor.

4) She stands! ALL THE TIME. Sometimes hard to put her down at night because she stands up so quickly and then cries and cries because she didn’t want to stand at all. (For the record, she knows how to sit back down–I didn’t teach her, she just did it. Very gently, too. Not the plop I was expecting.)

5) She talks! Not really. But she says all kinds of sounds, my favorite one being “mama.” When she is really sad she says “mama” and mostly she says “da da da da” which of course thrills Dennis.

6) She eats! Everything.

7) Headbands! Her thin soft hair keeps falling in her eyes all the time and I think it’s really wrong to let that happen because she needs to see things. I have been vehemently opposed to putting things on babies’ heads that don’t really need to be there, but I see now why headbands are important. I can get behind the idea if they serve a real purpose for Edie, but you’ll never see her with one of those headbands that has a monstrous flower or bubbles or something attached to it. There’s no real reason for that.

 

The other news is that I’m leaving for DC tomorrow. Alone. Until Sunday. This will be the first time that I’m away from her overnight. I miss that little girl already.

We’ll see how things go when I’m back to work. I hope not to let so much time pass between posts again, but who knows. My aim is to work diligently at school so that when I’m home I can just be with Edie. I think I also just need to be kind to myself and realize that this year I won’t be the teacher I’m used to being. Hard to come in 3/4ths of the way through a year, pick up where someone else left off, and know the kids as well as I normally do. But I’m just going to be positive, work hard, and rush home to be with my girl as soon as I can.

 

 

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