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// she's only happy in the sun.
Nov 12

on having my cake. and eating it too.

we’ve been inordinately, amazingly lucky. i know this. it’s certainly not lost on me. from the moment our lives changed forever with the arrival of little phoenix hugh, we’ve had a caché of family and friends who have swooped in and helped us with this transition. and i’m so grateful for every.single.pair of hands that held our child as i got dressed, or put away the dishes, or responded to another email, or ate a complete meal.

today, dev’s mum, nikki, headed back to tennessee. and as she walked out the door (her eyes brimming with tears at the idea of leaving her grandson) i realized that an era of sorts was ending for us. for the first time, in a very long time, dev and i would be under our roof with our little one – alone. we three would be figuring it out. there would be no 3am hand off to his ever-devoted grandma. there would be no extra pair of hands to help get his breakfast ready while we showered and tomorrow when i leave for work, i don’t have the easy reassurance of knowing our son is with someone who loves him as much as we do. someone who knows his body language intimately. knows his tired complaining sounds from his hungry cries, and that he needs to put his two little fingers in his mouth to fall asleep.

and let me state for the record, there is nothing in the world that can replace that kind of ease-of-heart.

we knew this day was coming. after all, it’s not really feasible that we keep importing family and friends to look after our son while i am at work. but we’d held off making a decision for a long time and a few weeks ago i finally sent out an email to my closest friends in the area asking for references and ideas. two incredibly sweet friends of ours responded that they would be happy to help us out…but at the end of the day, we knew we needed a long term plan, rather than yet another stop-gap measure.

so we’ve made the decision to trial out a family day care. we met the caregiver and she is warm and loving and has had years of experience. phoenix immediately felt right at home in her house, retrieved a ball that he found under the table and batted his eyelashes at his new friends. i know he will be in safe, kind, gentle hands. i know he will be just fine.

but i’m having a hard time believing that will be.

i’m suddenly so conflicted. my heart is heavy and i can’t stop crying.

i know this decision is the best option for us right now. i know that i could stay home with phoenix if i truly wanted to. but the truth is that i don’t want to walk away from my work. it’s not out of necessity i choose to work. it is out of a real passion and love for what i do. but then there is my child. my divine little first born with his giant blueberry eyes and his velvet skin. i don’t want to miss his milestones. i want to be there for his juicy smiles and bask in his pride when he learns new things. i want to inhale the smell of his freshly bathed neck and when he falls asleep in my arms and i lay him on my heart, i want time to stop. i want to live in that moment for as long as i can.

and so you’ll have to forgive me while i cry an ocean of tears as i’m trying to figure out how to entrust him into new hands. how to hand over the most precious thing in my life, and go to work and get anything done.

today, someone (who i *think* was trying to be helpful) bluntly told me that i was trying to ‘have my cake and eat it too’.

and you know what? it’s true.

and you know what else? i don’t want to feel bad or broken up or guilty about it.

i want to be supported in my decision to juggle it all. i want to feel like it IS feasible. i want to live in a reality where i can continue working, and be the very best mother i can be.

and so tomorrow, a new era for us begins. we will drop our child off at someone else’s home in the morning.

and if my heart doesn’t completely break in two, we will try it again the day after, and the next.

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5 comments on “on having my cake. and eating it too.”

  1. NahlaMama Says:

    My heart understand every word of this. We have yet to cross the daycare bridge, we are currently lucky enough to have my mother in law helping while I work part time. But when I go back to full time I will have to take her to day care and my heart breaks at the thought.
    On days when I work I often spend the drive conflicted about my decision to work. I work because I am passionate about what I do and I want to stay involved in community development. At the same time I am aware that my primary responsibility is raising Nahla. What helps me is thinking about Nahla as a young woman looking me, her mother. I believe young woman Nahla would be glad that I am following my passion.
    You are a PHENOMENAL mother! Good job giving your son the gift of knowing he is loved and cared for by an entire community of people.

  2. Shereen Says:

    So, so challenging! My little guy is 3 and I’m still not ready to go back to work! Of course, I’m not in the position you are in, of already having a job and loving it, or I don’t know what I’d do!!

  3. brooklyn Says:

    while i have never personally met you, i can tell you this: you are incredibly talented in the work that you do– that is not a small thing. and after reading all of your posts about phx, it’s clear that you are also an incredibly loving mother. and while it is definitely a struggle to always make the ‘right’ decisions in life, just remember that you can always re-make that decision if it’s not working for you and your family. i think it’s great that you are still pursuing your creative passions, and raising a kid. you’ll be an even better mother for it. and if you take a hiatus to stay home with phx you’ll be enriched in your creativity; and i don’t doubt you’ll be able to integrate into work again when you are ready.

  4. Lacey Says:

    I have been in your shoes…we sent our baby to day care when she was only 14 weeks old. It was so hard and I cried a lot! But it does get easier as time goes on. Hang in there, and you can call me if you need a boost!! :)

  5. Wendi Momen Says:

    Great thing about cake – there is always more. Great thing about women – they can do it all. Great thing about your family – we will support you whatever decision you make, now or tomorrow. Great thing about you – you are great! Much love to all three of you!

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