Thursday, November 20, 2008

November 20: A day away from Carter

Today I spent 11 hours away from Carter, the longest stretch of time since he got out of the NICU. And it was AWFUL. I handed him off to Michelle at 7:00 am, just after he woke up, and I got home tonight at 6:00 pm. Just in time to put him in the car, run an errand I had to get done, then come home and get him ready for bed.

So I basically missed his entire day. He lived a whole day and barely saw me. He could have learned something new, said a word or crawled or used a new sign, or whatever, and I wasn't there to see it. He drank his all of his milk out of sippy cups instead of nursing, and he took all of his naps snuggled on someone else's chest. His hair smelled of strange perfume tonight, and every time I kissed his head it just reminded me that I wasn't the one who held and cuddled him today.

I'm sure there are plenty of people reading this who are probably thinking, "Oh, boo hoo. Welcome to my life." And with all due respect, I don't know how you do it. I know that (in most cases, anyway) you would much rather be home with your kids every day, but need to work to pay the bills. I know I'm very, very lucky that I don't have to work full time, that I get to spend as much time with Carter as I do.

But still, I don't want to do that again any time soon.

He usually goes right to sleep at night, but tonight he fought sleep and laid awake for another hour. And honestly, I was happy to lie there in bed with him and play and talk and snuggle. I was in no hurry for him to go to sleep tonight, and he seemed to need that extra time with me too.

He's asleep beside me now, one little arm thrown over his eyes. Tomorrow I have to be away from him for 6 hours, which is unusual for a Friday. I keep telling myself that I'll make up for it next week. We'll spend an entire week together, every minute, and I'm looking forward to it.

I missed him so much today. :-(


Emily said...

I can completely relate and I do it every day!

I HATE that Will smells like his teachers in the evenings. HATE IT.
But, it is what it is.. I'm pretty sure THEY don't get the "after the boob" smile that I get! ;)

*sigh* I hope today is better for you. Just know that we all understand!

Rita said...

Ah, now you make me feel like a shitty mom, because there are times when I would KILL to get eleven hours away from Sam! And IS hard to come home after a day away and have only maybe two hours with him before bedtime. I think my ideal situation would be to work half days, and have the rest of the time with Sam.

But I think a lot of my need to get away also has to do with being a single parent. It might be different if I had someone else in the house to give me little breaks now and again. He's also reached the age where I really and truly can't take him with me on errands. He gets mad if I don't let him push the shopping cart. He gets mad if I take him with me to have lunch or dinner with a friend - jealous of my attention. Sheesh, just thinking about it all makes me tired again.

I also wonder how often Doug is traveling. Do you sometimes feel like a single mom, when there are long stretches when Doug is out of town? Do you get stressed when he's gone?

Keri said...

I know exactly what you mean! I used to work part-time and I HATED it when Ben came home smelling like someone else's perfume. One time his clothes came home smelling like someone else's laundry detergent, which was equally odious! I'm so glad I stay home with him full-time now, and that my Google job is from home. Every time he stays with my parents, I think I'm going to enjoy the extra time to get stuff done, but I spend the whole time calling them for updates on what he's doing!