But then there's times when the child is so sweet. Lately Jack and I have had such fun playing together before work and daycare, that I get really bummed after dropping him off (at daycare). A chocolate croissant from Starbucks helps ease the transition a little, but once that's eaten, all that is left is a a snoring Pug and engineering tasks that have been the same since 2010. I much rather watch "Captain Jack and the Neverland Pirates", shouting yo-ho and waving empty paper towel tubes around (as swords) with Jack.
That's how this week has been for me. Days filled with all things Jack. He had croup and had to stay home from daycare Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday. And of course last week was Thanksgiving, so no daycare then. In October there was Disneyland and another cold, so my cup runneth over of Jack (in a good way). Going back to the reality of my monotonous (all though well paying and stable) job was blah. I kept thinking about the fun I could be having, and so, I felt sad and empty at work this week. I just didn't want to leave Jack at daycare.
Of course this week wasn't the first time I've experience separation anxiety (from my kid). Going back to work after maternity leave really taxed me. Those 12 weeks with a new born were not all happy and pleasant, but returning back to work after just 12 weeks felt like the leave was cut short. It was way too short of time (for me). And Jack, he was so little. He was just shy of 3 months. All the other babies were 5-6 months. It felt way too soon. Like someone (cough, cough, place that I worked) had ripped my baby from me.
Look how little he was!
I cried every day for that first week back at work, and I know I cried the weeks following that first week (just not every day). Ugh, and the dream I had about returning to work is still vivid. In the dream, I return to work, and then they tell me because I was gone, they're going to lay me off (they were laying other people off in the dream too, but the reason they chose me was because I had been on leave). I told them, "shark, no! You don't make me come back before I'm ready just to lay me off!" Then I demanded a 6 month severance package, and they gave it to me. At least I got a small victory in the dream, and of course 2 years later, I'm still working there, but that was the level of my separation anxiety back then.
The separation anxiety I feel now, isn't necessarily that I need to be with my baby (not like the one I felt 2 years ago). It's that my child is way more fun than my work, so I much rather be with him. Sure it doesn't help that he gets upset when we leave for daycare, but as soon as we're at daycare, he finds the toys or morning snack, and it's see ya later mommy. Jack's separation issues also seem rooted in don't interrupt my fun. But at least when he's at preschool, he's having a good time (see exhibit below). I, on the other hand, am not having a good time at my job.
Happy as a calm climbing on the jungle gym at daycare
I do plan to change that though. I think a new engineering job, either within my company or external, could bring on challenge that I need. Something new would break up the monotony of what I currently do (seriously I've had the same exact tasks for at least 5 years now). I think also the release of "Annie Aardvark, Mathematician" will also bring a new exciting adventure to my work life. And of course, if all else fails, I can take a sick day and play with Jack. The point is, I don't think I will be stuck in a rut and feeling sad every time my child leaves for school because there are exciting things on the horizon for me.
I believe I can change these circumstances. I've done it before, and I can do it again. That's the thing I know about myself-- that I'm a dreamer and a doer, so my dreams can come true. (Sidebar alert-- I got Campaigner from this personality test, https://www.16personalities.com/free-personality-test. You should take it; you didn't need to work/watch child/sleep today anyway.) Let's just hope the dream that comes true is not one the one with a lay off (although I'm sure if I really wanted that dream to happen, I could, haha).