Every time I go to bed, no matter how tired I am, I will usually be kept awake by my worries. Now that we have Oscar I feel like my worry-o-meter has sky rocketed. Before him, my concerns would generally be work related, finances, future plans and sometimes even the weather. I’m a useless worrier and it’s probably one thing about myself I would like to change.
Lately, what is keeping me awake is the eventual need to put Oscar into childcare. I return to work full-time in September and I already feel uneasy about having to leave him with someone else. Candice and I recently visited the centre that Oscar will most likely be attending and everything was fine, it’s a good centre. But i won’t be there and I get nervous thinking of how this might make Oscar feel.
Anxious, sad, confused, abandoned. These aren’t feelings that I want Oscar to suffer.
I’ve been told that it’s the first month or so that will be the hardest for him but that he will adjust. And in time he will actually enjoy going and childcare will simply be part of his routine and something he knows. This information is doing very little to comfort me right now though.
I have big concerns about him feeding as he still refuses a bottle and he often uses breastfeeding as a comfort tool. I plan to express breast milk for him to have at the centre but I’m so worried that he will refuse it out of a bottle and be hungry. My mother in law pointed out that when he gets hungry enough he will eat, which I know is true but my heart absolutely breaks, knowing that he could be starving and desperate before he finally eats.
We want to start trying the bottle at home a bit more to get him used to it. I adore breastfeeding him and don’t want to stop but if I can just get him used to taking milk from a bottle once a day then it would make me feel a lot less stressed about it all.
Whenever we go out to eat we always take Oscar with us but it’s becoming increasingly difficult. He is at an age where he wants to be mobile but isn’t capable yet so he demands to be held instead. He wants to grab everything in front of him and isn’t content to simply sit on our laps anymore. This makes eating so hard! For this reason we would like to start calling on Oscar’s grandparents to see if they would mind babysitting for a couple of hours here and there. Before we can do that though, we would need him to be able to drink from a bottle. Just in case he gets hungry the minute we leave him. He is very new to solids so we can’t really rely on that to fill him while we’re gone. We’ll be working on that over the next month. I can’t wait to be able to go on real dates again with Candice where we get to eat at the same time and have a proper conversation without Oscar’s fingers trying to dig into my mouth.
But back to childcare. The first few weeks are going to be horrible, for all of us, I expect. I doubt I’ll be able to concentrate on anything at work which is no good as I’m probably going to need to be retrained in several areas. I’m going to be reading the new lab methods and not be absorbing a single thing, I know it. I’ll be thinking about Oscar and his face as I left him with strangers. I’ll be worried that he hasn’t eaten or slept. If he feels scared. I’ll be seriously questioning if returning to work was worth it.
The thing is, I know that returning to work is overall the best thing for our family. Firstly, it’s best for us financially. Candice is doing superbly at supporting us at the moment but it isn’t fair. We would like to be able to pay extra on our mortgage, take holidays again, continue with our house renovations and a whole lot of other things that a second income would allow.
Secondly, I also know that once I get past the initial difficulty of being apart from Oscar, I will want to be working. I love my job and do miss it a lot some days. Plus being around adults again all day will surely improve my sanity.
Thirdly, it gives Oscar a chance to socialise with other babies. Both my sisters have said that their kids really thrived in childcare and were able to learn so much. There will be things I don’t want Oscar to learn from the other kids such as bad manners and behaviour but there will also be great things. He will make friends and if he is anything like my nieces and nephews, Oscar will be excited to return to ‘school’ as they call it after they have a few weeks off at home.
I need to stop worrying about this but it’s so hard when I look at him sleeping next to me, all small and helpless.
But I’ll try to.