Back to work

I started back to work today. As I told Maybelle this morning, "This is day one of work-family balance." I am exhausted (Biffle observes that this is probably due to all the panicking last night and this morning) and feeling, as I predicted, very torn.

I am so happy to be back at work. It felt great to be in the classroom again today--to feel that energy, that confidence, the possibilities for interesting conversations crackling in the air around me. And at the same time I worried about Maybelle. She's recently decided that she's no longer interested in drinking from a bottle, and Biffle's been working through a number of nipples and sippy cup options with her, but none with great success. What this means is that I'm going to have to bike home between classes and meetings to feed her, and/or Biffle and Maybelle's nanny are going to have to keep trying to get her to drink as she gets angrier and hungrier. Today was just fine, but she didn't eat as much as she normally does in a 24-hour period.

We're sharing a nanny with two colleagues and their daughter, and today I found myself wishing that we had a million dollars, wishing that we had enough that we could afford a nanny who'd be Maybelle's alone, someone who would have the time to try and try to feed her, who would be able to hold her as much as she wants to be held, who won't constantly have to be weighing Maybelle's needs along with the other baby's. Last night Biffle said, "I know it's not realistic, but I just don't want her ever to cry." I feel that way, too.

It was great to come home tonight and feed her. During last semester when I was home with Maybelle all the time, I definitely had moments of feeling, "Somebody take this baby away from me!" But now that I'm not going to be with her all the time, getting to be with her is already feeling like a treat, a privilege.

I wish I could do my job and spend a lot of my time with Maybelle. And I'm not saying that I want to start teaching class with Maybelle strapped to me--I'm just saying I wish I could live in both universes simultaneously.

And to end on a happy note, here's a video from Christmas morning:
Good morning, merry Christmas from Walter Biffle on Vimeo.


Cate Bush said...

You have the cutest baby ever! I love that video of her smiling at you :). I'm glad that you had a good first day back, but work/life balance sounds like it sucks. I'm sure like with most things it will either get easier or more tolerable, but the process sounds really hard. Love you,

Conseula said...

While I've gotten to the place that you will get to eventually (even though it doesn't feel like it now), where I no longer feel constantly torn and anxious about being away from the girls, I do still sometimes wish I could put them on pause or in suspended animation while I'm gone.

Kaethe said...

That's a familiar feeling. If only we could stop time for the kids so that we could do all the other stuff we need to and give the kids full focus. I like watching them grow up. They're funny people.

Cindy said...

welcome to the dance-the mommy dance....

Betty said...

The way I work and stay at home is by having my partner stay at home. When he's with the children I think they are in the perfect place. It kind of is like being in two places at once.

Laura Miller said...

What a beautiful baby, Alison! How graced you and Walter are to have to have this big new love in your life. Maybelle chose her parents well.
Love, Laura Miller

Susan and Jon said...

Hi Alison, I have been following Maybelle's progress on your blog since she was born. She is beautiful and is lucky to have such wonderful parents. Good luck with your spring schedule!
Best regards, Susan Hilderbrand