Separation Anxiety

I thought I had picked out this great day care. I was really excited about it.

You know, I’m a first-time mother anticipating my first child while balancing a career. I’m working my way to being a partner in my firm. I’m now a manager. I worked really hard to get where I am, and I want desperately to continue my career and be a mom.

In anticipation of this baby, I’ve been planning and preparing. I’ve got her life planned out for her. I’m going to stay home on maternity leave for ten weeks. Then I’ll take you to this great day care, where I know you’ll be loved and cared for. We’ll spend our evenings and weekends together. In just a few short years, you’ll be off to school. I can come home early in the summers and spend time with you. We’re going to have this great life.
I am sure this is how it will be … until I stay home for ten weeks and realize that I have never loved anyone like I love my baby girl. I didn’t even know this was possible. When she was born, it was like my heart was unbound and it exploded and grew. I love my baby so deeply.

At the end of ten weeks, I wake up and get myself ready for work and get her ready to be dropped off at day care. I’m ready to go back. Let’s get this thing started.

I walk in, carrying her in her car carrier. I talk to everyone. Shes asleep in the car seat. I ask, “Who wants her? What shall I do with her?” They tell me, “Take her out of her car carrier and lay her down in the crib. She’ll be fine in there.” These cribs are plain; they are like jail cells. All I could picture was my baby crying, like, “Mama, let me out!” You know, those babies behind bars.

They say, “Just lay her down in her bed, and she’ll be fine. We’ll get her when she needs us.” I look around. I’m in this room with infants in their cribs, and none of the workers are in there. Everyone’s in the adjacent room. I pick her up and hold her. I start to weep. I don’t think I was made for this. I don’t think I was designed to take my baby and lay her down and leave her for someone else. 

I hold her for a really long time. I start to weep silently, soft sobs. No one can tell. The tears aren’t flowing. No way. I don’t want anyone to see this tough business woman as sensitive. I’m dressed in my suit, ready to kill that day. I lay her down in her crib, but I hesitate to leave. The crib looks cold to me, looks lonely. I stand there for a minute with my hand on the side of the rail. Can I leave? How am I going to leave? How do I do this?

Silently, without even a single day-care worker saying anything to me, I pick up my car carrier and walk out. I slowly make the walk down the hallway and out of the building. I put the car seat in, get in my car, and sob and sob and sob. How will I go through an entire day with her being in this place, where I’m confident those people will not take care of her the way I would because I was designed to be her mama?

Only a mama knows. God designed us beautifully for this love affair, and that’s why it hurts our hearts. Happy Mother’s Day to the women who lay down their lives every day for future generations! 

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