Officially my maternity leave ended last week and with my first week back at work being on another continent I was kind of thrown into the deep end of motherhood guilt. Not only is there the guilt of leaving my 5 month old daughter during the day whilst I work, there is the added guilt of leaving her for 7 days and 8 nights.
The night I left for Europe, Aviana decided to wake up 3 times for some unknown reason, where previously she has been sleeping through the night. Maybe she knew I was gone. Maybe it’s the 4mth sleep regression. My poor husband had to deal with that on his own, and throughout the rest of the week too she did not sleep particularly well. Aviana also managed to catch a cold, her first one, perhaps that had something to do with it too. Luckily she wasn’t teething too! That really would have sucked for Chris.
And so I feel guilty for not being there to giver her cuddles when she doesn’t feel well or when she wakes in the night crying for some unknown reason. I feel guilty my husband has the burden of sole responsibility, and it’s tough to catch a breather (because work isn’t really a true breather). I also really miss nursing her! It is an amazing bond but I didn’t think I would miss it as much as I have done.
Having said all this, I have had some good times this week. I graduated from my 9 month executive development programme! Finally it’s over! I presented my team’s project to some of the most senior people within the organization (it was an amazing opportunity!) and received great positive feedback about my presentation style. Apparently I was so compelling I didn’t need a PowerPoint presentation, I’m not sure there is a better complement than that. I also had a bit of fun on our graduation night – it’s been over 1.5yrs since I’ve had more than one glass of wine in a night! I’ve also eaten some fantastic food-just look at this beef tartare and pana cotta…..mmmmmmmm.
I know I have a few more trips away this year, and Chris will be on his own again a few more times. But that’s how it is with my job, I can’t avoid it. Almost everyone in my team has children, it’s just the way it goes. I’m sure we will figure it all out. Chris will probably travel himself at some point soon too for work and I will experience what he does. Not so sure how Aviana will deal with it as she gets older. Actually, I’m not really sure to what extent and how much she misses me right now. She can’t express herself obviously. I have a big fear of her going on a nursing strike when I return.
So yes I’m feeling a little guilty right now…and very much looking forward to coming home soon and to feel a little less guilty!