“That must be hard,” is the typical response to anything relating to returning to work. Everywhere I turn someone else is attempting to empathize with a feeling that does not exist. I am not anxious about leaving the baby. I am not depressed. I am not falling apart and crying every morning. In fact, the transition was oddly easy.
Because at 5:30 in the morning when the alarm goes off I hit autopilot. A list of things hits me that I have to complete before opening the garage door. A surreal silence echos through the otherwise sleeping household. Get socks, fix hair, brush teeth, grab yogurt, get bag… With two kisses, an “I love you” exchanged and a replacing of a pacifier that is needed from the rustling I find myself opening the garage door. Autopilot soars through the quiet neighborhood. Autopilot gets in line with all the other brake lights. Autopilot half-heartedly sings along to Celine Dion’s dominance of the car speakers. Autopilot goes at green and stops at red. Autopilot parks, walks, opens office door, turns on computer. Autopilot does not think about what else could be done, what else could be more productive than the 7-4, milestones that are being missed or time that is vanishing. Autopilot just goes, goes, goes. Autopilot doesn’t count the minimal sleep hours because then it would have to own them. Autopilot doesn’t think. Autopilot just goes, goes, goes. And it is just hoped that by the time autopilot fails I find myself back with the ones I love.
This is how a wanna-be-stay-at-home mom works a full-time job.