Yesterday was my first day back at work in more than 10 weeks. In preparation for what I knew was going to be a difficult transition, I took Willa into daycare as a dry run last week for a few hours.
Walking out and leaving her there was, without a doubt, the hardest thing I've ever done.
I sat in my car for 10 minutes in the daycare parking lot sobbing. Before I left to run a couple errands I had planned, I called my mom for some good old maternal support. (I scared her with my crying when she first answered the phone until I could get the words out to explain.)
As I drove to my first stop, I cried and didn't stop while I sat in my car for another 10 minutes in the store's parking lot.
Visiting and picking a daycare all those months ago, I couldn't comprehend how it would feel to actually leave her there. At the time it was a logical choice. I would be returning to work after she was born (and John would be working full time), ergo we needed some kind of childcare for Willa. Made sense.
But in actuality, what was originally a logical choice, did not feel so clear and necessary. I was irrational. My emotions were more than involved. They had taken over my brain and screamed WHAT THE HELL ARE YOU DOING LEAVING YOUR BABY?!?!
I didn't have an answer. So I cried. And cried. And cried.
The good thing about being in that emotional vise last week is that it made my first day back at work (and Willa's first full day in daycare) not as bad as it could have been.
Don't get me wrong. I still missed her like crazy. I ached to hold her and kiss those great big cheeks of hers. I missed her big, mouthy grin and the coos she makes as she kicks her legs. But I managed to drop her off with minimal crying and actually didn't cry in my office like I thought I would.
Though dropping her off in the morning will get easier, I don't think I'll ever not miss her.