I registered Zac in daycare this week, and I left the place in tears.
I'm not ready for this!
I realize that I am incredibly fortunate to live where I live. A place where every mother (or father) is granted a full year of paid maternity leave. It's truly amazing and I am indeed truly grateful.
As my year draws to an end, I can't help but feel that it is simply not long enough.
Zac is still so young. Still so dependent on me. And although I have moments where I can't believe how much of a little boy he is becoming, he is, in fact, still a baby.
I know this may sound very spoiled of me. I know that may mothers have to put their babies in daycare at much younger ages. But still, I'm having a really hard time with this.
It doesn't help that there are no great child care options available up north.
I've heard horror stories from other mothers about the daycare up here, and while I know they're just stories, I'm still terrified.
Zac has been super clingy these days. Maybe it's separation anxiety. Maybe he knows that our full days together are numbered. He's always holding onto my pant legs, clinging to my ankles, grasping my finger with his whole hand and refusing to let go.
He's just not ready for daycare.
And I'm clearly not ready either.
On a personal level, I'm totally ready to go back to work. I miss the mental and social stimulation. I miss adult conversation. But I'm not the same person I was before maternity leave. I don't think for myself anymore. A huge part of my brain seems eternally devoted to the wellbeing of my child - like nothing in the entire world matters more than his happiness.
And I wish more than anything that I could stay home with him another year. Stay home another year for him... until he's a bit older, a bit tougher, and can fend for himself a little more.
He's still such a mamma's boy, and I am just heartbroken by the thought of leaving him under a stranger's care.
Everyone gets through this, right? I guess we will too.
Zac will survive. I will survive.
... I hope.