Dear Daughter, I Hate to Leave You

My Darling Girl,

The last six months with you have been the biggest roller-coaster of emotions I have ever experienced in my life. It has taken some getting used to, these intense joys, anxieties, fierce protectiveness, and all encompassing love. Overwhelming is an understatement, as I have worked so hard in my life not to feel my feelings, and now they take over my body and my brain in a way I can’t control. Now, facing leaving you for the first time, I find myself deep in emotional turmoil once again.

I feel torn  between the sadness of having to leave you, and my excitement for the project I am undertaking. It is a project that has been a dream of mine for years, and will merge two passions in a way nothing else has before. I know you will be loved and cared for and rocked and snuggled even more than you would be at home {grandparents are the best}; but leaving you for a week still feels wrong somehow.

I have so many anxieties going into this week. I worry about if something bad happens and I am not there. I desperately don’t want you to feel abandoned. I pray you don’t start crawling while I am gone, because I could not bear to miss it. I fear you may stop nursing after a week of bottles, and I have been trying to savor each nursing session with you for the past two weeks, thinking it could be our last. Funny, because I wasn’t that crazy about it to begin with– it just felt like this unfair responsibility biology placed on my shoulders, but now that it might be ending I find myself wistful and longing.

Sometimes I feel like I know too much. Logic tells me that you will be safe and cared for, and are in good hands. And then my brain flashes back to the one time I heard a child development expert say that you should never leave your child with someone else for an extended time during their first year of life…and I start to question myself. I start to wonder if this week will forever imprint itself in your attachment and memory, even if you may not actively remember it.

I imagine that every mother might go through something similar to this at some point. Maybe it is a rite of passage. The push and pull. How to balance your desires and goals with what you feel you should be doing for your child. I want to be by your side all of the time, but I also know to be the woman I want to be, this is necessary. I hope to be an example of a strong woman for you, and that when you find yourself in similar positions as a mother, you can talk with me, and I can share this experience with you.

Most of all, I hope you know that I love you ever so fiercely, even when I have to be away.

All my love,

Mama

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