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One of those things I didn’t understand about motherhood until I got here is the emotion that comes with leaving your kid with a babysitter or in childcare. I never knew how I would feel about it but always thought it wouldn’t be that big of a deal.

I know he’s only 12 weeks old — still very new — but I truly hate to think of him being in daycare or even with a childcare provider at all.

Yesterday, I had my first real babysitter, outside of family help. She came to the house and I worked in the other room for 4 hours. It was an easy transition but I just think about all the smiles and sounds and moments I’m missing even from a few feet away!

Oddly, I don’t feel like this nearly as much if I’m busy doing things and my husband is taking are of him. It’s almost like Rick is part of me and he’s getting those moments for our collective memory — even though that is absolutely ridiculous.

The old cliche phrase about “Nobody says they wish they had worked more” at the end of their life plays over and over in my head. I believe it when people say the days are long and the years are short. I’m already mourning the loss of a time that’s still right here. It’s not the right way to live, as I should be authentically appreciating the moment we are in right now!

I stare at his adorable little face and capture those expressions and baby noises in the lock box of my brain. There’s a tiny sadness with each passing day, as I realize my baby will not always be a baby.

I have a gnawing desire to film his every move, to never miss a single smile. If he smiles when Rick is in the other room, I am yelling at him to get in here because as Aerosmith says, “I don’t wanna miss a thing” including sharing that beautiful smile with my husband in a moment that will pass by and forever be just a memory.

I also know, I can’t live life just staring at my child 24 hours a day for fear of missing out. I have a job, I like my job and have the ultimate dream of working from home with the flexibility of someone who is self-employed.

Soon, I will have childcare on a daily basis. I’m not sure exactly how this will look — though likely it will be a caregiver in my home where I can see him anytime I want — but it’s coming and it’s a hard thought for me. I may not have classified myself as a “kid person” in the past but taking care of Jacob is a privilege that I truly love.

The work or stay-at-home mom debate is a tough one for me. While I would like to just be a full-time mommy (of course we all are that anyway!), the ability to work from home and make a good income is an opportunity that most people don’t have. I believe I can find a good balance and feel happy with my decision, though everything still feels a little wobbly — emotions, work-life balance, clarity on a million different things.

I’m sure having a babysitter will soon feel more normal, though I can’t yet fathom dropping him off at daycare anytime in the near future (and maybe I won’t ever have to do the daycare thing).

I  always said, “I don’t know how I will feel about” working/daycare/childcare until the time comes. Well, the time has come and it’s harder than I thought.

I never knew how every moment would be so special and how I could miss my baby when he’s just in the next room for an hour. I never knew how overwhelmingly you could love someone, that your head spins tales of disasters that will never happen out of thin air because you are so terrified that anything would ever hurt them.

I’m not overprotective or overly paranoid. I’m just a new mom navigating all the emotions — realizing that my heart, soul and mind are now operating in Mom-mode, a permanent setting that changes everything you ever thought you knew about life.

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