First, I had to get used to being a mother.

Then a working mother.

Then a single working mother.

Then a sick, single working mother.

Last week, man, it was rough.

Allan and I aren’t getting a divorce.  We’re not separated.  We’re still somewhat sickeningly in love with each other.

He was out of town.  So far out of town, he was clear across the country.  He was in Portland from the wee hours of Monday morning until Saturday around noon.

It was just me.  And Charlotte.  And Murphy.

I was solely responsible for the three of us for six days.  It was challenging in ways I didn’t expect – I had absolutely no downtime or reprieve.  But in some ways, Charlotte made it easy for me.

She’s an excellent sleeper, you guys.  That girl is a sleeping rockstar.  8:00 and BAM she’s ready for bed.  She gave me no trouble at all and stuck to her schedule like a champ.

Even with her here, and even with Murphy here, I was lonely.

I’m glad my husband’s back.  He’s my home.

I knew I was pregnant before I took the test.  I was in denial, but I knew it.

I felt it.

You know how in cartoons, a magic wand has a trail of stuff behind it?  That’s what the earliest stages of pregnancy felt like.  That’s what the earliest stages of Charlotte felt like.


Glittery, effervescent, poppy, tingly.

And this song is what I imagine the magic of those early days sounds like.

I’m back at work, Internet.  As I write this, I’m at my desk, looking at two giant monitors, typing on a keyboard.

When I’m at home, I’m looking at my wee Macbook Air monitor and typing on a non-keyboard keyboard.  They’re both called keyboards, but the ones on laptops are distinctly different.  Typing on a real keyboard is much more enjoyable.


I’ve returned to work.  But fear not – I’m not slacking quite yet.  I’m on my lunch break, which, 99% of the time, I don’t actually take.  I sit at my desk, read the news, People, Daily Mail.  Sometimes I edit personal photos.  Sometimes I update my blog.  And a lot of times I work.  It’s not really much of a break, but it’s enough of a break to feel revitalized once it’s over.

I work in a corporate park.  Research Triangle Park, to be exact.  And there are some bylaws here stating that there can be no shops.  No grocery stores.  No restaurants.  No fun, basically.  But lots of trees.  Oh, yes, there are lots of trees in this here park.

My point is: even if I wanted to take a proper break from work, there really isn’t anywhere to go.

While I’m at work, my baby is at an in-home daycare.  We’re very happy with everything about it, except that we may have to look for a new one.  Long story short: the operator of the daycare is now pregnant (which was a surprise to us… and her, apparently), and once this baby arrives, she’ll be overbooked.  In NC, only five children can be in an in-home facility at once.  She currently has five.  The baby will make six.  Someone’s gotta go.  Since Charlotte is her newest charge, it’ll most likely be Charlotte getting the boot.

I’m sick about it.


But, there’s a possibility it won’t come to that.  One of her current charges is about to go to pre-school part time, and her mother’s having a baby next month, so chances are good that this girl will leave the daycare altogether and go where her baby brother goes.

There’s no guarantee, though, so I’m not allowing myself to feel settled or comfortable.  I’m telling myself that this is a temporary situation, just so that if we have to find a new place, it won’t be as devastating.

I’m trying not to dwell on it because 1) we don’t know what’s going to happen until the first of the year and 2) there’s nothing I can do about it until then.

Worrying about tomorrow’s problems only takes away today’s peace, or so they say.  I’m making it my mantra with this situation.

But I can’t help but be pessimistic.  That’s how I roll.

So, being at work is nice.  And challenging.  I’m finding it difficult to be ‘on’ for eight hours a day.  Thankfully, I’m transitioning and only working part-time for the next two weeks, which is making things a lot easier.

And I miss Charlotte.  Well, I don’t miss everything about Charlotte.  For example, yesterday I didn’t hear her cry AT ALL.  Not once.  That’s realllllly nice.  Really, really nice.

But I feel like I’m a part-time mother.  I only get her on nights and weekends.  And there are some perks to that.  Remember the not hearing her cry thing?  That’s a pretty spectacular perk.

However, I almost feel like I’m being replaced as her mother.  And it’s even more acute in an in-home daycare situation.  At a facility, Charlotte would be passed around between three or four teachers.  She’d probably have preferences, but ultimately she wouldn’t be super close to or super attached to any one person.

Where she is, she’s the only baby and there’s only one teacher.  One teacher to carry her around all day, to talk to her, to smile at her, to soothe her, to bond with her.  And bonding is good – it’s really good.  But will she end up more bonded to her teacher than to me, because she’ll spend more waking hours with her teacher than me?

I’m finding motherhood to be so hard.  It’s hard in big ways and small.  It’s hard on the brain and on the heart.

So, my girl.  She’s a smiler.  She passes smiles out left and right these days.  When I get her from her sleeper in the morning, she smiles.  If I smile at her, she smiles.  If I laugh at her, she smiles.  If I look at her, she smiles.  She smiles and smiles and smiles.

These are big giant smiles I’m talking about.  The kind that cause her to close her eyes and move her head from side to side.  The smiles contain so much happiness, she literally can’t contain herself.

She smiles at no one more than her dad.  I’m basically just her caretaker – her dad’s the main event.  All she has to do is hear his voice and she smiles.

I’m chopped liver.  And I love it.

I love that, in some ways, she’s already a daddy’s girl.

I love it because I’m a daddy’s girl, too.