The first day back is not the worst one. In my opinion it was the second week back. When it really sunk in that I was back at work. When the first few days of adrenaline wore off. When you realize that you are missing hours of time with your sweet baby and you won’t ever get them back. I think the second week back to work I cried every day I came home. I put on a good face, smiled at my students and colleagues. Told others I was doing fine, then I lost it when I got home every day. It really was so bad that I probably lost a lot of time with my daughter that week that I could have had. I was almost debilitated. But I learned quickly what I needed. And I learned quickly that I can’t do it alone. Not only do I need the support of my family, babysitter and friends, but I needed God, desperately. I really only made it through those first few weeks and months back at work by the grace of God each day.
To be honest, there have been few times in my life I can really say that I felt the grace of God carrying me through each day. I know that God’s grace is always there helping me through, but I rarely recognize that in the moment. Usually I am coast through life, enjoying my circumstances and thanking God for my blessings as an afterthought. But this was different. I barely could get out of bed without God. I was sleep deprived, exhausted, and emotionally drained. I would give 100% to my students and then come home and have to give 100% to my daughter until bed time. I knew if I was going to work I had to do it right. I don’t half-heartedly teach, I give it my all and then some. I didn’t have the luxury of zoning out at my desk when I was up 2-3 times with Millie crying the night before. The thing about teenagers is they call you on your BS really quick, and they will say it to your face. But I also didn’t want to be a bad mom when I came home. I want to be fully present with my daughter. I want to love her well and not just have the leftover energy to give her.
So what did I do? I got up 15 minutes earlier every day and started my day with God. I still do this. It sounds crazy when you are sleep deprived to get up earlier, but it made the difference in my day. I decided to put God first and then ask Him to provide the rest. And you know what, he did.
So you are right, You can’t do it alone. But that is okay, because that is why we have God.