Charlie turns four months old this week. (I still haven’t mailed most of the birth announcements. Sorry, friends! Expect them in the mail about the time he enters kindergarten.) I’ve been back to work since he was just shy of two months old. I have one of the more generous parental leave policies that I’ve encountered in the wild, yet all the baby books and websites are talking to me as though I’m just now considering going back to the office. They’re also recommending that I see about putting a small crib in my office, so that most days I can bring my baby into work and nurse him as needed. WHAT COUNTRY DO YOU THINK THIS IS, MAN? Or is the assumption that everyone who buys your book/reads your website is the lady-C.E.O. of Progressive Billionaire Incorporated? “Every day is Bring Your Baby to Work Day when you’re the VP of Operations at Amalgamated Midwifery!,” I would say, as I bounced my smartly dressed infant on my shoulder while holding on the line for my counterpart in the Beijing office.
As it is, I go to work while my father-in-law, Ed, stays home with Charlie. Which is GREAT, compared to the other, non-fantasy-world childcare options. His retirement coincided with our baby-having, and instead of moving to the woods to live deliberately as previously planned, he decided to move to our basement in Maryland to be full-time Granddad. Because of this fantastic arrangement, Ed happened to be filming some of Charlie’s tummy-time with his iPhone yesterday when Charlie rolled over on his own for the first time. It was captured on film, and he texted it to me. My first reaction was, “He did it! He’s so big and strong and I have it on video!” My next reaction, less than a second later, was to sit at my desk and cry because I missed it.
Fortunately for me, my job is fab and very rewarding. I’ve generally been doing well at enjoying Charlie when I’m home and focusing on doing good work while I’m in the office. But it’s still really difficult to leave Charlie in the mornings. This was how I felt all this morning as I was getting ready for work. Is it so much to ask that he save all his milestones for weekends, or for 7:15 – 9:00 pm on weeknights?
Thank fuck a Shake Shack recently opened up close to my office. I’m gonna go eat my feelings.